Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Big Journalism Is Pat Robertson's Apologist?

I have decided to take my first look at Andrew Breitbart's Big Journalism today. I was half expecting something different from the typical propaganda that can be found on his other sites, Big Government and Big Hollywood, but as I scrolled down, I discovered that I was wrong. One particular article, written by Mondo Frazier, titled "What Did Pat Robertson Really Mean by His ‘Pact with the Devil’ Remark?" caught my attention. I was intrigued as to what kind of spin could be placed on Robertson's words.

As we all know by now, Pat Robertson had decided to open his mouth and chime in on the Haitian earthquake last week. On the January 13th edition of The 700 Club, Robertson had gone on to say the following:
And, you know, Kristi, something happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it. They were under the heel of the French. You know, Napoleon III and whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, "We will serve you if you will get us free from the French." True story. And so, the devil said, "OK, it's a deal."

And they kicked the French out. You know, the Haitians revolted and got themselves free. But ever since, they have been cursed by one thing after the other. Desperately poor. That island of Hispaniola is one island. It's cut down the middle. On the one side is Haiti; on the other side is the Dominican Republic. Dominican Republic is prosperous, healthy, full of resorts, et cetera. Haiti is in desperate poverty. Same island. They need to have and we need to pray for them a great turning to God. And out of this tragedy, I'm optimistic something good may come. But right now, we're helping the suffering people, and the suffering is unimaginable.
Any intelligent person reading this statement would be able to connect the dots. Robertson stated that the Haitians made a deal with the devil and that ever since that deal, they have been cursed by one thing after another. An earthquake would be classified as "one thing after another," but not according to Frazier.

Frazier asks if Robertson actually said "the earthquakes were the Haitians own fault”? He even places a video clip of Robertson talking about the pact with the devil. Frazier asserts that since he did not say "earthquake" and that he was correct about the long term suffering of the Haitian people, and that he is offering humanitarian relief by asking viewers to donate to his disaster fund, then critics must be jumping to the wrong conclusion. Robertson quickly released a statement, but if you pay close attention to what he says, then it really is not an admonishment of innocence, but simply a diversion from the facts. Robertson released the following statement:
On today’s The 700 Club, during a segment about the devastation, suffering and humanitarian effort that is needed in Haiti, Dr. Robertson also spoke about Haiti’s history. His comments were based on the widely-discussed 1791 slave rebellion led by Boukman Dutty at Bois Caiman, where the slaves allegedly made a famous pact with the devil in exchange for victory over the French. This history, combined with the horrible state of the country, has led countless scholars and religious figures over the centuries to believe the country is cursed.

Dr. Robertson never stated that the earthquake was God’s wrath. If you watch the entire video segment, Dr. Robertson’s compassion for the people of Haiti is clear. He called for prayer for them.
If you look at what I had made bold, Robertsons admits he was discussing a historical event tainted with religious myth to back up his claims that the nation is cursed. He then goes on to say that the earthquake was not God's wrath and that he loves Haitians.

There was no mention of "God's wrath" in Robertson's earlier statement. He only stated that the island was cursed. His second statement seems to try to distance himself from the belief that the Haitains really made a pact with the devil, where he points out that "countless scholars and religious figures" believe in the curse, but he did not include himself in that group, even though he spoke as though it were fact on his previous statement. Also, by saying that it was not "God's wrath" does not eliminate the possibility that the Haitian's suffering could be cause by "Satan's wrath," which if you had read any story involving pacts with the devil, you would know that the devil always tricks the other party involved in the agreement.

Frazier responded to these allegations by saying "regardless of whom or what you believe, it seems clear that Robertson was giving his take on the miserable existence of the Haitian people–not on some divine-retribution cause of the earthquake." According to Wikipedia, "divine retribution is a supernatural punishment usually directed towards all or some portions of humanity by a deity." If you look at Robertson's first statement and not his rewrite of what he said, he made no reference to God, insinuating that the devil was to blame, so Robertson's rushed follow-up means absolutely nothing.

1 comment:

  1. We need to step up our exports to Haiti. Let's send Pat Robertson to them. :-)


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