Friday, December 20, 2013

Totally Not Prejudiced Pat Robertson Said Japanese People Are Prejudiced

A regular feature of The 700 Club is "Bring it On-Line," where Pat Robertson answers viewer questions because apparently there are still hundreds of thousands of people out there who think Pat's a fount of wisdom.  It's the most unscripted part of the show—I don't think Pat even knows in advance what the questions will be—and it's been the source of most of the WTF moments he's treated us to in the past year: the AIDS-spreading rings gay people wear, the is-your-son-gay-because-his-coach-molested-him comment, and many others that weren't always about gay people.

On yesterday's show, Pat fielded the question shown above from a white guy who's attracted to African-American women.  And of course the answer got awkward, because old white Southern men aren't all that capable of talking about race without putting their feet in their mouths.

“From a scriptural standpoint, the only problem is, ‘Do not be equally yoked together with unbelievers.’  That's what the Bible says.”
Okay, so far so inoffensive.  And coherent.  But then:
“The skin color.  Asian—they call 'em the yellow race, but they're a little bit off-white.  Black people, a little bit different shade of pigmentation.  Indian—they call 'em the red men, we've got names for all this stuff.  But I think, according to your preference and your love, I would just say in certain cultures, there is a definite prejudice against interracial marriages, and whether it has to do with Indian, or it has to do with Chinese, or it has to do with something else, you'll find a prejudice.  Japanese, particularly.  Prejudiced.  So you're asking yourself to get into a situation of prejudice…”
I've read that five times, and I still don't understand most of that.  But the part about how prejudiced the Japanese are comes out loud and clear.  Not to mention the irony of judging a whole ethnic population and calling them prejudiced.  Anyway, I wonder what my Jewish cousin and his Japanese wife would think of all this.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson Didn't Want to Do the Show If He Couldn't Thump His Bible

You all know about this thing where Phil Robertson, the head hillbilly on "Duck Dynasty" said homosexuality is a sin and now A&E Networks is "suspending" him from future episodes of the show?  I don't have to lay it out for you all over again, right?  Good.  (Note: Despite numerous jokes to the contrary, Pat Robertson is not related to Duck Dynasty's Robertson clan.  Also, I don't watch "Duck Dynasty," so I only have vague conceptions of what the show is like.)

As The Daily Banter points out, after four seasons and hundreds of hours of raw footage, "there’s no way the network didn't know his true thoughts and feelings. He could barely keep them to himself most of the time anyway; someone almost certainly had to work around his commentary that wouldn’t be appropriate for air."

In fact, Phil Robertson's religious beliefs were part of the show from the very beginning.  Just last month, Alan Robertson, Phil's son and a former pastor, joined Gordon Robertson (Pat's son) on his warm-up show, 700 Club Interactive, and said that papa Phil told the Duck Dynasty producers up front that he wouldn't do the show if he couldn't preach along the way:
“When the production company came in for the very first time…and they're telling him about the ideas [for the show]…he held his Bible up, and he said, ‘Is this going to be in?’ and the producers said, ‘Phil, that's a part of your life, whatever's part of your life is going to be on this show.’  He said, ‘If this isn't in, I don't want to do this.’ ”
A colorful backwoods redneck wants to tote his Bible on national television?  Surely he won't say anything that will offend anyone!  Okay, at least not on the show, because TV producers know enough to cut those parts out.  It's when he becomes famous enough to talk on the record outside the show that he poses a problem.  A&E surely had to know he was a loaded gun waiting to go off.

Or maybe they were prepared for this eventuality.  The Superficial puts forward the plausible theory that this is all one big ratings gambit: making Phil Robertson a martyr on the altar of liberal political correctness is just the latest riling up of America's right-wing, and ultimately serves to increase the show's exposure and viewership.  Of particular note is the fact that the rest of the Duck Dynasty family doesn't seem to mind continuing the show without their patriarch, so even they know this is just for show. [Update on this point.]

As I pointed out on my personal Twitter account, A&E subjected Duane "Dog the Bounty Hunter" Chapman to the same "suspension" in November 2007 for using the N-word—but production eventually resumed, new episodes aired the following July, and the show ran successfully for four more seasons as if the whole incident never happened.  So much for any corporate values or standards that A&E might profess.

And in case you were wondering—which I know you weren't—Pat Robertson fully supports Phil Robertson's homophobia.

“I'm one of his supporters, I think he's a terrific guy… What he said is fundamental Christian truth: homosexuality is a sin!  Adultery is a sin!… The Bible makes it very clear that certain things are such that ‘the land will vomit them out’!  Read Leviticus, it's in there very clearly.”
But if you want to laugh, keep that video going and check out how Pat's co-host Terry Meeuwsen thinks that Duck Dynasty's popularity stems from the family's conservative moral values. Yes, that's why people watch the show, not because they want to gawk at hillbillies.  Just like America craved the good wholesome values on "Jersey Shore" a whole two years ago.

Pat Robertson Will Still Be On Your TV Even If They Change the Cable Laws

From National Journal:

It may be more difficult to find televangelist Pat Robertson on your TV dial under a new measure that has been introduced in the House.

Under [the proposed] bill, if DISH Network decides another channel can bring in more money than local Christian network affiliates, it's under no obligation to keep bringing viewers their daily dose of Pat Robertson.

Uh…no, National Journal.  Try again.

There's a bill afoot in Congress to eliminate the "must-carry" law that requires cable systems to provide channel space for all the licensed local broadcast stations in your area.  Because who cares about maintaining diversity or a sense of community when cable systems can make more money with yet another channel filled with reality-TV series about hillbilly duck hunters and tow-truck operators?  Anyway, the stations the "must-carry" law was designed to protect aren't your major network affiliates but those small UHF stations that might carry public broadcasting—or religious programming.  So the association of National Religious Broadcasters is worried that if this bill passes, it will cut millions off from their local Christian TV stations and its programming.  Which is true, if the bill passes, although few think it will.

But the respected Washington publication National Journal thinks this will apply to Pat Robertson and his 700 Club show, probably because he's the only televangelist they know. EXCEPT: The 700 Club is broadcast primarily on the cable channel ABC Family.  When Robertson sold the Family Channel to Fox in 1997 (to become what was briefly the Fox Family Channel), it included a stipulation that the channel's owner must continue to run The 700 Club as long as Robertson's ministry produced the show.  Many local religious TV stations rebroadcast The 700 Club on their own channels, but that is chiefly to reach viewers who don't have cable in the first place.

Must-carry is not what's keeping Pat Robertson on the air.  It's ABC Family that's obligated to bring viewers their daily dose of Pat.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Hahahahaha! A Chinese Man Committed Suicide! Hahahahaha!

So maybe you caught this story yesterday about a Chinese man who leapt seven stories to his death in a shoe-store mall after his girlfriend dragged him around the mall for five hours and didn't want to stop shopping yet.  Pat Robertson heard the story, but his co-host Wendy Griffith apparently hadn't, because when he starts telling it to her this morning, she starts laughing as if it's some funny shopping story.  Of course, that's how Pat set up this story, starting with talk about Xmas Christmas shopping and how his wife singlehandedly keeps the catalogs in business, so Wendy's not really at fault for thinking this is funny.  Wendy's not at fault, anyway.
“I was reading yesterday about China.  They make a big deal about Christmas… So this young couple goes out, and the girl really digs shopping.  So she carried her fiancĂ© along with her for five agonizing hours of shopping.  And he says, 'I just can't do this anymore.' ”
And Wendy laughs, and it's all still funny so far because women loooooove them their shopping and men hate it, amirite people?  Can I get a what whaaaat?
“…So what does he do?  He jumps off the ledge of this three- or four-story department store [sic] and kills himself, he commits suicide!”
You can see that Wendy's genuinely shocked by how this "funny shopping story" turned out—the open mouth agape, the burying her face in embarrassment—yet she's still laughing.  But can you blame her? Pat's a funny guy:
“You've heard of 'shop 'til I drop'?  Well, they did it.”
Soooo Christian.  Suicide is funny when it's shopping!  Or maybe just when it's in China?  I mean, they got a billion more to spare, amirite?  And they all look alike?