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FOX News Helps Giuliani Make The Most Of Pat Robertson’s Endorsement

Reported by Ellen - November 15, 2007 -

What a coincidence! On the heels of Judith Regan's explosive allegations that News Corporation (parent company to FOX News) pressured her to commit perjury in order to protect Rudolph Giuliani, Hannity & Colmes gave Pat Robertson the top two segments last night (11/14/07) to promote discuss his endorsement of that same candidate for president. While Robertson got nearly 15 minutes in which to explain all the reasons he’s backing Giuliani, there was no discussion of the not-so-Christian-conservative aspects of Giuliani’s personal life nor of Robertson’s controversial history – either of which might have cast doubt on the value of his endorsement. Needless to say, to date, there has been no discussion on the show of Regan's allegations. With video.

As Media Matters has documented, Robertson has a long record of crackpot remarks including calling for the assassination of Venezuela president Hugo Chavez, suggesting that Hurricane Katrina was the result of legalized abortion, and concurring with Jerry Falwell that pagans, abortionists, feminists, gays, the A.C.L.U., and People for the American Way, “helped” make 9/11 happen.

As I heard on the radio recently (sorry, I can’t remember who said it or where), Robertson’s endorsement is akin to Louis Farrakhan endorsing Hillary Clinton. Farrakhan is almost as much of a FOX News boogeyman as Clinton. One can just imagine the kind of paroxysmal hissy fits that would ensue if that endorsement happened, particularly from Sean Hannity.

But Robertson was presented as a mainstream and persuasive religious leader.

As this excellent article by James Kirchick in the NY Daily News reported,

Rather than demonstrating the political pull of Christian conservatives, the Robertson endorsement shows their utter desperation. It was not Giuliani who went begging to Robertson, but vice versa.

The reason: The once-mighty Christian Coalition, founded by Robertson in 1989, is a shadow of its former self. Over the past 10 years, it has suffered dramatic losses in membership, annual revenue and political influence.

None of that was mentioned on last night’s show, of course. In fact, the Hannity & Colmes website bragged that Robertson’s endorsement “could possibly win Rudy the White House.”

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Also not discussed were the not-very-flattering details of Giuliani’s life – his three marriages, his infidelity, his partnership with the crooked Bernard Kerik, to name a few – that one would think incompatible with a Christian conservative movement, particularly one that blames world disasters on that kind of behavior. Alan Colmes grilled Robertson on Giuliani’s pro-choice stance (which Robertson justified dismissed by saying that Giuliani’s promise to appoint anti-abortion judges was more important) and when Robertson claimed that Giuliani was the best choice to protect the country from terrorism, Colmes even brought up Giuliani’s not-so-stellar record on the placement of the emergency command center. One could almost feel Colmes’ wistfulness to probe further when he asked, “Is winning more important than standing on principles, bedrock principles that you have proclaimed to be your truth for years and years?”

The answer, apparently, is yes. Because under questioning from Colmes, Robertson acknowledged that Bill Clinton accomplished most of the goals Robertson thought Giuliani would (reducing welfare, increasing employment, relative peace, lowering crime). But, Robertson said, “There were a few undercurrents that weren’t too tasteful.” Apparently, the definition of tastefulness is elastic and depends on who's the panderer and the who's the panderee.