Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Think Progress is currently pointing out that a David Brody, a reporter and blogger for Pat Robertson's CBN, has gone mainstream and will appear on NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday.

I understand why the folks at TP are concerned: This is validation for the crazy bigot Robertson, and the guest list on Sunday morning talk had far too many conservatives already before Brody got the invitation. But I think Brody's being invited for a very specific reason: to talk about Rudy Giuliani.

Specifically, to talk about Rudy Giuliani at the exact moment when a candidate who meets more Christian-right litmus tests, Fred Thompson, is about to enter the race. You see, Brody interviewed Giuliani when he was in town to give that speech at Robertson's Regent University. You can see Brody's story and excerpts from his interview here. (Scroll down for the interview excerpts.)

Actually, Brody's story is a reasonably professional effort at explaining Giuliani to an evangelical audience, though a pro-Giuliani bias peeks through, especially at the end. But what comes afterward doesn't even remotely resemble objective journalism -- namely Pat Robertson's take on the story.

Robertson clearly thinks Giuliani is the bee's knees. You can see it in the big hug he gives Rudy at the Regent University event (about three quarters of the way through the clip), and you can hear it in Robertson's response to anchorman Lee Webb's lead-in question:

WEBB: Pat, what was your impression of the reception that Giuliani received yesterday at Regent?

ROBERTSON: Lee, it was overwhelmingly warm. People came out of there saying, "We want to support him, we want to give him money, we want to vote for him." I mean, it was just amazing. We had, I would say -- the cream of the political and business community in this area had come to hear him, and they paid for tickets to come to hear him, and this was part of the leadership series that Regent has been putting on with various business and political leaders, but, in my opinion, it was a smash appearance, and people were very high on Rudy and what he had to say. He did a great job.

And now comes the truly astonishing part:

ROBERTSON: It's -- I think the thing that he has said that conservatives should listen to is that he is going to appoint judges after the stripe of John Roberts and Alito and Scalia and those people, and the thing is, abortion should not be something that the president has anything to do with. This should not be a national issue. It never should have been. And Roe versus Wade was a mistake. They shouldn't have brought that up into the federal level. It should have been kept at the state level. And then, if somebody says, "OK, you're from New York, you want to have pro-choice, that's --" get out there and fight for pro-life. The same thing in California, these other states. The states that are clearly pro-life, people will vote that way. And I think that's the way the Constitution set up our country....

Is he saying what I think he's saying? Is he saying he finds it acceptable that some states will be pro-choice if Roe is overturned? Does Pat Robertson believe that? And has he always believed it -- or only since Rudy came along and persuaded him that he's going to be the next president or Hillary is?

It seems to me that, in order to blunt the impact of Thompson's entry into the race, Rudy Giuliani and his pal Pat Robertson want someone on TV on Sunday to talk about the fact that Rudy really does have a lot of appeal to red-state Christian conservatives.

And Meet the Press, by inviting Brody on, is only too happy to do what Giuliani and Robertson want.

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