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'Reverend' Robertson, CBN's Founder Sells out to Murdoch's Sleazy Empire

  • The internationalist king of sleazy TV and America's richest televangelist have yoked together in one of the biggest media deals of the year.
By Laban Godgson

Millions of God-fearing Christians know Rev. Marion "Pat" Robertson an the genial televangelist host of TV's 700 Club, which is broadcast on the Family Channel. Others know Robertson as the founder of International Family Entertainment (IFE), the parent corporation of the Family Channel, the stated purpose of which is to return to prime time programming such traditional fare as The Waltons, Bonanza, The Beverly Hillbillies, Gunsmoke and other old shows that an entire family could and can watch together.

Robertson also comes about as close to being a member of the American aristocracy as anyone alive, which is a major reason for the well-disguised contempt he has long held for average Americans.

He is the son of the late Sen. A. Willis Robertson, a Democrat who represented Virginia in the Senate from 1949 to 1967. The Robertson family has traced its lineage to two U.S. presidents, William Henry Harrison and Benjamin Harrison, and the Churchill family of England. Robertson is also a descendant of England's Duke of Marlborough and a graduate of the Yale Law School.

Like his distant relative, Sir Winston Churchill, the preacher is very much an internationalist and an enthusiastic Zionist, although he has made a career of posing as a pseudo-populist. The most Americans are unaware of this masquerade does not speak well of the ability of U.S. citizens to discern what's really going on.

Keith Rupert Murdoch, founder and majority shareholder of the News Corporation, has also on more than one occasion posed as a booster of Christian values while backing not only the Israeli government which is considering a measure to outlaw Christian missionary activity but also producing and broadcasting some of the most morally offensive programs on television today.


Murdoch's Fox Broadcasting produces and airs Married with Children -- which, while amusing to some, gets its laughs at the expense of mocking the very values held dear by the viewers of "Reverend" Robertson's Family Channel.

Other Fox TV shows include Beverly Hills, 90210 and Melrose Place which glorify everything from the youth drug culture to homosexual couples to divorce.

Under the $1.4 billion deal between Murdoch and Robertson, which is subject to approval by the Securities and Exchange Commission, Muirdoch's News Corporation will own the controlling interest of IFE.

What this tells us about the priorities of Robertson is that he's far more interested in being wealthy than in religion -- that is, unless he's selling religion. Former White House Political director Ed Rollins, now a leading Gop political Consultant, said of Robertson, "He's a businessman...the product he sells is religion.' Other observers of Robertson argue that Robertson lubricates his deals with snake oil.

The prospectus he issued to investors during the initial public offering when IFE stock was first offered to investors said: "In the event of a merger or consolidation all classes of shareholders shall be entitled to receive the same per share consideration."

Yet, under the proposed deal, the former presidential candidate and his son, Timothy B. Robertson, together control all of the company's Class A shares, which carried 10 times the voting power of the publicly traded Class B shares (SPOTLIGHT, June 2).

Taking full advantage of this discrepancy, the Robertsons have arranged to get $200 million, or nearly $40 a share, while all other stockholders will get about $25 per share.

The apparent conflict between the guarantee in the prospectus and the terms of the pending transaction has held up the sweetheart deal's completion, while Robertson is attempting to find some way to structure the arrangement that doesn't run afoul of the precise wording of the guarantee. "That's a shareholder lawsuit waiting to happen," said corporate governance expert Nell Minow of the Lens Fund.

But then, Robertson has always placed making money on a higher priority level than making Americans safe from internationalists, culture distorters and moral hedonists.

Murdoch, meanwhile, has abandoned his attempt to set up his own satellite- broadcasting operation in America and is anxiously awaiting consummation of the IFE deal.

Murdoch and Robertson are merely the latest internationalists who, like Churchill and other successful politicians and businessmen, have succeeded while getting large support from the trusting-yet-unknowing populist audience to which their policies and business entities set out to do the most harm.

Robertson, however, carries this rank hypocrisy and blatant contempt for ordinary Americans -- the very type whom are likely to invest in his empire -- to a new level. As chairman of IFE -- and the primary beneficiary of the pending sale to Murdoch -- Robertson has little regard for one of the golden rules of running a public corporation: Thou shalt not cut yourself a better deal than the rest of the stockholders.

Unfortunately for the shareholders of International Family Entertainment, Murdoch is not the type of media mogul from whom the morally challenged -- though as yet-to-be defrocked -- Reverend Robertson is likely to learn anything about ethics in business.