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Pat Robertson Responds


PUBLISHED: April 18, 2008

So, here it is: Pat Robertson’s reply to Bill Sizemore. Okay, not Pat Robertson—but Regent University Vice President and General Counsel Louis A. Isakoff, whose self-described job is “to provide a high quality legal product that helps create an atmosphere at Regent that enables students, faculty and staff to achieve all that God has planned for them.” Bill Sizemore reviewed the response and declined to engage in a back and forth.

So for those of you too busy (read: lazy—I’m lookin’ at you, bloggers!) to wade through the whole thing, I personally wanted to offer a couple of highlights to consider and some brief responses (my own, not Sizemore’s—and not composed with any input from him). I would provide a point-by-point analysis, but bloggers aren’t the only ones who are lazy. So…

First, Isakoff writes:

The first myth that must be dispelled is this notion about the “prosperity gospel.” The Bible clearly teaches giving and receiving. It says in Luke 6:38: “give and it shall be given to you, a good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over.” That is not Pat Robertson speaking. That is the Bible. And Pat does encourage giving, most importantly tithing to one’s local church. Yet to do all the humanitarian and ministry activities that CBN does throughout the world takes money, and CBN, like every charity, solicits funds. It takes a mere $20 per month to become a member of The 700 Club. But Mr. Sizemore neglects to say that Dr. Robertson has not taken a salary from CBN or Regent University for 20 years. In fact, Dr. Robertson is the largest single contributor to CBN. Why doesn’t Mr. Sizemore let his readers know that Dr. Robertson practices what he preaches? And by the way, I don’t know if Dr. Robertson is partial to Corvettes, as Mr. Sizemore writes, but Pat drives a Chevy Tahoe (and his other car is a Chrysler).

I wanted to address this, because it seems so fundamental to understanding Robertson. The suggestion that he doesn’t espouse the prosperity gospel just doesn’t make sense to me. On Robertson’s own website, you can read him explaining: “If you just, number one, have a budget where you don’t overspend. Number two, you begin to give unto the Lord substantially. And number three, you begin a certain saving program where money works for you and just let it grow and do its thing. You will be astounded at what will happen in 10, 15 to 20 years. People will say, ‘How did you get so much money?’ ‘Well, it was easy because I followed the laws of God.’” That’s not me talking; that’s Pat Robertson. I do have to concede, however: staying within your budget and investing wisely sounds like a good way to make money, no matter what else you do.

Oh, and about the Corvette. Multiple news reports describe Robertson behind the wheel of a black Corvette—and one even quotes a CBN employee joking that Robertson drives the car so fast that he takes corners “almost on two wheels.” If he’s driving a Tahoe now, I would recommend taking it easy on the curves. Those things have rollover problems.

Second, while we’re speaking of road hazards, Mr. Isakoff goes on to invoke the name of the company that gave you the largest tire recall in history. Isakoff says:

Mr. Sizemore talks about Freedom Gold’s activities in Liberia. He does not tell the reader that Freedom Gold was represented in Liberia by a Harvard-educated Liberian attorney, an attorney who also represented Firestone Tire and Rubber. He doesn’t tell the readers that a variety of US companies like Firestone operated in Liberia during the same time frame for which he criticizes Dr. Robertson. Why does Mr. Sizemore link Dr. Robertson to the brutal regime of Charles Taylor and why doesn’t he make the same link for companies like Firestone?

This struck me as an especially strange line of defense, because, in point of fact, Firestone has been the subject of lawsuits and ongoing criticism from human rights groups for the use of child labor and “modern-day slavery” on their rubber plantations in Liberia. For a heartbreakingly intimate portrait of this, read Zadie Smith’s two-part report from Liberia (here and here), published in The Observer last year. Our article, of course, was about Robertson, not Firestone—and that’s why we didn’t discuss Firestone—but I sure wouldn’t use Firestone’s track record in Liberia to defend my own.

And, lest I forget, Chris Roslan, Robertson’s spokesman, has asked me to correct my earlier statement that “Dera, Roslan, & Campion also represents Alice Cooper and the Institute for Human Origins, the group that discovered the remains of the early human ‘Lucy.’” He says that “is no longer correct. It has probably been at least a decade since we worked with those folks.” We regret the error and look forward to the launch of DRC’s new website—when, presumably, they will post a new client list.

4 Comments

Jennifer Rice Epstein's picture
Jennifer Rice E... · 11 years ago
Thanks for this. I read Sizemore’s piece in VQR and found it to be a thoughtful exploration of Pat Robertson’s religious empire. I also thought it was a good addition to the issue’s superhero theme. The idea of Robertson as faith healer, diet guru and financial advisor dovetailed nicely with the more conventional superhero stories. It’s two sides of the same coin in many ways, isn’t it?–that hope for a supernatural human in a difficult (embittering?) time. By the way, in what field has Dr. Robertson earned his PhD? I couldn’t find anything with a quick online search and I don’t believe it was mentioned in Sizemore’s article.
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Waldo Jaquith's picture
CBS News asked Robertson about that in an interview with him a year ago last week. Here’s the relevant bit of the transcript:
RB: A lot of times (COUGHS) you’re called– a lot of times you’re called Dr. Pat Robertson. Are you a– do you have a doctorate in anything? PR: Oh– yeah, I– I have a– a jurist doctor– I’m– I’m a– graduate of the law school. And when you’re not– RB: Oh my gosh– PR: –practicing– RB: –we’d have to call a lotta lawyers doctors– (OVERTALK) PR: Well if you’re practicing, you don’t use doctor. But if you’re not practicing, the jurist doctor is doctor. I also have a– what they call a donated divinity– (LAUGHTER) a Doctor of Divinity. So I’ve got a D.D. on top of the other. But the jurist doctor is– is for real. And if you’re not practicing, doctor is appropriate.
Personally, I’m not buying that having a JD entitles him to be called “doctor.” Doctorates are terminal degrees, while a JD is not. Wikipedia has an entry on this very topic, and the preponderance of evidence seems firmly against Robertson. Not, as we’ve seen, that it’s likely to make any difference to him.
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Jennifer Rice Epstein's picture
Jennifer Rice E... · 11 years ago
Ha! I was thinking he took the title because of an honorary degree, but this might be worse.
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Phil Busch's picture
I have read Louis Issakoff reply ,and forgets to mention that I have aVideo Depostion of Pat Robertson threthening my life which he sat in the same room in the Virginia Federal Court with seven other people including a Us Marshal. Issakoff also forgets to mention that the Magstrate Judge James Bradberry also came in the Room and ordered the Video Depostion tape and stenograph to be turned off. Which I have a Video tape.Louis Issakoff also forgets to mention I have 100 protecetd documents that Cbn and Pat Robertson produced in discovery in which Attorney Glen Huff of Huff Poole and Mahoney was ordered to produce 10 days before depostions were to be taken of Pat Robertsons and Cbn staff and Mr. Huff refused to produce till 1 minute before the depostion than Robertsons entered the Room and asked Huff if we are on the record or off the record .Huff said we were off the record than Robertson in front of 7 people including Louis Issakoff Threthened my life and my familys life .I belive this so much and if you want the video tape .I will provide it .In which for 1 hour I ask for the Judge and the Us Marshal and all 7 other people in the room ignore me and Robertsons and Huff mock me challenging me to get the FBI and laugh at me . I will take a Lie Dectaor test and if I fail I will give Cbn and Pat Robertson $1,000,000 ,and if the lose will they do the same. Louis Issakoff also doesnt mention that Gnc ,Dave Hawk ,and others he said I sued paid me a large sum a money and confessed there Guilt.Gnc even droped Robertsons and his Pats Diets Shake from there 5,000 stores. Louis Issakoff in Protected documents along with John Turver Vp of Marketing of Cbn along with Gnc ,Dave Hawk who appeared on Cbn 2 times in 12 weeks and was Robertsons Project Manger of Pats Diet Shake and Works for Solae Corp the Largest Producer of Soy in the world and Gnc the largest Distributors of health products in the world ,and dupount corp all who Robertsons admits on depostion paid him $50,000 and Hawk contacted Louis Issakoff 1year and 4 months before he was on Cbn Non Profit Tax Exempt show for Guess what Taking Robertsons and CBN Non profit Tax Exempt shake that was for free and making it guess what into a Comercial Product Pats Diet Shake which all money goes to Pat Robertsons ,Gnc ,Solae Corp ,Dupount Corp ,Dave Hawk ,Louis Issakoff ,John Turver Vp of Marketing for Cbn . Louis Issakoff forgets to mention that.That Cbn Robertsons himself and Dave Hawk who just happened to contact Cbn and Issakoff 1 yr and 4 months before he was on Cbn 2 times in 12 wks for guess what to promote Pats Weight Loss Challenge which he contacted Cbn and said lets make it into a Comercial product and Pocket the money while abusing Robertsons Non Profit Tax Exempt Status Cbn for comercial gain . I have 100 documents that prove this and Glen Huff refused to produced the other 100 documents that Judge Bradberry who just happends to have spoken at Regent University for $85.00 a person resided over the case and by the way the Attorney General Of Virginia Just Happends to be Glen Huff og Huff Poole and Mahooneys former partner and Graduated at Regent University and by the way the FBI and the Local Megstrate refused to file charges when the law demands that they do . Louis Issakoff is a fraud who threthened to accuse me of Rape , being a Lunatiac,and exposing this kind of information to the general public .I have this in a Document if you want it . Summary Judgment was a joke they threathend to kill me and my family if I came back to court and the Judge refused to look and 1 document . Every thing The Virginia Pilot and Bill Sizemore put in there paper is true and Louis Issakoff and Cbn and Pat Robertsons are the most Evil people I ever met including the Virginia Federal Court and FBI and the Norfolk Megstarate. I can prove everything Robertsons is scared that the Irs will investagate him I have the Documents to prove it and he knows it also Robertsons wanted to pay me $50,000 but i turned it down.
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