The US State Department has lodged a vehement complaint with prominent conservative televangelist Pat Robertson for comments suggesting that its Foggy Bottom headquarters should be destroyed with nuclear weapons, officials said Thursday.
This should be a case of something out of context that, when we see the whole thing in its full and proper context, makes us laugh and say, “oh, that’s what he meant.” Sadly, that’s not the case here. Robertson not only said he wanted to blow up the State Department, he repeated it:
Robertson, who has been a frequent critic of the State Department, made the offending comments during an interview with a like-minded critic of US diplomacy, columnist Joel Mowbray, who has written a book entitled Dangerous Diplomacy: How the State Department Threatens American Security.
I read your book," Robertson said, according to a transcript of the interview posted on his Christian Broadcasting Network's website.
"When you get through, you say, 'If I could just get a nuclear device inside Foggy Bottom, I think that's the answer'," he said.
"I mean, you get through this, and you say, 'We've got to blow that thing up.'”
We all say stupid things like this from time to time, but we do not all have an audience of millions of eager followers. We (or at least I) do not own a broadcast empire large enough to call itself a Network. It’s also not the first time Robertson has said something irresponsible before millions. Recall that Roberson is the son of a US Senator and a former Republican presidential candidate who regularly talks to God and has the power to turn away hurricanes (although this power only sporadically works). Robertson’s book The New World Order recycled old antiSemetic/Masonic conspiracy nonsense directly inspired by the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. (Robertson takes a tip from Nesta Webster and uses the code word "Illuminati" to mean Jews. Themeaning is about as subtle as Stalin blaming "rootless cosmopolitans.") And It was Robertson who sat on his show just two days after 9/11, when no one knew who or how many people were dead, and calmly discussed with Jerry Falwell how the whole thing was the fault of liberals, gays, feminists, and the ACLU.
Pat and Jerry seem to share a sick compulsion to offend common decency. As often as they get slapped down, you would expect them to learn some limits. But they don’t. I suppose I should be thankful that some things in life remain dependable.