[[E X C U S E S]] * OK, let me see if I’ve got this straight. First, religious broadcaster and former GOP presidential candidate Pat Robertson calls for the assassination of Hugo Chávez, Venezuela’s leftist president. That was on Monday’s edition of the Christian Broadcasting Network program The 700 Club. Then, earlier today and on the very same show, apparently hoping that nobody would remember from one day to the next what the hell came out of his mouth, Robertson claimed that he’d never used the word “assassination,” but had been “misinterpreted” by the Associated Press, which originally reported the story. Now, the rightist reverend has issued a press release apologizing for the very statement he had alleged, only hours before, never to have made in the first place, which was that “if [Chávez] thinks we’re trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it. It’s a whole lot cheaper than starting a war.” Robertson insists he “adlibbed” his remark out of “frustration.”
If you’re still confused, well, you’re not alone. “So which is it,” Media Matters asks. “Did Robertson ‘adlib’ the assassination line, or did he never say it? What will his next explanation be? And is Robertson now admitting he lied earlier in the day in his statement on The 700 Club? Will he apologize to the news organizations he falsely accused of misinterpreting his unambiguous call for Chávez’s assassination?” Pray tell, Pat.
READ MORE: “Editorial Pages Nationwide Condemn Robertson Comments” (Media Matters); “White House, Religious Right Fail to ‘Condemn’ Robertson’s Fatwa,” by David R. Mark (JABBS); “Pigeon Poop,” by James Wolcott; “Why Did President Ford Ban Assassinations?” (History News Network).