Christian Broadcasting Network
|You gotta spin it to win it|
|Stop the presses!|
|We want pictures|
The Christian Broadcasting Network was founded by Protestant televangelist Pat Robertson in 1961. Its most notorious show is The 700 Club, which gives Robertson and others the chance to mouth off and make absurd statements.
In 1990, CBN was sold to International Family Entertainment, Inc. In '97, IFE was sold to Fox Kids Worldwide, Inc. In 2001, Disney bought the Fox Family channel and renamed it ABC Family, and in 2016 they renamed it Freeform.
CBN programs have aired in 71 languages, and reached 180 countries. As part of the deal when CBN was sold to Fox, the channel is required to show The 700 Club twice daily, regardless of ownership of the channel.
Network revenue for 2005 totaled $236 million with donations accounting for $160 million of that. Expenses were $207 million. In May of 1992, $500 million in stock related to CBN was sold, with some of the proceeds going to Pat Robertson.
Superbook was made by CBN as an outreach to indoctrinate children into believing in the Bible and Creationism. This is notably shown on their Superbook website, which says that some people "just don't believe what the Bible says and that a long time ago, humans came from monkeys". They also continue, "Aren't you glad you believe what the Bible says?!"
The 700 Club
The 700 Club is a live news/magazine program with a format that, according to their website, includes "news and commentary, interviews, feature stories, and Christian ministry." They feature "live guests, special reports/features, music, prayer and ministry" and claim to conduct "in-depth investigative reporting." They also claim a million weekday viewers and 11,000 daily prayer line callers. Hosts are Pat Robertson, Gordon Robertson, Terry Meeuwsen, and Kristi Watts with Lee Webb reporting the news.
The show, which first aired in 1966, got its name from a 1963 telethon in which Pat Robertson asked for 700 people to donate $10 apiece in order to cover CBN's operating expenses for a month.
Pat Robertson has made notable comments on the show implying that victims were responsible for natural disasters due to past immoral acts. Robertson has made on-air predictions, including those of a terrorist attack and a major east coast storm, which did not materialize.
Together with General Nutrition Corporation, Robertson marketed a diet shake on the show, which likely violated CBN's tax-exempt conditions. Donations for "Operation Blessing" that were requested on The 700 Club were in fact used to transport equipment for an African development corporation owned by Robertson.
Critics of the show charge that the hosts claim to be psychic and clairvoyant. They also question the hosts' abilities to guarantee the success of healing prayers. The website of The 700 Club features testimonials from those who have benefited from healing and other miracles.
- They still air The 700 Club to this day, as part of their still-binding contract with Robertson and CBN. However, they've buried it in late-night and early morning timeslots, they remove all network branding when they do air it, they don't mention it on their website, and they put disclaimers in front of it warning people that its content doesn't reflect the network's views. Given that the modern Freeform has won high marks for its treatment of LGBT characters in its other programming, it's not all that surprising that they seem to want absolutely nothing to do with the show.
- "Pat Robertson." Compiled by Carol Brooks. inplainsite.org.
- "Donations rise 21% for Robertson's TV ministry." CBS Business Network. 2010.
- Shipman, Claire; Dwyer, Devin (Jan. 14, 2010). "White House Adviser Valerie Jarrett 'Speechless' Over Pat Robertson's Haiti Comment." ABC News.