Richard Cizik, vice president for governmental affairs at the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), said that Pat Robertson should apologize on his television show, The 700 Club, for his August 22 comments calling for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
During an August 25 online chat on The Washington Post's website, a participant correctly pointed out to Cizik that instead of apologizing on The 700 Club -- where Robertson made the comments -- Robertson used the August 24 edition of his show to falsely deny that he had called for Chavez's assassination and to claim the he had been "misinterpreted" by the Associated Press. Later on August 24, Robertson reversed himself, acknowledging in a press release that he had called for Chavez's assassination and apologizing for having done so.
After being informed that Robertson had not apologized on television, Cizik wrote, "I didn't realize that Pat hadn't apologized to his listeners, and only on the web. Is that right? If so, then he needs to come clean and apologize on the '700 Club' for all to see and evaluate."
According to Cizik, the NAE represents "over 45,000 churches, 54 denominations, and a constituency of some 30 million evangelicals."
From The Washington Post's August 25 online chat with Richard Cizik:
Atlanta, Ga.: Well, no, he DIDN'T exactly apologize. He apologized in his web page. On TV, he said that what he said was "take out" a leader like Chavez and that "take out" can mean a whole lot of things. He said [h]is words were misinterpreted by the media, which, he says, happens a lot. I don't call that an apology, I call that being a weasel.
Richard Cizik: Hmm ... I didn't realize that Pat hadn't apologized to his listeners, and only on the web. Is that right? If so, then he needs to come clean and apologize on the "700 Club" for all to see and evaluate. I'll have to check this out.