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Pat Robertson for President?

I appeared on the 700 Club this morning with Pat Robertson, in an interview that a blogger anticipated would be the “must-Tivo event of the summer.” Conventional wisdom suggested this would be a bloodbath – that the Freakonomics perspective on the abortion question would enrage Robertson and a shouting match would ensue. (Indeed, my publicist was planning on turning down the 700 Club’s invitation to appear without even asking me, but decided she should at least ask.) As so often is the case, conventional wisdom turned out to be wrong. The folks from the 700 Club could not have been kinder or more gracious, believe it or not. Pat Robertson knew the book quite well, asked all the right questions, and heaped enough praise on me to make me blush. We even talked about the abortion issue without incident. And the time and effort that the crew had taken in assembling footage and clips for a lead-in surpassed any other TV show I’ve done.

After I went on the Daily Show, I plugged Jon Stewart, suggesting he would make a great president. So what about Pat Robertson? I didn’t actually get to meet Robertson in person or interact with him off-air (like I did with Jon Stewart) since I wasn’t in studio for the 700 Club interview, but rather shot remotely in a TV studio in Chicago. So, honestly, I don’t have any special insights on Robertson (making the title of this blog post a bit misleading, sorry). I will say this, though. The large segment of our society that wants to demonize Robertson will get no fodder from my interview with him, and the large segment of folks who like him won’t find anything in the interview to change their mind, either.

We’ll post a transcript of the full interview segment when it comes available so you can see for yourself.