Strange Remembrance Of Tammy Faye

Tammy Faye Messner, she of the heavyweight makeup and previously disgraced life, died on Friday. The death was revealed Saturday by Larry King, on who’s show she had appeared a few days earlier.

The last name Messner came late. Tammy Faye is best remembered by me as Tammy Faye Bakker, wife of Jim Bakker of TV’s PTL Club. Alas, they succumbed to the huge buckets of money sent to them, using their ministry as a piggy bank. Jim Bakker was sent away to prison.

You remember the PTL scandal? They had the air conditioned dog house!

My memories of Jim and Tammy go way back in their career. In fact, when I looked around the web, what I’m about to tell you was nowhere to be found&#185.

Before the PTL Club, Jim and Tammy worked for Reverend Pat Robertson. Surprise!

This was back when his, then little, satellite channel was called the Christian Broadcasting Network. In their latter days with Robertson, Jim and Tammy often appeared on and hosted Robertson’s flagship 700 Club.

Long before Jim wore a shirt and tie, I remember the “Jim and Tammy Show,” a Christian children’s show! Yup, Pat Robertson had these two moral weaklings host a show for kids!

I remember sitting home in Charlotte, NC back in the early 70s, watching them and laughing. It was amazing sport for me.

The show seemed very over-the-top and totally insincere. Of course I had no way of knowing where their careers would go.

After her marriage to Jim ended, Tammy somehow managed to position herself as a tragic figure, caught up in a world out-of-control. I was never that charitable or forgiving toward her. All I could think about was all the money, a large percentage obtained from the poor, old and infirmed, that flowed to PTL and was squandered by the Bakkers.

I’ve always felt there should be a special category for crimes that openly betray trust. Stealing that way seems so much more repugnant than conventional forms of theft. Its ‘enhanced punishment’ would apply to crooked politicians and other civil servants on the take, con men of all stripes, and folks like Jim and Tammy.

Her makeup was the least of my concerns.

&#185 – After finishing this entry, I did find this site which talked about the Jim and Tammy Show.

3 thoughts on “Strange Remembrance Of Tammy Faye”

  1. You have a misinformed opinion of Tammy Faye, et al. I attended college near PTL and i was exposed to their involvement on at least a weekly basis. You have to understand that Jim & Tammy Faye worked 7 days a week and around the clock for Heritage Village (For about 10 years) and the only money they took was $3.7 million. Also, they built subdivisions, beautiful hotels which were always occupied, water parks, homes for unwed mothers and their tireless dedication was inspiring to many. THey weren’t sitting around just counting the money and spending it. i guess you’d have nothing to say about the CEO of Blue Cross making about 25 million PER YEAR with an annual bonus of $16 million PER YEAR while denying benefits to the “poor,old and ‘infirmed.'” Jim & Tammy Faye were a bargain at $370K per year and they certainly were more caring to their public. That’s why people are remembering Tammy Faye and that’s why they won’t give a shit when the CEO of Blue Cross croaks. Wake up!

  2. This isn’t about anyone but the Bakkers.

    Here’s how the NY Times saw the story on October 6, 1989 – the day after Jim Bakker’s criminal conviction (there was also a civil trial he lost):

    Mr. Bakker portrayed himself as a preacher, not a businessman. But the prosecution portrayed him as a shrewd and greedy marketer who orchestrated something akin to a pyramid scheme that eventually collapsed.

    In excruciating detail highlighted by videotapes of Mr. Bakker’s television shows, the prosecutor presented the jury with a vision of Mr. Bakker as a con man operating in the guise of a man of God.

    His main vehicle, Ms. Smith said, was a series of vacation agreements, lifetime partnerships, in which viewers were offered once-a-year vacations at Heritage USA for $1,000 donations.

    She showed how Mr. Bakker sold more than 66,000 partnerships in his Heritage Grand Hotel, although he promised followers only 25,000 would be sold, and 74,000 partnerships in the never-finished Towers Hotel, even though he had said only 30,000 would be sold. He offered a $10 statue and said it could be worth $1,000, and told viewers he needed money to build without any bank debt after he had already taken out loans, she said.

    It’s difficult to see the benefits in Reverend Bakker’s plan.

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