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Jerry Falwell Getting Screamed at by an Upset Man on Live TV at Heritage USA, July 1987

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Uploaded on Jul 23, 2009

This is quite an interesting video, indeed. I am not absolutely certain of the exact date it was recorded, but it was somewhere between July 6 and July 20, 1987, since those dates are both mentioned in this segment. I am guessing this show was televised closer to the 6th. Watch how the show producers, and Jerry Falwell handle what happens towards the end of the video.

It starts out with a cheesy commercial-type video, apparently produced by PTL, involving vacationers asking a local bewildered gas station attendant for directions to Heritage USA. Check out the price of gas on the board next to the cars! $1.15! We'll never see that again!

The daily PTL Club show starts out OK, as the rather drab and boring Jerry Falwell tries to conduct the program. I say "tries" because, you'd almost have to admit, he is pretty much a talking train wreck in front of the camera. He does say one thing which will prove to be quite true in his opening statement: "Today is going to be a very very special program."

Frank Gamble does his little part, then Falwell has to come back and explain what was just said, as if the audience isn't smart enough to have understood what was just said moments before.

Jerry Falwell then moves closer towards the studio audience. The audience camera and camera operator can be seen at 5:59, about three rows back, behind a woman with black hair and a reddish-pink shirt, seen towards the right of the screen. This is where things really begin to heat up. Everything is more or less fine until right about up until 7:26. If you listen closely, you can hear the beginning of what is actually an upset member of the audience who is actually screaming at Jerry Falwell. Not much can be made out about what is being yelled, but I think I can just make out the phrase, "He's a liar!"

Jerry Falwell reacts first, by trying to ignore the man, hoping the studio microphones won't pick up his voice. Jerry begins to raise his voice slightly in an attempt to drown out the mans' yelling. When it is clear that the man is yelling louder & louder and needs to be restrained, Jerry says, "I'm sorry sir, this is a church service, sir, thank you. We have a few like that. We have a few here. We have one or two like that here. But thank God, Amen..."

Then several things happen at once. The music starts playing, obviously having been instructed to do so by the program director. You can hear a man begin to sing, and he is actually taking his place in the audience, walking down the steps in the audience in front of one of the cameras. This was obviously done to drown out the man yelling, as well as to distract the audience, and to allow time for Jerry to regain his composure.

At the same time, the auidence starts clapping, and stands up simultaneously, seemingly all at once. Now, do you think they just happened to do this spontaneously, all on their own, all at the same time? Of course not. Someone has instructed them to do so, probably by Bob Johnson, I am guessing, or some other production member.

At 7:53, you see the man walking down through the audience, who is the man singing (his name is Derek Floyd). He is taking a place in front of one of the cameras, so that the cameras will have something to focus on while Jerry catches his breath and gets himself back together.

Watch closely at 7:57, and again at 8:00. You see the same man, dressed in a suit, who is apparently security, ready to tackle any other audience members who step out of line. He tries to fit in to the crowd by beginning to clap his hands to the music. The man walks right behind another man, also dressed in a suit, who is also apparently security. You see this 2nd man adjust his pants and suit and then talk to someone at his left.

Also, look closely at 8:03 at the man wearing the yellow jacket to Derek's left, standing in the audience. Recognize him? It's Jim Bakker's own FATHER! Jim's mother is with his father in the audience, but she is not clearly visible until about 9:34 in the video. At 8:03, they are seen standing up, but just moments later they are seen sitting down, apparently in defiance of Falwell. I'd have sat down, too. Presumably the Bakkers had seen, or at least heard what had just happened.

I thought it was kind of stupid how Derek, the singer, interjected the word "lately" into his song at 8:36, in obvious reference to the man who had only moments earlier started hollering at Falwell. Derek was clearly just trying to get on Falwell's good side. In the following video Derek pretty much is kissing Falwell's ass.

After the singing stops, Falwell thanks Derek and the audience for their support. I couldn't help but wonder just how much the audience REALLY supported Falwell, if they had to be told to stand up and clap to the music earlier.

Funny, I can't recall one such incident of all the time Jim & Tammy were running things at PTL, can you? What does this incident tell you about Falwell, and how he was running things?

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