A Fan Club, a Fart Tape, and a Tabloid Scandal

  • Denis J. Bekkering
Part of the Contemporary Religion and Popular Culture book series (CRPC)


In November 1991, ABC’s Primetime Live aired an investigative report targeting Robert Tilton’s television ministry. This chapter highlights the report’s tabloid-esque style, and in particular material intended to amuse viewers at Tilton’s expense. This included “video proof texts,” short clips of the preacher produced by the Trinity Foundation, an anti-televangelist ministry that collaborated with Primetime Live. Tilton’s troubles would spur the growth of his “unofficial” ironic fan club, which expanded its publishing efforts and hosted a “tribute” night to the televangelist, during which attendees playfully participated in the unfolding scandals. This event also featured the screening and sale of an especially sought-after participatory media artifact based on the preacher—the Tilton “fart tape”—the origins of which are revealed.


Televangelism Scandal Tabloid journalism Ironic fans Alternative media Remix 

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Denis J. Bekkering
    • 1
  1. 1.Independent ScholarCalgaryCanada

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