Mark Driscoll, Troubling Tweets

Did Mark Driscoll really hang up on Janet Mefferd?

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There’s been a bunch of talk in social media about an interview Janet Mefferd conducted with Pastor Mark Driscoll.

Here is where I first heard the interview:

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The interview begins with Ms. Mefferd asking about Driscoll’s appearance at John MacArthur’s Strange Fire Conference.  And then the topic changes to Mefferd’s assertions that Driscoll used intellectual material from Peter Jones in his new book – 14 pages worth of material and that Driscoll failed to properly give credit to Jones.

There has been much discussion about this interview.  Generally, people who dislike Driscoll and his antics had a lot of praise for Mefferd’s interview.  I do not care for bully pastors, especially ones who use their position of authority inappropriately.  However, something didn’t sit right with me about this interview.

Here is part of a comment I left at The Wartburg Watch blog:

I might be the odd one out here and I’m sure people know I have issues with Driscoll up front. However, I was left with mixed feelings after the Driscoll interview. I heard the dropped call, but can’t be certain that it was intentional. I also wonder what Mefferd told Driscoll in advance of the interview as to the direction of the show. Interviewers always have an advantage because they do the questioning, have the direction they want to go, etc. She certainly had her ducks in a row from the details of the Strange Fire escapade, the book he failed to give proper citing, referred to a specific sermon Driscoll spoke on “do not steal,” etc. Those details did not come out of a hat. It seemed there were jabs going both directions and I don’t think that all of his jabs were inappropriate considering the level of hounding she did since she had the upper hand with the interview’s agenda.

More conversation on this interview was found on this Twitter exchange.  You might recognize some familiar names.

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But then I found this sound clip that wasn’t part of the original interview I heard above:

Raw audio of final 2:00 minutes of Pastor Mark Driscoll’s controversial interview with radio host Janet Mefferd:  HERE

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All of this leaves me with more questions.  What is going on here?  Did Mark Driscoll hang up on Janet Mefferd or not?  If he did not, why is Mefferd saying that he did?

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Update:  Just minutes after hitting “publish,” I found a tweet from Janet Mefferd indicating a note on her Facebook page.  Here is the link and the key sentences from her producer, Bobby Belt:

FOR THE RECORD, Janet DID NOT hang up on Pastor Driscoll, nor did WE cut the interview short. We also edited nothing for the final playback.

Janet is a Christian and a journalist. She would never doctor an interview or betray her Christian testimony or journalistic ethics.

Bobby Belt
The Janet Mefferd Show

83 thoughts on “Did Mark Driscoll really hang up on Janet Mefferd?”

  1. Ok, I went searching around for the original raw sound clip that is posted above and it looks like Tyndale sent it out. Check out this report from Jonathan Merritt:

    And this tweet:


  2. FYI – I just received an e-mail from Bobby Belt, Janet’s producer, and it includes their sound clip. As far as I can tell, it is the same as the YouTube video sound clip. I’m unclear as to where the other “raw” sound clip came from.


  3. A bit confusing. It appeared to me that Janet assumed he hung up because there was dead time–Driscoll didn’t respond right away–she started to close the segment, put in the background music, and for some reason his last words “Oh, I’m still here…” didn’t come through. Question is, why did they come through in the second audio clip? Is Janet still claiming he hung up? Might just be a misunderstanding.


  4. While I am definitely not a fan of Mark Driscoll, but rather an opponent, I wouldn’t blame him for leaving the conversation. It seemed Janet could have made her point and then took him at his word to check it out for himself and make it right. She made it quite clear what she thought of his alleged actions, but after that should have left it alone for the Holy Spirit to convict him in doing the right thing. I too was left with a bad feeling regarding the interview.


  5. Whether or not Mark Driscoll hung up on Janet Mefford, I cannot say.

    However, Julie, I’m trying to figure out what you think Mefford’s obligation was here. Do you think she should have told him up front that she was going to ask him hard questions about his appropriation (read: plagiarism) of work from another writer? I’m of the opinion that if Mefford had told Driscoll this, there would have been no interview, because it’s very clear that Mark Driscoll will not speak in a situation that has the potential to be unfriendly. That is, unless he can milk it for all it’s worth, as in the “Strange Fire” escapade.

    And, I’d note, it used to be that plagiarism was the absolute kiss of death for a person’s career. If you copied someone else in an egregious fashion (and 18 pages is egregious), you were toast. I’m still shocked in some ways that Joe Biden is vice president, considering he plagiarized speeches from British politician Neil Kinnock way back when Biden was running for president in 1988. These days, “oh, he didn’t footnote properly.” *snort* I remember being so afraid of not properly footnoting on my required-for-graduation law school research paper that it was 50 pages text and 25 pages footnotes.

    Given the way Driscoll is, and how many fanbois the guy has, the only way the guy is going to lose his following is (as it was said of famous former Louisiana governor Edwin Edwards) if he was caught with a dead girl or live boy. Plagiarism is not a problem for Driscoll, although it should be.


  6. Ok, so he didn’t hang up, they had technical difficulties which led everyone (including Janet) hearing Janet’s end to to think he did. As Janet said, that’s not the point, really, it’s the plagiarism and thinking you can just capitalize on your friend’s idea that is the problem. Well, he does live near Microsoft…


  7. I’m no Driscoll fan. In fact, I take issue with quite a few things. I get the plagiarism part. Absolutely.

    Here are my issues:

    1) I didn’t like the way the interview was handled. As I said in my comment in the article, it seemed like Driscoll was being hounded.

    2) I get the plagiarism issue. That is a very important issue to discuss. It sounded like Driscoll was open to making amends with Jones or doing whatever he needed to do. Was that enough for Mefferd?

    3) If Mefferd is publicly saying that Driscoll hung up on her and that is inaccurate, it would be appropriate for her to publicly say something.


  8. Julie Anne,
    I just wanted to say that I am in sympathy with your points listed above. And this is actually quite a huge deal for me as I can’t STAND Mark Driscoll. But Mefford did seem to badger him after he’d given a (not necessarily adequate) response. It would have served her better as an interview to let it go, and let people judge for themselves whether it was “inadvertent” plagiarism. And the hang up has become part of the story. If he didn’t hang up on her, she needs to clarify that there was some sort of confusion.

    This is the first time and probably the last that I will ever come down on Mark Driscoll’s side of a controversy. Cognitive dissonance is giving me a head ache!


  9. Sharon:

    It would have served her better as an interview to let it go, and let people judge for themselves whether it was “inadvertent” plagiarism. And the hang up has become part of the story. If he didn’t hang up on her, she needs to clarify that there was some sort of confusion.

    Very true – the hanging up part is absolutely part of the story now. She can easily clear that up.

    As a side note, take a look at her producer’s own words in the e-mail that was sent out:

    Hi all.

    Janet talked to Mark Driscoll today and things got pretty tense, culminating in Mark hanging up on Janet at the end.

    There was more to the e-mail, but this particular sentence made me want to hear the interview. Who would hang up on an interviewer? So, I hit play and when I was listening, I was struck with something a little different than I expected.

    This is the first time and probably the last that I will ever come down on Mark Driscoll’s side of a controversy. Cognitive dissonance is giving me a head ache!

    I hear you on that. I was thinking, “WHAT AM I DOING?” LOL


  10. OK hold on. I’m listening to the youtube audio and Driscoll starts talking about “the new paganism” and cites “dark sexuality that women in particular are attracted to” citing the Twillight series as an example.

    What is Twilight if not a eulogy to the supernatural, dominant male who is so strong he even breaks the bed when impregnating his powerless, natural human wife?

    And what is that if not exactly what is being preached in dominionist, patriarchal Christianity with its concept that the husband is the “headship” and representative of the supernatural Christ on earth for the wife whom she is required to submit to, even in so far as engaging in CDD?


  11. Southwestern Discomfort and Paula,

    Good points, and (believe it or not) plagiarism still is the kiss of death, at least in some circles. I do graduate research in book history and literature; in my experience, badgering, hounding, nagging, inquisitions, and cross-examinations are a merely day in the life…if one wishes to be published. If Driscoll is of the opinion that he was “harassed” by Mefferd, he should sit in a room with some of my professors…he might appreciate how indulgent the standards of “Christian” publishers truly are…


  12. This is not good. If you click on the timestamp on the first tweet, you will get a whole chain of conversation.


  13. I’m with Michael Camp on this one – seems there was some kind of audio delay (or people delay:^) and it currently appears leaps were made by Mefford and her producer.

    I’d like to know where Tyndale got the audio (it is common for interviewees to do their own recording).

    That’s not to say they could have been set up on Driscolls end by his assistant or Driscoll. Having listened to both clips, I find myself initially believing Driscoll on this one.

    We’ll see.

    Driscoll isn’t a good interview, he talks at you, not to you. I’m a former broadcaster.
    I find him so annoying I’d have passed this off to someone else. If someone approached me or my station for an interview, they didn’t get to dictate the content. Having said that, interviewing difficult people requires incredible concentration so as not to get defensive. You have to stay in control. I don’t think Mefford did on this one.

    Tyndale can clear up whether material was credited, so can Peter Jones (I assume he has a copy).

    As I noted at Wartburg Watch,broadcasting is a business. I think this show is a pr win-win for Driscoll and Mefford. Controversy draws audience.


  14. Ok, I just had a nice conversation with Janet’s producer, Bobby. He tried to explain the phone situation. There was a middleman involved in getting the phone connection with Mark. The bottom line seems to be that Janet and crew only know what happened on their side. Could Justin, Mark’s assistant, Justin have muted the phone on Mark’s side? Who knows! The dead silence that you hear on the Tyndale audio is odd because it seems like Mark would have piped up and said something upon hearing Janet’s voice. He did not. Regardless, I think Janet may have jumped the gun on saying that Mark hung up and could have reworded it to say something like “we lost connection,” but that is not always possible when speaking off the cuff in an interview.

    I think this was a difficult interview for a number of reasons. I hope that Janet will release some sort of clarifying statement so that the important message won’t be lost. Janet has always been a defender of the abused and I’ve always appreciated her efforts there.


  15. No way! The 2 minute audio clips you posted clears up a lot. And let me just begin by saying I’m a broadcast engineer and have spent my entire life in radio.

    Reviewing your audio clip.

    1:25- 26 Janet: “…look at the ideas in your book”
    1:27 : a noise blip (This blip is not present in the official Mefford audio.)
    1:29 – Janet “all right, I think we’ve lost him.”

    Seriously? She’s in the middle of an interview with the guy, there is a pause, and in TWO SECONDS she makes the determination that “we’ve lost him”? That’s the fishiest thing of the entire interview. You just don’t do that.

    I could buy that if she had an indication on her phone that the call had been dropped. But clearly the call had not been dropped, because Mark was still on the line at 1:36!!! Without any indication other than a pause, she decides he hung up. That makes no sense.

    Remember- Mark is complaining he is sick and has the flu. A 2 second pause could be to cough or blow his nose. She would know that. That part doesn’t add up.


  16. I posted this at the Wartburg Watch blog:

    Mefferd discussed this situation further on her show today in the first five or ten minutes of this audio:

    Hour 2, Janet Mefferd Show-11/22/2013

    Mefferd said Driscoll did hang up – or he at least was not there.

    She said she does not want anyone to get preoccupied over whether or not he hung up or not, but that she said there was dead silence on her end of the phone after she asked a question.

    My understanding is that she seems to think maybe Driscoll did not hang up but did walk off and leave the phone sitting there, or was just sitting there silent by the phone. The point is, he was not answering her.

    She also disputes this portrayal (as written by someone at RNS, I believe):

    “but by the belligerent tone of Ms. Mefferd’s questioning”

    Mefferd said she does not think she was being “belligerent” but was only pressing Driscoll for an answer, because he was not being forthcoming.

    Mefferd said she has received a lot of e-mails form people criticizing her and supporting Driscoll. I’m surprised. I think Driscoll came off poorly in that exchange, not her.


  17. @ greghahn4
    Dude, seriously, you are extending far, far too much grace towards Driscoll – who is an abusive, crass, sexist, insensitive, pompous jackass, and none at all to Mefferd.

    You are just assuming Mefferd is being deceitful.

    I am totally Team Mefferd. I’ve listened to her show for about a year now. Based upon how often I’ve listened, I’ve got a good idea of her character, and she seems trustworthy.

    I don’t even agree with Mefferd on every topic, but she comes off as above-board, and a caring person.

    Driscoll? No. The man is an egotistical bully, and I don’t think he’s honest.

    It looks like Driscoll stole 14 pages of material from another author (which is the real point of this whole story), but you are tossing suspicion on Mefferd all over a phone snafu? That is amazing.


  18. Julie Anne said,
    “It sounded like Driscoll was open to making amends with Jones or doing whatever he needed to do. Was that enough for Mefferd?”

    My impression was that Driscoll was simply trying to placate Mefferd, anything to get her to shut up about it, because he was getting perturbed or angry over being challenged on something, and, he wanted to hawk his new book some more.

    It’s like, when your boyfriend says or does something really, really hurtful or that angers you, and you want him to say he’s sorry, but when he finally does, he blurts out, “Fine, I’m sorry!,” and when you sit there still crying or upset, he says, “but I apologized!”

    You know how most men do, they only apologize to get you to shut up and stop bickering or crying, they don’t really care that they hurt you, so the apology is not quite heart felt and genuine. I took Driscoll’s attitude with Mefferd to be somewhat like that.

    I think she was really wanting Driscoll to admit that he stole 14, 15 pages of material for his book, but all he would do was waffle around and say, “aw shucks, sometimes mistakes happen, you know how book publishing is.” Dude would not own up to his theft. I think that probably drove her nuts.

    Nobody else holds Driscoll accountable in his life.

    I’m not a Mars Hill expert, I’ve only glanced over some pages here and there, but it looks like he kicked out some elders and anyone else at Mars Hill who stands up to him or questions him.

    Driscoll is on You Tube videos bragging about “throwing church members under the bus” when the disagree with him.

    Driscoll keeps his wife Grace on a short leash. Driscoll got snitty and rude when politely questioned by British radio host Brierly (you can listen to those audio clips on Brierly’s “Unbelievable” site).

    I would not feel sorry for Driscoll for a radio journalist pressing him in a phone interview. He’s dished out much, much worse and has hurt many people.


  19. My impression was that Driscoll was simply trying to placate Mefferd, anything to get her to shut up about it, because he was getting perturbed or angry over being challenged on something, and, he wanted to hawk his new book some more.

    You may be right. Either I misinterpreted Mefferd or perhaps she was off, maybe feeling pressured by Driscoll. It does seem like there were a lot of people who are normally staunchly against Driscoll, but thought she was rough on him in the interview. Does he deserve it? Maybe.

    After my conversation with Bobby, her producer, I get the idea that she is probably not done with this issues and may come back to it and try to clean up things. I hope so, because from what I see, the hanging-up issue really detracts from the message that she was trying to bring home – – and that was an important message (and evidently an ongoing message for the Driscoll family about plagiarism).


  20. Quite frankly? I look to more of substance of the interview – rather than hang up or non hang up. He was fine when she was singing his praises, but he was defensive about everything else. He never did answer her questions about the books, and the fact he had the gall to show up at MacDonald’s show.

    He has some pretty lame people working for him if he used that much material without referencing the source, and he got defensive over it because he knew he was in the wrong. I mean we are not talking little tidbits here – we are talking pages of material.

    What’s his excuse? He loves the guy, he has dinner with him, etc. So that makes it okay? You have a ‘friend’, and you plagiarize his material in your new book to make some money for yourself? No one needs friends like that.

    If Driscoll can’t handle an interview while he has the flu? He needs to propose it. There are ways of dealing with those types of questions, and get the interview to move along. “Gosh I had not idea! If that is the case, and we didn’t do the reference his material the proper way? We will fix this, and I apologize to my friend. I’m going to check it out, and call him myself.” Then you can move on. Mark decides to get all ‘holy roller’ on her, and gets all bent out of shape. His ego didn’t get insulated enough, and isn’t that too bad?

    The hangup or non hangup is a distraction. His lack of humility and Christlike nature was showing on that call. He was dumbfounded that his ego wasn’t be stroked, and he just KNEW this interview was going to be what a great man he is. That was worth getting out of bed for with the flu for. NOT her ‘attitude’.

    These men are so predictable. I have no sympathy for him. He knew what he was doing. He never does anything without a plan.


  21. I don’t know what happened to end the interview so abruptly, but here’s the issue for me. If Driscoll didn’t hang up and ‘wanted’ to finish the interview, or at least not end it with a disconnection and controversy, then why didn’t he “Act Like a Man” and call Janet back to clear the issue up? One thing is certain, there’s a lot more controversy and attention given to him this way.


  22. These men get more like the politicians of the day – every inch they take. They cover for each other, decide not to see what is clearly there, and twist the rest of it.

    They learn to place a spiritual pixie dust twist on it, and your suppose to be okay with putting lipstick on pig. lol because they say its biblical, Godly, and its so ‘manhood’ of them. Can I say Barf?


  23. Here’s a few other things I’ve read and some observations that might shed light:

    * Driscoll is on “book tour” mode. He went to Strange Fire to push his book. He wasn’t formally invited. He showed up with books to sell.

    * This interview was part of that book tour and Mefferd had told Driscoll’s people who arranged the interview that “I’ll be asking some hard questions.”

    * Driscoll’s people probably recorded the interview from their end (common), which is why there are two versions. Mefferd’s show probably cut his line (standard procedure) when Mefferd began to end the segment. Mefferd probably should have given him the benefit of the doubt and figured the line went out, but there was a long silence, so she made an assumption.

    * Mefferd was tough on him but she did warn him she would ask tough questions. Driscoll was defensive and tried to make the plagiarism claim into something minor. It’s not.


  24. Oh and Driscoll has some preaching material on his website that warns of and condemns plagiarism. Meffert undoubtedly knew that.


  25. Pam,
    “Congratulations, Julie Anne, you have arrived!! Sunshinemary “Likes” this post!!”
    {groan} I don’t even want to know why.


  26. @BTDT,

    “Congratulations, Julie Anne, you have arrived!! Sunshinemary “Likes” this post!!”
    {groan} I don’t even want to know why.

    LOL!!! Well, near as I can tell, it’s because he’s a little too “feministic”, being too hard on the men and too easy on the women with all his “Man Up!” stuff and all.


  27. I was wondering why Ms. / Mrs Mefferd sorry I am not sure which to use. But why is it she gives Ray Comfort a pass concerning his apparent plagiarism and deceptive editing he appears to transcend anything Driscoll ever dreamed up. Of course this is just my opinion of a public figure. The first place to look is his adaptation of origin of the species and his extremely shallow and one sided look in his docudrama God vs Evolution. That would go for his good person test, his way of the masters series and his standing on a box on saturday yelling at beach goers as well, but again that is just my opinion.


  28. I really hate being the guy to defend Mark Driscoll here. I don’t even like Mark Driscoll. I agree with Hannah Thomas’ points about Driscoll and the interview.

    But I’m not backing down about what I said about Mefferd’s story. Talk show interviewers don’t drop an interviewee after a two second lapse- ESPECIALLY when the caller is still on the line with the producer, as Driscoll clearly was.

    Bridget’s comment that Driscoll could have called back doesn’t solve anything. First of all, Driscoll was clearly still on the line. Second of all, even if he did call back, they neither have to answer, nor put him on the air.

    And correct me if I’m wrong, but Mefferd’s show didn’t acknowledge that Driscoll was still on the line with the producer until Driscoll provided a recording that proved that fact. Now they raise their arms and play the “we don’t know what happened” game- but the reality there would be that if Mefferd didn’t realize Driscoll was still on the line at the time, the producer definitely would have told her at the first opportunity.

    The Mefferd show’s story DOES NOT add up. I don’t know why they would misrepresent the facts, but I believe that is what they are doing.


  29. Ah, OK, The Mefferd Show is saying the second voice on the Driscoll recording is Driscoll’s assistant. That would make sense and would be consistent with the call being dropped, except we still have Janet’s audio coming back to us, including her bumper music- so the call was definitely still connected.

    She claims she didn’t hear him for 2 seconds and thought he hung up, and the show seems to move on, but also remember the Mefferd show says this was recorded at 12pm to be played back at 3pm- so there was simply no reason to rush.

    Also I think it’s totally weird that they’d play the bumper music at that time. That’s not the way it’s normally done. You do the interview, make some edits. Normally the bumper music is played when the show is live. Or if it’s in the recorded interview, it’s added later. They played it during the interview, odd unless you wanted to stage a hang-up and make it look like the show went on….


  30. Greg – -I was told this was a landline phone connected from Driscoll’s assistant to Driscoll. One possibility is that the mute button was pressed on Driscoll’s side.


  31. The hanging up issue is irrelevant. Mefferd assumed he did, but apparently was wrong. The real issue is what she confronted him with.

    I went back and listened to the interview again and was struck how subtly Driscoll deflected each challenge Mefferd made (he often said the right words–“humble, gracious, I love you, sister,” but his words did not always line up with his content). I think she was fair in how she did it. She had to be firm to make her point–e.g. reminding him he had a teaching on his website that condemned plagiarism, but he kept dodging, trying anything to change the topic, appealing to friendship with Jones, saying he might of made a mistake but didn’t commit a sin, accusing her of not focusing on more important things like what he does planting churches in an unchurched city for 17 years and helping people fight the worldly culture, and finally outright or indirectly blaming her for being rude, accusatory, unkind, tribal, unfair, unChrist-like, and that he won’t “allow you [her] to take the generous… moral high ground.” He was a master ducker.

    But was this plagiarism charge really warranted? That is the crucial question. If it wasn’t, Driscoll was right to duck. But if it was, he was caught with his hand in the cookie jar and refused to admit it. Here is what’s on Meffert’s Facebook page now:

    MUST READ! Wade Burleson, who researched my allegations that Pastor Mark Driscoll plagiarized, has come to the same conclusions I did: “I bought Dr. Jones’ book One or Two and Mark Driscoll’s book A Call to Resurgence. I already had Jones’ The God of Sex. I read the Jones’ books and Driscoll’s book and was stunned. The similarities in the wording and the concepts of “one-ism” and “two-ism” were bizarre. The wording, the thought patterns, and the concepts in Jones’ book and Driscoll’s book were so similar, one would think the same author wrote them. In the fourteen pages Janet points out in the interview, Mark Driscoll barely acknowledges Jones, and nowhere credits him for his original ideas.”


  32. I don’t think the hanging up issue is irrelevant because the Mefferd show seems to think it’s important enough to make something appear to be true that clearly isn’t true.

    Julie Anne- this was a landline phone connected from Driscoll’s assistant to Driscoll… fine. Where did the bumper music come from? It came from Mefferd. The line was still connected to Driscoll to the very end of the recording, LONG after they say the call was dropped. Listen again to the clip!


  33. Julie Anne, I hadn’t actually read the article until just now. Wow! This guy sure does seem to verify Mefferd’s claims. He brings out a point I forgot to mention. Not only did Driscoll duck and deflect but put it all back on Janet. She became the bad guy. This is what spiritual abusers do! When you try to confront and correct them, they put the blame back on you. I’m spreading the gospel for 17 years and want to talk about helping others and you’re hung up on a footnote! He masterfully made it look like he was the righteous victim.

    Take Janet’s point to heart here everyone: “Here’s my point, Mark. We can preach about sound doctrine all day long but if we don’t act in a godly way, who’s going to listen?”


  34. So, I have been reading this thread with interest. Other than the dropped/not dropped call situation, the main topic seems to be plagiarism. I think that this is being sidelined by some, and that the dropped/not dropped call seems to be overshadowing the underlying issue. Bottom line, did he plagiarize, or did he not plagiarize? Yes or No? If the answer is yes, who is going to do something about it? If no, then what does all of this he said/she said going to solve in regards to whether a call was dropped or not? Just my insights. I guess not many here watch the O’Reily Factor, or Shawn Hannity? Lot’s of he said/she said there.



  35. I think he probably did plagiarize. If Wade Burleson’s article is true at all, yes he did. And he even outlines what will probably happen. Driscoll will have to address it, as will the publisher.

    The question of hanging up/ not hanging up appears to me to be a case of Mefferd doing a “gotcha” interview, and staging the Driscoll hang up to make him look like even more of an ass. But she didn’t know Driscoll would be recording it on his end, and it exposes her show’s explanation as a fraud.

    So on the one hand, we owe her show some gratitude for exposing this issue. On the other hand, it reeks of over dramatization and an apparent desire to harm Mark Driscoll rather than merely get at the truth.


  36. GregHahn4,

    Well, I am all about drama. It’s a win/win no matter how you slice it for the interviewer, even if she loses, she wins. I wouldn’t watch debates on Fox News if I didn’t enjoy the drama that goes with it. Reminds me of those 1970’s wrestling matches!!



  37. Greg, I’m no sound engineer, but isn’t it possible that Mark simply covered the receiver on his end? Janet’s voice, the bumper music, Mark’s voice, all would have been recorded on Mark’s end, and all but Mark’s voice would have been recorded on Janet’s end. Also, Mark’s silence starts at 1:27 and he doesn’t speak again until 1:36. Yeah, maybe he’s just blowing his nose.


  38. I just left the following on Mefferd’s Facebook page:

    I just want to know how Janet’s bumper music played to the end of that Audiour recording, when Bobby Belt said, “I specifically left the volume up on the phone line until Janet said, “And we’ll be coming back.” The phone call then disconnected from Driscoll’s end before the segment was completed. “

    My comment was deleted from her page!

    See, that’s the smoking gun. That recording was done from Mark’s end, yet it has Janet’s music playing till the end. Janet’s music had to come from Janet’s studio, through the connected phone line.

    And someone on Janet’s Facebook page would rather delete my question than answer it.


  39. Has it occurred to anyone that the whole silence thing from Marks end was a tatic due to the questioning he did not like?


  40. That’s it, Julie Anne. I don’t know how you can link to a deleted post, but it still shows in that link.


  41. Weird. I agree. It’s not deleted. When I was looking earlier the last post was the one before it. I did a page refresh a couple of times and looked to make sure it wasn’t hidden somewhere. I couldn’t find it at all. But it’s there now. Well good, maybe we’ll get an answer.


  42. Greg, I went to her Facebook from a Google link about 5 minutes ago and your last comment was there.


  43. Greg why not ask why mark went silent? Why didn’t his guy who was recording the interview even say something to Janet if Mark could not talk? Why the silent tactic?

    That is what seems so strange to me.


  44. That’s a good question too. He may have been busy stabbing his Janet Mefferd doll in effigy, because she really seemed to catch him red-handed, and it’s his brand-new book that he really wants to sell big for Christmas!

    But that’s the obvious part that everybody is getting. The part that intrigues me is the part that most everyone is overlooking because they don’t understand how radio interviews are produced. The official story of the JM show did not happen the way they said.

    Why is that?


  45. Greg, in the 9 SECONDS that Driscoll failed to respond to Janet’s comment that “I think we’ve lost him” and his finally saying, “I’m still here”, can’t you see him mouthing silently to his handlers, “What do I do, guys? What do I do?” IMHO, this is the only logical sequence. And I do not get your logic about the bumper music being a smoking gun. I’ve listened to call-in talk shows that were pre-recorded for playback at a later time, and the host comments on the bumper music being played, signaling to the caller that it’s time to wind down. Also, you state that the fact that Janet’s show is pre-recorded means that there is no rush to end within a time frame; that can’t possibly be since the taped version still has to accommodate network and advertising time frames.


  46. greghahn4 on November 24, 2013 at 5:55 AM

    As others have pointed out, glitches/events could have happened on either side of the phone call. For that matter, Mark or Janet could have called the other one back, but don’t seem to have done so. There is about a ten second silence before someone on Mark’s end responds. What’s that about? I agree that the main issue is the one of plagiarism, and MD is going to have to deal with it, or go on as if nothing was brought up about it. But for me, based on what I’ve heard of JM and what I’ve seen and heard of MD and his antics, it’s hard to give MD the benefit of the doubt that he didn’t have anything to do with the long silence causing JM to believe that he had hung up. I do hope the disconnnect was simply an accident, but MD’s past words and actions don’t give me confidence in his integrity.


  47. The audio quality is clearly different between the two. The youtube one – Janet is clear as a bell. The second recording they both sound like they are on cell phones.

    Am I all wet here?


  48. You are correct, Hannah. The Youtube version was apparently recorded in Janet’s studio, with her speaking into a studio mic, thus her voice and her music are of high quality. Driscoll’s audio comes through a phone line, so it has a lack of quality. (Phone lines only pass 300 hz – 2000hz. Studio audio is 20 Hz to 20000 hz.)

    In the second recording, Janet and her audio pass through a phone line and arrive at Driscoll’s location, so the quality is much worse. This is how we know that the telephone connection between Janet and Mark was still connected 38 seconds after Mark’s initial pause, and 24 seconds after Janet says, “And we’ll be coming back.”

    So that disagrees with the statement of Janet’s producer: “I specifically left the volume up on the phone line until Janet said, “And we’ll be coming back.” The phone call then disconnected from Driscoll’s end before the segment was completed.”


  49. Bridget, even Janet’s producer admits that the phone line was still connected when Janet ended the interview. MAYBE Janet thought Mark had hung up in that 2 second pause. But that would suppose she had no visual ability from where she was sitting to be able to tell if a call was connected or not. Any talk show host I’ve ever worked with would have said, “Mark, are you still there?” – or looked to the producer to see what happened and get a verification that the caller wasn’t there.


  50. jkpvarin- Yes, I can totally see that. Driscoll was no doubt blowing a gasket at that point. “What do I do guys, what do I do?” would be rather tame for Driscoll. It was likely much worse!

    Yes, the taped version has time limits as well, but the implication of the stories is that this interview ended because Driscoll appeared to have ended it, not because they ran out of time for that segment of the show. You can’t have it both ways on that.

    But to elaborate on my comment that time was not a factor: On the radio, things have to keep moving, so the bumper music would begin playing as soon as the interview was at it’s end. Often on a live program, the bumper music is a cue to the host that the time is up and it’s time to wind this down.

    But this wasn’t live. This interview should have been recorded in an audio editor such as Adobe Audition or ProTools. That allows minor editing if something major goes awry in the interview. (For instance- Mark’s kids run into the room and make a huge noise. Cut. Stop. OK, let’s start again. BOOM.)

    When the recording is taking place, you don’t know exactly when the perfect point to end the interview will be. That’s why normally the bumper music would be added after the fact. I find it really strange that they were ready to go with the bumper music to end the interview when Janet assumed that Mark was done talking. OK.. maybe that’s the way they do it, but to me, that’s dumb. If I was Janet’s engineer, I’d suggest she not do it that way.

    But in this case, the bumper music is what kills their story. We’d never know it if Driscolls’s guys hadn’t recorded it on their end. (Which, by the way, may be illegal and Janet’s show may have an issue there.)

    But the bumper music is a smoking gun because it proves that Janet’s studio and Driscoll’s location were connected 38 seconds after the initial pause. Because that music, recorded on Driscoll’s end, came from Janet’s studio. You can’t do that without a connection.


  51. Greg – I can’t remember where I read it, but someone suggested that it is not uncommon to have both parties recording interviews. I hope more people weigh in on that aspect.


  52. That would have been me Julie Anne – I think it is a good idea for both parties to record, and it isn’t uncommon. I’ll elaborate.

    For example – if I interviewed a Canadian politician on a federal level or even provincial and municipal, or a well known author, say in studio, the feds or people out on a plug tour not only bring their media person, who hangs out in master control, they do their own recording. Out of studio (say by phone) they record on their end also. I can’t imagine why anyone would have a problem with it, it makes sense for their own files and portfolios and debriefings etc.
    I would think it happens with some print interviews as well.

    Greg: I’ve been following your comments with interest.
    How long did it take for Driscoll’s people to get his audio to Tyndale, and Tyndale to get it online?

    I dunno, pre-recording can often be a straight interview (and not edited) if parties are pressed for time, or skilled enough to do a straight through.
    We don’t know what equipment Janet has in front of her, or where her producer is and whether he was on talk-back, hence the 2 second issue.


  53. It totally makes sense that both sides would record an interview. I only referred to the laws around recording telephone conversations, which vary from state to state.

    And I wasn’t aware that Tyndale had the recording. I first became aware of it here on Julie Anne’s blog. So how much time elapsed, I can’t say.

    As for the Driscoll recording, I see only 3 possibilities:

    1. The recording is as it appears to be: of Mefferd audio being played back to Driscoll’s end, and recorded there on Driscoll’s end. -or-

    2. The recording was edited by those on Driscoll’s end to insert Janet’s bumper music, and make it appear they were connected longer. -or-

    3. The recording was made on Janet’s end.

    #3 seems out of the question- it would make the Mefferd show guilty of a major coverup. And why would they release that? This can’t be true. So it must be either #1 or #2.

    What I like about #2 is that it doesn’t have Janet playing her bumper music during a pre-recorded interview. That would seem far more normal for a pre-recorded interview. But it also gives Driscoll’s side an awful lot of credit/ blame for such masterful connivery to find a clean version of her bumper music and dub it in there. And that’s also something that Janet’s side should have caught immediately. I think careful analysis of both recordings could prove that, if it were the case.

    It seems to me that #1 is the likely choice. And it’s entirely possible that Janet’s side lost all audio from Mark’s side. But the phone line was definitely still connected for over 30 seconds more, and they had to know that. You look at the phone and the line is still lit up- the call is still active.

    So then why would Janet make such a big deal on Twitter about him hanging up on her? She said, “We watched the line drop” and that that “the line went dead from his end – we watched it drop- before the segment ended.” (BEFORE THE SEGMENT ENDED)

    That seems to me to be, in the very least, stretching the facts. Which wouldn’t be so bad, except this is coming at the very same time that Janet is harping on Christian leaders being above reproach. (Which they should be- but that includes Janet as well.)

    They seem to be digging in, and now want to quit talking about the hang-up issue. I agree that MD’s plagiarism is of greater importance, but I’m very intrigued by the Mefferd show’s actions and explanations. They don’t add up.


  54. I’m a newbie, novice, know-almost-nothing about either MD or JM. But listening to the two-minute audio, I thought JM came across as the smarmy, holier-than-thou one, and MD as, well, kind of evasive but not as obnoxious as she was. As for the hang-up, that could be just a mistake on Janet’s end, but she does need to quit saying Mark hung up on her.

    I do get that MD is as popular as a tax auditor on this site, and that’s fine. He probably is as awful as you all think him. But it’s interesting to come in as an outsider and hear things so very differently from what everyone else is hearing. I don’t intend any offense, just observation.


  55. Carl Trueman’s Ref. 21 blog article puts it in perspective. “If the conservative evangelical world continues to be increasingly dominated by one or two huge media-style organizations, the conversation will be corralled and controlled, the hard questions will not be asked, and the leaders of such organizations and those whom they choose to extend their patronage will not be held in account.”

    One or two huge media-style organizations…there you go.


  56. I wrote a blog piece about the inconsistencies and untrue statements made by Janet Mefferd, and what I think really happened in that interview. Janet’s husband is rather mad at me for writing this, but he and I will talk on the phone tomorrow. I’ve promised him I will write a correction if he can prove any of it wrong.

    I really hate to be the defender of Mark Driscoll here. I think he has said some awful things, and many things I disagree with. Most of my friends in the internet world feel the same way about Driscoll as I do, and are glad to see him go down.

    But I can’t just take Janet’s side because I want her side to win. I have to believe she is right. This time, I don’t.

    She has now blocked me on Twitter. But oh well, I never really heard of her until last week!


  57. I see this issue that you are bringing up as completely separate from the idea of plagiarism by Driscoll, Greg. I’m glad you are going to talk with Charley.

    Burleson’s article was excellent in pointing out the seriousness of plagiarism.


  58. I do too. I tried to make that clear. We owe Janet a lot for finding and exposing the plagiarism. She did a great job there.

    But the title of your blog post is- “Did Mark Driscoll really hang up on Janet Mefferd?” … right? 🙂


  59. HA, yes it is the title. I believe the hanging-up issue was the initial issue that got people riled up even more than the plagiarism. Both issues are worthy of discussion.


  60. Greg:

    From the Tyndale statement:

    “Tyndale House Publishers was provided a recording of the show by representatives of Pastor Driscoll” – See more at:

    I don’t know when the clip was provided to Tyndale etc. Makes sense to me Tyndale got it a.s.a.p. given the show was about a book they published. I appreciate Wade Burlesons take as to the next step –

    “(2). Tyndale will issue an apology, taking responsibility for not catching the mistake in the editing process and absolve Mark Driscoll of responsibility (and indeed, a great deal of fault should lie at the doorstep of Tyndale since they are familiar with the scholarly process). Tyndale will promise that in future editions a correction will be made.”

    There could have been technical glitches, human error, equipment failure.. , which you succinctly point out. I don’t know if Mefferd had headphones on, listening to her producer on talkback, what console she has etc. etc…I don’t know if she was looking to wrap, so they wouldn’t have to edit, was rattled etc. etc…

    We don’t know where the Driscoll assistant was, where Driscoll was etc.

    Mr. Mefferd jumping into the Twitter tangle didn’t help. In the Mefferds defence, having Driscoll fan boys come at you isn’t something I’d wish on anyone, and I can understand a concerned husband charging into the fray. Too bad though.

    The Janet Mefferd show runs on Salem National. They have pros comparable to yourself who could do an analysis and clear this aspect up. Some things are provable. I haven’t seen anything from Salem, have you?
    I don’t think there will be any analysis, explanation, etc.

    I’ve only listened to one prior interview on the Mefferd show, as a Canuck, listening to US religious radio isn’t a priority, a need,or a want. I got curious because of Merritt’s coverage. I can’t and won’t defend Driscoll’s behaviour, attitude or character, I’m no fan. In this, he continues to get the benefit of my doubt.

    I see the hang up claims and clarification of what actually occurred as important as the plagiarism, it’s like a piece of a puzzle, that some people in broadcasting (and others) would see as important enough to clear up. It is about perception, integrity etc.

    While Mefferd is to be commended for tackling plagiarism, Greg, I think you can be commended for looking at this through your professional eyes, and for asking open, legitimate questions, thanks.


  61. I totally agree. And while I completely understand why she put it on her radio show first, I think she should have had the screenshots or the material in text form ready to release from the beginning.

    It’s also a shame that her actions distracted from the main point of the story.

    I talked to Charley Mefferd today by phone. He agreed with my main points. I’ll release another blog post soon.


  62. BD, thanks for your comments.

    I’m considering trying to talk to Driscoll’s assistant tomorrow. I’m not sure how far that will get me. But the main thing I’d like to know is what they used to record the interview. It sounds to me like it’s just a simple coupler. But I’d like to know that.

    Charley told me what Janet was using.


  63. When there’s blood in the water . . .
    I posted this to Janet Mefford’s Facebook concerning the Driscoll issue:
    “Regarding Mark Driscoll, you quoted the scripture “speaking the truth in love”. What was the condition of your heart when you had Mark Driscoll on your show? Yes, perhaps you were speaking the truth, but were you doing it in love? Honestly, I don’t have a dog in this fight, but it seemed more like an ambush than an interview. You knew ahead of time that you were going to play “gotcha” when you had Mr. Driscoll on, and he was obviously entirely unprepared for this, expecting to address Christian issues that are important to the church. Yes, before you go on about honesty, we AGREE on that, but were you REALLY attempting to “nail him” because, after all, he was on one side of the Strange Fire issue, and you are apparently on the other side. I’m not defending Driscoll’s apparent plagiarism, but don’t you think, that Biblically, before you brought it before the church and the world on your show, you should have brought it up in private between yourself and Mr. Driscoll FIRST, as scripture says, and THEN brought it before the church if he was unresponsive? It seems that you skipped a step here in your eagerness to “correct” or perhaps “condemn” your brother.
    So, were you attempting to correct him or condemn him?
    I’m the author of an online book (free, I’m not selling anything),, with hundreds of footnotes, and I know how easy it might have been to have made that kind of mistake. Don’t you at least think you should have had a three way conference beforehand between yourself, Mr. Driscoll and the third party whom you both apparently know, BEFORE pulling this kind of gotcha stunt on your program?
    Sorry, but you were so right that you were wrong,”
    Scripture says ” All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
    17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” 2Tim 3:16-17
    I read “for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness”; I don’t see the word condemn anywhere.
    “But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.” Galatians 5:15


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