The Christian Broadcasting Network has embarked on a total and frankly embarrassing cover-up of Pat Robertson’s statement yesterday that gay people in San Francisco try to cut people’s fingers with special rings in order to infect them with AIDS. After editing Robertson’s comments out of their online broadcast of the 700 Club and taking down their own YouTube video featuring the claims, CBN has now filed with a flimsy copyright complaint against Right Wing Watch’s copy of the video on YouTube, causing it to be temporarily removed.
That’s right, CBN is going out of its way to get rid of all evidence of comments made by CBN’s own founder, who even released a statement defending his assertions and insisted that he was once a target of a malicious gay AIDS ring plot. We have uploaded the video to Vimeo which you can watch here, unless CBN tries to take it down (UPDATE: Vimeo pulled the video, but you can now watch it on DailyMotion. UPDATE II: A third party [we wonder who!] complained to DailyMotion and pulled the video, which you can find, for now, at Flickr.com):
This isn’t the first time that CBN has manipulated comments Robertson has made on the channel’s flagship show, The 700 Club. Last year, the network unsuccessfully attempted to edit out Robertson’s call for a man to move to Saudi Arabia in order to beat his wife.
It’s ironic that Robertson believes that gay people are trying to censor him with hate speech laws, when it appears that the only people trying to censor Robertson are his own staff at CBN.
As Steve Benen notes, “Robertson really shouldn’t say things on national television if he doesn’t want people to see them.”
While Robertson’s gay AIDS ring conspiracy theory is outrageous and absurd, it is also ridiculous that the television network Robertson leads is now on a mission to suppress comments that Robertson himself believes are accurate and truthful.