Almost exactly a week before we launched the NALT Christians Project, decent people were appalled by Pat Robertson’s suggestion that gays in San Francisco intentionally infect people with AIDS by cutting them with special “AIDS rings.” After sites like Right Wing Watch and ours helped the comments to reach the widest audience possible, the Christian Broadcasting Network attempted to turn back the clock and scrub the internet of the video, filing spurious copyright claims that resulted in the video being removed from YouTube, Vimeo and DailyMotion. Right Wing Watch happily reports today that their video is back up:
We filed a counterclaim with YouTube asserting that our video was protected by Fair Use and yesterday we finally received word that our video had been restored.
But the episode reveals the lengths CBN will go to hide and censor the statements made by its own leader. Now, the network is even considering legal action against a documentary critical of Robertson.
Amanda Marcotte had an interesting piece yesterday at AlterNet, where she explored the fact that, truth be told, people like Pat Robertson don’t want their messages disseminated to the general population in a widespread way. It’s worth reading in full, but here’s the gist:
The problem with that theory [that people like Robertson are marginal figures to be ignored] is that right-wing, apocalypse-obsessed Christians are not marginal characters who have little power in the world. They constitute a huge percentage of Americans, and just as disturbingly, they have influence over another huge number of Americans. They actually don’t want attention drawn to their wacky beliefs a good deal of the time. On the contrary, the preferred fundamentalist right-wing communication strategy is to use their own spaces—spaces that are often far from the prying eyes of the larger world—to talk about their lurid fantasies, and they prefer to show a more sensible, moderate face to the larger world.
Let’s be clear: Pat Robertson does not want liberals watching the 700 Club. Mike Huckabee is careful to curtail some of his more extreme views when he’s on national television. Rick Santorum has openly claimed that asking right-wing politicians about their hard-right views on things like contraception in the mainstream media is dirty pool. There’s a widespread and concentrated effort on the right to keep the crazy talk as far out of sight of the opposition as possible, while simultaneously disseminating their ideas among the true believers. This reality doesn’t comport with the claim that they benefit from mainstream media attention, but the opposite.
Here, just because Pat Robertson and CBN really don’t want you to see it, is a reprise of the video: