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A video of television preacher and former Republican presidential candidate Pat Robertson making outlandish comments about gay men transmitting AIDS via rings on their fingers has been restored to YouTube after activists with Right Wing Watch appealed its removal under rules allowing fair use of media for journalistic comment.
"You know what they do in San Francisco, some in the gay community there they want to get people so if they got the stuff they'll have a ring, you shake hands, and the ring's got a little thing where you cut your finger," Robertson said on "The 700 Club" two weeks ago. "Really. It's that kind of vicious stuff, which would be the equivalent of murder."
Robertson's remarks about supposedly malicious and intentional spread of AIDS by members of the LGBT community in San Francisco were shocking enough that the Christian Broadcasting Network filed copyright claims everywhere the footage was republished, demanding the video be taken down. While they were successful at first, Right Wing Watch, which reliably snips Robertson's more oddball comments for wider distribution, did not accept no for an answer.
"CBN not only had the video we posted of Robertson's comments removed from YouTube by complaining that it violated copyright laws, but also edited the comments out of its own broadcast of the show," they noted.
It's not the first time Robertson's comments have been edited out by CBN, either. Last September he advised a man who wrote into the show about his supposedly rebellious wife, "Well, you could become a Muslim and you could beat her."
"When she was growing up, nobody made her behave, and now you've got a 13-year-old in a 30-year-old woman's body," Robertson added. "Now, what do you do with that? Well, you can't divorce her according to scripture. So I say, move to Saudi Arabia."
That too was apparently embarrassing enough for CBN to scrub from rebroadcasts and online publication, but it did not go unnoticed online. Sadly for Pat, those two examples are part of a long line of alarmingly out-of-touch comments from the man who once challenged Ronald Reagan for the Republican Party's nomination to the presidency.
It's enough to make you wonder if he's got much longer on the air, especially when his host network is ashamed to rebroadcast his words, yet appears unable to stop them from spilling onto the Internet for all to see.