Pat Robertson lost a hard-fought campaign to keep a video off of the internet yesterday when Youtube restored a copy that Right Wing Watch previously posted and which CBN (Robertson’s network) demanded to be removed.
Right Wing Watch fought back, citing the Fair Use Doctrine which allows the limited use of copyrighted material without permission for commentary and criticism. It is a rare exception to copyright protections. Right Wing Watch understood the doctrine but, apparently, Pat and CBN did not.
It was, after all, their own hubris which placed the video in a position where it became fair game; they were the ones who originally posted it until they realized how offensive it was at which time they took it down and attempted to make it go away. Much like the young girl who thinks she is sharing her nude “selfies” with only her boyfriend. They found out too late that once something has been posted online you cannot make it go away and, that Youtube has restored Right Wing Watch‘s copy.
Pat is no stranger to controversial statements, in fact, controversial is a kind term for many of the outrageous comments he has made over the years (seldom has he apologized for the ridiculous statements) and accusations that he himself has made. After all, he is god’s spokesman here on earth! Isn’t it a bit odd that this is the one that he chose to take back?
It was extremely offensive and lacking in fact, but it certainly was no more offensive than what he said about Ariel Sharon after his stroke in 2006, that God had struck him down because he had ordered the illegal settlers out of Gaza (and the West Bank) in an attempt to broker peace with the Palestinians. Pat said at the time, “God considers this land to be his. You read the Bible and he says ‘This is my land,’ and for any prime minister of Israel who decides he is going to carve it up and give it away, God says, ‘No, this is mine.”’ As he spoke those terrible words, he sat there looking into the camera with that smarmy smile of his and chuckled gleefully. Leading commentator Stephanie Miller dubbed him “Uncle Chuckles,” a name that seems to be very appropriate considering how often (and the way) he does chortle – all the while offending any rational person within earshot.
By seeing him lose this battle, some might be inclined to think that he might finally tone down the rhetoric that is so “out there” (see this, this and this) or that it is hard to believe he actually has followers – nonetheless, that may be a bit optimistic. Pat does not shame easily, and in his own mind, he is most certainly convinced that he has done nothing wrong and that he wouldn’t even have to say these things if only people would see the light. He knows that all a gay man needs to do is “stop” being gay and everything will be hunky dory. At eighty-three, Pat is highly unlikely to change his spots so, about all we (in the sane world) can really do is shake our heads and hope that, before the next gaffe, his God will silence him once and for all.