Friday, February 02, 2007
That's With an "o-u-g-h"
As reported at People For the American Way's blog, Right Wing Watch, Scarborough, who is President of Vision America and who was seen in the documentary, has issued a statement expressing "dismay and objection" over the program.
The problem is figuring out just what the objection exactly is. For instance, he says that there was:
... a primary emphasis on Dr. Ted Haggard, who resigned as president of the National Association of Evangelicals and was dismissed as senior pastor of his church. Haggard, who resigned his post amidst scandal, was interviewed longer than anyone else. Was Pelosi implying that we are all hypocrites?As the documentary noted, the scandal about Haggard broke just days after she finished shooting*. Honestly, what would any filmmaker do but include as much footage of Haggard as possible? But Ms. Pelosi made no attempt to depict Haggard or any other of the people shown to be hypocrites. She left that judgment totally up to her audience.
Perhaps a more serious objection was that the show:
... focuses on every oddity imaginable - including "Christian wrestling" and "Christian miniature golf" - to make 80 million Americans from all walks of life seem freakish.But that seems to contradict the Focus on the Family objection that:
Ms. Pelosi describes her film as a lighthearted and nonjudgmental look at evangelical life in America. It is anything but," Gary Schneeberger, Focus on the Family’s senior media director, said ...Well, why wouldn't a lighthearted documentary include a few oddities? And why would that make anyone else seem freakish? But then Scarborough goes on:
I wasn’t even aware that such things existed until someone alerted me that I was in the documentary and I began investigating it.
But as to his claim that he wasn't aware that he was even in the documentary, as Right Wing Watch points out, somebody at Vision America knew about it, since the organization's website had the above promotion of the show.
Naturally, the promotion has been removed, especially since Sarborough calls HBO "a cable network which most serious minded evangelicals do not even allow in their homes," right? Opps, no it hasn't. The same promotion still appears on the website, with only the addition of a link to "Dr. Rick Scarborough's statement on this program." Even the link to the schedule remains.
I guess Scarborough subscribes to the saying that any publicity is good publicity ... as long as they spell your name right.
Actually the shooting ended much earlier, the *editing* was finished just before the Haggard scandal (IIRC). The documentary was basically done, to change it significantly they would have had to start over with the editing and make a whole new documentary. This would require new funding etc., plus Pelosi had a baby.
So what they did was show the documentary unchanged except for some notes in text. Pelosi expressed sadness that everyone would be viewing it differently than she had intended, but in some ways this makes it better because you are pretty sure you are getting a neutral portrait with no attempt to "get" the guy.