Light Posting

Posting will be light today, as I am suffering from conjunctivitis and my eye is watering so much I can barely see- I hit the doctor yesterday, but am going to have to head back again today. There is, however, the strong possibility I am suffering from a potentially lethal dose of schadenfreude in the wake of the Ted Haggard story. My favorite reaction so far is from Red State:

I have never heard of the man before today, but if you go check out Memeorandum apparently it is the BIGGEST NEWS EVER that Ted Haggard is gay.

I guess this is the kind of thing that is news five days before an election when there isn’t a war or other major issues to talk about. Oh, wait…

This is the same Red State that featured not one, not two, not three, not four, not five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, eighteen, nineteen, twenty, but TWENTY-ONE front page stories about John Kerry’s botched joke.

Good thing Red State is focussing on the ‘issues.’

The Carpetbagger had this to say yesterday:

So, is this a time for some schadenfreude? Not really. It’s true that Haggard was vehemently anti-gay, and if he did engage in a gay affair, it causes the evangelical movement some additional embarrassment.

But it’s also worth remembering that in a broad movement, Haggard was occasionally a voice of reason. Over the summer, for example, when there was a growing debate about the American use of torture on suspected terrorists, Haggard stepped up to sign a joint statement that said torture “violates the basic dignity of the human person” and “contradicts our nation’s most cherished values.” The statement added, “Nothing less is at stake in the torture abuse crisis than the soul of our nation. What does it signify if torture is condemned in word but allowed in deed?”

Moreover, Haggard’s National Association of Evangelicals was one of a handful of Christian groups to show some leadership in dealing with global warming, and pressured the Bush administration to change its position.

For that matter, when Pat Robertson called for Hugo Chavez’s assassination, Haggard also told a reporter, “Pat doesn’t speak for evangelicals any more than Dr. Phil speaks for mental health professionals.”

I guess my point is, if a major evangelical leader was going to get caught in a gay sex scandal, I would have preferred it to be James Dobson instead of Ted Haggard.

I guess that is, to some extent, true, but c0unt me as someone who is not eager to train a generation of young authoritarians who are going to believe they are on a mission from God to boss me around on environmental issues.

Personally, I am just gonna sit back and enjoy the, well, you know- HYPOCRISY.

*** Update ***

Some more info:

The Rev. Ted Haggard, who resigned as one of the nation’s top evangelical leaders, admitted Friday he had contacted male prostitute Mike Jones “for a massage” and bought drugs from him.

Haggard said he never had sex with Jones and never used the methamphetamine drug he bought.

He told reporters earlier this week that he did not know Jones, who claims to have had a three-year sex-for-money relationship with him.

Haggard, 50, resigned Thursday as leader of the National Association of Evangelicals — a group representing more than 45,000 churches and 30 million people — and he also stepped down temporarily from leadership at New Life Church in Colorado Springs.

I am gonna go out on a limb and call bullshit.

54 replies
  1. 1
    Alexandra says:

    Well lookie here. It’s Christmas in November! Honest to Jehovah, I couldn’t have dreamed up anything more enjoyable than the Right Reverend Haggard confessing to buying crystal meth and throwing it away and getting massages only from a male hooker. I just love this idea that you would sort of accidentally make a phone call to purchase crystal meth. I mean, the dude’s not saying someone slipped it into his drink. He’s on record actually making that kind of phone call. What kind of person gets on the phone and tries to buy an extremely dangerous and illegal drug? The kind of person who wants to compound his sins by being wasteful and a litterbug?? I don’t think so! “I threw it away.” What kind of defense is that? The six year old who stole a Hershey’s bar from CVS? And then the poor wife has to sit there with that sorry Republican wife eye glaze as he talks about getting massages from a hooker. Where do you even find the famous massaging hooker? Don’t they have masseuses etc. in the phone book that you can contact legally? How is it that he happens to come across a prostitute to perform massages on him? Let’s say the man-ho actually is a great massager. Don’t you think it might APPEAR to some un-trusting, cynical blue staters, say, that this is a bit fishy? I would have to say that even the most rapture-addled red stater would have to find this a mite peculiar.

  2. 2
    David says:

    I agree that the Haggard incident is not a great cause for schadenfreude, if only because the person who fills the vacuum will likely be worse. Still, maybe some people will take the lesson about the ridiculousness of the religious right’s “homosexuality is a choice” position.

  3. 3
    Shygetz says:

    I guess my point is, if a major evangelical leader was going to get caught in a gay sex scandal, I would have preferred it to be James Dobson instead of Ted Haggard.

    Yeah, and I would have preferred to have a million dollars, but I’ll gladly take the $2.50.

  4. 4
    capelza says:

    I don’t know…I see Haggard on TV a lot, even though I tried to avoid him…he may not be Dobson, but he’s the sunny face of wackdom…I wonder how it will effect those gay marriage ballots in CO.

    Maybe the flock will start to turn on each other…the broad brush and all that.

    Though it saddens me, I wish he had been into something that really should be an issue. Of course, he and his kind are the ones who made it so…

    Love this…” potentially lethal dose of schadenfreude”..hope you get better soon, John.

  5. 5
    DougL says:

    Kinda puts this into a whole new light.

  6. 6
    Inactivist says:

    (Update *2x*) Rough Trade in the GOP

    Vanity Fair’s James Wolcott on what I also have always known:
    …all Republican men are privately, passionately, exceedingly gay.

  7. 7
    fwiffo says:

    Being that this story has roughly equal importance as John Kerry’s inability to tell a joke, it will be interesting to see if the number/ratio of front page stories about it will appear on, say, DailyKos over a similar period of time.

    I actually think this story will have more staying power, because it’s got all kinds of sordid sexy details that will drip drip drip out over time. For example, there were the following phases in the Kerry story:

    Kerry botches joke, GOP feigns outrage, prepared remarks show it really was a botched joke, Kerry gets really angry, GOP feigns outrage, nation heaves a collective groan, Kerry apologizes, GOP feigns outrage, polling finally shows that nobody fucking cares.

    By contrast, the Haggard story, which is only about a day old, has already had the following phases:

    Haggard outed, fierce denials, everyone points and laughs, details about meth/gay sex emerge, everyone points and laughs, news of voice mails emerges, Haggard resigns, everyone laughs, partial admission of guilt, more laughing, voice mails/transcripts go public, more laughing.

    We still have more to come:

    More sexy details emerge, bobbleheads speculate about evangelical turnout, pollsters poll about evangelical turnout, post-election post-mortum discusses actual non-effect on evangelical turnout, police investigate meth charges, church investigates sex charges, Haggard goes all Jimmy Swaggart, Haggard is booted from church and/or forgiven, divorced by wife and/or forgiven, people finally bore of story.

  8. 8
    Steve says:

    That’s a good Carpetbagger post. Adds some needed perspective.

  9. 9

    Jeff…Gannon…sleepovers…

  10. 10
    Pixie says:

    “Posting will be light today, as I am suffering from conjunctivitis and my eye is watering so much I can barely see- I hit the doctor yesterday, but am going to have to head back again today.”

    Jeez John, you might get better medical care if you reign in the physical violence. /rimshot

    But seriously folks, I hope you feel better soon :)

  11. 11
    srv says:

    Haggerd reportedly brags that he has a call with the WH every week. Now, is that a call with GW? I’m wondering if some phone sex was involved.

  12. 12
    ThymeZone says:

    Bill Frist called and said he has done a video diagnosis, John. According to him, your conjunctivitis is caused by using too many conjunctions in your posts.

    I’ll send you his number if you want to talk to him directly ….

  13. 13
    ThymeZone says:

    Not particularly apropos of anything, but has anyone notice how often and how hard this site is crashing these days?

  14. 14
    SeesThroughIt says:

    The Carpetbagger makes a very adulterous point.

    OK, Simpsons references aside, the Carpetbagger does raise a good point. And as somebody pointed out here yesterday, outings are, generally speaking, a bad thing as everybody, including assholes like Ted Haggard, deserves privacy. However, seeing somebody so anti-gay as Haggard get his comeuppance due to rank hypocrisy does indicate that there is at least a tiny bit of justice in the world.

  15. 15
    Andrew says:

    What I want to know is why Haggard didn’t just give himself some rohypnol so he could plausibly forget his meth-fueled gay sexcapades.

    It works for me, er, um. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus.

  16. 16
    Andrew says:

    What I want to know is why Haggard didn’t just give himself some rohypnol so he could plausibly forget his meth-fueled gay sexcapades.

    I, um, heard that works.

  17. 17
    Andrew says:

    What I want to know is why Haggard didn’t just give himself some rohypnol so he could plausibly forget his meth-fueled gay sexcapades.

  18. 18
    Zifnab says:

    However, seeing somebody so anti-gay as Haggard get his comeuppance due to rank hypocrisy does indicate that there is at least a tiny bit of justice in the world.

    Once again, wouldn’t it be great if getting outed wasn’t a national issue anymore? Then, perhaps, getting outed wouldn’t be such a spectator sport. If Ted Haggard doesn’t want to get caught with his pants down he has two options, A) Stop provoking the histeria or B) Practice the iron-clad celebacy he extolls. I think one of the reasons Dobson, Robertson, and Falwell have lasted in the public square as long as they have hinges on the fact that they may be fanatical enough to practice what they preach.

    As for Haggard’s liberal leanings… I do question whether that was Haggard himself or just the state of Colorado with him at the helm. When Global Warming and Torture become issues in the Evangelical church, it tells me not that ‘this leader’ or ‘that leader’ had the daring to lead the flocks from the cliff, but that the flocks themselves may be putting a lean on the shepherd.

  19. 19
    capelza says:

    Sees Through It..you know, I think outing someone if they are just someone trying to get through life, say a teacher who can NOT come out because they would lose their job…that’s a very bad thing..BUT, these outings of people like Foley and Haggard, and even Craig…screw them.

    It isn’t about being gay, it’s about the hypocrisy. Not just personal hypocrisy, but the kind that hurts all those other people who have come out or HAVE to stay on the closet because of the bigotry of those very same people. So, again, screw them.

  20. 20
    jcricket says:

    I had totally forgotten about this. Haggard was one of the ones leading the charge for proselytizing in the Armed Forces. I should have remembered the whole Colorado Springs/Air Force Academy connection.

    Again, these fuckers can’t get taken down by their own hypocrisy fast enough.

  21. 21
    jcricket says:

    I have little sympathy for Haggard, but I do for his family. Maybe later, when Haggard has a full reckoning, and publicly admits he was wrong, I’ll have some sympathy for him. He could have just been privately hypocritical, or just come out, if he wanted to avoid all this scrutiny.

    Remember, the big news isn’t that Haggard is gay. It’s that a married father of 5 who is the president of the National Association of Evangelicals and a constant public supporter of almost every anti-gay initiative out there, is himself not only gay, but having an affair, paying for sex and using drugs while doing that.

    He hit a grand-slam-hypocrisy home run, and I have no sympathy for him being exposed, especially when it was exposure by the person with whom he was “sinning”. There’s no “hooker/drug-dealer client confidentiality”. And from what I’ve read, Haggard also supported the whole “ex-gay”/conversion therapy movement, which does even more damage to gay teenagers than the his anti-gay-marriage, no-discrimination-protection-for-gays stance.

    Did we get all bent out of shape with the “outing” of Gary Hart? Falwell? Jim Bakker? Sure, it’s wasn’t being outed as gay, but as an adulterer, or corrupt preacher. I barely see the difference here. Is Bill Clinton entitled to privacy when he’s getting cheating on his wife with Monica in the oval office? Remember that Clinton wasn’t even a particularly big “moral preacher” type (i.e. he didn’t spend all his time saying that adultery was a sin). None of these people are entitled to the same level of privacy as non-public-figures, and a public figure’s outspoken status on certain issues only serves to heighten how much scrutiny they should receive.

    Outing will only go away when either: All the gay Republicans come out or when the Republican party stops the demonization and hatred of gays as a key plank of their party platform.

  22. 22

    I’ll ditto the “it’s the hypocrisy” shout, and illustrate with a different thing.

    Many, many years ago a major voice in the anti-gun crowd shot what he though was a prowler (neighbor kid taking shortcut IIRC) in his back yard with an unregistered handgun. It wasn’t the shooting or the discovery he had a handgun that made it newsworthy, it was the disconnect between espoused beliefs and actual behavior.

    “These people are sick and need to be locked up till they’re cured for their and our protection.” (Except me.)

    I don’t care what the subject is, the “except me” clause makes you fair game.

  23. 23
    zzyzx says:

    The first thing I check was what the fun people at the Rapture Ready board were saying. Sure enough there was a thread about it. Best quote?

    Why would Jones care about hypocrisy? Isn’t same sex attraction a form of hypocrisy? It mocks what God has designed us for – a female for a male. Haggard is a conservative Republican so I guess now is as good a time as any to try and influence the elections and disenfranchise conservative voters.

  24. 24
    Tsulagi says:

    Twenty-one stories on a botched joke? Without being bored to tears reading them, really, how many angles could you take on that “issue?” If that doesn’t tell you they got nothing…

    As far as Haggard, okay, he wasn’t batshit crazy on torture or global warming. But he brought the Patriot Pastor power to bear in other areas. Evangelical fundies on meth. Yeah, that’s what we need. Now he’s a victim of sexual McCarthyism to be pitied. Sure, why not. I’ll shed a tear for him just as soon as I stop laughing.

  25. 25
    DougJ says:

    Clinton knew Haggard was gay the whole time he was in office. He let this go on for 8 years. What a disgrace!

  26. 26
    Pb says:

    Hahah, those Rapture Ready loonies are priceless! Their current hope seems to be that he’s only guilty of being a meth user, but not of being *gay*!

  27. 27
    Bombadil says:

    Hahah, those Rapture Ready loonies are priceless! Their current hope seems to be that he’s only guilty of being a meth user, but not of being gay!

    This from CNN:

    A top evangelical leader who is accused of paying a male prostitute for sex admitted today he contacted his accuser “for a massage” and purchased methamphetamine from him. But the Rev. Ted Haggard said he never had sex with Mike Jones and threw away the drugs.

    Good call, Pb.

  28. 28
    capelza says:

    So he buys the drugs only to throw them away? Yeah…sure.

  29. 29
    Krista says:

    It wasn’t the shooting or the discovery he had a handgun that made it newsworthy, it was the disconnect between espoused beliefs and actual behavior.

    “These people are sick and need to be locked up till they’re cured for their and our protection.” (Except me.)

    I don’t care what the subject is, the “except me” clause makes you fair game.

    Exactly. It would be like if the head of PETA was caught scarfing down some rack of lamb. There’s nothing wrong with liking lamb, unless you’ve been running around shooting off at the mouth about how evil it is to eat it.

  30. 30
    DougJ says:

    What’s that old saying? You don’t buy your meth where you buy your gay sex.

  31. 31

    So he buys the drugs only to throw them away? Yeah…sure.

    No, capelza, it’s for real. It’s just that hey fell up his nose when he was throwing them.

  32. 32

    […] Then there’s John Cole’s take on the reaction from Red State, at which I ’bout split my sides laughing (links removed to avoid confounding Red State’s trackbacks): I have never heard of the man before today, but if you go check out Memeorandum apparently it is the BIGGEST NEWS EVER that Ted Haggard is gay.I guess this is the kind of thing that is news five days before an election when there isn’t a war or other major issues to talk about. Oh, wait… […]

  33. 33
    Krista says:

    I’m still just vastly amused to have heard (seen) Capelza saying “sucking cock”. That made my Friday.

    Yes, I’m pretty reliably amused by vulgarity. So sue me.

  34. 34
    Bombadil says:

    So he buys the drugs only to throw them away? Yeah…sure.

    And I’m sure Red State will be all over this as Haggard’s “I didn’t inhale” moment.

  35. 35
    Michael says:

    Haggard’s latest statement is priceless. Here’s the events according to him and integrating it with the voicemails that have been released.

    Staying at a hotel, he asks about getting a massage. The hotel recommends him to a gay prostitute. The prostitute also happens to be a meth dealer, who asks if he wants to buy meth. Haggard agrees, calling twice and wanting $100 to $200 dollars worth. Then after purchasing that much meth, he changes his mind and throws it away.

    Just hilarious.

  36. 36
    Jess says:

    Like many on the Left, I hope that someday gay Americans like Ted Haggard can live their lives without being harassed by the likes of, well… Ted Haggard.

    Well put. I guess the individuals outing these guys are just trying to help them do their job.

  37. 37
    SeesThroughIt says:

    So he buys the drugs only to throw them away? Yeah…sure.

    And I’m sure Red State will be all over this as Haggard’s “I didn’t inhale” moment.

    My thoughts exactly. For fuck’s sake, that’s about the lamest excuse he could possibly offer up. “I bought drugs, but I didn’t use them. I just wanted to have them around…you know, in case some dire emergency that only crystal meth would solve were to arise.”

  38. 38
    RSA says:

    And I’m sure Red State will be all over this as Haggard’s “I didn’t inhale” moment.

    “I only injected the meth into parts of my body not connected to my circulatory system.”

  39. 39
    Should be working says:

    Like many on the Left, I hope that someday gay Americans like Ted Haggard can live their lives without being harassed by the likes of, well… Ted Haggard.

  40. 40
    Tsulagi says:

    Okay, let’s sum up the Republican fighting team for God and country…

    A gay evangelical fundie leader on meth. A drunk Foley hitting on pages while twiddling himself. Speaking of which, Oxy-Rush stocked up on Viagra for a trip with the boys in the Dominican Republic. The head of the RNC? The homophobic closet homo Ken Mehlman.

    There’s some gold to be made here. A new video franchise: Republican Boys Gone Wild! The base would love it.

  41. 41
    Punchy says:

    he had contacted male prostitute Mike Jones “for a massage” and bought drugs from him.

    Oh dear Lord, this is the funniest excuse I’ve heard in some time. Because EVERYONE hires a hooker for a massage, and risks going to jail by buying drugs they had no intention of using….

    Ya know, instead of legally getting a masseuse (sp?) and a pack of cigs…that’d be way too much trouble, eh?

  42. 42
    Zifnab says:

    I just think this is incredibly suspicious coming out the week of the election. Clearly Ted Haggard is in league with the Democratic party purely to further the myth of global warming.

  43. 43
    yet another jeff says:

    I didn’t use the meth to get high, I just like the way it smells.

  44. 44
    Jon H says:

    Clinton had a Predator drone flying in Colorado Springs, but failed to order it to launch its gay-seeking missile at Haggard.

  45. 45

    Send Mike Jones to Gitmo!

    Staying at a hotel, he asks about getting a massage. The hotel recommends him to a gay prostitute. The prostitute also happens to be a meth dealer, who asks if he wants to buy meth. Haggard agrees, calling twice and wanting $100 to $200 dollars worth. Then after purchasing that much meth, he changes his mind and throws it away.

    Freedom is messy.

    A gay evangelical fundie leader on meth. A drunk Foley hitting on pages while twiddling himself. Speaking of which, Oxy-Rush stocked up on Viagra for a trip with the boys in the Dominican Republic. The head of the RNC? The homophobic closet homo Ken Mehlman.

    Yeah, but I’ll still take that over Speaker Pelosi any day. Do you realize she’d be third in line for the Presidency? I just don’t think our nation can afford the risk. So, gay hookers and junkies it is, then.

  46. 46
    yet another jeff says:

    All this and no one has speculated on whether Santorum was involved?

  47. 47
    Luke says:

    Before I even heard the evidence for Mike Jones’ claims about Haggard, I had the feeling that one of the most respected leaders within the Evangaelical movement had less credibility than a gay male-prostitute meth-dealer. As a former evangelical, I have truly gone through the looking glass in the past six years.

  48. 48
    howdy doody says:

    tsk…tsk..such rampant hypocrisy. All the king’s horses and all the king’s men can’t put this GOP back together again….like dominos they’re falling like flies.

  49. 49
    elephty says:

    …and don’t forget, all of this was Clinton’s fault. It’s as if his spirit continues to haunt the WH bringing shame on every good person who walks through the door.

    His evil spirit makes men want to torture other men, innocent and guilty alike. His wickedness made WTC 7 collapse, that and a few well placed detonations.

    His spiritual sickness made the entire federal government move like molasses when it was time to respond quickly to a national emergency.

    His life of sin caused good men to turn Medicare into a cash cow for insurance companies. His wayward ways caused prescription drug prices to go up four times before a meaningless discount prescription drug program was initiated, so that once again taxpayers would be the ones to pay for insurance premiums for pharmaceutical companies.

    His impure thoughts made our nation invade another nation that could barely defend itself. And when the media, publishers, legal societies, wannabe Confederates, and everyone else who hated America kept Clinton so distracted he could barely do his job he could only make certain that the terrorists who exploded a bomb in the WTC were sentenced to life in prison.

    The government would not be forced to spy on all of America’s communications if there were not so many Clinton sympathizers, and peace activists around.

    It was also Clinton’s ideas that perverted various religious leaders by tempting them with money, sex and drugs. How could these good men resist such manipulative and unbiquitous persuasion.

    Clinton personally taught each and every one of the republicans the fine arts of bribery, graft, fraud, intimidation, and secrecy. Yes, they don’t come much worse than satanic Clinton, do they?

  50. 50
    Crank says:

    I must have missed the part where the Republican party nominated Ted Haggard for President of the United States.

  51. 51

    If you haven’t already, take a look at Haggard’s chat with Richard Dawkins in Dawkins’ two-part special on fundamentalism for British TV, “The Root of All Evil” (part 1, about 21 minutes in):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQ8_bIji7gQ.

    Slimy as he is, Haggard had what I thought was an apt piece of advice for Dawkins: “As you age you’ll find you’re right about some things, wrong about other things. But please don’t be arrogant.” Then he offered to give Dawkins a massage… no, wait, I made that last bit up.

    Liberals seem far more outraged by this kind of rank hypocrisy than conservatives — perhaps because we’re already turned off by the holier-than-thou, self-righteous moralism of people like Haggard and Limbaugh, even before they’re unmasked as liars and hypocrites.

    I’m not sure that Haggard’s outing will really be all that positive a thing. The fact that the gay sex is linked to drugs may help confirm the evil of the former and support the position that the good reverend was led astray by the Devil. And coming this close to the election, it may not sink in enough to further impact fundamentalist voting.

    Do outings come in threes? Who’s next? Hastert? Rush? Rove? Santorum? Kirk Cameron? And what’s the twist — like teenagers or meth — that’ll make the situation sordid and illegal? Incest? Murder? The other party turns out to be a member of al-Qaeda? What if it turns out the person in question could have prevented 9/11 but didn’t because it would have meant risking the revelation of his gay encounters?

  52. 52

    I must have missed the part where the Republican party nominated Ted Haggard for President of the United States.

    That never happened. Haggard et al nominated Bush back in 2000.

  53. 53
    Brian Geoffrey says:

    Fwiffo was right on the money, baby!!

    “We still have more to come:

    More sexy details emerge, bobbleheads speculate about evangelical turnout, pollsters poll about evangelical turnout, post-election post-mortum discusses actual non-effect on evangelical turnout, police investigate meth charges, church investigates sex charges, Haggard goes all Jimmy Swaggart, Haggard is booted from church and/or forgiven, divorced by wife and/or forgiven, people finally bore of story.”

    Friday, Haggard resgined as president of the Association of Evangelicals. Saturday, his church kicked him out. Today, he admitted he was gay. Still waiting for the divorce. I guess the lawyers are all out of the office over the weekend. That’ll be coming this week. But damn, this story is moving through the news cycle like the Concorde!

  54. 54

    […] Light Posting By: John Cole   November 3, 2006 […]

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Light Posting By: John Cole   November 3, 2006 […]

  2. […] Then there’s John Cole’s take on the reaction from Red State, at which I ’bout split my sides laughing (links removed to avoid confounding Red State’s trackbacks): I have never heard of the man before today, but if you go check out Memeorandum apparently it is the BIGGEST NEWS EVER that Ted Haggard is gay.I guess this is the kind of thing that is news five days before an election when there isn’t a war or other major issues to talk about. Oh, wait… […]

  3. Inactivist says:

    (Update *2x*) Rough Trade in the GOP

    Vanity Fair’s James Wolcott on what I also have always known:
    …all Republican men are privately, passionately, exceedingly gay.

Comments are closed.