The New Christians

The New Christians

I’ll Be Watching Haggard Tonight

My friend, Patton Dodd, has a piece up on Slate in advance of Alexandra Pelosi’s HBO documentary, The Trials of Ted Haggard, premiering tonight.  Patton used to work for Haggard and New Life Church, primarily as a writer and editor, so he writes about Haggard with some authority.  Money Quote from Patton:


Two years have gone by with little more than occasional peeps from Haggard, and now he’s back in The Trials of Ted Haggard, an HBO film directed by Alexandra Pelosi, a sort of sequel to her Friends of God,
that documents Haggard’s dreary life in exile–no job, no home, no
friends, no ministry. Earlier this week, when CNN’s Anderson Cooper
interviewed Pelosi, he tried to open with a question about the fallen
minister’s “spiritual restoration.” Pelosi interrupted Cooper before he
could finish the question, saying she couldn’t speak to Haggard’s
mental or spiritual condition. Fair enough. But Cooper’s question is
the right one–for journalists, for Haggard, for his former church, and
for countless other congregations that have suffered similar betrayals.


I spoke to Patton on the phone last night, and one of the more vexing questions in my mind is this: Why is Ted Haggard promoting a documentary about himself?  It seems odd, doesn’t it?  Would Roger Smith promote Roger & Me?  Definitely not. 

I’d like a journalist to ask Pelosi and/or Haggard what is the financial arrangement between them, and that might color how we all view this “documentary.”

Regardless, I’ll be watching it tonight.  And I’ll be interested to read all of your comments here.

Comments read comments(4)
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posted January 29, 2009 at 12:27 pm

I really enjoyed watching Ted and his family on Oprah yesterday. I thought they gave a very straightforward, candid interview. Seems like he’s a guy who has learned there’s no real benefit in trying to hide things anymore.
As far as the financial relationship between he and Alexandra Pelosi, I don’t think I care if he got paid for the “documentary” or not. After seeing parts of it yesterday, the guy needs to do SOMETHING to bring some income to his family.
Ted Haggard gotta eat!

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posted January 29, 2009 at 12:48 pm

Speaking as a member of the Colorado Springs community, it is difficult to see Ted back in the spotlight, at times playing the victim. I think the money question is a very fair one at this point. What other reason could lead him to drag all this back up again?
Ted certainly isn’t the only one in the wrong, but he hurt a lot of people who are getting lost in the shuffle. This whole new wave of Ted in the media hurts all of them all over again.

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posted January 29, 2009 at 3:04 pm

Pelosi asserts that she didn’t originally intend to make an “official” documentary about Haggard; it simply evolved out of those home videos. Only later in the process did she approach Haggard about giving her a release to pitch the film to HBO.Haggard was not paid in any way for the shooting of the film. His only revenue from the film came from HBO asking him to make time for various media ops to help promote the film — such as Wednesday’s appearance on Oprah and a Thursday night appearance on Larry King Live.
From CT

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posted January 30, 2009 at 12:36 am

Encephalic not Phallic
My two cents –
Haggard would have been wise to stay out of the public arena. The reasons have less to do with his body’s preferential allocation of blood flow to his genitals than they do to his – apparent – lack of blood flow to the brain. I feel bad for the guy. But seriously, Oprah? She worked him over good to get a non-Clintonesqe out-of closet-proclamation. Really I could care less which room he is in. I just don’t understand how he can step in front of a camera so quickly knowing how sensitive the post-Bush era American is to hypocrites.
I am jealous, I guess. When I have been shamed and -more painfully- when I feel as though I have shamed others, my brain becomes diametrically opposed to its body. Just the thought of being around others is debilitating. It is hard for me to understand how this guy could be contrite and on national TV by his own choice. That’s what bothers me – the fact I just don’t get it.

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