Beliefnet News

Adelle M. Banks
Religion News Service
Texas megachurch pastor John Hagee has successfully worked with copyright lawyers to get more than 120 videos featuring him removed from YouTube.
The development was reported by The Huffington Post, whose blogger Max Blumenthal discovered that a video he had made at Hagee’s Christians United for Israel conference last year was among those removed from the popular video Web site.
Juda Engelmayer, a spokesman for Hagee, confirmed that the videos had been removed.
“They were anything that contained clips of sermons, clips of activities happening at CUFI or John Hagee Ministries events,” he said.
Hagee is the outspoken pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio.
After his controversial comments about the Holocaust and Catholics were carried on the Internet, Sen. John McCain rejected Hagee’s endorsement of his presidential race.
Blumenthal criticized the move as “a naked exercise in news suppression.” Engelmayer would not respond directly to the comments of Huffington Post writers but said the removal of videos followed particular criteria.
“It wasn’t done on a targeted basis,” he said. “It was done strictly on a formulaic basis of whether it fit certain criteria.”
He said the removal was not timed to the upcoming annual summit of Christians United for Israel, July 21-24 in Washington.
Rather, he said Hagee’s daughter read a story about a studio that had successfully challenged YouTube and had material removed, sparking the work by lawyers several months ago.
Blumenthal wrote in a Huffington Post blog that his “Rapture Ready” mini-documentary “contained no copyrighted material whatsoever.”
Asked about that complaint, Engelmayer said, “I have not studied the video, so I can’t speak to his video at all.”
Copyright 2008 Religion News Service. All rights reserved. No part of this transmission may be distributed or reproduced without written permission.

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