ABC Gives Disgraced Pastor Platform to Bash Religious Right

<p><object width="250" align="right" height="202"><param name="movie" value="http://www.eyeblast.tv/public/eyeblast.swf?v=yduzSU2G8z&amp;sm=1"></para... name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="http://www.eyeblast.tv/public/eyeblast.swf?v=yduzSU2G8z&amp;sm=1" allowfullscreen="true" width="250" align="right" height="202"></embed></object>ABC has apparently never heard that phrase, &quot;There are two sides to every story.&quot; On Feb. 1, &quot;World News Sunday&quot; helped shamed former-pastor Ted Haggard take shots at the Christian conservatives who he says &quot;shunned him.&quot;</p> <p>Reporter Dan Harris introduced the piece by qualifying Haggard as a former &quot;insider, a powerful pastor at the highest levels of the Christian conservative movement.&quot;</p> <p>Haggard, who made headlines two years ago for getting caught in a gay sex scandal, is now offering advice to the Christian conservative movement; and ABC gave him the megaphone. Here is a portion of Harris' interview with Haggard:</p> <!--break-->   HARRIS: But now, two years after he was fired in a sex and drug scandal, Haggard is back with some frank criticism of a movement he now says is <b>off course</b>. In his first broadcast news interview since he was brought down by a gay sex scandal, Ted Haggard says the movement <b>he once helped lead has gone too far to the right. </b> <p>            HAGGARD: I think the religious right is increasingly impotent right now in America. And that it's going to have to return to the gospel in order to regain strength. </p> <p>           HARRIS: How is it impotent? Because -- </p> <p>           HAGGARD: Well, this last election demonstrated that the only thing it did that it's proud of is proposition eight in California. And that's <b>not much to be proud of.</b></p><p>Harris offered no follow up question regarding Haggard's ironic statement that the movement, and not Haggard, is the one &quot;off course,&quot; or how a statewide majority passage of proposition eight is &quot;not much to be proud of.&quot; Instead, Harris allowed Haggard to continue preaching about the &quot;mistakes&quot; of the church. </p> <p>&quot;Just as the church made a horrible mistake, several centuries ago, insisting that the earth was flat, I think the church may make a major mistake in our generation saying that sexuality should be this, and nothing else,&quot; Haggard declared. Instead of asking whether or not a flat earth and a deceitful pastor who hid a gay sex scandal can even be compared, Harris followed up with &quot;You think the church should tell people its okay to be gay?&quot;</p> <p>Just moments earlier, Harris pointed out that Haggard used to &quot;rail against homosexuality,&quot; showing clips of Haggard preaching that &quot;Its written in the Bible,&quot; that homosexuality is a sin. </p> <p>As a journalist, Harris might well inquire whether Haggard ever believed what he preached, or whether he should be considered credible now. But Harris continued to paint Haggard as a victim. &quot;Haggard is still bitter at the way he says he was treated by fellow church leaders after the scandal,&quot; Harris said. &quot;Not just fired, but shunned.&quot; </p> <p>That statement set up Haggard for this hardball question: &quot;You think there's a gap between the leaders of today's evangelical church and what the gospel preaches?&quot; he asked Haggard. </p> <p>&quot;Yes I do,&quot; responded Haggard.</p> <p>If ABC tried to interview anyone Haggard accused of straying from the gospel, the three minute report didn't mention it.</p> <p>Harris ended the segment with this doozy: &quot;Some have said that the Haggard case is proof that religion and politics do not mix. Haggard says Christians should be involved in politics, only with a <b>more moderate tone</b>.&quot;</p>