Ted Haggard is probably just sort of gay (i.e. kinky and sex crazed) AND in desperate need of a new publicistThree things that Ted Haggart and his publicist need to realize about awesome lies, half confessions, and being gay.
1. This secondary admission of guilt is not particularly believable: "I did buy meth from that male prostitute, I took it home, but I threw it out and did not take it." In fact, if Pastor Ted was aware of the baseball steroids issues he would know that statements like this scream guilt of TAKING drugs, not just getting them and having them around.
What he should have said is that he did not just take some but that he took so much that he was in an altered state of mind for three years. Conveniently, this would cover up whatever sexual acts he may or may not have had as well as providing an easy out of all the really terrible things he has said and done the past few years. More on this later, in my forthcoming Ted Haggart profile blog post (coming soon).
2. If you are accused of paying for sex, the absolute last thing you should say is that all you did was receive a massage. Anyone who is anyone knows that massage is code for paying for sex. I remember when the asian massage place by the Holiday Inn in Montpelier, OH got shut down when I was in high school. That's when I learned about this. Anyone who ever sees the newspaper, has ever been on Craig's List, or driven by an airport know that paying for sex is illegal, paying for massages is legal. So if you pay for a massage, hit it off with the Masseur, and they decide to perform a range of sexual acts on you, well...just consider it all included. Also, someone should tell Pastor Ted and his publicist that asking a man if he wants a massage or asking a hotel clerk if he can refer someone for a massage is often enough code for gay sex. Often, coming right out and asking a man if he wants to have sex or asking someone if they know of any good prostitutes is too forward, so massage is code.
On the phone Jonny suggested that maybe Ted did really just want a massage, wasn't aware of the "ways of the world," and as such was probably surprised, apparently pleasently, by what ended up happening. While I don't believe Ted is so naive, this is the perfect line for Ted to take in his admission of guilt. While he could easily partner this with the altered states of consciousness argument proposed above, he could also say that he was ashamed by the pleasure he took in the original accidental/massive miscomunication "full service massage" he received and so he never said anything to anyone. He could even get his friend Dr. Dobson to give him some psychological explination of pleasure and guilt and why he would be drawn into some sort of pleasure/guilt routine with the guy.
3. While just partial admissions may seem like the best line of action at this point, Ted and his publicist need to have some forsight. Eventually Pastor Ted has to realize that no one cares about the guy who probably did solicit a male prostitute while constantly decrying the moral depravity of homosexuals. BUT there is an absolute cash-cow, bring 'em down to the alter, redemption sermon/book deal/new ministry waiting just a few years down the road. If I were his publicist I would have Ted do some meth right now, then come out and say it is all true, he has been living two lives and is addicted to drugs and to sex. Then you have him go away for a while, get drug treatment, meet with all of the evangelical "make gays straight" people. Then he patches up his wife. Then he writes the book about how Jesus delivered him from a life of torrid gay sex and drug use. He's probably not getting his church back and will definately not be the head of the NAE but he will surely make some cash, change some lives, and get on TV, which is what he was probably after all along anyway.
I will spend my day off this weekend reviewing some old Ted Haggart stuff, specifically an article in Harper's that I referenced on here a couple of years ago. I want to write more about Dr. Dobson's changing statements about his friend (going from a complete denial of the claims to his now softened statement that sure sounds like Ted called and confessed some things). But for now, check out these links which don't always deal with the hard news of this and more with the absurdity of it all.
1. This is from the SFGate Blog and is scathingly funny and, most importantly, has links to Haggart's conversation with Richard Dawkins that makes all Christians look remarkably stupid.
2. From the gay community we have this story on 365Gay.com titled "It Was Just a Massage, & Some Meth Pastor Now Says." This is probably one of the better summary stories about the events thus far but fail to catch the difference between the two Dobson statements.
3. Finally, I can't believe it, but there are already shirts available for this. No dirty pictures but Jesse Brown and my mom would not find these shirts to be funny or appropriate. My favorite is probably the second one. If you must know.
Edit: Liza's blog is amazing. She has the news changes and coverage set.