The Ted Haggard story was an interesting example of high-profile lying. The footage of him being interviewed in his car on Friday, with his wife and kids, was especially powerful stuff. Check out the video, if you haven’t seen it yet: Haggard interview (WMV file).
But that interview was actually the second act (or so) in this three-act public tragedy (or comedy, depending on your sympathies). First came the earlier interview, from last Wednesday, in which Pastor Ted claimed not to know his accuser. Check that out here: Deborah Sherman on her two Ted Haggard interviews (WMV file).
If you just watch the second interview, in the car, it’s hard not to believe the guy is telling the truth. There’s a directness, an affected artlessness, to his manner, that is really compelling. He just exudes trustworthiness. Which shouldn’t be shocking, I realize, for a highly successful televangelist.
What happened between the first and second interviews is that his accuser produced audio recordings of Haggard’s messages, left on the accuser’s phone, and audio experts indicated that the voice probably was Haggard’s. It was Monica’s blue dress all over again. Haggard’s second interview put as good a face on things as he could, but with that first interview already out there, there was no way to reconcile the two statements. And once you realized that in at least one of those two statements Haggard had to be lying, it was all over.
And so today we got the third act. Haggard had the following read aloud to his former congregation at Sunday service: Statement by Ted Haggard.
The last four days have been so difficult for me, my family and all of you, and I have further confused the situation with some of the things I’ve said during interviews with reporters who would catch me coming or going from my home. But I alone am responsible for the confusion caused by my inconsistent statements. The fact is, I am guilty of sexual immorality, and I take responsibility for the entire problem.
I am a deceiver and a liar. There is a part of my life that is so repulsive and dark that I’ve been warring against it all of my adult life.
So, there you go. Think about that, people, the next time someone seems oh-so-trustworthy, oh-so-sympathetic. Surely Pastor Ted, of all people, couldn’t be lying to me.
Actually, yeah, he could.