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Louis Theroux returns to anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church

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  1. Jock S. Trap 31 Mar 2011, 10:03am

    The BBC seem to easy and happy to promote this vile group and all it’s hatred.

    WBC must love it.

    1. Pink News is just as guilty as the BBC.

      Does a group with 70 supporters REALLY merit all the news stories Pink News has devoted to it over the past few years.

      1. I agree – Pink News is just a cut-and-paste opperation

        1. I suspect Pink News runs on a shoestring budget and can’t afford to be taken to court. We’ve seen the stories that could be developed from the comments board and yet they are not developed.

          Do you remember this announcement by Pink News:

          1. Has anyone also noticed that forums are closed on events are going through court? I cannot see why a forum would be considered affecting the outcome of a trial.

          2. @Spanner

            I suspect there is comment barred on some stories that are sub judice for two reasons.

            1) In some cases there are court ruling that there should be limited reporting, and by having a forum that is not monitored it is impossible for PN to comply with such court rulings. I think it might be better if restriction on comment only applied to such cases and there was a brief mention of the court ruling in the PN reporting.

            2) PN probably has limited resources and does not want to take the risk of litigation if accused that one of the forums hosted on a journalism site had a negative impact on court proceedings.

      2. @David

        It is my view that – ok, maybe it merited the first programme and comments on the freedom of speech debate that was held in the Supreme Court – however, I can’t see what is gained by allowing the diatribe of vile, insidious, bigoted individuals to have significant air time (even when balance is provided by Theroux).

        I think when the BBC budgets are stretched they could spend their money in far better ways.

        The only thing I hope is that the idiotic beliefs (bet you didnt expect that Jock!) of WBC are exposed (and ridiculed!) by a balanced journalist.

  2. As the article says, they thrive on the publicity. Don’t give it to them. Let them be forgotten.

    1. Jock S. Trap 31 Mar 2011, 10:15am

      Exactly and my licence money payes for them to advertise WBC but not for 90 secs but for 60 bloody minutes.

      1. Would you have known about this show if Pink News had decided against advertising it.

        Shame on Pink News for promoting bigotry.

        1. Not at all, it gave me another reason to slag off the BBC.

        2. Jock S. Trap 31 Mar 2011, 4:06pm

          Yes actually I already had noticed it in next weeks tellybox guide.

          Your right though.

        3. @David

          Whilst I condemn the production of the programme and am entirely repulsed at the behaviour and vile statements of WBC, I don’t think we can blame PN for either.

          Ok, some people would not have known about the programme if PN had not reported it. However, the programme would have still been transmitted and some people watched it. Failure to report would have meant some of us could not have condemned the programme.

          If you extend the argument that PN should not report this story because of the bigotry and oppression of WBC – then that means you do not expect PN to report on any such bigotry or offensive actions. In my view, that would be a failure of journalists. Reporting is what journalism is about – the fact they have means we can comment – here and elsewhere.

          1. My arguement is that Pink News should not keep reporting on this family for the simple reason that the WBC is utterly irrelevant.

            There is 70-80 members in this church.
            Their ENTIRE influence arises from the fact that the media keeps reporting on them.

            If Pink News and the BBC (and the other media outlets) stopped reporting on them then they would fade to nothing.

            They are too small and irrelevant to exist without the media bigging them up all the time,

          2. @David

            I get your point – but the fact is the BBC are reporting and it would be remiss if PN did not comment on the BBC documentary (and to a certain extent to the content).

            If you want to criticise any organisation I would suggest the BBC was more appropriate for their waste of resources

      2. Rashid Karapiet 8 Sep 2011, 5:57pm

        I’m afraid any comment from the pseudonym ‘Jock S. Trap’ merely demeans the subject commented on. It’s time this gentleman grew up if he wishes to be taken seriously.

  3. These poor creatures from the Westboro Baptist Church should be sectioned and given professional care.

    1. Unfortunately for the poor creatures, the mental health approach in some states in the US is not as community based as it is here so if mental health services are invovled there is a greater risk of secure detention

  4. It should be good. Louis’ laid back approach will, no doubt, really get up their noses.
    Also this is fun. Only the Aussies could pull this off.

  5. Oops – wouldn’t allow the link.
    It’s on youtube with an Australian reporter fancying a member of Westboro Baptist Church.

  6. Vote with your feet, don’t watch this!

    i love Theroux but why give these monsters airtime.

    1. Jock S. Trap 31 Mar 2011, 10:33am

      I won’t but we are still paying for it.

      1. If it was not for Pink News promoting this show then I would not have known it was on air on Sunday.

        Pink News are just as guilty as the BBC of spreading the WBC’s message of hatred.

        The WBC has 70 members (yes 70!!!!!!!!!)

        1. Hang on, go easy on PN.

          Their aim is to provide news concerning the LGBT community and they do a good job of it. The organisation may only have a small following but the truth is that PN has been proactive in bringing their atrocious ideals into the light – I can’t fault that.

          Also, they’re representative of a much larger and stronger right-wing nutjob block in America and so the old saying “know thy enemy” is possibly pretty relevant right now.

          1. 19.1% of PN readers are from the US, that’s over 12,000 readers and the reason they are not commenting now is because they are still in bed.

            PN has to give them some air time.

          2. Jock S. Trap 31 Mar 2011, 4:14pm

            You make a good point Mendirin. It is the BBC with Our money that is paying for this program and showing it in a Primetime slot.

          3. Here here Mendirin

            The remit of PN is to report LGBT related news, or matters of concern to LGBT communities – like it or not this story fulfills that remit.

    2. Stevieeeeeeee 31 Mar 2011, 10:40pm

      yeh but surely the programme shows the rest of the world what absolute c**ts they are?

      well, unless you happen to read the daily heil.

      1. Only if the rest of the world buy it ….

  7. jamestoronto 31 Mar 2011, 10:35am

    “…and its antics have resulted in members being barred from entering the UK.”

    The WBC has been barred from entry in Canada as well for promoting hate and delivering hate speeches.

    Wonder where else they have been barred entry to?

    1. There is a campaign to get them banned from Australia

    2. Wish we could get them banned from the US and stuck on some island out in the middle of the Atlantic.

      1. No thats moving them nearer to the UK!

  8. The “family” have been failing to show up for pickets a ton lately, but will surely get out there with him watching. Giving them publicity is going to make more people suffer. Nothing new to learn about this chess pool anyways…

    1. Cess*… Or however it is spelt my autocorrect is not happy.

  9. Obviously when Jesus arrives he will need a Police cordon to ward off these fruitcakes.
    I really fancy Louis Theroux!

    1. @Riondo

      I suspect there would need to be more than a police cordon …

      Louis Theroux – Never thought he was sexy … but then he was at a wedding I went to and he is sexy and funny

  10. Why is Louis Theroux giving these monster the publicity they so crave?

    Why is the BBC giving these monsters the publicity they so crave?

    Why is PINK NEWS giving these monsters the publicity they so crave?

    I want Pink News to stop reporting on this cult. Pink News should not be promoting and advertising this group.

    There are 70 members in the cult,

    They are nothing.

    While media outlets like the BBC and Pink News continue to devote airtime and headlines to this group, they can continue to promote their message.

    1. I think WBC should be starved of the oxygen of publicity…
      or simply starved of oxygen would suit me just fine too.

      1. Seconded, Flapjack!

      2. Jock S. Trap 31 Mar 2011, 4:16pm

        I think the BBC should be thinking who it represents when it makes and airs a program like this clearly knowing it will provoke the LGBT community. Then isn’t that what the BBC do best?

        1. @Jock S Trap

          While I entirely agree with you, and I think the BBC should have directed their resources elsewhere – I can only hope that whilst antagonising the LGBT communities the broadcast will expose WBC (again!) for what it is – a vile, vitriolitc , prejudiced, small bunch of bigoted idiots – and enable some viewers to have empathy with the LGBT community.

          Ultimately, it would have been a documentary that may have been better not made.

          1. Why does a family group of 70 members require exposure.

            What malign influence or power do they hold that they must be exposed.

            They are an entertaining freakshow that have zero influence.

            Ignore them and they will go away.

          2. Jock S. Trap 1 Apr 2011, 12:32pm


            Esp when we have more numbers than that of laughable religious Nutjobs in this country.

      3. Stevieeeeeeee 31 Mar 2011, 10:45pm

        with due respect flapjack, its not like they’re getting extra members. they’ve had only 80 inbred members for the past decade and will continue to do so.

        but you do make a good point :P

    2. @David

      It may seem pedantic but PN are not publicising WBC – they are allowing us the opportunity to have justifiable protest at both WBC and the waste of BBC resources on such a documentary. Failure to report this would have been a failure of journalism in my view. Journalists should report things we support and things we don’t – we should form our opinions on them and respond accordingly (in this case in protest I would hope). Saying the PN should not report this is quasi censorship in my view which is damaging – where do you stop – do you not report the homophobic violence, do you not report the religious bigots in the UK, do younot report LGBT domestic violence? I don’t like any of those things either – but I would implore PN to report them – partly because by raising awareness we can protest and we expose ignorance

      1. You make a valid point Stu, but in the case of WBC is there anyone who doesn’t already know they’re a bunch of homophobic media whores who picket people’s funerals to get maximum global press coverage?
        I’m always in two minds about reporting on WBC for that reason… they don’t care about the public approbrium they garner, they actually thrive off it.
        Short of actually arresting them (which no-one’s prepared to do due to the daft caveats governing the 1st amendment) the only means of slowing them down is to stop humouring them by sticking cameras in their faces.
        Like all bullies, their payoff is that people give them media attention and get riled by their antics. If they actually cared what anyone else thought of their disgusting behaviour they would have stopped what they were doing years ago.
        The only other way to stop them is to amend the 1st amendment.
        The only other reason I can think of to give them airtime is to show people the ugly face of homophobia.

        1. @Flapjack

          There may be some (but I doubt many gay people) who do not know of WBC. They are clearly everything you say and worse.
          You have a very good argument about the oxygen of publicity for WBC and that depriving them of it may slow them down. I think it would set a potentially dangerous precedent – but I can see there may be some benefit.
          Perhaps we should be encouraging our govt to pressurize the US and our friends in the US to seek amendment to their constitution.
          However, I do think that the BBC are wasting resources on this second documentary and I think the PN are right to raise the issue for us to debate and consider.
          It does however remind us of the ugly face and insidious nature of homophobia

  11. On the whole I approve of giving airtime to these grotesques. I loved the last programme because it vividly showed what lunatics they are. They are very bad publicity for religious extremism.

    1. I disagree.

      The WBC are so extreme they make other religious extremist monsters like Christian Voice and the catholic cult and the bog-standards evangelical christians – look more reasonable.

      If you compare the WBC and that disgustingly bigotted couple who were barred from fostering because of their belief that homosexuality is a sin, then the similarities are clear. Both believe that we are an abomination.,

      However the christian couple, because they speak in milder, seeminly more reasonable language (‘love the sinner, hate the sin’ type nonsense) give the false impression that their monstrous opinions may have merit. Simply because compared to the WBC they sound more compassionate. They are not, however.

      The WBC act as a smokescreen to allow other hideous bigots seem calm and reasonable.

      1. @David

        So how do you judge what is too extreme?

        Do you believe in free speech for journalist and a free media, or do you believe in censorship?

        I think the documentary is unwise – the BBC have already given enough oxygen of publicity to WBC. However, its incumbant on PN to report on this.

        1. of course I believe in free speech.

          But it is not incumbent on either the BBC or Pink News to report on this family.

          They are a family / church with 80 members.

          They have zero influence or power. They are nuisances.

          How does it affect any of our lives that they are in existence.

          They picket funerals. That is disgusting. But with only 80 members the number of funerals they picket is miniscule.

          They threaten a lot – they threatened to picket Liz Taylor’s funeral and like idiots Pink News ran a story on it.

          Pink News played right into the WBC’s hands. If they get reported on every time they make an idle threat then they don’t even need to picket any more.

          Stop reporting on these idiots.

          Stop being manipulated by them.

          Stop playing their game.

          1. @David

            I agree the BBC are wasting resources in this documentary as they appear to be repeating a lot of what they demonstrated previously albeit after some time has passed – I guess demonstrating they are still entrenched in their vile views. I dont think that justifies a further lengthy documentary.

            However, PN did not choose for the BBC to make this documentary and they are showing sensible journalism by reporting the BBC making this programme

            Its a hard balance to get right, we often complain the media are not exposing enough homophobia ….

      2. @David

        I agree WBC make other Christian groups (some of whom are labelled extreme, and some of that labelling I would agree with) look timid and friendly in comparison (although they are clearly far from LGBT friendly).

        I don’t think most LGBT people believe that The Christian Institute is less bigoted, perhaps their tactics and approach are more palatable to wider society – but they are still bigoted.

        We should condemn the WBC, sure. We should confront other bigots, absolutely.

    2. I second that. Anybody in their right minds is not going to support this bunch of fruitloops. The more exposure they get for their vile behaviour, the more chance there is that they will eventually get shut down.

      1. @Spanner

        I agree these extremists do not deserve ANY support

        Any publicity of them should be to expose their idiocy – but the BBC have already done that.

        However, I do think PN are right to expose the BBC documentary and have a duty to report on it.

    3. Jock S. Trap 1 Apr 2011, 9:20am


      If that was the case then why do they always focus on foreign Nutjob when we have plenty here in our own country?

      1. No idea. Ask the BBC. We certainly have plenty of them, you are right.

        1. Jock S. Trap 1 Apr 2011, 11:22am

          I’m all for making some of the minority religious groups here looks laughable, the Church of England, Catholics…

          1. No need to make then look laugable, they are quite capable to achieving that themselves; without even having to try.

            But I agree, lets wind them up; untill they spin themselves into an outer orbit of incredulity.

          2. I agree both that it is for the BBC (and the wider media) to explain why they are concentrating on WBC and not exposing others closer to home whether they be extremists in the CofE, RC church or evangelical organisations or bizarre cults like the Jesus Army. I also agree that the more extremist aspects of these groups are capable of making themselves look bizarre and laughable without any significant help.

  12. The WBC are masters at media manipulation.

    From the amount of press coverage they receive it would be seem that they are a group with power, influence and a lot of support.

    With 70 members they are clearly a nothing organisation comprising of the members of 1 family who have been physically amnd mentally abused by the patriarch of the family for years.

    We all know this,

    You’d think that media organisations would be clued up on this.

    Actually it’s 100% certain that the BBC and Pink News and all the other media outlets know this.

    I guess they just like the publicity reporting on this family creates for them.

    1. I think Louis should give equal airtime to their estranged sibling Nate Phelps, just to leave the audience in no doubt about what kind of people we’re watching.

      1. Absolutely Flapjack

        Representative journalism and all that

        If they are going to make the documentary – make it truly representative

      2. Jock S. Trap 1 Apr 2011, 9:23am


        Totally agree with that. In fact why both with WBC at all?

        Just have a program about this estranged siblings full stop. I’d watch that.

    2. @David

      Not sure the WBC are masters of media manipulation. They certainly know how to court and attract attention. But if they were masters of manipulation then the media would be working in such a way that it gave a different tone to the oxygen of publicity that they have – the numbers of the group havent increased – the ridicule they receive is global. Few (certainly none right minded) people endorse them or support them. Doesn’t sound like what I understand as media manipulation.

  13. ”the second coming of Jesus is imminent.” – clearly Christ is a Gay Man – no hetro bigot can ‘come’ more than once – Evolve you retarded crackers.

    1. Although not the language I would usually use – very witty

    2. Thank you for my morning laugh, John. Good one!

  14. Aside from this story let’s have a reminder of some stories from 2011 on Pink News.
    Is Pink News on a retainer?
    Does the WBC pay Pink News for every story that’s run about the church?

    March 25 Elizabeth Taylor ‘fashionably late’ for own funeral
    March 23 – God Hates Fags church to protest at Elizabeth Taylor’s funeral
    18 March – Son of anti-gay pastor Fred Phelps claims he abused family
    March 3 – Sarah Palin slams US Supreme Court decision on ‘God Hates Fags’ church
    March 2 – US Supreme Court allows ‘God Hates Fags’ funeral protests
    Feb 25 – Anonymous takes down ‘God Hates Fags’ church websites
    24 January – ‘God hates fags’ church furious at film about anti-gay murderer
    12 January Arizona prevents anti-gay church picketing killed 9-year-old’s funeral

    1. @David

      How many of these stories suggested PN supports WBC

      How many of these stories would you have censored>

      1. I wouldn’t have censored any of them.

        I would have just deemed them unnewsworthy and unworthy of reporting on.

        I don’t thihk it is news, or in the public interest to run repeated stories about a family which has zero influence, power or respect and who live 5000 miles away.

        Why not report on the Tunbridge Wells Guild Hall. That has more supporters and more influence than the WBC.

        Pink News reports on these idiots because they provoke a reaction.

        Don’t kid yourself into thinking that the WBC enjoys any level of infuence or respect or validity in the world.

        1. @David

          I know WBC have no influence globally.

          Thats simply evidence that media reporting has no positive impact on them – no growth in group, no additional support.

          I think reporting on some of their actions is appropriate. I dont think this BBC documentary is – partly as it wastes resources. If we don’t have some media coverage of their cowardly heinous bigotry then people forget that they are so insidious and become weak in their views on them. I don’t think that a lengthy documentary is necessary to remind people.

  15. Part of me agrees that we are giving this lot more attention and publicity than they deserve, but then again, this lot only reinforce what debase religious nuts there are out there and might actually do us (and humanity!) some good. They are universally reviled people, a carnival freak show of the lowest common denominator, and the fact they label themselves as Christian will only push moderate Christians into a more egalitarian and anti-discriminatory mind set. Perhaps.

  16. A programme on where their money comes from would be interesting. After all if they use banks aren’t they commiting the worst sin of all investing in American capitalism? God hates fag banks too. 70 people need a lot of income to travel to all those funerals.

  17. What’s with all this slander against PN and the BBC? If you want to live in ignorance, don’t come here, and don’t watch the TV, the’re both just doing their job, PN in highlighting stories relevant to LGBT issues and the BBC is showing a controversial documentary intended to shock and entertain for ratings. Neither is advertisement, and even if they were, what morons do you thin would actually join the cause of the WBC?

    1. Jock S. Trap 31 Mar 2011, 4:17pm

      And we are debating it. Thats what these comment pages are for.

      1. Absolutely

        PN news have given us the opportunity to debate it – some will have known about it before the PN article – but we can agree (or disagree) about some or all of this.

        The idiots in WBC would not permit us this debate.

        We can criticise WBC (a lot), the BBC (a reasonable amount) but I can’t see how an argument PN should have kept this silent holds water in a liberal society.

        So yeah Jock I agree one of the major positives is that we are debating it

  18. They have brought the US down to the gutter.

  19. Spanner, I agree with you, although I’m sure it has to do with covering one’s arse in the event of any potential lawsuits aimed at Pink News by WBC. The U.S. is arguably the most litigious society on the face of the earth.

    The BBC shouldn’t be giving credence to WBC by airing anything relating to it. I remember when Thatcher banned the IRA from using the British media. The BBC supported it. Pure hypocrisy.

    1. Jock S. Trap 1 Apr 2011, 9:26am

      That’s the BBC for ya.

      It is time to sell them off and give the rest of us the choice of if we want them or not like other channels.

  20. Interesting comments…….but how many of you will actually watch this programme….i know i will……

    1. Jock S. Trap 1 Apr 2011, 9:28am

      I’ll be washing my hair.

  21. For the 7676767th time.

    The WBC has 70 members!



    I can’t think of another group (or family as they are more accurately described) gets such widespread coverage despite thei utter irrelevance.

    1. Jock S. Trap 1 Apr 2011, 9:29am

      Exactly. It shows those that shout loudest make the news.

      1. “Empty vessels make the loudest noise.”

        1. Jock S. Trap 4 Apr 2011, 9:56am

          An even better way of putting it!

  22. Sounds like another Waco seige could be on its way.

  23. Stop giving these cretins who promote evil in the name of a patriarchal religion any more press.

  24. Hodge Podge 31 Mar 2011, 5:49pm

    I’m in two minds- Louis’ manner makes him the best person to get inside the church and see what’s going on, but at the same time all publicity is good publicity for them. If they’re cracking up as this article makes out, maybe that will be good to expose. I’m afraid I’m going to end up watching it out of sheer curiosity.

  25. This isn’t journalism, it’s entertainment. Fair enough, Theroux has created a niche in hanging out with nutjobs to create ironic documentaries. His main misdemeanour is lack of originality. The last really funny or interesting film he did was years ago. His return to Westboro smacks of his own desperate publicity seeking by giving these wackos a platform for their offensive views purely for ratings. Leave them to each other, i say

    1. I agree the BBC programme is entertainment – bad taste entertainment that they shouldnt have funded.

      PN are reporting (ergo providing a journalistic service) on both the programme and that the BBC have made it – which is wholly honourable

  26. So; the Westboro fruitbats think Jesus’ second coming is about to happen? Hopefully, they’ll all seal themselves in a remote cave somewhere to wait it out and end up as an archeological find 1,000 years from now. That way they’ll at least do the world some good.

    1. Having watched the BBC documentary (OK, I’m as prone to rubbernecking a trainwreck as the next person) it seems that was one of their plans for the future, the other one (depending on changes to the first amendment) was to move to Jerusalem to straighten out the Jews and to explain to them what Mel Gibson previously explained at length to his arresting officer.
      If they choose the latter option, it’s a fairly safe bet that they’ll have bitten off more than they can chew. But I’m guessing they’re all mouth and no trousers.

      1. I’d pay good money to see the Israeli security forces handle that one

        1. Quite – In the words of Bill Hicks “I’m thinking that’s going to be quite a short gang battle”

  27. Well they’re doing something right to get all these comments while a man murdered in his home gets 2. Fcuking idiots

    1. What can you say about a man murdered in his home – other than its tragic and I hope the police catch the offender? I have made a comment there in any event

      There is a lot of more greyness in terms of opinion (potentially) at least regarding the PN reporting this and the BBC making the programme.

      Most people condemn WBC

      Its human nature that as its easier to talk about there will be more comment

      Re the murder – its tragic I hope the police solve it – but there is little information about it and that might be a good strategy investigatively – I wouldnt want to speculate other than to say its tragic

  28. WBO smacks of desperation and lack of originality. It goes beyond easy documentary making. I expect more of an evidently talented man. There is a whole world out there with stories to expose rather than this. It is a shame that Louis and the BBC are re-visiting this.

    1. Jock S. Trap 2 Apr 2011, 11:10am

      WBC and BBC both smack of desperation and lack of originality.

  29. KrisManapaw 3 Apr 2011, 9:04pm

    Anyone else find it strange that we can ban 2 far-right religious homophobic nutjobs from enterring the UK< but we can't expel Islamic-extremist hate preachers?

    1. Jock S. Trap 4 Apr 2011, 9:55am

      Oh yes, something definitely wrong their.

      1. Yeah although it is easier to legally bar someone from entering than it is to expel, there is definitely something wrong if we can not deport extremist hate preachers

  30. The WBC are the biggest ‘offline’ Trolls EVER. And the rule when it comes to trolls is : Do not feed them. If you stop giving them attention they will go away.

  31. WBC really are evil, just look at their ZIP code! :P

    The antics of WBC were brought to my attention by a mate, who also reads PN.

    How can a small minority of folk show so much hatred? And teaching little kids to hold placards. Do they really know what it all means? I doubt it.

  32. Errol Semple 10 Feb 2012, 1:51pm

    The sick become sicker.

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