CNN journalist and television program host Anderson Cooper has denounced televangelist Pat Robertson for his recent remarks regarding "gay rings."
On a segment titled "The RidicuList," the host of "Anderson Cooper 360" said Wednesday evening that Robertson was "that elderly relative who you only see at Thanksgiving." "He doesn't get out of bed much and he's sitting around the table and he suddenly blurts out nonsensical sentences in between chewing on soft foods," said Cooper.
Cooper was responding to a recent claim made by Robertson on the conservative Christian's program the "700 Club" that some gays give people AIDS via a type of ring.
"You know what they do in San Francisco? Some in the gay community there, they want to get people so if they got the stuff they'll have a ring, you shake hands, and the ring's got a little thing where you cut your finger," said Robertson. "Really. I mean it's that kind of vicious stuff, which would be the equivalent of murder."
"Really?" remarked Cooper, "A ring that somehow gives you AIDS? I've never seen that particular section at Zales, have you?"
As pointed out by Cooper, since making the comment Robertson has attempted to clarify his remarks, stating to the Atlantic Wire the reasoning behind the "gay rings" statement. "In my own experience, our organization sponsored a meeting years ago in San Francisco where trained security officers warned me about shaking hands because, in those days, certain AIDS-infected activists were deliberately trying to infect people like me by virtue of rings which would cut fingers and transfer blood," said Robertson.
"I regret that my remarks had been misunderstood, but this often happens because people do not listen to the context of remarks which are being said."
Cooper also showed a series of video clips of what he dubbed "Pat Robertsonisms," which were various gaffes the former Christian Coalition head and social commentator had made recently.
"Thank you, Pat Robertson. You are a true crusader. And we definitely didn't consider just permanently changing this segment to 'The Pat Robertson List,' although it does have a certain ring to it," said Cooper sarcastically.
Last month, Robertson said on an episode of the "700 Club" that he wanted Facebook to create a "vomit button" that he could press when seeing gay couples kissing on photos uploaded to the social network.
"I'm not one that switches on 'likes' on Facebook so it's hard to say, but what you're saying is, 'Yes I like this kind of thing.' You've got a couple of same-sex guys kissing," said Robertson. "You like that. Well, that makes me want to throw up. To me I'd want to punch 'vomit' not 'like,' but they don't give you that option on Facebook."