Documentary Media Coverage
In 2001, Sundance Channel aired the film A Union in Wait, a documentary about same-sex marriage directed by Ryan Butler. Phelps and members of Westboro Baptist Church appeared in the film after Phelps picketed Wake Forest Baptist Church at Wake Forest University over a proposed same-sex union ceremony.
In 2005, the British satellite company British Sky Broadcasting produced an investigative piece using hidden cameras, which included footage of two of Phelps' granddaughters, Libby and Jael. In the testimonial, Libby and Jael explain that they hope and pray that no one outside of Westboro becomes "elect", because they want everyone else in the world to die horribly and burn in Hell, and that even if they did not believe their actions were dictated by God, they would still do and enjoy them anyway. The interview was not part of the hidden camera segment, and although much of the footage was taken without the knowledge or permission of Westboro, the church maintains a link to the entire report on its website.
On April 1, 2007, the British television channel BBC Two broadcast Louis Theroux' The Most Hated Family in America. Theroux has presented a number of documentaries about unusual or unconventional people and groups in the UK, the US and elsewhere. A follow-up documentary by Theroux, America's Most Hated Family in Crisis, broadcast in the UK on April 3, 2011.
The website godhatesfags.com was prominently featured in The Jeremy Kyle Show, a talk show aired on the ITV network in the United Kingdom on June 5, 2007. Church members Shirley and her daughters had been invited to express their beliefs live via satellite. On the show, Kyle criticized the Phelps for their beliefs and referred to the Phelps' children as "completely and utterly brainwashed" and to Shirley herself as "deranged".
In the June 21, 2007, Channel 4 documentary Keith Allen Will Burn in Hell, by Welsh personality Keith Allen, in which Phelps-Roper and some of her children agreed to appear, Phelps-Roper is shown admitting on camera that her oldest son, Samuel Phelps-Roper, was born out of wedlock. Allen found hypocritical Phelps-Roper's vocal condemnation of strangers having sexual congress outside of marriage while she herself was guilty of the same.
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Famous quotes containing the words documentary and/or media:
“If you want to tell the untold stories, if you want to give voice to the voiceless, youve got to find a language. Which goes for film as well as prose, for documentary as well as autobiography. Use the wrong language, and youre dumb and blind.”
—Salman Rushdie (b. 1948)
“One can describe a landscape in many different words and sentences, but one would not normally cut up a picture of a landscape and rearrange it in different patterns in order to describe it in different ways. Because a photograph is not composed of discrete units strung out in a linear row of meaningful pieces, we do not understand it by looking at one element after another in a set sequence. The photograph is understood in one act of seeing; it is perceived in a gestalt.”
—Joshua Meyrowitz, U.S. educator, media critic. The Blurring of Public and Private Behaviors, No Sense of Place: The Impact of Electronic Media on Social Behavior, Oxford University Press (1985)