Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Fred Price's 20/20 Vision

Today's Los Angeles Times reports that ABC is being sued by Creflo Dollar:

Preacher sues `20/20,' alleging defamation

BYLINE: Alana Semuels, Times Staff Writer

The Rev. Frederick K.C. Price may have two Bentleys, but a spokesman for his 22,000-member church says his Palos Verdes house doesn't boast 25 rooms and he definitely doesn't own a helicopter. A lawsuit Price filed Tuesday claims that ABC's "20/20" defamed him when it suggested otherwise, portraying him as a "hypocrite and thief" who financed an extravagant lifestyle with church funds.

Price, founder of the Crenshaw Christian Center, was featured in a "20/20" segment about well-heeled televangelists titled "Enough!" that the suit says "devastated, embarrassed and greatly humiliated" the 75-year-old. The suit also names Walt Disney Co., which owns ABC, and "20/20" co-anchor John Stossel.

In the March 23 segment, "20/20" ran a clip from a sermon Price delivered 10 years ago and displayed a still photo of the preacher as Stossel interviewed an activist who keeps tabs on how ministries spend congregants' donations. The suit calls the use of the clip "one of the most outrageous instances of 'out of context' editing in the history of television."

In the clip, Price declares, "I live in a 25-room mansion, I have my own $6-million yacht, I have my own private jet and I have my own helicopter and I have seven luxury automobiles."

In the full sermon, according to an excerpt provided by a spokesman for Price, he prefaced that by saying, "I was pointing out that there is such a thing as bad success. I said bad success is...." The sermon, which the suit says aired on Disney's Lifetime network, was about the importance of being a good Christian, and Price was quoting a hypothetical person with great material wealth who failed to follow a righteous path.

...ABC spokesman Jeffrey Schneider said he couldn't comment on the suit but noted that the network had run two retractions, one on "Good Morning America" and the other on "20/20." ABC also posted a retraction on its website.

"We did make a full retraction and apology on the air and certainly regretted the error and made that very clear to Rev. Price," Schneider said.

You can read some of Price's statements over the years at many websites, including the one at this link.


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