HBO’s The Trials of Ted Haggard debuts tonight

Tonight at 8 p.m. ET, HBO debuts The Trials of Ted Haggard, Alexandra Pelosi’s documentary that explores the former National Association of Evangelicals president and former minister’s current life. Now, he’s a traveling insurance salesman; last year, he was fired and/or resigned from his posts after having an affair with a male prostitute and buying meth, which were ironic considering his anti-gay rhetoric. HBO calls the 41-minute documentary “an intimate look at the life and hard times of the ex-minister.”

Haggard has been all over the media promoting the film, on Oprah yesterday and Larry King tonight, and recently, another man that Haggard allegedly had an affair with has come forward. Earlier this month, Haggard told TV critics in Los Angeles, “Now that we’ve got the freedom to answer questions, we want to answer questions,” and Pelosi said that he “had an agreement with the church that he would not tell his story, and he was recently released from that.”

Alas, he wasn’t very good at answering questions in person, repeatedly dodging questions about his sexual orientation (“I think sexuality is confusing and complex,” he said, saying he’s undergoing a “very positive, constructive process” and is “thoroughly and completely satisfied with my relationship with my wife”). But he also said, “I now know more about hatred than I’ve ever dreamed. And I know it doesn’t help. And I know about judgment, and I know it doesn’t help,” adding later, “We are in a world that’s short on love and high on hatred and judgment, and I’ve gotten it from every side. I get it from the religious side as well as the unreligious side, and I just think we can all improve.”

Haggard’s daughter Christy said more with fewer words. “We were more judgmental than we are now, and people were hurt by us. And I know that a lot of people deserve a very sincere apology from our family because we are all the way we are for a reason,” she said.

The Trials of Ted Haggard [HBO]

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In an era of Tinder and Grindr, instant acceptance or dismissal of a potential partner, or instant sex with another body, Married at First Sight offers the thrill of watching strangers deal with the very basics of relationships.

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.