Fact Check

Did Pat Robertson Say 'Staring' at Melania Trump 'Can Heal Gays'?

A 'hybrid' fake news site built on real comments made by Pat Robertson to assert the televangelist said looking at Melania Trump could 'cure gays.'

Published Feb 21, 2017

 (A Katz)
Image Via A Katz
Televangelist Pat Robertson said "staring" at First Lady Melania Trump could "cure gays."

On 17 February 2017, the Newslo web site published an article reporting that televangelist Pat Robertson had said "staring" at First Lady Melania Trump was an activity sufficient to "cure gays":

When Christian Conservative leader Pat Robertson discussed the RNC convention in his TV show “The 700 Club” last July, he managed once again to turn the topic to controversy surrounding Melania Trump’s speech. Robertson had agreed with many people when he said, “Trump’s speechwriter should be fired for doing — or borrowing a few lines from Mrs. Obama.” But then the televangelist got creepy when he started discussing Mrs. Trump’s appearance, when he said, “We mentioned the language in that speech, although she was absolutely gorgeous and I think that’s why they wanted to put her on. She had a beautiful dress and she’s a lovely lady. Trump knows when he’s got a winner.”

Lately, he’s been at it again. On the most recent episode of his show, the televangelist argued that the sole reason the mainstream media is targeting President Donald Trump is, once again, his wife. Robertson opined that the beauty of First Lady Melania Trump is so incredible that “just by staring at her for a period of time, one can rid themselves of the plague of homosexualism.” “You know how there used to be this urban myth that men can prolong their natural lives just by staring at naked female breasts for 10 minutes a day? Well, this is sort of something similar to that, with one crucial difference: it’s not an urban myth,” Robertson said. “She’s an actual gay whisperer, that one.”

Newslo (along with sister sites Religionlo, Politicops, and Politicalo) typically combine a tiny grain of truth with a balance of lies, as was the case in the above-quoted material. Newslo's trio of fake news sites include a button allowing readers to “show facts” or “hide facts," but since by default all their content displays in “hide facts” mode, most visitors are not aware of the fictional embellishments they add:

In this case, Pat Robertson's remarks about Mrs. Trump's being a "lovely lady" were genuinely something he said on CBN on 16 July 2016, but the balance of the Newslo article was fabricated, and Robertson never referred to Mrs. Trump as an "actual gay whisperer." Robertson is a frequent target of Newslo and its brethren, where segments from the 700 Club are regularly embellished to create share-worthy fabrications.

Kim LaCapria is a former writer for Snopes.