Fact Check

Did Pat Robertson Say 'Melania's Nude Pics Are Pure Art'?

"They are a true work of art precisely because they emphasize the beauty of women," the televangelist supposedly declared.

Published Aug 2, 2016

TV evangelist Pat Robertson described nude photographs of Melania Trump as "pure art that shows the beauty of God's work."

On 1 August 2016, the web site Politicops (now Newslo) reported that TV evangelist Pat Robertson had commented at length on years-old nude photos of Melania Trump, a former model and the current wife of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, which had recently been republished in the New York Post. Robertson supposedly described the images as "en [sic] epiphany for men around the world, and especially for her husband" before going on to compare them to artistic masterpieces:

Asked to elaborate on his take on the naked pictures in question, Robertson argued that the best part about them, “aside from the obvious beauty of Mrs. Trump,” was the fact that they “were not vulgar,” and that they represent “art in its truest form.” “I’m certainly no expert, but if you look at ancient art and the renowned artists of the ancient times, they all somehow focused on the beauty of the human body,” the televangelist said. “And in that regard, Melania Trump’s pictures are no different. In my mind, those pictures emphasize the all the beauty and glory of God’s work, since after all, we were all made in His image. And I dare say, God was obviously particularly careful and inspired when He was sculpting Mrs. Trump.”

“Therefore, even though many view those pictures as provocative or flat out vulgar, I disagree. To me they are no different than Michelangelo’s David or the beautiful drawings of the Sistine Chapel. They are a true work of art precisely because they emphasize the beauty of women, and it just so happens that in that particular instance, the model happened to have been Melania Trump,” Robertson continued praising the photos. “And to all those who dispute them and Mrs. Trump along with them, I say this: What if we were to have a naked gay couple in the middle of doing business instead of Melania’s gorgeous body? Would that be better?”

That putative quote was eventually immortalized in memetic form:

The quotes were wholly fictitious, however. Politicops and its companion site Newslo describe their content as "hybrid news/satire," often running articles that begin with a factual paragraph before spinning off into no-holds-barred satire. In this case, the factual introduction pointed out, accurately, that Pat Robertson had addressed the controversy over Melania Trump's plagiarized RNC speech by observing on his TV show that she wore a "beautiful dress" and was "absolutely gorgeous" during her convention appearance:

Previous satirical articles on Newslo and related websites have had Pat Robertson claiming that rock singer David Bowie was kidnapped by demons instead of dying and urging that gay people wear specific colors so they can easily be identified by straight people.

David Emery is a West Coast-based writer and editor with 25 years of experience fact-checking rumors, hoaxes, and contemporary legends.

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