Maddow Cites Wrong Segment in Own Show to Tie Inhofe to 'Kill the Gays' Bill in Uganda

March 16th, 2012 11:02 AM

During an interview with Sen. James Inhofe (R-Ok.) Thursday, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow referenced the wrong segment in her December 3, 2009, show to accuse her guest of having a hand in Uganda's "Kill the Gays" bill.

Ironically, she did so to also accuse the Senator of taking HER out of context in his new book "The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future" (videos follow with transcripts and commentary):

RACHEL MADDOW, HOST: One of the things that`s buoyant and happy in your book is that you pretty gleefully talk about criticism you have received as a senator. I was very flattered that in a couple of different times in the book, you talk about me mentioning you on the show. You specifically called me out on a show that I did where I talked about you December 3rd, 2009. Did you actually watch that show that you mentioned in the book?

SENATOR JAMES INHOFE (R-OKLAHOMA): You have to repeat it. What happened on December 3rd?

MADDOW: December 3rd, 2009, I mentioned you on my show, and you, twice in the book, write about how I talked about you on my show. I`m wondering if you actually saw the show or somebody just gave you --

INHOFE: Well, I`m sure I did. But, you know, this book is 320 pages of fine print. I can`t remember exactly what happened on that date. If you tell me, I`ll tell you whether or not, you know?

MADDOW: It`s the part about me, so I just wanted to -- you made it seem in your book I went after you because you had just gone to the Copenhagen summit.

INHOFE: Oh, I see.

MADDOW: That wasn`t what I was talking about actually on most part of the show that night.

Here`s what we did on the show that day and what we talked about. I just want you to see it now.


MADDOW: The Family, of course, the secretive religious organization that runs the dormitory for lawmakers in Washington is led by a man named Doug Coe. Republican Senator James Inhofe credits Doug Coe with launching his own activism in Africa.

INHOFE: Doug Coe has always been behind the scenes and very quiet. He talked me into going to Africa, I had no interest in going to Africa.

MADDOW: Religious conservatives saw Uganda specifically as a place that they can some real influence. Uganda`s first lady became an emphatically born again Christian. Her husband, the president, is believed to have serious ties to the Family. Same goes to the ethics minister of Uganda, as well as legislators there. Senator Sam Brownback traveled there to look into the AIDS issue in 2005. Senator James Inhofe made at least 20 trips to Africa just since 1999, mostly to Uganda, as well as Ethiopia.

In March of this year, a group of three American evangelicals traveled to Uganda for a conference on the evils of homosexuality. There message was that homosexuality is a choice, that it can be cured by a relationship with Jesus. There`s been a dual effort under way here -- anti-gay proselytizing by American evangelicals and assurances from conservative American politicians that we can solve that nation`s AIDS problem.

The culmination of these efforts, this massive focus on Uganda is a piece of legislation that`s been introduced in that country now that attempts, it says, to tackle the AIDS problem in that country and the problem of homosexuality all at once. It`s a bill that calls for the execution for any gay Ugandan who`s HIV-positive who was caught having sex, death by hanging specifically. And it`s not just gay Ugandans, who are HIV positive who are being targeted. The sentence just for being gay is life imprisonment.

This bill was written by a Ugandan legislator, reportedly taken in by Senator James Inhofe and the Family here in America. We`ve been repeated calls to the offices of Senator James Inhofe and Senator Sam Brownback, we have yet to hear back from either of them on this issue, despite the fact they`ve been so proudly outspoken on issues affecting Uganda.


MADDOW: Senator, when you talked about that show in your book, you made it sound I was going after you for Copenhagen. But that was the actual context, and that "kill the gays" bill is back now. I`m wondering if you want to weigh in on that issue for the first time publicly and say if you`re for it or against it?

INHOFE: Are you saying, are you suggesting, Rachel, I want to make sure everyone understands this -- that I am for executing gays? That I somehow knew something about what their philosophy is over there and what they`re doing legislatively?

I know Uganda, I now Ethiopia, I know Ghana, I know Benin, I know Africa better than anyone else certainly in the United States Senate. I`ve spent a lot of time over there. I`ve developed close relations over there.

And when 9/11 happened, I was -- since I was the only member of the Armed Services Committee who knew where Africa was, and we were making a decision to get into Africa to help train them to resist all the things coming into the state, into the country, into the continent. That`s what I did. So I do know Africa well.

As far as Doug Coe is concerned, you know, I think, when you hear about persecution for the sake (INAUDIBLE) I can`t think of a better example. I wish you knew Doug Coe. I`ve never known anyone in my life that just loves everyone. You know I see him persecuted and my heart bleeds for him. I do -- I`m sorry you did that. That`s way out of --

MADDOW: I did that in 2009. That`s what you were quoting me from totally out of context. I mean, the reason I`m asking --


INHOFE: Then I go with what I said. I think it`s really bad. When you go after a guy like that just because he believes -- I`m sorry, go ahead.

MADDOW: The "kill the gays" bill sponsor has brought the bill back now. He`s telling reporters as of last month that the whole idea for the "kill the gays" bill came from, as "the New York Times" put it, quote, a conversation with members of the Fellowship, aka, the Family in 2008 --

INHOFE: No, it`s just wrong.

MADDOW: This is what he says. This is how he explains where the bill came from.

INHOFE: Who is he?

MADDOW: This is David Bahati. He says he was told by Americans that it was too late in America to propose such legislation. That`s David Bahati speaking to "The New York Times."

INHOFE: And can you tell me who he is? I`ve never heard of him.

MADDOW: David Bahati was described as The Family and The Fellowship`s key man in Ugandan. Did you ever talk to any Ugandan legislators --

INHOFE: How would I know if -- how could -- I don`t have any idea who you`re talking about. And I certainly don`t have any idea on these accusations of executing gays.

You know, let`s talk about the book. Let`s talk about something to do with global warming instead of getting off on these hysterical things.

MADDOW: Certainly, sir, this isn`t hysterical. This is the context in which you brought me up in your book, totally out of context. And so, I`m trying to redress something that`s wrong in your book. I wasn`t talking about Copenhagen when I brought you up. I was talking about Uganda and your contacts with Ugandan legislators and influential people in Uganda who claim their relationship with American conservatives such as yourself, associated with the Fellowship, is how they came up with the "kill the gays" bill. That`s why I`m asking you.

Actually, this was NOT the context in which Inhofe brought Maddow up in his book. Beginning on page 105:



On December 3, 2009, just days before the Copenhagen climate conference, Rachel Maddow aired a five-minute segment featuring me, the "unmovable" denier:

ANNOUNCER: Yes, elections do have consequences. Senator Inhofe just won reelection last year. So we’ll be in the shadow of this mountain until at least January 3, 2015.

RACHEL: Two questions for you Kent. Number one: his middle name is actually Mountain?


RACHEL: Not a TMI invention?

KENT: For real. Mountain. James Mountain Inhofe.

RACHEL: Did he also really suggest that the Weather Channel was trying to boost its ratings?

KENT: He said they’d like that. Yeah, that’d be great. They’d love it if we were afraid all the time.

Rachel’s segment was one of the last major efforts to go after me just days before I landed in Copenhagen and declared vindication, but as I said at a bloggers’ luncheon at the Heritage Foundation when they asked me what I thought about the clip, “You know, I’ve really grown to like that gal. She thinks she’s saying such hateful things about me, but they’re all true”224—including the Mountain part. Mountain is my mother’s maiden name. If I was indeed a “mountain of indignation” for global warming activists, as Rachel’s segment claimed, it was only because I was a vehicle for the truth and that was an insurmountable obstacle for them. For all the time, money, and effort that they poured into their message that global warming was man-made and catastrophic, Americans were starting to see the truth: the science was not settled and their “solutions” were dead on arrival.

It appears that either Maddow didn't read Inhofe's book, or someone on her cracker jack staff didn't realize that later in her December 3, 2009, program, she and MSNBC's Kent Jones had a lengthy discussion about the Oklahoma Senator.

Bing Videos even refers to it as "Getting to Know Sen. James Inhofe":

MADDOW: Because there has been so much political change in the past year, the political headlines, they are often populated by people you might not have heard of before recently. So as a public service, we have tasked our own intrepid Kent Jones with figuring out the salient details of who some of these folks are. It is tmi. And tonight we feature someone who came up earlier regarding his involvement with American evangelicals in Uganda. Kent, Kent, tell us who it is. Tell us who it is.

KENT JONES, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Well, it is of course, Conservative Republican Senator James Inhofe. And the more I‘ve learned about him, I don‘t know where he gets time for Uganda. Check it out.

MADDOW: All right.


SEN. KENT INHOFE, OKLAHOMA: It is not the tarp Program anymore. It‘s the SOAP program, spend it money on anything program.



JONES (voice-over): No tax and spend liberal big government acronym will get in the way of Senator James M. Inhofe. The M. stands for mountain. No, really, his name is James Mountain Inhofe. And what a mighty unyielding alp he is. All the others are just foothills.


INHOFE: I get criticized for being critical like this nobody else would do it, somebody has to tell the truth.


JONES: The 75-year-old Oklahoma republican told as a life insurance executive, a state senator and mayor of Tulsa before being elected to the u.s. Senate in the Newt Gingrich revolution of 1994. Washington, meet senator god, guns and gays.


INHOFE: In the recorded history of our family, we‘ve never had a divorce or any kind of a homosexual relationship.


JONES: Is this kind of inclusive nonjudgmental world view that got Inhofe re-elected three times. The voters of Oklahoma giving him a clear mandate against change. During the Bush years, Inhofe was free to roam with the full backing of the White House.


INHOFE: The president did a good job.


JONES: But now that Obama and the Democrats are in charge, the mountain has become a volcano of indignation like, how could those sneaky democrats possibly vote on health reform on a Saturday night?


INHOFE: What are our people doing on Saturday night? They‘re not watching TV, they‘re not listening to radio, they‘ve got ball games, they‘ve got other things that American people do on American way on a Saturday night.


JONES: How could this so-called president possibly close the prison at Guantanamo?


INHOFE: There‘s never been a document in case of torture in Guantanamo. This is all a fabrication of the terrorists and those individuals in the Middle East who tried to make it look like we‘re torturing people.


JONES: During his ten years in office, Inhofe also voted no on expanding kid‘s health insurance, no on implementing the 9/11 commission recommendations, no on requiring background checks on sales at gun shows and said that the birthers, quote, “Had a Point.” But since he became chair of the environment and public works committee, the senator has become most famous for this.


Since 2003, I have been the lead senator standing up and exposing the science, the cause, the hysteria beyond global warming alarmism.


JONES: For Climate Change Activists, James Mountain Inhofe is an inconvenient truth.


INHOFE: You‘re going to see a lot of desperate things that they‘re going to try to do. But that one, as we said in Oklahoma, that dog‘s not going to hunt.


JONES: Desperate alarmists. Not like when cool, collected Senator Inhofe compared the environmental protection agency to the Gestapo or when he likened Clinton‘s epa administrator Carol Browner to Tokyo Rose. Or when Inhofe says, global warming is a myth perpetuated by the weather channel to boost ratings.

Inhofe also famously declared that global warming is, quote, “The second largest hoax ever played on the American people, after the separation of church and state.”


It‘s not whether or not we‘re going through a global warming period. We were. We‘re not now. You know, God is still up there. We‘re now going through a cooling spell and the whole like issue there was, is it man-made gases? Anthropogenic gases, CO2, methane? I don‘t think so.


JONES: As for the upcoming climate change summit in Copenhagen? Oh, he‘ll be there.


INHOFE: Now, I‘ll be traveling to Copenhagen. Leading what has been called in the medium as the true squad despite the millions of dollars spent by Al Gore, the Hollywood elites, the United Nations, the climate alarmists has failed.


JONES: Ah, yes, Al Gore, his great climate change nemesis, the yang to Inhofe‘s yin.


INHOFE: Well, it seems that --


UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Senator Inhofe, we‘ll freeze the time for a minute.

INHOFE: Take your time.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Senator Inhofe, we will be freezing the time for a minute.

INHOFE: Why don‘t we do this? At the end, you can have as much time as you want to answer all the questions.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: No, that isn‘t the rule. You‘re not making the rules. You used to when you did this. You don‘t do this anymore. Elections have consequence...


JONES: Yes, elections do have consequences. Senator Inhofe just won re-election last year. So we‘ll be in this shadow of this mountain until at least January 3rd, 2015.


MADDOW: Two questions for you Kent.


MADDOW: Number one, middle name actually mountain?


MADDOW: Not a TMI invention?

JONES: For real. Mountain. James Mountain Inhofe.

MADDOW: Did he also really suggest that The Weather Channel was trying to boost its ratings?

JONES: Well he said they would like that, yes. It would be great.

They would love it if we were afraid all the time.

MADDOW: My girlfriend Susan is here tonight.


MADDOW: And Susan is obsessed with The Weather Channel. And honey, I don‘t want you believe it. I don‘t want him to hurt your feelings. He didn‘t mean it. Take that you, Senator Inhofe. Thank you very much Kent. I appreciate it.

JONES: Sure.

This was the segment Inhofe referred to and quoted in his book. As you can see, it did indeed address the upcoming Copenhagen climate conference just as he stated.

As such, it appears Maddow not only has no idea what's in Inhofe's book, she's also clueless about what's broadcast on her own show.

Did I mention she's a Rhodes scholar with a Ph.D?