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Rachel Maddow Confronts GOP Sen. Inhofe on Climate Change and ‘The Family’, But She May Have Erred

Rachel Maddow Confronts GOP Sen. Inhofe on Climate Change and ‘The Family’, But She May Have Erred

by Karen Ocamb on March 16, 2012

Rachel Maddow interviews Republican Sen. James Inhofe on March 15, 2012 (Screen capture from MSNBC)

Rachel Maddow fans have been waiting for this encounter with conservative Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe or someone from the antigay ‘C Street” gang since Maddow first started talking with author Jeff Sharlet  in 2009 about the antigay politically-connected religious group known as “The Family” and their apparent efforts to “counsel” Republican members through their various sex scandals.  In his July 21, 2009 article for Salon “Sex and Power inside ‘the C Street House,’” Sharlet specifically mentions Inhofe.S

The shadowy group became less of a curious sex scandal-tainted joke when ‘Family’ members were linked to Uganda’s “Kill the Gays” bill. Maddow confronted Inhofe about that during her extensive interview – most of which focused on Inhofe’s new book ostensibly debunking climate change. She raised the point in the context of Inhofe’s reference to Maddow in his book, in which, she said, he inaccurately said she attacked him for attending the climate change summit in Copenhagen.

“Did you actually watch that show?” she said. “I’m sure I did, but I can’t remember exactly what happened on that day,” Inhofe replied.

“That wasn’t what I was talking about,” Maddow said.

Maddow then played a clip from her Dec. 3, 2009 show in which Inhofe was discussed in the context of the infamous bill in Uganda – which calls for the execution of gays in some situations. The bill has recently been re-introduced. The clip shows illustrated tied between Inhofe and to Doug Coe, leader of The Family. But Newsbusters notes that, in fact, in that Dec. 3, 2009 show, she did talk later about Copenhagen. (See videos and more below)

From the Huffington Post:

“Senator, when you talked about that show in your book you made it sound like I was going after you for Copenhagen, but that was the actual context,” she said. “I’m wondering if you want to weigh in on that issue for the first time publicly.”

“Are you saying, are you suggesting, Rachel — and I want to make sure that 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?” Inhofe responded. “I wish you knew Doug Coe. I’ve never known anyone in my life who just loves everyone … I am sorry that you did that.”

Maddow then quoted from a recent New York Times article on David Bahati, the legislator in Uganda who is the prime mover behind the bill. The article described in further detail Bahati’s ties to religious and political conservatives in the U.S.

“I don’t have any idea who you’re talking about,” Inhofe said. “Let’s talk about something to do with global warming instead of getting off on these hysterical things.”

“This isn’t hysterical,” Maddow said. “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.”

Here are the segments from the Thursday night, March 15  show, starting with Maddow explaining a climate change controversy that Inhofe believes and that opens their interview:

Maddow on the climate change controversy with Inhofe:

Maddow challenging Inhofe on The Family and the “Kill the Gays Bill”:

Here’s an excerpt from Newsbuster Associate Editor Noel Sheppard’s reporting at Newsbusters in which then-Maddow show correspondent Kent Jones talked about Inhofe, Copenhagen and climate change at the end of that Dec. 3, 2009 show:

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?

BTW – lest we forget – here’s a sample of Al Gore and the award-winning Inconvenient Truth about climate change:

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

creld March 18, 2012 at 9:44 PM



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