Rachel Maddow vs. Richard Cohen: Watch It Now

By Christine Cupaiuolo — December 9, 2009

Make yourself comfortable. You’re not going to want to move for the next 15 minutes.

Rachel Maddow invited Richard Cohen, who claims he can “cure” homosexuals, on her show Tuesday night. Passages of his book “Coming Out Straight” — unscientific, debunked, ridiculously accusatory passages — are being used to justify proposed legislation in Uganda  that calls for executing gay men and women either living with HIV or who are “serial offenders” (whatever that means).

Anyone convicted of a homosexual act faces life in prison under the Uganda bill, and anyone who ”aids, abets, counsels or procures another to engage of acts of homosexuality” faces seven years in prison.

Cohen insists that he is not a proponent of the legislation, but Maddow doesn’t let him off the hook:

“I realize I was taking the risk of helping promote you and the way that you think about these things by putting you on the air,” says Maddow, “but I do think that you’ve actually got blood on your hands.”

For more background on what’s going on in Uganda and the connection to influential right-wing members of Congress, read the transcript of this “Fresh Air” (NPR) interview with Jeff Sharlet,  author of “The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power.”

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3 responses to “Rachel Maddow vs. Richard Cohen: Watch It Now”

  1. That Cohen guy reminds of the Catholic Church and its hate the sin not the sinner crap. The idea that we can separate identity from action — which seems to inform the Uganda law as well — is a true source of bigotry … And reflects, at best, the blindness of privilege and power.

    Rachel took a risk here — and at first I thought his ickily smooth talking might win the day. But she slowly and precisely exposed him, which is Rachel at her best.

  2. I think the part that was most telling about the crap Cohen peddles is when she was reading a quote out of his book that included the assertion that race can be a contributing factor to homosexuality. He denied it at first, but she was reading straight from his book, and when pushed about it finally said that no race wasn’t an issue.

    Amongst of all his semantics and denial about influence on the legislation, this hateful rubbish was just indefensible, but he still tried really hard at first to make excuses and talk around the issue.

  3. Hitler had the same idea with Jews. Maybe instead of worrying what people are doing sexually, people worried about the prosperity of all we would have the issue in the world we do with poverty, famine, illness and war.

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