Rachel Maddow vs. Richard Cohen: Watch It Now

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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