MSNBC host claims hate mail from Beck fans "most likely to contain death threats"

The feud between MSNBC's Rachel Maddow and Glenn Beck over whether the Fox News Channel host ever claimed that snowstorms disprove global warming continues to escalate.

It began when Bill Nye "the Science Guy" told Maddow last week that heavy snow is a result of global warming and went on to describe climate change deniers as "almost unpatriotic."

That word "unpatriotic" apparently got under Beck's skin. "Oh, it's unAmerican, unpatriotic," he sneered on his radio show, adding, "Who has claimed that this snowstorm is proof that global warming doesn't exist?"

"Who's claimed that?" Maddow asked gleefully in response. "Dude, you have. A lot." She went on to illustrate her point with several clips of Beck sneering at global warming advocates and suggesting that "the largest snowfall in Washington DC history" must be making Al Gore think, "'Wow, I've just wasted my life, haven't I?'"

That wasn't enough to discourage Beck, however. On Tuesday he was back, angrier than ever, because "after I made fun of this clip on the air, the host, instead of hiding in shame, decided to call me a liar."

Although refusing to refer to either Maddow or MSNBC by name, Beck proceeded to play both the original Nye clip and the segment where Maddow called him out for lying. "How many times have I said ... one storm does not prove anything?" he concluded plaintively. "No wonder they sympathize so much with the alarmists who hide and lose key data. Looks like they don't mind doing exactly the same thing themselves."

"This is amazing to me," Maddow remarked. "What he's accusing me of is cutting out part of his quote. But did you notice what he just did?"

She proceeded to demonstrate that when Beck showed the segment in which she had called him a liar, he conveniently omitted all the clips she had included of him claiming that snowstorms undermine the case for global warming.

"I get hate mail from all sort of conservatives," Maddow commented, "but it is the hate mail from self-proclaimed fans of Mr. Beck that is most likely to contain death threats and threats of violence against me."

"He has made a lot of people afraid about a lot of things," she continued, "and that tried and true strategy has reaped big financial rewards for him and for Fox News. I think it's between you and your God or you and your conscience as to how much you're willing to stir up Americans' fear and prejudice for profit."

"But it's between you and me when you accuse me of lying," she concluded sternly. "I didn't lie. Back off."

This video is from MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show, broadcast Feb. 16, 2010.

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