maddow disease

The Family’s Bob Hunter Says Jeff Sharlet Admitted His Claims About Uganda Are Lies. Uh Oh

Bob Hunter, who served in the Carter and Ford administrations, is a member of D.C.’s secretive The Family. And he is now the group’s media point man, apparently. After maintaining much silence during accusations The Family was heavily involved in crafting, or at least influencing, Uganda’s Anti-Homosexual Bill, here comes Hunter to definitively deny those allegations. In fact, he says, The Family is working to neuter the bill. But that’s not why Hunter’s interview with Rachel Maddow last night is noteworthy. It’s noteworthy because he takes a steaming crap on the work of journalist Jeff Sharlet, who Maddow and others (including this website) have sourced for much information tying The Family to Uganda.

Sharlet “has admitted a lot of [his reportage] has been inaccurate,” says Hunter. “He even has said that the cover of his book is inaccurate. He said to be the cover is horrible and he disowns it.”

That’s a pretty big bombshell, given Sharlet quickly becoming the go-to resource on Uganda’s bill. And while Maddow wisely sidesteps the issue, she does promise to follow up with the writer to see how much grey area there is between fibs and the truth.

(Scroll to around 4:45 for Hunter’s segment.)

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  • Brian NJ

    We wouldn’t know of all of the evil-doings of The Family if it were not for Jeff Sharlet. He is a national hero.

  • terrwill

    Haloween was months ago why does the frightwing keep
    parading these mumified talking zombies about????

  • rf

    If they catch Jeff Sharlet paying off his mistress’s husband while hiking in the Andes, then I’ll be worried.

  • romeo

    @ Queerty: You’re taking this old fart’s word on this ?! I do believe the Family is trying to cover it’s ass. There’s enough evidence in all the bitching Uganda did about being betrayed by the the frightwings after the heat was on them here in the States. These guys are up to their eyeballs.

  • Jeff Sharlet

    I admitted no such thing, and I have the transcript of my conversation with Hunter to prove it. I’m very disappointed in Bob — I helped arrange that appearance because he said he A) wanted to denounce the bill; B) put pressure on Sen. Inhofe, who is the Family’s “U.S. leader” formally designated to teach Uganda about Jesus, to teach the part about not killing people; C) denounce their decades of secrecy; D) declare that it’s time for the Family to put accountability before access to power.

  • romeo

    Thanks for coming in, Jeff. Hopefully you got back to Rachel et al after that show.

  • romeo

    @ Queerty: Looks like Hunter is the one doing the lying.

  • Georgiaguy

    I read the book and the reporting is pretty solid. Bob Hunter threw out the allegation, but then didn’t seem to back up any of his claims with any specifics. He never said what was untrue and what Jeff supposedly admitted was wrong with the book. The right wing never likes to own up to facts, but they do like throw out wild accusations. Remember when Pat Robertson said the Clinton had her lawyer partner, Vincent Foster, murdered. Numerous investigations by Kenneth Starr and Congressional hearings never turned up one iota of evidence. Right wingers lie, but the media mostly lets them get away with it. posts several distortions of the right wing every day.

  • Jeff Sharlet

    1. Hunter said that I have “admitted a lot of it has been inaccurate.” I have the 30,000-word transcript of our entire three-hour conversation. In fact, Hunter could point to only two things. A) I had said that he had gone to Uganda at the behest of Chuck Grassley; rather, he said U.S. politicians go at his behest. Fine. Hunter has more pull than I knew. B) That he personally had not tried to steer Museveni rightward as I had implied. I was glad to allow him his good intentions. The fact is, through the Family Museveni established friendships with major American conservative figures, and moved rightward.

    2. Hunter says I admit “the Fellowship does not engage with politics.” That’s false. In fact, throughout our conversation I argue just the opposite. There’s nothing in the 30,000 word transcript that even approximates this claim of his.

    3. Hunter says there is “no control or command.” That’s false, as the 600 boxes of documents at the Billy Graham Center archive — membership flow charts, budgets, minutes of meetings of the “Core Group” — demonstrate.

    4. Hunter said his efforts in Uganda were toward peace “which we ultimately achieved.” Some peace — a 23-year dictatorship.

    5. Hunter said of Buturo, “I’ve never head of the guy.” False. He discussed Buturo with me. They are trying to throw Bahati and Buturo under the bus.

    Last and least, it is true that I don’t like my book cover. To me it seems like a silly pun. But what does that have to do with anything? I didn’t disown my book. I didn’t disown the subtitle.

  • jack hamilton

    I read Jeff’s book and it’s definitely NOT a surprise that Hunter is acting as his is. The Family is only interested in POWER. period. They have their Jesus + Nothing view of the world….so they and their minion can do anything they desire as long as they are on board with Jesus….everyone else is fair game. So, I applaud Jeff, Rachel, and anyone else who keeps this dialogue in the public eye.

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