Why Won’t Rachel Maddow Invite LCR’s Clarke Cooper On Her Show?

R. Clarke Cooper, the Log Cabin Republicans’ recent top hire, would love to go on Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC program to talk about things like Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. After all, it was his organization that brought the lawsuit which just had a judge rule the policy is unconstitutional. And yet, no invitation?

“I’m a little dumbfounded, quite honestly, by why she hasn’t had us on,” Cooper tells Mediate. (MSNBC responds by saying a lot of people try to get on her show, and they can’t accommodate everyone.)

Cooper has talked DADT with other MSNBC hosts [Ed: See here] and has also talked to Fox and CNN. Since taking over the group in May, he’s talked about the military rule banning gay servicemembers with National Public Radio, the BBC, and on conservative talk radio.

“I can get on conservative talk radio and it has been very good at getting us on the air,” Cooper said. “I thought we’d be a natural for the [Rachel Maddow’s] show, but nothing.”

In addition to being the head of the Log Cabin Republicans, he also has a compelling story. Despite being an activist against DADT, he is a combat veteran from the Iraq campaign and remains a captain in the Army Reserves. He refuses to appear in uniform before the media because it violates the Uniform Code of Military Justice. He was a political appointee during the entire George W. Bush administration where he served as a diplomat including a posting as an alternative representative to United Nations Security Council. And he was openly gay the entire time.

And let us now rejoin the debate as to whether Maddow invites enough conservative voices — who, unlike Cooper in this instance, don’t always agree with her — on the program.

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  • Baxter

    For the most part, MSNBC shows don’t bring on people who don’t 100% agree with the host. Fox News shows bring on liberals, but they’re usually stupider/crazier than your typical liberal so the host doesn’t have a hard time walking all over them. Nobody on TV wants to have their views challenged and risk looking stupid.

  • Spider_Orchid

    Why? Because Maddow is stunning, amazing, flawless, and intelligent and doesn’t have TIME for these silly *ss “Log Cabin” Republicans.

  • DR

    I wouldn’t lsoe any sleep over not being “wanted” since, realistically speaking, LCR just accomplished a major win in the legal sphere with its lawsuit challenging DADT, one with further implications than the fact-specific Witt case.

    If that’s not good enough for a lesbian political talk show host to invite him on, such is life, her loss, to be honest.

  • Bareback Hussein Osama

    @Spider_Orchid: Good boy! We need to “disappear” all Gay Conservatives fighting for equal rights!

  • Spider_Orchid

    @Bareback Hussein Osama: Look dude, I’m sorry, but when you associate yourself with a group of people the is NOTORIOUSLY KNOW for the oppression and unfair treatment of NUMEROUS other groups of people then I don’t want to hear anything you have to say and I definitely don’t want you on TV making excuses for yourself and the hateful group you think you’re apart of. There’s nothing wrong with being conservative, but its just some ole BS for them to be calling themselves republicans and thinking that its okay.

  • Bareback Hussein Osama

    @Spider_Orchid: Yes, all gays are required to be socialists!

  • Bareback Hussein Osama

    @Spider_Orchid: That’s right! All gays are required to be commies!

  • Scott in NYC

    While I like Rachel Maddow and have tremendous respect for her (though we often disagree) she does NOT have many right-of-center voices on her show. The problem is systemic throughout MSNBC…where it appears the only thing they hate more than a legitimate voice/counterargument from the right is the accusation that they hate legitimate voices/counterarguments from the right. Far worse in regard than Maddow is Keith Olbermann…a liar and a clown and yet acutely aware of his one intellectual deficiencies (which is why he doesn’t have anyone on who challenges him). If you want to hear the left’s party line, tune into MSNBC. If you want reasoned debate, you will have to look elsewhere.

  • DR


    Seriously, get over it.

    The LCR just managed a major legal coup, and I certainly don’t trust the so-called “Democratic leadership” (an oxymoron if ever there was one) to pass even the watered-down joke that is the DADT amendment. Oh, and let’s not forget that the House Dems, knowing that Obama would veto ANY Defense bill containing funding for an alternative engine to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, passed a defense authorization bill which contained the DADT amendment AND funding for said engine!

    Gee, if I was even a teensy bit paranoid about this administration, I might suggest that the Dems are actually trying to set up the President to veto the bill over engines to save face with his more moderate backers…

    So go ahead and insult the LCR while the Dems continue to stab the GLBT community in the back.

  • John W

    @Baxter and @Scott in NYC: Why no mention of Chris Matthews? He thrives on having opposition view points on his show.

    And Rachel made her name early on by spirited but respectful interchanges with Republicans. Recall that her evisceration of Rand Paul made national headlines. Her interviews of lobbyist Rick Berman and ex-gay advocate Richard Cohen are legendary. She has standing invitations out to a number of Republicans to come on her show. And because she’s such a credentialed policy wonk, they know that they’ll have a truly informed dialog, but will likely be trounced on the facts, not on dueling sound bites.

    The upshow, though, is that unlike such “invitations” from Glenn Beck, who’s a rodeo clown [his self description] best ignored, I think Maddow is increasingly feared by opponents, thus diminishing the likelihood of an agreement to appear.

    I simply can’t watch Ed Schultz or Keith Olbermann, but I think both Matthews and Maddow do a good job of engaging the issues.

    Knowing that, I’m less inclined than some to suspect resistance to an appearance by LCR’s Cooper based on opposition to his perspective.

  • Baxter

    @John W: That’s actually why I said “for the most part”, because Matthews does bring on people he doesn’t agree with. Of course he’s such a loudmouth that he just talks over people, but I guess that’s better than nothing.

  • SomethingElse

    Maddow doesn’t want to have on any Log Cabin Republicans because she’ll be forced to admit their success with the DADT thing.

  • Swimmer - Chicago

    LCR has done more for gay rights than our “friends” the democrats.

  • Spider_Orchid

    @DR: Everyone is stabbing us in the back! Can you seriously sit here and say that not getting rid of DADT is any worse than the blatant hate and vitriol directed at the GBLT community by repubilcans? My point is that its such BS that they are associating themselves with a group of people that is KNOWN TO HATE THEM. Why back Republican candidates that you KNOW don’t care about you or your life or what happens to you or the people you love? Why back candidates that try to make life HARDER for you? Politics has and always will be a case of choosing the lesser of two evils because you can’t please all of the people all of the time, but doesn’t it make so much more sense to at least try to choose a candidate that will at least TRY to address some of the issues of your life?

  • DR


    The Log Cabin Republicans, whether you agree with their ideologies or not, don’t share the same world outlook as you. We are a diverse community with many interests. And in this case, the LCRs are trying to change things from within with the help of a younger gen of Republicans who agree with them. This is not a bad thing.

    PS… the Dems dropped ENDA, watered down DADT to an amendment which, as noted will likely be vetoed AND is at the mercy of the Pentagon, and oh, yeah, VOTED FOR DOMA!

    PPS… no, I’m not going to vote for the “lesser of two evils” anymore. I’m over the GLBT mating cry of “I’m an abused constituent consistently voting for men and women who lie to me on a regular basis”.

    You might want to take that 2×4 out of your eye, dude.

  • Bill Homans


    I will attack the LCRs at every turn! This lawsuit was not a victory, just as the failure of DADT Repeal to achieve cloture on the Senate floor was not a victory, no matter how LCRs spin this entire fiasco. Of course, it’s all moot now, now that Democrats won’t have a majority that even approaches what they fleetingly had in the 111th Congress. You can all forget about DADT Repeal, civil unions, same sex marriage, or any LGBT-friendly legislation for the next two Obama years, and if gays vote for a REPUBLICAN IN 2012 AND ONE SOMEHOW GETS ELECTED, THERE WON’T BE ANY SUCH LEGISLATION FOR THE REST OF THE DECADE!

    Log Cabin Republicans are traitors, catspaws for the mainframe Republican Party. Republicans first, maybe gays somewhere down the line. They have traded the enactment of truly historic and “inclusive” GLBT civil-rights legislation for a midterm victory.

    And remember, it vwasn’t just national conressional elections. State legislator/senate races had a swing of 680 to the Republican side, even more of a landslide, perhaps, than in Congress and the Senate. Whole state legislatures– 14 more of them!– are now ready not only to vote down any GLBT-friendly legislation at the state level, but are poised to ratify anti-gay contitutional amendments with a real chance of amending the US Constitution against gay people.

    DADT Repeal might have affected 1 percent of all gays, and that’s a very high estimate. About 13,000 gay discharges have been issued in the 17 years since DADT’s enactment. If 5 times the number discharged have served, or are serving, in the US military during that time, that’s 78,000. Add another few thousand naive twinks wanting to join per year– say, as many as have been discharged over that time– and you still havent’t got 100000 GLBTs. If 5% of the American population is GLBT, that makes about 15,000,000 citizens. Do the math: 91,000/15,000,000. I get about 1 GLBT out of every 160-odd. Civil Union legislation would have PASSED, and would have ensured civil rights for ALL OF US.

    What a bunch of traitors. I don’t care if he won a CMH, Clark Cooper and his LCRs have betrayed the entire LGBT community (one of the communities of Americans to which I belong), and unbelievably still are trying to spin what they’ve done as a visctory, even when the Court of Appeals has set aside Judge Phillips’s halt-to-DADT-enforcement ruling.

    I wish gays woulld look a little harder at what has happened. And no gay person should consider going into the service until this is totally completed. Anyone who does is acting with blind patriotic naivete, at best, and suicidal impulse at worst.

    William P. Homans
    Clarksdale, Mississippi

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