Randi Rhodes: 'Brit Hume Is a Moron' on the Oil Spill, Which May Not Be an Accident

It’s getting wacky in the air of liberal talk radio about the BP oil spill. On the Randi Rhodes show on Monday, a female caller from Kentucky told Rhodes: “The only people who could basically benefit from all this death, and the cesspool-making down there are the oil companies. So I think they’re doing it deliberately, killing everything so that the only thing that will be worth anything down there is oil.”

Rhodes replied: “You know? That’s not bad.” She talked about a shopping mall going up in the Amazon rainforest, and added “That’s not so far off base, what you’re saying.” She then turned around and suggested Brit Hume was a “moron” for downplaying the aftermath of the oil spill on Fox News Sunday: 

Brit Hume is a moron; I mean, if you -- if you ever suspected that he was a pompous ass, and it was backed up by some wild intellect that he had, you know, I spent the weekend with lots of pompous ass -- assi [plural, like octopi] – right, and they do have the intellect to back it up. So that when you see somebody who's just a pompous ass for no apparent reason, it sort of sticks out now as somebody who's just a pompous ass for no good reason with nothing to back it up.

But I am telling you, Brit Hume actually is, is positing, if we can speak elitist for a moment, the idea that there is no oil leak. And that if there is, the ocean is absorbing it; that the ocean is just a big giant spongy thing and that will just absorb; that there's no need to look over there, no need, no need at all, you know; why worry about the ocean when the ocean will absorb what is now being reported as being 3 million barrels -- 3 million gallons a day being spewed into the crystal-turquoise ocean known as the Gulf of Mexico?

After playing a clip of the Fox roundtable, she repeated:

Brit Hume just wished away the oil spill. That's, that's like excusing murder on the grounds that people die anyway! (Laughs) And you can't see it, therefore it doesn't exist! Why couldn't they say that about the Weapons of Mass Destruction? Nooo, they couldn't say that about WMD; but three million gallons of oil a day being spewed into our pristine oceans, they can say, well, if you can't see it it isn't there!

Here's the actual clip that Rhodes played: 

HUME: It is probably too much to expect that we have an adult conversation about this, but that's what's needed. The first thing that needs to be said is that offshore drilling on the outer continental shelf is more environmentally hazardous than drilling closer in, but the environmentalists won't hear of it and we don't do it.

The second thing that needs to be said is that the single most fragile and vulnerable form of oil acquisition is in tankers. And when you look at the record, the spills that come from tankers account for a lot more of the spilled oil -- I mean, way more of the spilled oil than do leaks from offshore or other oil rigs. 

So to whatever degree we end up closing down offshore drilling off our own shores, that's going to have to be made up for in tankers coming from countries, in some cases, not allied with us who are bringing it to us. And that's why it makes sense for us to try to explore on and off the coast of the United States.

JUAN WILLIAMS: You know, I think we have -- well, first of all, don't you think this spill now is thought to -- is going to be in excess of what happened with Exxon Valdez?

HUME: Let's see if that happens.

WILLIAMS: And the second point...

HUME: Let's see if that happens.

WILLIAMS: Well, OK. But what was...

HUME: I mean, there's a good question today if you're standing down there on the gulf, and that is, "Where is the oil?"

WILLIAMS: Where is the oil?

HUME: It's not on -- except for little chunks of it, you're not even seeing it on the shores yet.

WALLACE: But there are some new reports that there are greater amounts of it on the ocean floor.

HUME: Oh, yes, there's -- that's true, but you know where the greatest source of oil that seeps into the ocean is? It's from natural seepage from under -- from subterranean deposits. That's where most of it comes from, not from drilling accidents. So what's badly needed here is some perspective on our energy policy and also on the hard realities of what really goes on when it comes to oil spillage.

WILLIAMS: But I think it's going to damage the environment in the gulf and it's going to damage tourism, going to damage fish. I don't think there's any question this is in excess of anything that we've previously asked --

HUME: We'll see if it is.

WILLIAMS: -- the ocean to absorb.

HUME: We'll see if it is.

WILLIAMS: Right. But I think...

HUME: The ocean absorbs a lot, Juan...

WILLIAMS: I'm sorry?

HUME: ... an awful lot. The ocean absorbs a lot.

WILLIAMS: I -- you know, I think Rush Limbaugh went down this road. "Oh, the ocean can handle it." I just think, you know, we have to take some responsibility for the environment and be responsible to people who live in that area, vacation in that area, fish in that area.It's just wrong to think, "You know what? Dump it on the ocean and let the ocean handle it." Why can't we...

HUME: Who said that?

HAYES: Nobody's making that argument.

HUME: Who is saying that?

Randi Rhodes certainly insisted Hume "the moron" was making that argument. 

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis