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Glenn Beck and Rachel Maddow are such political polar opposites it's almost superfluous for them to fight directly. But urgent topics sometimes spur them to clash, and this week the catalyst was particularly unlikely: Bill Nye the Science Guy.

The squabbling started when Nye went on Maddow's show and said people who interpreted record East Coast snowfalls as evidence against global warming were unpatriotic. Miffed, Beck invited Nye to speak on his radio program and then mocked him, which prompted Maddow to defend her former guest by trashing Beck's hypocrisy.

Never one to let things lie, Beck upped the ante, turning his wrath on Maddow herself. The Fox News host ranted that Maddow deliberately took his clip out of context and added this incendiary sentence.

That's anti-conservative, or anti-you as a listener, or anti-me propaganda. There's no truth to it at all.

Furious at being called a liar, Maddow brought out the big guns, ripping into Beck in a nine-minute take-down complete with video evidence proving she was right.

Maddow ended her kneecapping with a schoolyard-worthy message to Beck: Back off.

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. I didn't lie. Back off.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

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