It’s torture-a-go-go time on Fox News again. And what’s even more sickening is how the needle has now moved from “We need to torture” to “you’re not a good American if you’re anti-torture.” Friday night (5/11/12), Bill O’Reilly hosted comedian Adam Carolla to attack CBS’ Lesley Stahl for being skeptical of ex-CIA officer Jose Rodriguez’ enthusiasm for “enhanced interrogation” techniques. No joke. Oh, sure, O’Reilly played devil’s advocate on behalf of Stahl but he never blasted Carolla for having the nerve to question anyone’s skepticism for torture. Instead, O’Reilly voiced his own support for “enhanced interrogation” and made the “Cavuto mark” debate about whether or not Stahl was sufficiently pro-American for lacking the same knee-jerk enthusiasm for torture as Rodriguez, Carolla and O’Reilly.
In a recent post, I quoted Amy Davidson’s observation in The New Yorker that Rodriguez speaks “as if torture were an expression of strength, rather than momentary domination masking the most abject moral and practical weakness.” Sadly, this same view has been readily adopted by Sean Hannity and others on Fox. Now, they are taking it to the typically-Foxian next step – attacking others who don’t agree with them. In this case, it was CBS’ Stahl. Of course, anyone who works for “liberal” CBS is suspect and therefore fair game to be targeted.
O’Reilly played a clip of Stahl saying to Rodriguez about the CIA’s “stress techniques,” “Are you saying this was like going to the gym? Come on.”
Carolla said, “I just think it’s so easy to sit back in the cheap seats and snipe at these guys that are trying to get information that are gonna save American lives and maybe European lives as well. I mean, we sit around and we go, you know, ‘torture doesn’t work.’ Well, it’s been around for 5,000 years. Most stuff that doesn’t work goes the way of the dodo pretty quickly… So my question to Lesley Stahl is, what would you use in place of enhanced interrogation to get information out of people who are trying to kill Americans?”
O’Reilly said he thought the interview was fine (then why was he hosting Carolla – a comedian, not a national security expert – to say otherwise, if not to raise questions in his viewers’ minds?). O’Reilly said Stahl “played devil’s advocate” as he was doing now with Carolla.
Carolla replied, “Yeah, but I mean he (Rodriguez) was saying, you know, ‘I slapped (a detainee) with an open hand and (Stahl) almost (bleep)… She was like, ‘What? You did?’ Sleep deprivation, diet alteration, she was making it like it was a big deal. Anyone who’s rushed a frat has gone through more than that. And I just feel like, look, you’re trying to get information out of people… They got terrorists in there, they’re trying to get ‘em to talk, what better way to do it than to put a little pressure on ‘em?”
In fact, real experts say there are better ways. O’Reilly knows that. The night before, he hosted former FBI terrorism expert Ali Soufan, who said that “not one single imminent threat was stopped because of enhanced interrogation techniques.”
But here’s O’Reilly giving more weight to a comedian. It’s enough to make you want to cry.
If you'd like to contact Carolla and urge him to undergo waterboarding himself since he thinks it's no big deal, you can tweet him at @AdamCarolla.
(WARNING: GRAPHIC PHOTOS IN SLIDESHOW)
If O’Reilly wants to spout that you’re not an American unless you think this kinda shit is just awesome… then he can tell me where I’m really from.
I’ll even buy a flag- I’m that dedicated to my pride in not being from his version of America.
What kind of non-point is that? Isn’t it just as easy to sit back in the cheap seats and cheer these guys on? It’s kind of like he’s saying Stahl’s opinion is wrong because she has an opinion.