Talk-radio host Matthew Erich "Mancow" Muller (website, Wikipedia) was waterboarded on air today as a publicity stunt (see pieces at AlterNet and ThinkProgress), and lasted all of six seconds before throwing in the towel and admitting that waterboarding is "absolutely torture." Tengrain at Mock, Paper, Scissors and Swopa at FDL noted the connection to blowhard bullyboy Sean Hannity--who volunteered to be waterboarded for charity and then, well, didn't have the stones to follow through. As Swopa wrote, "there's a point to calling the bluff of the posturing phonies who advocate torture publicly:"
As anyone familiar with framing understands, the purpose of their argument is to shore up the right-wing pose of being morally self-assured tough guys who are willing to do what it takes to defend America.
The truth, which isn't brought up nearly often enough in the cable back-and-forth, is exactly the opposite: At a time when America was tested, these cowards folded, throwing in the hand on the precise values they should have been protecting.
So I'm not above rude tactics in pointing out their weakness, their irresponsibility, and their hypocrisy. If Sean Hannity and others won't back up their talk about waterboarding, I'm fine with humiliating them using the same derisive language they've been aiming at the left for years.
They're cowards, and moral failures. And they need to be told that to their faces.
Sean Hannity, you're a coward and a moral failure. Every day that goes by without you either a). living up to your offer, or b). apologizing to both the victims of torture and those who oppose it, makes your failures more egregious.
OLBERMANN: Mancow Muller had the guts to put his mouth where his mouth was, and the guts to admit he was dead wrong. As you saw, he not only said it is torture, but that he had nearly drowned as a boy, and it is drowning, and that he would have admitted to anything to make it stop.
So the offer to the coward Hannity -- a thousand dollars a second he lasted on the waterboard -- is withdrawn.