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The Five Worst Examples Of Fox News Hosts Trivializing Torture

December 15, 2014 in Blogs

By Lis Power, Media Matters

Here are some of the network's worst attempts to minimize the severity of torture.

Fox News Hosts: “We Humiliated A Few Terrorists” And Subjected Them To “A Little Bit Of Cold”

The Five Hosts: ”All Of [The Detainees] Got Three Hot Meals.” On the December 10 episode of Fox News' The Five, co-hosts Dana Perino and Eric Bolling repeatedly dismissed the severity of torture techniques, referring to the interrogation as ”tough talk to some terrorists” and arguing that the tactics could not have been that bad because “[a]ll of them got three hot meals”:

PERINO: I'm not going to call it torture. Enhanced interrogation. Tough talk to some terrorists.


BOLLING: Take both sides of the story. Fair and balanced, find out what — let's hear from the other side as well. And by the way, why are we taking sides. This is our safety we're talking about. Greg, you pointed out — 39 enhanced interrogations. Three were waterboarded. Five rectal rehydrations. But zero died. Zero dismembered. Zero jumped to their death. All of them got three hot meals. [Fox News, The Five, 12/10/14]

Brian Kilmeade: “Some [Detainees] Had Sleep Deprivation. Some Had A Little Bit Of Cold.” While attempting to compare whether the CIA's use of torture was worse than drone strikes carried out by the United States, Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade described some torture techniques as simply “sleep deprivation” and “a little bit of cold”:

KILMEADE: You're talking about, oh, Abu Zubaydah was waterboarded, and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded. And some had sleep deprivation, and some had a little bit of cold and whatever it was. Well what is worse? Having that and still be alive and getting to play soccer in Cuba right now, or having you be blown up when a hellfire missile hits you in the head? [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 12/11/14]

Jesse Watters: “So We Humiliated A Few Terrorists. No One Cares.” On Outnumbered on December 9, Fox News correspondent and guest co-host Jesse Watters said of potential backlash to the report, “So we roughed up a few of them. So we humiliated a few terrorists. No one cares.” He followed up saying, “It's not torture.” [Fox News, Outnumbered, 12/9/14]

Neil Cavuto Dismisses “Torture” Label: “You'd Almost Think We Were Chopping People's Fingers Off.” Attempting to draw a distinction between enhanced interrogation …read more


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