Chicago Radio Host's Waterboarding Stunt Backfires
Desperate Mancow Had Good Reason To Fake Waterboarding
*** Olbermann's Desperate Spin Effort ***
*** Olbermann Sinking Faster Than Mancow Over Fake Stunt ***
Question: when is a waterboarding not a waterboarding?
Answer: when it is shoddily administered by a novice who has no idea how to carry out the procedure.
That, in a nutshell, is why former FM shock jock turned "conservative" WLS / Chicago talk host Erich "Mancow" Muller is in so much hot water today. With his latest fiasco, the struggling radio stuntmeister may be gearing up for more career suffering than a real waterboarding session could ever hope to provide. Don't be surprised if this cow is quickly turned into hamburger.
Doing the hard digging that has blown Mancow's already-sagging credibility to bits is Gawker, a news and gossip site generally considered leftist in nature. Their motivation appears intended to undo the egg on their faces for having praised Mancow's "torture" and subsequent "conversion":
Now, we're obviously no experts on the art of waterboarding, but we've done a bit of research on it and also went back and watched the video of Christopher Hitchens' waterboarding in 2008 to compare and contrast his waterboarding against Mancow's, and we couldn't help but notice some rather striking differences.
In the Hitchens video, everything is carried out pretty much according to universal waterboarding protocol as we've come to understand it. His limbs and torso are tightly bound by restraints. The platform on which he lays appears to be tilted slightly downward so that his head is positioned below his heart. His head is also completely covered and the water used looks as though it's poured directly into his breathing passages.
In contrast, Mancow isn't bound by restraints at all, he doesn't appear to have his body positioned at a decline, only a portion of his face from the nose up is covered, and the water is being poured on him inappropriately.
In short, when we watched the Mancow video for the first time it struck us in a "well that doesn't look TOO awful" sort of way. For a brief moment it even made us want to call some friends over so we could all waterboard each other and see what all the fuss is about. On the other hand, the Hitchens video is somewhat nightmarish, making us want to never have anything to do with a waterboarding, ever.
And from Gawker's previous post, where Mancow was praised before the hoax was revealed:
We suppose it'd be easy to mock and ridicule "Mancow" here, as he does seem to be an extraordinarily massive tool, not even taking into consideration that he was one of the main guys spreading the "Obama is a closet Muslim" rumors during the election, but there's something truly admirable in a) being sufficiently curious and willing to undergo the procedure personally to truly see what it was like to be on the receiving end of a waterboarding, and b) appearing on the air with arguably the most unabashedly liberal host on television to profess how horribly wrong he'd been previously.
So yeah, despite being a tool, "Mancow" deserves a tip of the cap, as does Olbermann for donating $10,000 to a support group for veterans in return for Muller going through with the waterboarding and then appearing on his show to discuss it.
Motivation for the staged event appears to have originated with Keith Olbermann's attempts to subject rival Sean Hannity to a round of the technique used to break terrorists during interrogations.
Desperate for cable appearances since losing a coveted regular morning guest spot on FNC's Fox & Friends, Mancow happily chose to participate and was rewarded with generous airtime on left-wing Fox rival MSNBC.
Olbermann was especially pleased to hear of his subsequent "conversion" away from the use of such techniques to gain information on future terrorist attacks as a result of the "torture" and as Michelle Malkin notes, left-wing blogs made Mancow the toast of the town:
Now, there’s a paper trail that suggests the glaringly obvious — that it was all an elaborate hoax, reportedly orchestrated with the help of Jerry Springer’s publicist.
Time for B.S. detector tune-ups, people. Next time, libs, don’t be so eager to hype a veteran radio entertainer crying “torture.”
You’re the ones who end up all wet.
In fact, "veteran radio entertainer" is a rather kind way of describing Mancow. "Publicity whore" may be far more accurate. Muller has a long history of doing whatever it takes to get himself in the news, even if it threatens his station with financial ruin.
In 1993, for example, Mancow's infamous Golden Gate Bridge stunt (in which vans blocked rush hour traffic) created a white-hot firestorm of negative publicity in the Bay Area and the incident has really never been forgotten there. It eventually cost KSOL-FM $1.5m as the result of a civil suit, while Muller himself was convicted of a felony.
More recently, jumping into the headlines has proven more difficult, as the days of FM morning shock jocks faded away for good. Reinventing himself as a supposedly "conservative" AM radio talker, Mancow managed to use his previous notoriety to secure a syndication deal and midmorning slot on Chicago's WLS-AM.
In 2007, we wrote about his attempt to use the death of a young woman during a station-sponsored water drinking contest in Sacramento to promote "responsible broadcasting". At the time, we noted how his rants were supplying the left with a great deal of fodder, particularly when he appeared to call for the death of all Palestinians.
Now, after failing to gain credibility with the right, Muller is undergoing a new conversion, this time to the left. The phony "waterboarding" and subsequent epiphany was obviously meant to provide a basis for his latest reinvention.
Evidence that Mancow has struggled as a conservative talk host is found partly in the move by WLS to subsequently pair him with a co-host, longtime Chicago newsman Pat Cassidy.
In the end, the most annoying element of Mancow's career story is his ability to be taken seriously by some elements of the media, despite his credibility-destroying history.
Particularly irritating: the talk radio execs who foolishly believed they needed Muller on their AM stations because he brought a "young and hip" demographic to the medium. Clearly, that never materialized.
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