Since President Obama released the Bush administration’s OLC torture memos, several Fox News pundits have launched unrelenting, full-throated defenses of torture. Bill O’Reilly dismissed waterboarding yesterday, saying, “Torture, my ass.” Also yesterday, Sean Hannity volunteered to be waterboarded for charity (those who have tried it have found it to be rather unpleasant):
GRODIN: We can waterboard you?
GRODIN: Are you busy on Sunday?
HANNITY: I’ll do it for charity. … I’ll let you do it. I’ll do it for the troops’ families.
Surprisingly, Fox is not all pro-torture. In fact, there are a handful of pundits who are speaking out against torture at the right-wing network. In multiple segments over the past few days, Shep Smith has been ripping the idea of government-sanctioned torture. “We are America. We don’t torture. And the moment that is not the case, I want off the train!” he declared Wednesday afternoon. Yesterday, in Fox’s Strategy Room, which was only aired on the web, Smith’s anger culminated in an explosion:
SMITH: WE ARE AMERICA! I DON’T GIVE A RAT’S ASS IF IT HELPS. WE ARE AMERICA! WE DO NOT FUCKING TORTURE! WE DON’T DO IT!
Fox News’s Trace Gallagher responded, “I’m not saying whether torture is right or wrong. I’m not going there.” Watch it (at roughly 3:00):
Smith isn’t alone. Judge Andrew Napolitano (“The Judge”) — a staunch conservative – said in the Strategy Room that the memos “are so fraught with disregarding volumes of law.” This week, he wrote a scathing critique of the Bush administration’s legal reasoning. “This is not rocket science and it is not art. Everyone knows torture when they see it,” he wrote, decrying the “illegal horror,” “moral antipathy,” and the memos’ “attack at core American values.”
Furthermore, Fox contributor and former New York Times reporter Judy Miller said yesterday that “enhanced interrogation techniques” are “Orwellian. It’s Orwellian for torture.” It remains to be seen which faction will come out on top in this Fox News civil war.