WASHINGTON D.C. — An apparently tough-as-nails Sean Hannity of Fox News has personally undergone what he called a “fair and balanced interrogation technique” to prove a point: fourth-degree burns are not torture. Sporting a huge fourth-degree burn on his right cheek¹, Hannity was adamant: “harsh techniques” are simply nasty, but necessary techniques for “protecting our freedoms.”
In a move that some are calling deeply disturbed, Hannity arranged to be blow-torched for charity last week to silence “liberal loud-mouth” Keith Olbermann. Hannity conceived the idea after publicly poo-pooing waterboarding* as torture on his program, saying that it’s a fair and balanced interrogation technique for suspected terrorists, and no big deal.
The Fox News commentator was taunted for weeks by MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann, who repeatedly questioned Hannity’s manhood after he appeared to renege on an on-air boast to Charles Grodin, saying he would undergo waterboarding for charity: “I’ll do it for charity … I’ll do it for the troops’ families.” Olbermann has offered to give a $1000 to charity for every second Hannity allowed himself to be waterboarded.
The blowtorch idea came to Hannity last week while barbecuing, he said. Waterboarding is just “fake-drowning,” said Hannity. “But burns, they’re the real deal.”
Indeed they are. Fourth-degree burns damage muscle, tendon and ligament tissue, resulting in charring and, well, catastrophic damage to the hypodermis. Tissue may also be completely burned away, which can threaten life and limb if the wounds or burns are severe enough.
Hannity only submitted to .4 of a second worth of the “fair and balanced” technique, which in real interrogations he admitted may have to be applied “somewhat longer.”
However, it remains unclear if his stunt will silence Olbermann—or anyone else— who considers waterboarding to be torture.
¹ The “burn” was actually applied cosmetically; i.e., it was fake.
*A harsh interrogation technique used by the United States after the 911 attack, thought to be necessary to keep America safe.