You remember all that debate about whether or not waterboarding is torture? Well, one advocate for waterboarding, a radio personality by the name of “Mancow,” decided to try to prove that it wasn’t by undergoing the experience himself.
“The average person can take this for 14 seconds,” Marine Sergeant Clay South told his audience before he [Mancow] was waterboarded on air. “He’s going to wiggle, he’s going to scream, he’s going to wish he never did this.”
So how did he do? Well, in two words: not well.
“Mancow,” in fact, lasted just six or seven seconds before crying foul.
“I wanted to prove it wasn’t torture,” Mancow said. “They cut off our heads, we put water on their face…I got voted to do this but I really thought ‘I’m going to laugh this off.’ ”
The upshot? “It is way worse than I thought it would be, and that’s no joke,” Mancow told listeners. “It is such an odd feeling to have water poured down your nose with your head back…It was instantaneous…and I don’t want to say this: absolutely torture.”
You can even watch the experiment yourself if you want:
Will this resolve the debate over whether we should be using waterboarding? Oh, of course not. Still, it’s nice to see that a little empirical research- writ small- still has the power to adjudicate fact. And, you know, convince someone that waterboarding is a wee bit harsher than a trip down the old slip’n’slide.