Under the Radar

Was Mancow's Waterboarding a Hoax?



Emails from Mancow's publicists suggest that he staged the waterboarding demonstration that took place on his radio show on Friday, May 22.

Gawker has published a series of emails describing efforts by Chicago publicists to locate a replacement waterboarder after the original dropped out the day before the radio show. If they're real, the most damning message comes from Mancow's publicist Linda Shafran, who allegedly says, "It is going to have to look 'real' but of course would be simulated with Mancow acting like he is drowning. It will be a hoax but have to look real. Would be great if they could dress in fatigues and bring whatever is needed. We will supply the water."

The person who gave the emails to Gawker claims to have shared them with the "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" staff before Mancow's appearance on Tuesday, May 26 but Olbermann ignored the allegations and had Mancow on the show anyway.


Marine Sgt. Klay South poured the water on Mancow. If the waterboarding was fake, South was in on the hoax. Military.com has emailed South through his Veterans of Valor website to give him a chance to comment on Gawker's allegations.

All of this begs a bigger question: why are we letting the guy who made this commercial drive the discussion about real life-and-death issues that impact the safety of the men and women who protect our country?

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