Adam Carolla Lambasts CBS's Stahl Over Terrorist Interrogation Interview
Appearing as a guest on Friday's The O'Reilly Factor on FNC, comedian Adam Carolla took exception with a recent interview on CBS's 60 Minutes with former CIA interrogator Jose Rodriguez, who is promoting a book about his experiences in counterterrorism, in which correspondent Lesley Stahl questioned whether the interrogation techniques used against a prisoner involved in the al-Qaeda terrorism group were too harsh.
Carolla went on to quip that if Michael Moore and Tim Robbins produced a child together, such liberals would support torture to save their child's life in spite of any political complaints they might publicly have. Carolla:
I'm just saying you could take the most liberal person on the planet, you know, Michael Moore could have a kid with Tim Robbins, and if that kid got abducted and you asked them both quietly, "We found a guy, he knows some information, your kid is buried alive, he has 48 hours worth of oxygen, can we go ahead and torture him to get the information out of the guy or warboard him?" They would say, "Hell, yes."
Below is a complete transcript of the segment from the Friday, May 11, The O'Reilly Factor on FNC:
BILL O'REILLY: "Personal Story" segment tonight. A couple of weeks ago, 60 Minutes featured Jose Rodriguez, former head of the CIA's coerced interrogation unit. Mr. Rodriguez has a new book, and Lesley Stahl interrogated him.
LESLEY STAHL: You also employed stress techniques.
JOSE RODRIGUEZ, FORMER CIA INTERROGATOR: There was a technique where the detainee would sit on the floor and would raise his hands over his head.
STAHL: In other words, he had to hold his hands up there forever and ever.
RODRIGUEZ: Forever and ever. I was thinking about this the other day. The objective was to induce muscle fatigue that I, you know, and most people who work out do a lot more fatiguing of the muscles.
STAHL: Are you saying this was like going to the gym? Come on.
RODRIGUEZ, LAUGHING: A little different.
O'REILLY: Now, I thought the interview was fine, but Adam Carolla disagrees and joins us now from Los Angeles. So what teed you off about Lesley Stahl?
ADAM CAROLLA: I just think it's so easy to sit back in the cheap seats and snipe at these guys that are trying to get information that are going to save American lives and maybe European lives as well. I mean, we sit around and we go, you know, "Torture doesn't work." Well, it's been around for 5,000 years. Most stuff that doesn't work goes the way of the dodo pretty quick like water beds and eight tracks and things like that. So my question to Lesley Stahl is: What would you use in place of enhanced interrogation to get information out of people who are trying to kill Americans?
O'REILLY: Now, were you convinced by that interview that Lesley Stahl was against coerced interrogation, against waterboarding and all of that? Did she convince you that? Because she never said that. what she did was what I oftendo here and what I'm actually doing to you right now is she played devil's advocate.
CAROLLA: Yeah, but, I mean, he was saying, you know, I slapped him with an open hand and she almost (BLEEP) She was like, what? You did? Sleep deprivation, diet alteration. She was making it like it was a big deal. Anyone who's rushed a frat has gone through more than that. And I just feel like, look, you're trying to get information out of people. You know, they got terrorists in there. They're trying to get them to talk. What better way to do it than to put a little pressure on them. And-
O'REILLY: Well, look, I agree with you. There's two tracks here. I agree with you, and from the jump I've said that if you have a captured terrorist, and you can't get through to the man, I think you try to do the conventional way, and if you can't get through to the man, then you might have to get a little rough with him as long as you don't, you know, put an injury there that is permanent, and you don't go over some guidelines that were established.
But what Lesley Stahl was doing, what Mike Wallace did, very successfully, and I do it, too. You're skeptical of what Mr. Rodriguez is saying. You're, "Come on, we don't do that here in America. We-" And you want to get Rodriguez passionate in his defense. You want to get the juices flowing in the interview so that he gives you more than he might with you agreeing with him. So if you're going, "That's right, you're right, you're right," if you go, "Come on, we can't be having the guy's hands up that, it's not like going to the gym." So what Lesley Stahl was doing was bear baiting, you know, putting the little carrot by the bear so the bear gets angrier and angrier. And that's a technique that people use on television.
CAROLLA: Yes, it's also a gay technique, too. I can get into it more off the air if you like.
O'REILLY: No, I don't need that. Thank you, though.
CAROLLA: You don't? Oh, okay. Yeah, all right, whatever it is, I'm just saying we here sit in our safe homes and watch 60 Minutes on television and then we act appalled when these guys go out and do the dirty work. I mean, it's their job to get information from people to stop the next 9/11.
O'REILLY: Oh, so it's more philosophical for you. You're more angry with the faint hearts who, you know, don't want any of this, and they, "Oh, we can't do that," and then you got 3,000 dead, than you are with Lesley Stahl who basically is being skeptical. And I can't say that. I mean, I don't know Ms. Stahl. But she may be exactly what you're saying. She may be a faint heart. But I think you got to give her the benefit of the doubt for the interview. I'll give you the last word.
CAROLLA: I'm just saying you could take the most liberal person on the planet, you know, Michael Moore could have a kid with Tim Robbins, and if that kid got abducted and you asked them both quietly, "We found a guy, he knows some information, your kid is buried alive, he has 48 hours worth of oxygen, can we go ahead and torture him to get the information out of the guy or warboard him?" They would say, "Hell, yes." And, again, show me all the bodies from waterboarding. They'll be right next to all the bodies from second-hand smoke. I just think it's much ado about nothing.