Fox Business Host Apologizes After Guest Says Torture ‘Worked’ on John McCain

Charles Payne says he did not hear his guest argue that the use of torture had “worked” on Sen. John McCain while he was a prisoner in Vietnam

Fox Business host Charles Payne moved swiftly Thursday afternoon to quell an Internet grumbles after a guest on live television told him that torture had “worked” on John McCain when he was a prisoner in Vietnam and that’s why he was known as “Songbird John.”

“This morning on a show I was hosting, a guest made a very false and derogatory remark about Senator John McCain. At the time, I had the control room in my ear telling me to wrap the segment, and did not hear the comment,” Payne tweeted out with the headline: “My Apology to Senator McCain and his Family.”

“I regret I did not catch this remark, as it should have been challenged. As a proud military veteran and son of a Vietnam Vet these words neither reflect my or the network’s feelings about Senator McCain, or his remarkable service and sacrifice to this country,” he added.

The remark which prompted the apology took place on the set of the Fox Business program “Varney and Co.” on Thursday morning. Payne was interviewing Lt. Gen. Thomas Mcinerney. The Fox guest took the position that the enhanced interrogation techniques used during CIA director nominee Gina Haspel’s career had worked. He cited McCain to underscore the point.

“The fact is, is John McCain — it worked on John. That’s why they call him ‘Songbird John,'” said Mcinerney.  “The fact is those methods can work, and they are effective, as former Vice President Cheney said. And if we have to use them to save a million American lives, we will do whatever we have to.”

The clip was first spotted by watchdog group Media Matters for America.

McCain, a longtime Arizona Senator was famously taken to prison and tortured while he served in Vietnam. He is currently in Arizona where he is being treated for brain cancer.