Fox Biz’s Charles Payne Apologizes For Guest Calling McCain ‘Songbird John’: ‘I Did Not Catch This Remark’

Fox Biz’s Charles Payne Apologizes For Guest Calling McCain ‘Songbird John’: ‘I Did Not Catch This Remark’

During the Thursday morning broadcast of Varney and Co., Fox Business’s Charles Payne hosted a segment in which retired Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney advocated for the return of torture, stating that torture “worked on” Sen. John McCain when he was a POW in Vietnam.

“That’s why they call him Songbird John,” McInerney told Payne. “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.”

Payne didn’t react to his guest’s extremely provocative and inflammatory remarks, instead wrapping up the segment while thanking his guest for appearing. With McInerney’s comments causing quite a bit of uproar, Payne has taken to Twitter to apologize for the segment, claiming he didn’t hear what his guest said at the end as he “had the control room” in his ear.

“I regret I did not catch this remark, as it should have been challenged,” he added. “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.”

A Fox spokesperson told Contemptor that Payne will also address the segment on his Fox Business program later in the day.

UPDATE 8:40 PM ET: On his program, Payne reiterated much of what he had previously tweeted out. You can see his apology here.

Justin Baragona

Justin Baragona is the founder/publisher of Contemptor and a contributor to The Daily Beast. He was previously the Cable News Correspondent for Mediaite and prior to starting Contemptor, he worked on the editorial staff of PoliticusUSA. During that time, he had his work quoted by USA Today and BBC News, among others. Justin began his published career as a political writer for 411Mania. He resides in St. Louis, MO with his wife and pets.