Because if Shep Smith is this far beyond the talking points, there's no way Ailes lets him stay at Fox News, especially not in as prominent a spot as he takes up. If you're at work, you might want headphones for this, as Smith drops an f-bomb on the air.



Now we don't watch cable news, though we get CNN and Fox on our satellite dish--the latter is disappointing, since we kept the lower tier of channels in large part because we refused to pay for Fox as a premium, but whatever--so assuming Smith gets some time off for this or winds up at another network, it's unlikely we'll see much of him. But it's good to see Smith refusing to compromise on this subject.

I only have one quibble with what he said. Smith--and a number of other people who've talked about this in public--said "we do not fucking torture." Okay, not everyone drops an f-bomb in this situation, but they say pretty much the same thing, and that is, quite plainly, incorrect. We, as a nation, have tortured in the very recent past, and if this report is to be believed, there's still some abuses going on down at Guantanamo. We shouldn't, and it's pretty clear that that's what Smith means here, but we did, and hiding behind some idealized notion of what our nation is or stands for won't help us make sure that we won't do it again.

Not that everyone wants to do that. Dick Cheney still defends torture, as do many other Bush administration officials. There are think tank hacks and "national security experts" who argue we benefited from it and that the ends justified the means. And I have no doubt that many Americans, as long as they're divorced from the reality of what torture means, as long as it's an abstract notion, as long as they won't see the details, will support it too. Not all, not even a majority now, but many. There's a crazification factor of roughly 25% in any population, after all.

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