As more and more of Mr. Brooks' Conservative running buddies go full Hannibal Lecter in gleeful defense of torture as a vital tool in their Arsenal of Dumbocracy, Mr. Brooks continues to competently perform his specific role within the larger Conservative conspiracy: floating on a giant cloud of money far above every Conservative atrocity, deflecting the blame for it as efficiently as possible using whatever tactics are left in the Both Siderist' arsenal.
Before rolling up his sleeves to do Roger Ailes' dirty-work, however, Mr. Brooks had to first carefully insulate himself from any hint that he in a soulless, Conservative cipher who works the front parlor of the wingnut media whorehouse every bit as hard and profitably as Boss Limbaugh works its back alley. He does this by piously wrinkling his nose and speak briefly and in the most Blandly Passive Voice in America about the obvious horror of what was done by an administration which he had backed right to the hilt:
...this aroused the moral sensibility. It’s very hard to read this report and not be morally outraged. And so that does have — that had a great effect.
Having tagged that base, Mr. Brooks was then left free to wander the countryside, caressing every single wingnut talking point entirely unmolested by Mr. Mark Shields, the Alan Colmes of the tote-bag-and-Civil-War-DVD crowd.
First on the menu, a standard-issue "Mah oh mah, its all so deucedly paaaahtisan" fainting-couch gambit:
I do have some sympathy for those who say the document was too partisan. It was written by Democratic staffers. It was done in a partisan way. I’m a little bothered, as a reporter, that they didn’t interview as many people as they should have.
Except, of course, Mr. Brooks has not been a "reporter" in any sense of the word since Christ was a corporal. But we cannot tarry in the sad garden of imaginary partisanship too long, or we'll miss Mr. Brooks' masterful deployment the "So are they all, all honorable men" defense --
I think the people who were involved — and we know this from the report — the people who were involved were appalled at the time, but sometimes they thought, you know, they are doing the right thing.
-- not seen in these parts since the time Mr. Brooks went under the table to "report" on the nobility of Scooter Libby's junk.
DAVID BROOKS: I went to lunch with Scooter Libby twice when he was -- and he told me...JIM LEHRER: What were the dates of those?DAVID BROOKS: Well, what struck me was, A, he told me nothing. I didn't even know what he was ordering half the time.DAVID BROOKS: And he was incredibly discrete. And the second thing that always struck me is, he would pay in cash. Usually, you can buy somebody lunch if it's up to $20. But he would insist on following the law to the stickler of the detail. He would always put down a $20 bill.
Third, the incredibly lazy Mr. Brooks just snatches a leftover "But The Droooones!" turd roll right off the plate of Fox News "reporter" and professional Megyn Kelly "before" photo, Gretchen Carlson. Here is Ms. Carlson (from If You Only News):
"...instead of bringing in terrorism suspects for questioning, President Obama has simply kills them, with drones. So is that more humane than waterboarding?"
And here is Mr. Brooks:
We kill people with drones. We’re killing people all the time with drones. Killing is probably worse than torture.
And finally and inevitably, having never set one pink toe outside of his own gated suburb and never vetted anything more substantial than the lint from his own belly button, Mr. Both Sides states with utterly unearned confidence that he knows exactly who is really to blame for these atrocities.
Surprise! It's everybody!
It wasn’t just the CIA. It was the whole country. There was a lot of people, and a lot of people up the political chain, a lot of people in Congress, a lot of people in the public. And so we’re trying to rediscover our moral center.
But honestly, my laugh-out-loud moment came courtesy of the closing remark from show moderator, Judy Woodruff:
JUDY WOODRUFF: Tough questions tonight.
Not by a million miles, Judy.
Not by a million miles.