The Gabfest on the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s CIA torture report, Rolling Stone’s discredited story of an alleged rape at the University of Virginia, and The Colbert Report’s impact on American politics.

Did Stephen Colbert Change American Politics?

Did Stephen Colbert Change American Politics?

Slate's weekly political roundtable.
Dec. 12 2014 10:26 AM

The “America’s National Shame” Edition

Listen to Slate’s show about the CIA torture report, the fallout from Rolling Stone’s UVA story, and The Colbert Report’s legacy.

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For this week’s Slate Plus bonus segment, the hosts discuss the high-profile firings and resignations at the New Republic. Slate Plus members get an ad-free version of this podcast with bonus segments. Visit slate.com/gabfestplus and try it free for two weeks.

On this week’s Slate Political Gabfest, Emily Bazelon, John Dickerson, and David Plotz discuss the newly released CIA torture report, the unraveling of Rolling Stone’s story of a rape at UVA, and The Colbert Report’s impact on American politics.

Here are some of the links and references mentioned during this week’s show:

  • Some of Emily’s first pieces for Slate covered the CIA’s torture program during the Bush administration.
  • This week, the Wall Street Journal published an op-ed by several former CIA directors and deputy directors disputing the torture report’s finding that no actionable intelligence was gained through torture.
  • According to the Associated Press, Americans are more accepting of torturing terrorists for information than they were almost a decade ago.
  • Two psychologists were paid $81 million by the CIA to develop techniques used to torture detainees.
  • The Washington Post has been effectively re-reporting the UVA rape story, uncovering many inconsistencies between the piece published in Rolling Stone and claims made by people in the story itself.
  • Earlier this year, the New York Times exposed the Tallahassee, Florida, police’s complicity in downgrading and occasionally seeking to tamp down charges against Florida State University’s football team.
  • Rolling Stone is planning to re-report the UVA story.
  • A study released by the Annenberg Public Policy Center showed that Colbert Report viewers had a greater knowledge overall of how campaign finance laws and super PACs work.
  • Hendrik Hertzberg argues that Colbert’s character allows him to pose questions to interviewees that other late-night hosts and journalists cannot ask.
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Emily chatters about the new iOS update.

John chatters about the demise of Congressman Wilbur Mills.

David chatters about the last line of Robert Caro’s book The Power Broker.

Topic ideas for next week? You can tweet suggestions, links, and questions to @SlateGabfest.

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The email address for the Political Gabfest is gabfest@slate.com. (Email may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.)

Podcast production by Mike Vuolo. Links compiled by Maxwell Tani.