Photo: The Washington Post (Getty Images)

Apparently amazed at the concept that the 24-hour news network’s agenda might not be as “fair and balanced” as it’s been repeatedly—some might say defensively—braying about ever since its inception, a long-time Fox News contributor abruptly quit the network today, dubbing it a “propaganda machine” on his way out. Buzzfeed secured the resignation letter, written by Ralph Peters, in which the frequent network guest declared himself “ashamed” of his association with the channel, and specifically its attacks on Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who’s currently investigating possible ties between the Russian government and Donald Trump.

Lest you think Peters—a former intelligence officer who sidelines as a spy author, writing Tom Clancy soundalike novels with names like Twilight Of Heroes and Bravo Romeo—is some sort of secret bleeding-heart liberal, lurking undercover in the Fox machine, though, we should be clear that the retired Army officer was also a vocal and hawkish critic of Barack Obama in his day. (In fact, Peters once got suspended from the network for two weeks for calling the former president a “total pussy” on-air, also in regards to his treatment of Russia.) But Fox’s slavish—albeit entirely predictable—devotion to Donald Trump’s “destructive and ethically ruinous administration” was apparently one flap of the ol’ right wing too far for Peters, who stormed out today after confirming that he was refusing to renew his contract.

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Specifically, Peters was loudly critical of the network’s hosts, declaring that, despite guys like Sean Hannity and their “increasingly pathetic denials” that the Trump administration encouraged or turned a blind eye to tampering in the 2016 election, “It turns out that the ‘nothing-burger’ has been covered with Russian dressing all along.” (Peters thus scored the rare political burn that also makes us super hungry for lunch.) He also—in this case this story was insufficiently delightful for schadenfreude aficionados—said he’s pretty sure that the pee-tape is real.

Meanwhile, Fox News basically brushed off Peters’ letter; when reached for comment, a network spokesperson said, “Ralph Peters is entitled to his opinion, despite the fact that he’s choosing to use it as a weapon in order to gain attention. We are extremely proud of our top-rated primetime hosts and all of our opinion programming.” They neglected to comment on the pee tape.