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Journalismism

There Is No Reason to Hand Stephen Miller a Microphone

Trump's favorite fascist is now a friendly, trusted source for Politico. The establishment never learns.

Stephen Miller on Fox News talking about immigration
Fox News

Remember Stephen Miller? You know, the Trump administration’s leading fascist, a man who helped put white nationalist xenophobia at the heart of the Trump agenda? Boy, he must have been run out of town on a rail, right? He must have paid a huge price for all of the harm he caused! After all, this is America, where there are consequences for horrible behavior, so of course Stephen Miller is persona non gra—

Oh, sorry, I’m being told that Stephen Miller is totally fine and that he is now just a benign, friendly source for some of our biggest media outlets, like Politico! Here he is in today’s Politico Playbook (emphasis all theirs):

WHEN A CRISIS IS YOUR MESSAGING — It’s a tale of two immigration messages: The Biden administration continues to get flak for barring press access to detention facilities at the border; the Trump administration basically begged press to come to the border. The Biden administration has downplayed the influx of migrants, insisting it’s a challenge, not a “crisis”; the Trump administration highlighted chaos at the border to build public support for its hard-line immigration policies.

“It was a global policy, allowing and encouraging media access,” STEPHEN MILLER, DONALD TRUMP’S top immigration adviser, told Playbook. “I used to call [Customs and Border Patrol] and say, ‘Why can’t you get more reporters to ride alongside?’ … I want to turn on ‘60 Minutes’ and see footage.”

While images of crowded, difficult conditions were helpful to the image Trump wanted to create, they run counter to the Biden administration’s objective of projecting a firm-but-compassionate response to border crossings. The upshot: This is one instance where the media-bashing Trump was on the side of the press — and Biden, despite his supposed respect for the role of journalism, is not.

A few things to note here. First, as many, many people pointed out, Politico is wrong. The Trump administration was not rushing to show off its concentration camps to the world.

Secondly, do not read Playbook—recently seen handing itself over to Ben Shapiro—to find out about immigration! Here’s a much-needed recap of what the current media frenzy about the border is missing (namely, any context whatsoever about the Biden administration’s actual obligations to asylum seekers) from our friends at BORDER/LINES.

Thirdly, a little note to Politico: you don’t actually have to do this. You will be fine without turning to this monster for guidance! (One would imagine that Miller and Politico have actually had a friendly relationship for a long time behind the scenes, but now the fun is moving on the record.)

Most importantly, look at how the American establishment works. Stephen Miller is evil personified. He is about as open a white supremacist as it is possible to be. He is just coming off of an administration that caused terrible damage. None of that matters to Politico, though. Miller is just another Washington voice, just another name in the Rolodex, just another insider who deserves to be given the space to peddle a demonstrably false narrative about immigration. It’s all a purely intellectual game to them, with no moral stakes whatsoever.

Last year, our own Samantha Grasso predicted that nobody in the Trump administration would pay much of a price at all for what they’d done. I think we can consider that prediction pretty well confirmed.