What did Stephanopoulos know and when did he know it?
President Trump had himself a great press conference, which included business advice to the Cable News Network (CNN): Tell the truth and see what happens! That is akin to asking Planned Parenthood to tell expectant mothers to plan to be parents. Or to tell Politifact to be factual instead of political.
This was the climax to a week which began with the great Stephen Miller manhandling all the Sunday show hosts, only to be bisected by the disastrous Mike Flynn resignation. Miller is a nice Jewish boy from Santa Monica, but a funny thing happened to him on the way to the Democratic policy forum in high school. He decided that Los Angeles talk-show host Larry “The Sage” Elder was righter on political subjects than his high-minded high-horse-riding high-school teachers. Suffice it to say, that stand did not pave his way into the popular group. But Elder’s fan base loved him, every time he called in to echo the host.
When Trump began his presidential campaign, Miller was an aide on the staff of Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, now freshly anointed Attorney General. Sessions bequeathed Miller to Trump, who took to him quickly. Miller wrote speeches and policy positions and eventually wound up on stage warming up for Trump at campaign rallies. Now he is in the White House, advising and writing until someone got the idea Sunday of unloading him on Stephanopoulos, Todd, and Wallace… and unload he did! He ate their brunches.
Indeed he was so effective that every liberal satire show devoted segments to mocking his appearance. The last bastion of the scoundrel who cannot best you in logic, in sincerity or in accuracy, who cannot impugn your integrity or scholarship, is to say you are a funny-looking fellow. Well, Miller may look funny to these funny men, but he sounds pretty sharp to me.
One exchange between Miller and Stephanopoulos topped all the rest and should be seen as emblematic. It gave me an idea for a fabulous experiment.
Here is how it went down. George, son of a Greek Orthodox pastor and theologian, has long since appointed himself the moral conscience of our beleaguered nation. He turned a pained look upon young Stephen and asked on what basis Trump has been claiming that he lost the State of New Hampshire because of fraudulent voters bused in from Boston. Miller answered: “I have worked on campaigns in New Hampshire and have seen this first hand. You can ask anyone who has worked in New Hampshire politics and they will confirm that. Everyone knows this is the case.”
Stephanopoulos snapped: “So you are offering ZERO evidence for this charge.”
This reminded me of a wacky radio event in New York City some years ago when Curtis Sliwa accused Al Sharpton of spreading the Tawana Brawley hoax without any evidence. Sharpton said he had evidence. Sliwa challenged him to appear on Sliwa’s radio show and present his evidence. Sharpton accepted. For a week in advance the station hyped the forthcoming showdown. When the night of the great confrontation arrived, Sharpton showed up on schedule. Dramatically, Sliwa demanded the evidence.
“I had valid evidence,” Sharpton said. “I had Tawana Brawley’s testimony. That is admissible in a court of law in a rape case.”
Sliwa howled that Sharpton had played him, but Reverend Al was correct in this instance. Testimony is evidence in American law, including (unlike Jewish law) testimony of the victim.
Which brings us back to the Miller’s Tale. As Chaucer presciently noted:
What more should I say, but this Miller
He would not refrain from speaking for any man.
Stephen Miller testified he knew personally the patter of Democrat voter fraud in New Hampshire politics, having worked there himself. Testimony equals evidence, as Al Sharpton pointed out so astutely at Curtis Sliwa’s expense.
Interestingly, Stephanopoulos, himself a veteran of state by state campaigns for the presidency, did not offer testimony to counter Miller. He did not say he had personally presided over a New Hampshire campaign for Bill Clinton that was clean as a whistle stop. Indeed his silence on that score spoke volumes; or spake, as Chaucer might say.
If Stephanopoulos would tell the truth, it would sound like “The Pardoner’s Tale”:
Come forth straightaway, and kneel down here
And meekly receive my pardon…
Providing that you offer, again and again,
Gold coins or silver pennies, which are good and true.
It is an honor to everyone that is here
That you may have a pardoner with sufficient power
To absolve you…
Look what a safeguard it is to you all
That I happen to be in your fellowship.
We all know the Democrats’ credo: “The ends justify the meanness. There is no room for tolerance in the fight against intolerance.” Stephanopoulos knows the voter fraud in New Hampshire and elsewhere much better than Stephen Miller could ever imagine. Old George played the game as well as anyone in his day. But the Democrats need not beware of this Greek baring grifts anytime soon; he knows how to keep his mouth shut.
In parting I issue this challenge. Let Stephen Miller and George Stephanopoulos be strapped to lie detectors simultaneously. Miller can say, “The Democrats cheat in New Hampshire.” Stephanopoulos can say, “The Democrats do not cheat in New Hampshire.” We can watch the results in real time, with fire extinguishers nearby to pour on the loser’s pants. If Stephanopoulos wins, I will graciously concede the point, other than to note that he is kind of funny-looking.