Yesterday, Jake Tapper "interviewed" Stephen Miller on one of those pointless Sunday shows. I regularly advise you not to watch those shows. The Miller "interview" has gotten some attention because Tapper cut Miller off and ended the interview when Miller... acted like himself. So... yay for Tapper?
No. Jake Tapper screwed up. By putting Stephen Miller on the air in the first place.
News should, ideally, inform. There are two types of information that can be conveyed with an interview. An interviewee can reveal new information directly-- information that was not previously available. The second type of information is information that comes, not from the content of the words, but from the performance itself. By demonstrating ignorance, lying crassly, or otherwise giving a poor performance, an interviewee can reveal him or herself to be unfit for some position. Alternatively, an interviewee might even acquit him or herself well, and surprise everyone with a good showing. Hey, it could happen. The performance revelation is only newsworthy, though, if it is news.
What, then, about someone who is a known pathological liar and craven toady for his boss, who is an even worse pathological liar? In other words, what about a waste of carbon, like Stephen Miller? Seriously, that guy would make awesome mulch! On the other hand, the probability that a true statement will escape his Trump-taint-tainted lips? Epsilon.*
There are a variety of people serving in the Trump White House. Some are horrified by what he is, and try to do what they can to mitigate the damage of a man clearly unfit for the job. Others are thrilled to take advantage of any opportunity they can. Does Stephen Miller actually think Trump is a "genius?" No. Miller is just an opportunistic and obsequious little shit, but one who enthusiastically does whatever is required.
But we, and more importantly, Jake Tapper should have known that before Miller was booked on that show. That means there was nothing to be gained by handing Miller a microphone. It was irresponsible to give Miller a microphone in the first place because the probability that he would do anything other than what he did was epsilon. In principle, he might have gotten drunk before the show, and had an in-vino-veritas moment, but... what happened was to be expected.
This is true for Donald Trump and all of his spokespeople. White House press briefings serve no purpose anymore because Sarah Huckabee Sanders does nothing but lie on Trump's behalf, and we know, before any briefing starts, that every word out of her mouth will be a lie. So... why hold these things? Why cover them?
Kellyanne Conway. She of the "alternative facts." Why does anyone ever give that fuckin' liar a microphone? Alternative facts. Seriously. Alternative facts. She really fucking said that. Why are we listening to these people?
As a basic journalistic rule, there is some probability, p, representing the probability that you will say something true and informative. If p is below some fixed level, p*, you shouldn't be interviewed because you are a waste of everyone's fucking time. How high should p* be in order for you to be interviewed? .75? .8? I don't know. What is p for Stephen Miller or Kellyanne Conway or any Trump spokesperson, though?
Epsilon. And that means they don't get a fuckin' microphone anymore. They don't deserve my attention. Or yours. Or anyone's. Once you tell that many lies, you don't deserve to have anyone listen to you. So shut the fuck up.
And Jake, stop giving these assholes microphones. Don't preen about taking their microphones away. Just don't give them microphones in the first place.
*The mathematical designation for a probability arbitrarily close to zero.