Photo: AP

On Sunday’s Meet the Press, host Chuck Todd once again interviewed Roger Stone, longtime Donald Trump crony and understudy for Danny Devito as the Penguin in Batman Returns.

During the interview, Stone told Todd he’s prepared to be indicted as part of Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Although two of Stone’s associates were recently subpoenaed by Mueller’s team, Stone has maintained his innocence.

Stone used the airtime to insist he has not had any personal contact with Mueller’s team while also offering up this illuminating nugget (emphasis added):

Stone: I can guarantee you they have found no evidence whatsoever of Russian collusion, nor trafficking of allegedly hacked emails with Wikileaks. It is not inconceivable now that Mr. Mueller and his team may seek to conjure up some extraneous crime pertaining to my business, or maybe not even pertaining to the 2016 election. I would chalk this up to an effort to silence me, Chuck. I’ve been an, I think, effective critic on Infowars, on StoneColdTruth.com, on programs like this—of the excesses and partisanship of the Mueller probe. So I am prepared, should that be the case. But I think it just demonstrates, again, this was supposed to be about Russian collusion, and it appears to be an effort to silence or punish the president’s supporters and his advocates.

Todd: I don’t know how this has silenced you. You’re not somebody that’s been silenced very easily. You came here.

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One of the few undeniably true things Stone said in this interview is that he has been given wide latitude to make his views known on programs like Meet the Press. (Todd also interviewed Stone one month ago, on the April 13 show, during which Stone called himself the “perfect victim” in this whole matter.) This raises the question: Why did Todd need to interview Stone? What new information did we glean? What is Roger Stone’s news value at this particular moment, aside from someone who has not yet been indicted? All of this is unclear.

Cable news producers will protest that, as someone with ties to the president, Stone is an inherently newsworthy individual. But Stone is politically radioactive, and so was shoved out of the Trump campaign during its first grasp at professionalism, just months after it began. This man hasn’t been “close” to the president, at least professionally, for years, with Trump reportedly seeking out other wizened souls as confidants.

The public also already knows a great deal about Roger Stone. These details, much of which Stone has publicized himself, have created an overall picture clearly showing the type of person he is: a two-bit crook, a liar, and—like his bosses before him—not even a particularly good liar at that.

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Please stop interviewing Roger Stone. He so obviously loves the attention and has nothing new to offer. He is playing you. If he does tell you something that seems interesting and newsworthy, there is a 99.99% chance he is lying to you. The only reason this man is employed in politics is for his skills as a cynical, slimy huckster and master media manipulator.

Serving as the host of a network Sunday news show like Meet the Press is still widely considered one of the most powerful jobs in political journalism today. It would be a much better use of that platform to shed light on the lesser-known victims of the Trump administration—like the countless people who have been harassed by ICE, for example—than to give this self-styled provocateur his zillionth opportunity to rehash stale denials.

Unfortunately, as with fellow serial liar Rudy Giuliani, the mainstream press continues to elevate Stone and take him at his word. This is the natural result of decades of conservative media “working the refs,” to the point where presenting a false “balance” outweighs presenting the facts as they are, and not as cynical political operatives would like them to be.

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Please, for God’s sake, stop fucking booking this guy.