He's been in the spotlight previously, but White House aide Stephen Miller got perhaps his biggest exposure so far on Wednesday when he briefed reporters on President Trump's new immigration plan and sparred with CNN's Jim Acosta. It even caught the attention of Less Than Zero novelist Bret Easton Ellis, notes the Wrap. "Why do I find Stephen Miller completely compelling and want to write a novel about him?" the author tweeted. Ellis has notably criticized liberals in Hollywood for their Trump animus and tweeted last month that he's been accused of being a "Trump apologist," notes the Hollywood Reporter. Other takes:
- Hero status: A post at Axios says Miller is being treated as a "hero" in the West Wing because of his clash with Acosta.
- Who's 'cosmopolitan'? At one point, Miller accused Acosta of a "cosmopolitan bias" because of his questioning, and later, on CNN, Acosta said, "I could go for a cosmopolitan right now. ... It's not often you're accused of a cosmopolitan bias from somebody who went to Duke University wearing cufflinks in the White House briefing room."
- The term: Jeff Greenfield digs into the history of the term "cosmopolitan," which he defines at Politico as "a cousin to 'elitist,' but with a more sinister undertone. It's a way of branding people or movements that are unmoored to the traditions and beliefs of a nation, and identify more with like-minded people regardless of their nationality." Given its roots in Soviet anti-Semitism (Lenin used it), Greenfield suggests that Miller stick with "elitist" in the future.
- The poem: Miller was correct when he pointed out that the "huddled masses" poem was added after the Statue of Liberty's dedication, notes the Washington Post. The story digs into how "New Colossus" by Emma Lazarus has become a flashpoint on the alt-right. Movement leader Richard Spencer tweeted earlier this year, "It's offensive that such a beautiful, inspiring statue was ever associated with ugliness, weakness, and deformity." Read the poem in full here.
- Premeditated? A post at Poynter criticizes Miller for what appeared to be "a premeditated act of faux combat with the press." The evidence for that? Miller himself, saying at the end, "I think that was exactly what we were hoping to have happen."
- Score it for Miller: Rick Lowry makes the case that Miller got the best of the argument with Acosta. He accuses the CNN reporter, and others who support high levels of immigration, of "ignorant emotionalism" at Politico. It's past time for a reassessment of immigration policy, and the new bill should force one, he writes. The problem is it's "an area in which thoughtless sentimentality has long dominated—and if the Miller-Acosta exchange is any indication, will be difficult to dislodge."
- Nope: At Slate, Jeremy Stahl thinks Miller's comments smack of xenophobia. He runs through Miller's background, including attending Duke with "neo-Nazi rebrander" Spencer, and concludes that "Spencer has a kindred spirit in the White House, one who's apparently crafting national immigration policy."
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