Demetri Sevastopulo demonstrates the the spirit, if not the letter, of the original Fan Magazine Photoplay, is alive and well. Such is his approach to Neo-Con Cult figure Fiona Hill. It reminds this reader of Andrew Sullivan gushing, in his regular column of November 22, 2019, in New York Magazine:
Headline: Fiona Hill: The Antidote to Trump
When I sat down last night and watched some of the footage of Fiona Hill online, I was gobsmacked.
As soon as I heard her voice, I thought she was a “Geordie” — her accent has obviously softened but those flat vowels and clipped consonants are unmistakable to an English ear. I was wrong, in fact. Geordies are from Newcastle, strictly speaking, and Hill is from Durham. They’re both cities in the Northeast of England and have similar accents, but Durham is a truly ancient town, its Cathedral a monument to medieval Christianity, its university renowned. And Hill, it also turns out, is the real deal, from a mining family. Her local paper, the Northern Echo, celebrated a local girl yesterday:
For those with patience,Fiona Hill and David Holmes’ five hour and twenty two minute testimony can de watched here on C-Span:
Rep. Schiff’s carefully scripted, stage managed,choreographed, you choose the descriptor, like the Mueller Report, have simply dissipated into the gauzy mirage of Political Theater Past.
Headline: Obama officials: No empirical evidence of Trump-Russia collusion, transcripts reveal
Sub-headline: Former National Security Adviser Susan Rice said there was no smoking gun
Top Obama administration officials told the House Intelligence Committee they had no “empirical evidence” the Trump campaign conspired with Russia ahead of the 2016 election, transcripts released Thursday revealed.
“I never saw any direct empirical evidence that the Trump campaign or someone in it was plotting/conspiring with the Russians to meddle with the election,” former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told the committee in 2017.
“That’s not to say that there weren’t concerns about the evidence we were seeing, anecdotal evidence. … But I do not recall any instance where I had direct evidence,” he continued.
Former National Security Adviser Susan Rice said there was no smoking gun.
“To the best of my recollection, there wasn’t anything smoking, but there were some things that gave me pause,” she said, according to the transcript. “I don’t recall intelligence that I would consider evidence that I saw…conspiracy prior to my departure.
Yet one of the Star witnesses, now a cult figure, like Jane Mansfield in ‘The Girl Can’t Help It’? Has become an almost overnight sensation, even though Rep. Schiff’s production was Box Office flop.
Mr. Sevastopulo’s essay begins in promise:
Before Fiona Hill even finished addressing Congress in the impeachment investigation into Donald Trump, she had become a global talking point.
In explosive testimony, the former White House Russia expert chastised lawmakers for helping Moscow to sow discord by entertaining a “fictional narrative” about Ukraine interfering in the 2016 election.
On the specific charges faced by Trump, she went on to recount how John Bolton, her boss at the National Security Council, had described the president’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani as a “hand grenade” who would “blow everyone up” as he pressed Ukraine to find dirt on Joe Biden.
As interesting as Hill’s career trajectory, and policy talk are, this interview remains in the Photoplay tradition. Like all Public Relations inspired interviews, with stars, its about selling a product.