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Jeff Simon: Who else but '60 Minutes' could clear up all those Storm clouds?

Jeff Simon

Of course, we're looking to "60 Minutes" to get to the bottom of the Stormy Daniels business. Isn't that where we always look?

When Gennifer Flowers told America she had a long sexual relationship with Bill Clinton in Arkansas, she was on "60 Minutes." When Monica Lewinsky's stained blue dress made a mockery of Clinton's contention that "I ... did ... not ... have ... sexual relations ... with ... that ... woman," he admitted to "60 Minutes" it had been "a terrible moral error." Please remember that before the Clinton administration had fully swung into its eight years of action, the Clintons were met with a hot "60 Minutes" TV light falling to the sofa just inches away from them both. Symbolism anyone?

So here we are with porn star Stormy Daniels -- who turns 38 this weekend and who already has shared nothing but gooey eyes with Jimmy Kimmel -- and a taped interview with Anderson Cooper racked up and ready to go on "60 Minutes" to clear up a whole lot of stuff that has been murked up nicely in America's current omnipotent disinformation cycle.

Did Trump's lawyer pay her $130,000 for a non-disclosure agreement about a sexual affair with Trump? (Her lawyer said  Trump never signed it, so it's moot.) Did she have sex with Trump shortly after his son Barron was born? (She told In Touch magazine about it. Then she denied it.)

It's all about money, not sex, say Cooper and "60 Minutes," which is what we Americans always say when we're embarrassed to admit how low our tastes can really be.

What makes it matter is that it's all about truth and honesty and presidents whose zippers cause all manner of problems for friends and supporters.

Bill Clinton was hardly the first. The Kennedy era was saturated with gossip about Jack Kennedy's assignations with famous actresses, including Gene Tierney, Angie Dickinson and, most famously and suggestively, Marilyn Monroe.

When Ron Shelton's movie "Blaze" came out about Gov. Earl Long's obsessive affair with stripper Blaze Starr, I was one of a select bunch of journalists to talk to Shelton and star Paul Newman about it in Los Angeles. The real Blaze Starr came along for the ride up to chat up the fourth estate.

I sat there, open-mouthed, while Starr blithely told us how JFK used to sneak her up the back stairs of the White House for assignations that took place in White House closets.

True or not, I knew at that moment I was hearing a tale I'd never forget. Nor have I. A marvelous storyteller, Blaze Starr, but a long way from Gene Tierney and Angie Dickinson.

So now America at large has been waiting a couple of weeks to see what "60 Minutes" would do with  Cooper's session with Daniels.

Cooper is awfully good at this sort of story. His aristocratic blood lines give him enough social distance from it to appear objective while his actual TV experience is loaded with constant exploitation of his hauteur. Kathy Griffin, for one, knew whom she could embarrass and delight in CNN's New Year's Eve shenanigans. (All of which ended frostily and abruptly with her ill-advised photo showing a beheaded Donald Trump doll. She went a step too far, even for Cooper.)

What I have been startled by ever since Daniels intruded herself on America's news agenda, is the way she looks. I am no expert on porn. I've seen some -- most men my age have. The numbers of porn stars I could name would be fewer than 10. The number I've heard speak for themselves is fewer than five -- and even then it's almost all from one place, the E! Network's former TV broadcasts of Howard Stern's radio shows.

And that brings up a subject that I find the most peculiar of all in this Trumpian scandal.

There is one way to clear up this unimpeachable source of Trumpian matters if he ever decided to take the gig: Howard Stern.

And yet here in an era and a moral/political climate of compromise and degeneracy, Stern is a holdout for the most apparently moral of reasons. Whether Trump is an actual friend of Stern's, Stern is someone whose exploitation of our president on his radio show was long and enriching to his reputation and his fortunes.

I have no doubt that Stern's private opinion of Trump, the politician, is no less acerbic than Tom Brokaw's, but he has established a kind of "no-fly zone" about his former guest's wildly plotted current journeys. The man most equipped to tell us everything about Trumpian doings clearly finds it wrong to do so.

He seems almost a paragon of personal integrity, then, in the whole matter, which is a strange one indeed.

So what we're left with is "60 Minutes" and Cooper to get Daniels to stop being coy and start preparing the world for the tell-all to come.

What I found even more startling about Trump's alleged hotel roommate is how she looks. Granted an obvious amount of surgical enhancement is evident, but with her strong jaw and relatively restrained cosmetic style, she looks vaguely aristocratic to me. Her face is one that Cooper might have encountered socially.

Her lineage is half Native American and half Irish -- a very American thing for a Louisiana woman to be. It is no accident that she is likely to go places in our new America that Shannon Tweed and Jenna Jameson never did, no matter how much they tried.

Daniels already has appeared in "The 40-Year Old Virgin" and in some TV sitcoms.

Incongruity is the rule in Donald Trump's America. Nothing is what it seems. We all need help figuring out the simplest things. That's what "60 Minutes" is for.

Still, where is Howard Stern when we really, really need him?



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