Trump and Putin in Helsinki

Real things get overlooked in the rush to denounce Trump for talking to Putin.


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Why were people convinced that Putin would be able to pull the wool over Trump’s innocent eyes? Trump is a guy who spent decades negotiating successfully with real New York mafiosi in the construction industry. He’s an expert at audience-targeting and broken-field information-policy running, and breaking the opponent’s OODA loop.

The constant barrage of media noise results in overlooking the basic contradictions of knee-jerk anti-Trumpism. One of these was pointed out by Ross Douthat, who put it this way:

One difficulty with the “Trump is a Russian asset” theory is that you would expect a real Russian asset to pretend he isn’t one publicly while quietly pursuing pro-Russian policies behind the scenes; Trump has basically done the reverse.

And yet it was Barack Obama and the Democrats persuaded the U.S. electorate that Russia was not a threat, mocking Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney for suggesting the opposite.

It is impossible to count the number of times Trump has been described as a “Russian intelligence asset” in the last 24 hours. But he’s not, by the standard intelligence definition. By this definition, an intelligence asset is “a resource by means of which intelligence is gathered.” Of course, it was Barack Obama whose idea about sharing intelligence on Syria with Russia was rejected by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

If anything what is meant is that he is an agent of influence, someone who “uses his or her position to influence public opinion or decision making to produce results beneficial to the country whose intelligence service operates the agent.”

Yet even that assertion requires the assumption that Trump is operated by a Russian intelligence service. By the criteria used for Trump, one certainly be justified in asserting Obama to have been Iranian agent of influence: possibly even an Iranian intelligence asset according to the definition earlier given.

And in the middle of all of it, real news like this gets missed:

Outrage is easier, and it draws more eyeballs to sell to advertisers. That is why I am ignoring all the media brouhaha, insofar as possible, until the dust settles, and something actually happens.


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R.M. Cutler

Chairman, Montreal Press Club Board of Directors

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