“These Are The Ones Hurting You?”: Putin and Trump Share An Anti-Media Moment In Hamburg

donald_trump_president-elect_portrait_cropped225px-Vladimir_Putin_official_portraitDonald Trump and Vladimir Putin shared an anti-media moment in Hamburg when they faced journalists and Putin asked “These are the ones hurting you?” Trump responded “These are the ones. You’re right about that.”  While I have been very critical of what I see as distortive and biased coverage of the Trump Administration, I have also been critical of Trump’s attacks on the media.  This is an example where journalists have a legitimate right to recoil at the scene.  Trump was commiserating with a man who has decimated the free press in Russia where dozens of journalists have been killed. With Trump calling for reductions in the protections afforded to media and attacking the media, there is a heightened and understandable sensitivity to these type of scenes.

Since 1993, roughly 60 reporters have been killed.  Russia maintains a close level of control over the press where Putin has reinstated authoritarianism in the country after a fleeting period of democratic rule.

To have such an exchange with a man like Putin about the free press is a truly low moment for our country.  The men and women in front of the two leaders represent a profession that has lost dozens of journalists who fought to publish the truth about the Putin regime. Thousands more have died around the world in the struggle for free speech and the free press.  I understand the need to deal with figures like Putin in diplomacy but commiserating with the likes of Vladimir Putin about the free press is a terrible image for any American president.  Putin is not a great man and the media is not the enemy.  We can (and should) criticize the media for their loss of objectivity but even casual moments like this one with Putin carry a chilling message both in Russia and the United States. There remain committed journalists in Russia who look to the United States as their ally in the fight for a free press.   For them, these comments must be chilling and demoralizing.

285 thoughts on ““These Are The Ones Hurting You?”: Putin and Trump Share An Anti-Media Moment In Hamburg

  1. “Since 1993, roughly 60 reporters have been killed.”

    Your analysis is a little pollyanna JT. Have you ever heard of Gray Webb? Did you forget about Michael Hastings? Woodward and Bernstein both feared for their lives when investigating Watergate. What about all those witnesses who disappeared shortly before they were slated to testify to Congress about the JFK assassination? Sami Al-Hajj, an Al Jazeera reporter, spent seven years in Guantanamo for refusing to give up sources to the U.S. military. Beltway shills have called for the assassination of Julian Assange. I wont go into the more questionable cases like Michael Ruppert and Victor Thron…

    • PeaceFrog, when thinking of Woodward and Bernstein one should always think about who Deep Throat was. We know know it was Mark Felt, the assistant FBI director. While most of us know a lot of the details involving the investigation we seldom think about why the FBI was investigating the President and if that was legal. Should we have investigated the FBI for those dealings after the name was released? It seems the FBI strays outside of the bounds proscribed by law and apparently has done so once more.

      • Exactly. The Watergate burglary was an intelligence operation. It involved G. Gordon Liddy, formerly with FBI, and, John A. Paisley, a retired CIA officer. Interestingly, Mark Felt was bitter over being passed up as FBI Director. We can make a close analogy to Comey, who basically admitted that he felt personally slighted by Trump, prior to having his friend, Daniel C. Richman, illegally leak classified information. The FBI has now stated that Comey did release classified information, and also violated internal FBI protocols. Apparently, Felt was a bit brighter than Comey, as an internal FBI investigation into the Watergate leak cleared him:
        https://www.villagevoice.com/2005/06/07/fbi-cleared-w-mark-felt-of-watergate-leaks/

  2. To a certain extent, what else was he meant to say? He’s been publically wrestling with the media and the worlds biggest “strong man” leader asks him that question. “Yes” – Trump is joking with a dictator about the press. “No” – Trump denies rivalry with the media in front of Putin. No matter what happens, someone was gonna spin it. It was Putin’s attenpt to keep the attention off him because he knows the press wil dive after any scrutiny of Trump and it worked perfectly.

  3. On the conversation between two heads of state, Putin and The Donald. For such a first meeting, without knowing how it would go, I suppose each chose to speak in their native language and bring along a translator.

    Irrespective of the fact that Putin can carry on a decent conversation in some form of English.

  4. Can’t really judge the propriety of what was said unless we know what was said. So how do we know what was said? I see no translator in the video. What language were they speaking?

          • Why the need for a translator if he speaks English fluently? Who is the source that revealed what Putin said?

          • Some Internet search discovers Putin is fluent in German and adequate in English and French with minor abilities in a variety of other languages.

            • Let’s assume he speaks English well enough to ask what he supposedly asked. Who heard him, and who reported it?

          • It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you in trouble. It’s what you know for certain that just ain’t so.
            The Dongle speaks $H!7 Gibbonish!

  5. You actually make it seem really easy together with your
    presentation however I to find this matter to be actually one thing which I think I’d by no means understand.
    It seems too complicated and extremely large for me.
    I am having a look forward to your next post, I will try to get the dangle of
    it!

  6. Y is it the press want the West to hate Putin and Russia … best thing Trump has done; made friends with Putin… Thats what leaders should be doing
    All super powers are as bad as each other… and the people know it

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