Intelligence Porn

Reading time 2:59; Viewing time – 5:14  .  .  .

That’s what FBI Director James Comey calls the exposés of Wikileaks – “intelligence porn.” Perhaps he was thinking about the titillating effect of reading someone else’s papers, knowing you shouldn’t be doing it. Or watching X-rated stuff, knowing that Mom and Dad probably would disapprove vigrously. It’s the thrill of doing something you know you shouldn’t be doing and getting away with it.

That’s why political manipulators grab hold of Wikileaks’ reveals whenever Julian Assange decides he needs more attention. He publishes private material from a public figure. Then the political manipulators start a self-serving smear campaign, offering excitement to political voyeurs and self-righteous types. It’s a real thrill being an e-peeping Tom.

On the other hand  .  .  .

In Matt Damon’s early film The Rainmaker he plays the part of Rudy Baylor, a down and out, ambulance chasing lawyer in Memphis handling the case of Donny Ray Black, a 22-year-old man living in poverty and dying of leukemia. He might have had a chance to live, were it not for the insurance company denying him coverage for medical care. Baylor attempts to take depositions from employees of the insurance company, but instead gets manipulated by opposing counsel, who has ensured that most witnesses are unavailable to be deposed. He’s the puppet master who has even coached his client’s employees to give frustrating, run-around answers. At last Baylor asks him,”Do you even remember when you first sold out?”

It’s a delightfully brutal truth that’s exposed by his question. Wouldn’t it be equally delightful to ask that question of members of the Trump administration? “Do you even remember when you first sold out?” I confess that’s intelligence porn I would gladly read. However sad the answers, it would be devilishly thrilling.

And another thing .  .  .

Every Sean Spicer White House press briefing is aired in full on the cable news networks. I don’t remember that happening when Josh Ernest did press briefings for President Obama, nor do I remember all of Ari Fleischer’s briefings for President Bush being broadcast in their entirety.

Furthermore, every public utterance of Donald Trump is broadcast, even comments at dinner. Every rally, every Rose Garden ceremony, every photo-op, every everything is broadcast live and in full. All else is shoved aside and it’s been this way since the 2016 election cycle began. Estimates are that Trump got over $2 billion of free air time (i.e., “free advertising”) for his campaign because the networks broadcast everything Trump. To my knowledge, no other candidate or president has had public exposure like this and it continues to this day.

Why does this happen? Trump is a bottomless pit of need for attention and the world accommodates him by broadcasting his endless stream of inanities. Somebody tell me why.

And yet another thing  .  .  .

To Paul Ryan, President Trump and all the Republicans running to the nearest TV camera and proclaiming victory for their healthcare bill like frat boys having a beer blast, and who assure us that the new legislation will cover preexisting conditions:

Shame on you for lying to us with misleading information about your extra support to cover preexisting conditions. The bill you voted for but didn’t read, wasn’t scored and was not evaluated by the Congressional Budget Office prior to the vote (the first time that’s happened in all our history) provides preexisting conditions support that is less than 5% of what will be needed. It will leave millions of critically ill Americans without critical medical care. Shame on you.

And finally, a fun activity  .  .  .

President Trump has a way of saying and tweeting things that are just vague enough or sufficiently troubling that they require endless interpretation that lasts until the next vague or troubling statement. Presidential speech shouldn’t require endless guesses at his meaning. Nevertheless  .  .  .

The next time Trump says or tweets something that sets the world a-tilt and the chatter storm rages, count the number of times you hear public officials and politicos say, “I think what the president meant was  .  .  .”

Record your total in the Comments section below for a chance to win the grand prize in the You Listen to Political Blabbers Too Much contest. First prize consists of our sending an electrician to your house to cut off the electrical plug on your TV, because, honestly, endless interpretation of the Blabber-in-Chief is bad for your heath. This contest is just one of the public services we offer and that’s why you subscribe.

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Ed. note: There is much in America that needs fixing and we are on a path to continually fail to make things better. It is my goal to make a difference – perhaps to be a catalyst for things to get better. That is the reason for these posts. To accomplish the goal requires reaching many thousands of people and a robust dialogue.

YOUR ACTION STEPS: Offer your comments below and pass this along to three people, encouraging them to subscribe and engage.  Thanks!  JA

Copyright 2017 by Jack Altschuler
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3 Responses to Intelligence Porn
  1. John Calia Reply

    I like this one, Jack. I know you might find that hard to believe but I agree with your view that Trump was elected by the media. And, I have to say that the breast beating by Republicans after passing a healthcare bill that makes all the same mistakes that Obama’s plan does is ludicrous. I might suggest that an even handed approach to this discussion would include Democrats singing “Na-na-na-na goodbye” is equally adolescent. And, while we’re at it, didn’t Chuck Schumer miss a great leadership opportunity when he described the bi-partisan passage of the budget as a Democrat victory? He might have said, “this is an example of how bi-partisanship should work. We look forward to many more opportunities to work across the aisle during this Congressional term.”

    • Jack Altschuler Reply

      ABSOLUTELY!

      Democrats doing their chest thumping is equally infantile and self-destructive of a functioning democracy as Republicans’. And the “Na-na-na-na-goodbye” thing – it’s a perfect example of why I am still searching for some semblance of productive leadership in DC.

  2. Joni Lindgren Reply

    I’ve thought about why Trump gets so much airtime and I do think that the media (really there is no excuse for one candidate getting anymore airtime than any other candidate) is giving us an opportunity to maybe expose his lies, narcissism, his campaign promises he’s made and now doing the opposite, his relationship with dictators like Putin, Durerte of the Phillipines, and the North Korean Dictator and just how cruel and immoral he really is!!