Evaluating Evidence: Deconstructing the Trump Dossier – Part 1

Minisode

Posted February 19th, 2017

What is the difference between “fake news” and “real news?”  What is the impact of “alternative facts?”  Is there really anything to this buzzfeed-leaked Dossier about Trump’s alleged connections with Russia?  What is believable?  What is not believable?  Scott takes religion out from under the microscope and replaces it with politics in this introduction to a new smackdown series for Infants on Thrones.  More to come.

  • I’ll be there. Terry Gross had a gentleman on ( http://www.npr.org/2017/01/26/511786803/journalist-russias-interference-is-an-assault-on-the-western-liberal-order ) who was a reporter for The Guardian in Moscow for four years until he was finally kicked out of Russia by the Kremlin because they didn’t like his reporting. He said that his family’s flat in Moscow was very obviously bugged and when they returned from going out for a while there would be evidence that FSB operatives had been in the flat while they were out. The FSB is not clumsy and the “clues” were left purposefully to let them know that they were under constant surveillance:

    One thing puts me in mind of Donald Trump. There’s a whole conversation about what he did or didn’t do in the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Moscow in 2013 — about whether there was sexual activity going on or not. But one thing I can tell you is that the FSB really are obsessed with sex, because I came home after one break-in, and I discovered a sex manual left by the side of my bed, the marital bed. Next to all of the middle-class novels that your listeners have in English, there was this bloody sex manual, and the FSB, the KGB, they had bookmarked it to page 181, and it was one of the most surreal moments of my life.

    I opened this thing and I’m thinking, “What are they trying to tell me? Is there a frequency issue or some other kind of technical problem they’ve observed on their video?” And the page was on orgasms, how to have a
    better orgasm, and of course we kind of wave this thing around at dinner parties and we laughed at it, but actually it wasn’t so funny. It showed that the KGB has a dark sense of humor. But they were basically
    saying, “We’re watching you.”

    In the reporter’s opinion, the FSB has audio and probably video of Trump’s stay. It’s standard procedure for them.

  • Jay

    Has there been any thought of bringing on new guests who might not hold the majority infant view on Trump? The infants do great TBM whispering, but in previous political podcasts I haven’t felt the same understanding of the conservative point of view.

    • black_and_delightsome

      What is the conservative point of view with respect to Trumps abhorrent behavior and utterances since being elected ?

      • Jay

        As of today, Trump’s approval rating is around 45%. https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/why-polls-differ-on-trumps-popularity/. It’s not great, but certainly not a terrible approval rating. So I’m going to go out on a limb and say many of those who approve of Trump aren’t as bothered as you seem to be.

        • black_and_delightsome

          I thought you guys believed the polls are fake and a secret liberal agenda to destroy America.

    • Glenn

      Are you volunteering, Jay?

      • Jay

        Eesh. I consider myself a libertarian leaning conservative, but I’m certainly to Trump fanboy. I probably wouldn’t be the right person for the job.

        Sounds like you’re committed to the series, so I wish you the best of luck. I’m sure you know the potential shitstorm you’re getting into when bringing up politics, but these are important conversations so they shouldn’t be avoided.

        • Religion and politics are described as impolite topics but I wonder if it’s because we never work through the other side of the anxiety they cause?

          The narcissism of small differences has turned into a Jurassic Park sized pile of shit in America. The two sides can’t even level anymore. Talking fixes that.

  • Looking forward to this series. Thanks for putting it together guys.

  • Kim

    This could be interesting.

    I have a request. Please don’t make golden shower jokes while discussing the Dossier in detail. Whether the sexual behavior that was sensationalized was requested by Trump as a behavior meant to belittle the Obamas or an actual sexual fetish, making fun of that specific behavior detracts from legitimate and critical concerns. If you get an “icky” response from a fetish idea, then it’s not for you, but this does not mean that we should mock behavior that happens between consenting adults. (Now whether there was true consent..that is a possible question in of itself, separate from any golden shower joke.)