The Short Version: The Trump Dossier

The Short Version: The Trump Dossier

The point of it all is to break down the headlines, the week’s most controversial issues, determine why a particular issue is important to you, and reveal the best arguments on each side of the story.

By reading Cleo Abram’s The Short Version, you join a vibrant group of people with two simple beliefs: 1) Every important issue can and should be discussed in a way we all can understand; 2) Understanding both sides makes us more thoughtful and our views more informed.

In some of the most recent iterations of The Short Version, Cleo Abram looked at the viability of the Electoral College, because, well, this is the second election of the past five in which the person with the most votes is not going to the White House: in the end, Hillary Clinton won just under 3 million more votes than the president elect. And, according to economic analyses, a minimum of 3 million appears to be the magic number of American who would be forced to go without healthcare insurance based on economic analyses of any plans to replace Obamacare. (With no replacement, that number soars to 20+ million.) This week Cleo examines “The Trump Dossier.”

Note: In general, if you have missed any of Cleo’s blogs, just go to our Home Page, type “The Short Version” into Search (magnifying glass icon) and poof, like magic, all her blogs will appear.

“I love getting feedback every week—thank you! If you want come hang out, debate a thing or two, and meet other Shorties, check out Short Events,” says Cleo. “Or if you have a topic you’d be interested in guest writing, just let me know! Let’s make it happen.”

Cleo Constantine Abrams of the “Short Form,” offering densely packed spins on issues of national and global importance.

Cleo Constantine Abram of the “Short Form,” offering densely packed spins on issues of national and global importance.

What’s happening?

Tuesday afternoon: CNN publishes the news that US intelligence officials briefed President Obama and President-elect Trump on reports that Russia has “compromising personal and financial information” about the President-elect.

Tuesday night: BuzzFeed publishes the full report (now commonly referred to as the “Trump dossier”) with a warning that its contents are not verified.

Wednesday morning: President-elect Trump holds his first press conference since the election, in which he denies the allegations in the dossier. When asked a question by CNN’s senior White Hose correspondent Jim Acosta, he responds, “you are fake news,” and instead calls on a reporter from far-right news organization Breitbart.

Why is it important?

The dossier prompted a riotous public debate on a set of important political and ethical questions.

About the information itself: What parts are true and verifiable? Specifically, what ties do President-elect Trump and his staff have to Russia? And what information does Russia have on Trump?

About the political ramifications: How might these ties (or the alleged “compromising information”) affect his ability to govern? How will his response, particularly to the press, affect the country?

About the ethics of publishing: Should Buzzfeed have published unverified raw intelligence about the President-elect? How will this decision affect the media landscape, and the press’ relationship with both the White House and the public?

Debate it!

Should Buzzfeed have published the Trump Dossier?


 Why “The Short Version” on TIO:

Nine+ ago, Telluride Inside…and Out began as a lifestyle webzine. Today, in the full knowledge that Telluride is a window on the world, we continue to bring the “zazz” (short for “pizzazz) of the region to a local, national, and global audience by covering everything from Telluride’s robust cultural economy – major events and festivals – to health and fitness and outdoor adventure. When Telluride travels, we write about places to go, people to meet too. (That’s part of the “Out” part of our handle, the other, obviously, Outdoors.)

And now, this new weekly column, “The Short Version,” which offers simple summaries of issues of national and global importance. (Though we won’t go political, or rather we won’t show bias.)

“The Short Version” is written by Cleo Constantine Abram, the daughter of Telluride locals Eleni Constantine and Jonathan Abram (and therefore an honorary local and regular visitor) and a digital strategist.

Why “The Short Version”? Because, though we live in Shangri-La, our bubble is not impermeable and the rest of the world is only a click away. Because there is no inconsequential action; only consequential inaction. And because information is power in a moment so many of us are feeling powerless.

More about Cleo Constantine Abram:

Cleo Abram 2

Cleo grew up in Washington D.C., lives in New York City, and loves to visit her parents in Telluride. She authors “The Short Version,” a newsletter that explains each week’s most important issue and both sides of the debate around it.

Cleo is a digital strategist now working at Vox, a general interest news site for the 21st century. Its mission is simple: Explain the news. Politics, public policy, world affairs, pop culture, science, business, and more.

Cleo’s work focuses on ways to share, educate, and inform using online platforms. While in college at Columbia University, she guided the school’s entrance into online education through her role as the youngest elected representative to the Columbia Senate, which makes university-wide policy.

She continued her work on online education at TED-Ed, the educational branch of the nonprofit, building new programs and online tools to support high school teachers worldwide.

Continuing her work with TED, Cleo founded and led an early TEDx conference, the organization’s community-specific series.

Most importantly, Cleo loves to ski.

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