You know it's bad when both the U.S. and Russian media are declaring Vladimir Putin the winner.
Media from both countries generally gave the Russian president the win over U.S. President Donald Trump after the two met in Helsinki.
One of the biggest news outlets in Russia, Izvestia, headlined its story on the Helsinki summit: “Trump immediately capitulates: Why the world’s press gave victory to Putin." The website added that Trump had “fallen into a trap set by the Russian President Vladimir Putin,” according to Google Translate.
Tabloid newspapers on both sides of the Atlantic went in for the kill on Tuesday. In the U.K., the left-leaning Daily Mirror declared Trump, “Putin’s Poodle: Trump branded a traitor.”
The Daily News cover screamed “Open Treason,” and noted in its coverage that Trump calls stories he disagrees with “fake news” but appeared to buy Putin’s denials about Russia’s interference in the U.S. election without question.
The cover carries a political cartoon showing Trump holding hands with Putin on Fifth Avenue and aiming a gun at Uncle Sam, an allusion to Trump’s comment that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and get away with it.
The more right-leaning New York Post also criticized Trump with its headline — "See No Evil" — describing the summit as a bear hug to “wicked BFF Vlad.” Fox News, generally supportive of Trump, hosted a variety of voices that criticized the president.
One Finnish newspaper simply noted the score: Trump 0, Putin 1. CNN’s Jake Tapper tweeted the front page.
The Russians would no doubt agree, though RT, a Russian TV channel that had to register as a foreign agent in the US and has been banned from selling ads on Twitter, offered a softer take. An op-ed by Irish journalist Bryan MacDonald published on the RT website declared the Helsinki summit something of a storm in a tea-cup.
“US outlets and pundits would have you believe Trump handed over the family silver to Moscow. Which is nonsense,” he wrote.
“In reality, hardly anything changed. Trump didn't recognize Crimea, threaten to walk away from NATO or withdraw from Syria.”