Terry Gilliam’s rant and why the #MeToo mob was the backlash to the original terrorist mob.

Director Terry Gilliam thinks #MeToo is mob behaviour.

I think a lot of rich and powerful men don’t get what happened; so let me explain it.

For decades, the communications industry was run by a mob mentality of bosses who ganged up, abused underlings, and then smeared their names and blacklisted them if they refused to give in.

They called these women crazy, disgruntled, gold diggers, you name it.

That was the original mob mentality.

A terrorist mob who made it clear that if a woman wanted that glamorous job, she had better put out with a smile on her face, and take it.

Sooner or later, there will be a backlash, and #MeToo was it.

No wonder the traditional communications industry despises the Internet: it gave an outlet for all those abused underlings to make public their grievances.

If Hollywood didn’t want #MeToo to happen, then it should have learned to treat employees with dignity and respect.

People fight fire with fire.

And mob with mob.

The pendulum just swung the other way…like a wrecking ball, destroying old structures in its wake.

It would be more helpful if people stopped seeing this movement as a “mob” or “witch hunt”, and more like a reaction.

It’s like stepping on someone’s foot, and then whining about them screaming at you, and then pushing you off their foot, accusing them of being drama queens for it…

Those who can, do. Those who can’t, come up with doublespeak, such as “dialogue journalism.”

Journalists do not know what journalism is.

They have destroyed the journalism, and now they are calculating and scheming, trying to make themselves credible and relevant again without having to admit flaw or making any fundamental changes.

The window-dressing gets very pathetic. We have “data journalism” being bandied about as if it were without flaw, and it is flawed beyond credibility.

Poynter is the reporter’s cheerleading apologist organization, and offers nothing to actually improve journalism. It more or less serves as its spokes-organization.

Now, it is trying to turn journalism into some sort of team-building exercise that employers force upon their employees in lieu of raises and promotions to humiliate them and remind them of being a captive audience in high school.

The team-building is being called “dialogue journalism.”

It is not journalism, of course. Journalism is not a mediator or meddler, let alone social engineer. It has nothing to do with fact-gathering. What it is trying to do is to forego facts and deal with opposing opinion. Trying to sit its backside on two partisan chairs, trying to convince both sides it has something to offer them both.

But as “public service journalism” fell flat, it is trying to spin the optics into something else now.

“Dialogue journalism.”

It is a manipulative ploy, and Poynter does its best in this article to spin it to sound as if it were doing something important, instead of leaching from both sides of the fence:

A coalition of American newsrooms is working to overcome the anger and divisiveness driving the national debate over guns and gun violence by convening 150 people across the political and cultural divide in the aftermath of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

“Guns, an American Conversation,” is a new approach to public service journalism that will bring together Americans of diverse perspectives and experiences in a closed, month-long moderated Facebook group to discuss guns and other related social issues, according to a news release from Advance Local.

According to a news release, so you know this is nothing but a cheap PR stunt, trying to take advantage of high school students and the gun debate. We have teenagers who are killing other teenagers on sprees, in gang warfare, and even though indirect means of cyber-bullying. Why are so many of these young people trying to pass the buck like a politician, instead of wondering what is happening to their own generation?

Where have they failed? Their parents? Their governments?

Their media who shamelessly exploit them?

There is no dialogue to be had without facts. 

Everyone has cheap opinions based on self-interest and convenience.

What we need are facts about the ugly reality happening right now.

You have teenagers who make the conscious decision to find a weapon, go to their high school, and mow down people — and as many as possible. This is not a gun control problem.

This is a violence problem.

Every one of these teenaged killers had blaring warning signs that they were about to explode. Other teenagers saw it. Teachers saw it. Parents saw it. Social workers saw it. Doctors saw it. Psychologists saw it. Police saw it.

They write of their intentions online.

And no one stops them. They don’t stop themselves, either.

Why have we created a generation of passive spectators?

Why do we have so many young people choose to be mass murderers?

And journalists come up with “dialogue”?

And they pretend there are “two sides” here?

There are no “two sides.”

There are children killing children.

And those would-be killers see what happens to those other ones — how ugly if their downfall…and they still decide killing other kids is some sort of solution.

Do people think taking legal guns away will prevent a single murder when seeing the consequences of other young killers does nothing to dissuade them?

We don’t know because the real facts we need aren’t forthcoming.

The notion of “dialogue journalism” is a toxic one that does not address the sickness that destroyed journalism.

People are not angry because some people want guns and other people don’t. People are afraid of dying, and they have no real facts to give them any hint of a solution — so they go for whatever easy no-brainer solution they think will serve their self-interest.

The problem is not guns. The problem is homicidal people who are determined to murder, even if it costs them their lives.

Take away the guns, they’ll mow everyone down with a car, or make a bomb to detonate.

And yet Poynter insists on selling snake oil, thinking no one will notice that journalism is a rotted industry.

The label you stick in the front cannot fix the problem in the back. The “dialogue” is a meaningless phrase because you never bothered to fix the “journalism.”

It is akin to having “dialogue fascism” or a “compassionate rapist.” You corrupted your own identity — and slapping on a feel-good adjective out in the front doesn’t cover up the stench from the back.

Find facts. Stop pretending that “public service” or “dialogue” journalism is a thing.

Because they are not because journalism itself is no longer a thing.

Find out why you have raised so many mass murderers.

A direct, straightforward, and humble approach would be a nice start.

Angering teens and their mommies would get the ball rolling. Let Twitter throw howling fits.

Because that is what we need to know, but not what we actually want to know.

But we need to know it.

We need to stop playing make pretend with labels and feel-good prattle.

Because you can take away every gun in the world, and tomorrow, another homicidal person will take down whoever they target.

Labels cannot be used in a profession that is supposed to chronicle reality and truth.

Because labels are hypothetical constructs, nothing more.

And it is time to stop playing games and deal with the ugly truths that confine us.

Memo to journalists looking for government help: The Establishment is not your friend.

Jan Kuciak was one of the few journalists who decided to be what a journalist was supposed to be: the one who exposed corruption, looking at the elites and how their shell games and corrupt ways were making them rich at the everyone else’s expense.

The 27 year-old Slovak was murdered for his troubles along with his fiancee, and the protests and fallout has now forced the country’s Prime Minister to resign. It should be noted those under Kuciak’s radar had connections to that’s regime.

In Canada, Radio-Canada reporter Antoine Trepanier was doing a story on a person who was in charge of an organization, but whose past includes passing herself as a lawyer. She complained to police that she felt threatened by the reporter…and on her say-so alone, the police chose to arrest him for harassment, which I find extremely interesting at Quebec police have had a questionable history when it came to First Nations women.

In Canada, people in the industry keep begging the government for help. Why? Authorities are not your friends. You are supposed to be the thorn in their flesh day in, and day out.

It is extremely tempting to just let go and give in, but when there is complacency, institutions can destroy the lives you dare stand up to them. A strong press was supposed to be the checks and balances to prevent tyrants from doing those things to people.

But it didn’t happen. Punches were pulled by the majority, endangering the minority who understood the importance of being a soldier in that intangible war, and then costing the profession the whole.

The problems of journalism are global in scale. No beat is immune. No country is immune.

A recent SXSW panel discussion about music journalism was interesting, particularly these two observations:

“Nothing is real,” quipped Spin editor-in-chief Puja Patel — flying a little close to the sun for some — when asked about alliances between the major labels and playlists on Spotify and Apple Music. That association can drive traffic on sites like Genius, whose news editor, Chris Mench, explained how a track appearing on a popular Spotify playlist always drives traffic to the song’s page on his site. “You can see in real-time what people are interested in,” said Mench. The discussion also segued to Spotify’s internal playlists, like Rap Caviar, which are curated by actual experts, making the job of new-artist discovery more challenging.

For a site like Bandcamp, though, the audience dictates which new artists the site chooses to profile. “We’re catching people on the way up,” said Senior Editor Marcus Moore. “If whatever we do helps them in the long run — I’m good.”

This isn’t journalism. This advertorial writing. The point is not to “help” any act through the press. It is to report on styles, emergence of new genres, cultural and social impact and trends, and the ugly side of it as well: from drug smuggling, to payola, to sexual harassment, to even the sketchy ways record labels promote and fudge numbers to inflate their impact and importance.

We don’t have music journalists. We have copy writers. We have marketers.

If the problems were confined to music journalism it would be one thing. But the profession isn’t weakened just because of that one glitch.

It is not just a North American problem. There is talk in Australia about how ideal of a cover journalists could be for spies.

Well, that will put a huge target sign on those in the profession in foreign countries.

But having journalists as spies is nothing new — it has been used globally, sometimes countries will make the practice illegal, before the law is repealed.

That such talk is beginning again is interesting as the industry has collapsed, and it collapsed for numerous reasons — trivializing important stories has been on the top of the list.

But not just in North America, but in countless other countries. We see it in India, for instance, but non-North American countries at least make their displeasure known and do not put a sunny spin on the problem.

Very few in North America have the understanding of what happened in the profession. The Denver Post wasn’t in trouble because everything was function in the industry. We may have people in the profession blame hedge funds for the woes — but that isn’t the case.

Journalism’s own numbness to reality did them in.

Bob Woodward seems to be one of those who can see the result of the sloppiness and hubris, but it goes much further than the lost sense of objectivity.

The problem has always been universal: the complete lack of discipline and empirical methods. Terms have never been defined in a useful way.

It is akin to building a house with stones, piling them up haphazardly, without measurement, tools, or improving methods with testing and experimenting. With the house collapses, you cannot pretend your crude methods were not to blame.

It is a world-wide problem. It is a problem for people regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, nationality, race, religion, socioeconomic status, political affiliation, and educational background. No one can have virtuous airs about who is to blame for a profession’s global destruction.

That is the first revelation people need to grasp: that no one is safe and no one has got it right.

And you cannot do the same thing and get a different outcome — anywhere in the world…

Why journalism’s appeal to authority was always flawed: The Case of James Mellaart.

James Mellaart was a showy and well-known archeologist who made a name for himself as an authority figure.

This article should now dispel any notion of such loft accolades:

A famed archaeologist well-known for discovering the sprawling 9,000-year-old settlement in Turkey called Çatalhöyük seems to have faked several of his ancient findings and may have run a “forger’s workshop” of sorts, one researcher says.

James Mellaart, who died in 2012, created some of the “ancient” murals at Çatalhöyük that he supposedly discovered; he also forged documents recording inscriptions that were found at Beyköy, a village in Turkey, said geoarchaeologist Eberhard Zangger, president of the Luwian Studies Foundation. Zangger examined Mellaart’s apartment in London between Feb. 24 and 27, finding “prototypes,” as Zangger calls them, of murals and inscriptions that Mellaart had claimed were real.

This is nothing new, and I had outlined such cases of fraud in my book Don’t Believe It!: How lies become news.

But science journalism isn’t as knowing as it pretends it is. Discover gave Mellaart a free pass here and here, making him out to be some sort of Great Man. Science also committed the same error in judgement.

But the STEM-based beats have always been more advertorial than actual news. The hack is simple: defer to the Great Men in lab coats, and assume those disciplines know everything and never make mistakes or commit frauds. Assume their studies are infallible, and that there is complete agreement and no debate at all.

The coverage never questions, let alone be critical, scrutinizing the methods of studies, or the findings that result from flawed and even fraudulent studies. If a scientist said it, then it must be right.

And that is public relations, not journalism.

That is how the Mellaarts of the world get away with their games. They know how to get attention for themselves, sound authoritative, and then do all sorts of shady and sketchy things to pretend to be right. Their feints and ruses go unchallenged by journalists, who do not know how to navigate through the ways of academia. They do not understand that most studies are flawed, and must be challenged by default.

You have to ask questions. You have to challenge everything because even if a collective theory sounds right, it doesn’t mean it is — or that you do not have charlatans weaselling in under the cover of legitimate researchers, making up studies and their results.

Anyone who shuts down scientific debate by trying to make skeptics sound evil or stupid or doing it so people do not take a closer look at the experimental design, methods, and veracity of results. A legitimate study can be examine critically, and still stand up to scrutiny. Those studies can be replicated. There is solid evidence and proof of the truth.

Journalism has enabled many such bad studies and fraudulent findings over the years by reporting it as if it were verified fact — and it wasn’t.

It has always been a prevalent problem that most have no acknowledged — but should have decades ago. Appealing to authority is a logical flaw for a reason — because it opens the door for unscrupulous grifters to waltz in and destroy lives and infect the information stream with ease.

More blood-letting at the Chicago Tribune

The job losses are not ending, even for large dailies.

But it is being spun on both sides of the newsroom.

Management chirped:

Marisa Kollias, spokeswoman for the newspaper’s parent company Tronc, said the newspaper “is reshaping its newsroom and making important steps in an ongoing effort to become more a digital enterprise.”

“Excellence in journalism remains our top priority. The newsroom is redefining jobs and structure so that people are in the best position to create and deliver news content for the rapidly changing demands of our audience,” Kollias said.

While employees chirped:

“Everyone who walks out of the newsroom with their things gets a round of applause.”

It is truly obnoxious on both sides of the equation. No one deserves applause. The “digital excuse” doesn’t wash: gathering facts is not something you can actually ever streamline. And considering the mainstream middle class have been getting information digitally for over two decades, why this is still being used is an excuse is beyond me.

They are letting people go because people have abandoned their product. They abandoned that product because it wasn’t working for them anymore.

But we have people in the reality-chronicling business hiding from the reality that allows blood-letting to be spun into something positive.

If journalism was functional, there would not be job losses, but job gains.

And the denials keep coming as the industry rapidly shrinks…

If you need any more proof that media owners are incapable of innovation…

This article should illuminate:

Meredith moves to sell Time, Fortune and Sports Illustrated titles: sources

Meredith just bought Time and Fortune and other rags for almost two billion; so why try to divest itself of them? Because of this silly logic:

The move illustrates how Meredith sees some of Time Inc’s titles that attract primarily male readership as not playing to its core strength in women’s magazines, which include Better Homes & Gardens, Family Circle and Martha Stewart Living.

So instead of re-setting these publications to have hard news and business stories that would also attract over half the population, just sell them off…

Because women, to them, just do not care about real things in the world.


You have a slot, and you just shove the preset scripts into each slot.

If it doesn’t fit, get rid of it. This is the binary thinking that actively helped destroy journalism.

So do not be shocked that it collapsed…