Why the Great Man Theory destroyed North American journalism.

That journalism has always been a gynophobic hotbed of illiterate and illogical lunacy is an understatement.

I have been accused of being anti-media, but that is not true.

I am anti this media. You need people to be informed, but realistically. You do not build up hope or egos. You do not incite panic or despair.

You give facts.

But North American journalism has an absolute aversion to giving just facts: there always has to be a spin or narrative because, as one big city newspaper editor once haughtily told me, “mere reportage” is boring.

Vice magazine is oh, so sorry that their sexist pig-ism was exposed.

How did junk media like Vice ever get enabled in the first place?

Thank Disney, the most misogynistic place on Earth.

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Home of testosterone-overdrive Marvel superheroes, and the hunter-centric Star Wars series, and good little Stepford Princesses.

They do not go for things like this. Not like I’d give it to them, either.

But Vice isn’t the only offender — just the bottom feeder version of it.

Maclean’s magazine is also vile, but seemingly in a more palatable way.

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It wasn’t always so bad. Former editor Peter C. Newman, once upon a time, had a map of Canada in his office, and he always had pins from coast to coast, to remind him that it was about the whole, not just a few pockets.

How times have changed.

When you have a national newsmagazine get government grant money to survive, they are not going to do any hard-hitting reporting, but they will tell you all about the Prime Minister’s ugly socks.

Gee, how clever. I certainly got informed about the state of my country today.

Wearing something inconsequential, but loud, is an old misdirection to get people focussed on something trivial while ignoring the real weaknesses you have. It is the reason why magician’s use scantily clad female assistants — everyone looks at the pretty lady, and not the magician who fumbles with his optical illusion.

Or a robber wearing a clown nose so you don’t look at his face.

It is the oldest trick in the book, and the media should have ignored the socks from Day One. Socks don’t make policy.

It really is not hard or newsworthy to do one better than ugly socks.

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But the media cannot help themselves, as they are stuck on a single patriarchal narrative: The Great Man Theory.

It is all about finding narcissists and grifters and elevating them at the expense of everyone else, particularly women.

We do not have Great Women in media logic. You have movie stars and rock stars, and even porn stars, but no Great Women.

Because they will never get that grit of traction that men get with ease.

Maclean’s is wasting taxpayer money on writing about Justin Trudeau’s socks — if that is the very best they can do — the government should cut off all that funding, and use that money to, I don’t know, feed some hungry children in CAS’s care.

But Great Men have the prime narrative of being Visionaries and Titans of Industry.

They never are any of those because the press looks for funny socks.

Just now, the Canadian media remembered to take a good look at murdered billionaire Barry Sherman and realize he was far from being a Great Man.

He made his fortune as a tyrant.

He liberally clogged up the courts with his lawsuits — well over a thousand at last count.

Had he been an average citizen, a judge would have deemed him a nuisance, and prevented him from doing it again and again and again.

But because the tyrant had money, he got to terrorize anyone he didn’t like.

And while he was allowed to sue to his heart’s content as the prices of Apotex’s generic drugs were inflated, other, poorer people — and middle class people who became poorer as a result of being in litigation — were dealt with a clogged court system.

And with his funds, he lavished on politicians, who all came drooling over his casket. He feted Ugly Socks as a guest of honour at one of his lobbying junkets, and was trying to quash that investigation against him.

Sherman cost this country a pretty penny, altering the lives of thousands — from those people who had to pay more for medication than they should have, to people whose problems were delegated to the Nothing Pile by their politicians, to people who had to use the court system — and could not afford to wait due to their own frail health caused by tragedy (Disclosure: many of whom died without ever seeing their day in court, such as my own grandmother, as you can read in a highly inaccurate, biased, not researched, and skewed article here. My grandmother’s prediction was right, as she died with no resolution) — because some vile tyrant decided to become a billionaire by misusing the courts, and being allowed to do so.

Only when he was dead, did the Canadian press let people know that, oh yeah, he was a bully…but it was all okay because he let his wife throw somebody else’s money around at charities.

In 1999, American newsmagazine 60 Minutes had “The Secrecy Clause“, painting Sherman in a very different light. Canadian media, for the most part, have given him the kid glove treatment. Even Canadian Business, in its February 1994 issue, had still, despite his methods, spun him as a Great Man:

Sherman is unrepentant. He’s always been the smartest student, the fiercest critic, the renegade who doesn’t care what others think. For him, there are no shades of gray. “We end up having to fight the multinational drug companies, our generic competitors, the federal government and often the provincial bureaucracies in order to do what is clearly in the best interests of Canadians,” he says. “It sometimes feels like the whole world ends up being our adversary.” Sherman against the world–you get the feeling those are the kinds of odds he likes.

So brave, so fearless!

And so never questioning the rigs: he sues, he manipulates, he gains wealth, he throws money at politicians to ensure the cycle spins in his favour.

It should have never gotten that far, and had Canadian journalists not keep looking for the next Great Man, he would have learned a humble lesson in what “shades of gray” mean: that you do not always get what you want, and you cannot keep waging war against anyone whose life requirements differ from yours.

Sherman lost his never-ending war against the very world that indulged him, and he no longer exists. The media lost its clout thanks to their never-ending boosterism, and are mere zombies.

Both had the same incurable addiction to the romantic ideal of a Great Man: the fantasy world of a hero who does whatever he wishes as he creates his empire — no matter who he pummels or drags through the streets on his quest to oblivion.

 

 

 

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