Stupid media stunts, Part Two: Give one example, strawman style.

Journalists are not well-trained in general. They are not trained to be thinkers, and their shallow, dirty tricks blare loudly. Many do think they are cunning street fighters, but they are not. They have been trained in a single little trick, and then advertise their ignorance to the world.

For example, the National Post ran this joke of a column, which probably commits every logical error ever created, with a headline so stupid, that it is honestly difficult to believe this paper is not put together by a bunch a teenaged trolls smoking in their parent’s basement:

Anonymous letter shows #MeToo has spread to ranks of ordinary workplaces too

This sounds like the movie Reefer Madness: fear-mongering propaganda that is actually trying to be sneaky. 

Ooo! Flawless predatory men, watch out! The #MeToo outbreak is going to get you, too! Hide under the bed, children, before the bogeywomen get you!

Someone really ought to be testing the drinking water over there for high levels of mercury.

Can you imagine if the headline read:

Hijab-wearing immigrants have spread to ranks of ordinary Canadians, too.

We’d have hate speech.

And the article is pure fear-based propaganda.

And, as someone who has chronicled propaganda in a book or two or three, I am fully aware of propaganda when I see it.

So let’s take a second to take apart this absolute knee-slapping sophistry of a column here:

In North America, how many workplaces are there? I am certain there is a lot. Thousands? Tens of thousands? Millions?

If one percent of these workplaces have sexual harassers, you have a problem.

So let’s not pretend workplaces are perfect little places of paradise.

Amazon’s workplaces have been under scrutiny for a reason. In Hamilton alone, we’ve had two workplace deaths in the immediate past. We have had labour violations. We have had employers punish minimum-wage employees after they were mandated to give them a raise.

These instances are all on the record.

There is a pattern of behaviour. There is a profile of the kinds of people who misuse their power. It has been there for a long time for the simple reason rules are rigged by those in power to maintain their power.

But now the Post wants people to play make pretend and believe that sexual harassment isn’t a thing.

And what if #MeToo comes to everyday workplaces? It’s about time. I have known women in all sorts of jobs who have been sexually harassed over the years. Some were fortunate enough to have parents with more clout than the harasser who picked the wrong target, and the harasser was removed from that position. Others physically fought back.

Others endured.

I have known women who have had multiple jobs and employers over the years — just like me and everyone else — and had no problems with the majority of employers.

But all it takes is one employer.

Just as all it takes is one serial rapist or murderer or even robber to make something as mundane as walking home from work a trauma.

Are we now painting all people as potential harmers?

Mature adults do not. People with undeveloped minds do.

So I am not certain what is the point of the Post’s hypothesis: that it is a bad thing to make men in positions of power be responsible for their unsanctioned war strategies that are not relevant or required to do their jobs, but are destructive influences to those around them?

A few years ago in Ontario, a few print outlets were tagged by the Ministry of Labour for misusing unpaid interns.

As in, having people work 80 hours a week for free, while their employers took home a very nice pay check.

And so did other non-media sectors.

They should all be held accountable equally.

But then the article babbles about a particular case of harassment, which I am not going to go into the details here as it is not the forum for it.

Because it doesn’t matter.

You cannot take a single example, impose a narrative that suits your own purposes, and then use that as proof of something bigger.

One case doesn’t make or break an entire movement.

I have covered this sort of thing in my book Don’t Believe It!: How lies become news: you have a spate of real hate crimes…but one turns out to be a fraud.

Does that mean the other ones are also lies?

No.

Does it mean the problem is being blown out of proportion?

No.

It means everything is case by case, and in the examples I cited in my book, the others were all legitimate abuses, but then someone sees an opportunity, and slips their hoax in, hoping people won’t notice.

And it backfires on the person.

The one case proves nothing in relation to the legitimate ones because they are not like the others.

For a reason.

You still have a serious problem of a hate crime, and sexual harassment is a hate crime that society merely tolerates because for whatever reason, men are seen as little barbaric boys who are unteachable and are in some sort of need of protection and sheltering from the consequences of their actions.

Western society has functioned on infantilizing men and indulging their childish narratives with some idea if they are exposed to reality, their fragile little psyches will be shattered forever.

After all, boys will be boys. Old Boys Club.

You see the problem: males are Peter Pans never allowed to grow up, let alone be allowed to grow up as thriving and emotionally literate human beings.

It still doesn’t let you off the hook or give any credence to your hypothesis that hate crimes don’t actually exist.

They do.

But that’s assuming a person making the accusation is lying.

Often, people have peculiar Victorian notions of what a victim should be.

Usually, a frumpy, staid virgin who has never sworn, smoked, had a taste of alcohol, or had a life.

She is in bed by 7 o’clock, wears a habit-like outfit, and would faint at the notion of a kiss. She also has to have a perfect memory and have never been upset or angry in her entire cloistered existence.

Anything that deviates means she cannot be trusted.

And this is the National Post’s standard for acceptable victim.

The rest are those who had it coming.

The Post is a toxic newspaper. It does not know what news is. It has no idea what human nature is about. It does not understand what facts are, let alone logic.

It spews trash day in, and day out.

It has no pulse on people, let alone truth and reality.

It has lost money since day one, and there is a good reason for that.

It’s trash.

It does not understand the extent of societal rage, or why. It does not understand why various visible minorities are frustrated. It does not understand why educated women have exploded in North America. It does not understand a single thing about the nation it is supposed to be covering.

It understands how to appease and console rich white men.

But the world isn’t just about them.

If you are going to call a newspaper the National Post, start learning what the word “national” means.

If your mental capacity cannot stretch to encompass the “national”, then rename your product to reflect your range: Elite Post. A Few Rich White Men Post. Politicians and CEOs Post. Nepotism Post. Good Old Boys From Toronto and Ottawa Post. Old Relics From A Bygone Era Post.

You’re not national. Delusional, yes. Sycophantic, definitely. Clueless to reality, you’re not kidding. Kissing up to those with diminishing power, you betcha.

But not national.

If your thesis hinges on a single example to be twisted to fit a narrative via the strawman, then you don’t have a thesis.

You just have self-serving vitriol that demonizes women and holds the whole of society back.

No wonder journalism is dead.

It got the fate it so richly earned.

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