Journalism has been marred by sophistry for a very long time, but in Canada, it has always been an embarrassingly out of control mess. They never question whatever an authority figure decrees, often because their moms and dads are employed in that sector.
But they can get away with it because so much of the news is fluff.
And then every once in a while, comes an event that reveals just how damaged the thinking happens to be.
If Canadian journalists understood their jobs, they wouldn’t be frazzled: they would go and dig for facts. No spin, no hype, no narrative, no hedging your bets on whose side needs your rigging.
So there is a shift in narratives coming from the US. #MeToo has long since evolved from just a hashtag.
But it was born in the USA, and Canada is not America. Our journalists are not of the same rugged and combative ilk as their colleagues from the South. The American narrative is entrenched in the Hero’s Odyssey/Journey, and, by the very nature of it, there is a goal, a transformation, and the embracing for an outcome where there is a positive change.
The environment must be different at the end than it was at the beginning. The hero wrests control from the Establishment, and makes the protagonistic voice heard.
It is the Patriarchal structure, and though I fight for Matriarchal structures (it doesn’t it is a polar opposite in every way, and there are no goals, rebellions, or positive changes), that structure is at the heart of #MeToo. It is a movement with its sights firmly set at toppling the oppressive assumptions and strategies of those in power.
(Side note: This is fascinating and though Hillary Clinton’s presidential loss was one of the precursors to this movement, it should be noted that Clinton’s undergraduate thesis on Saul Alinsky argued that Alinsky was wrong in his belief that the dispossessed should make change by opposing a ruling regime. She argued that change could be done by working within the regime. She did that and lost spectacularly. The movement is now challenging those structures from the outside through mainly social media. As I have always believed, you have to go right into the eye of the storm to see the nucleus, but if you don’t want to be swallowed up, you have to seemingly retreat and them pull yourself to make changes. There is no playing it safe from inside — or outside).
But when you have journalists who (a) see nothing wrong with an Establishment, (b) always defer to an Establishment and look up to them for a job and/or guidance, and (c) constantly beg the Establishment to give them free money, they are not heroes, and they have no use for an odyssey or journey.
So #MeToo is not in tune with the broken mindset of the Canadian news media. It is a threat.
So when #MeToo hit one of their own, it was panic time here.
Now, when Steve Paikin got #MeToo’ed by someone the Canadian media previously exploited as a punchline and a freak, it was absolutely horrifying. They decreed he was beyond reproach, and Sarah Thomson was just silly.
Never mind that the woman has been a successful businesswoman in a number of different ventures.
But you wouldn’t know that from the press coverage. You wouldn’t know she is a self-made entrepreneur with an enviable track record in various industries. We are talking millions of dollars here.
So we have to question why an eccentric woman who made it in business is being so disrespectfully treated by the press. If she was a man, she’d be a legend and an icon. If she were American, Cameron Diaz would have already portrayed her in a big screen biopic.
But she is a Canadian woman, and that means she is to be distrusted and looked down on by the press, who have no problem with men like Don Cherry who unrepentantly have freak flags flying sky high and shill any company who’ll have him.
Steve Paikin works for TVO — which is a television station run by the Ontario government.
Now the Canadian press has one of their own in the #MeToo crosshairs.
This is a tricky spot.
So what do you do?
Try to knock down and discredit the woman, but since research is, like, so hard, you have to resort to making silly arguments to defend him.
So you have the Globe and Mail’s Margaret Went trying to compare what happened to Patrick Brown to Steve Paikin, and wondering why the cases are different.
They are different because the press did not like Brown. He didn’t have the Obama touch of schmoozing and joking around with reporters. If he hired a few former journalists to his team, he wouldn’t have to step down.
Steve Paikin, on the other hand, is one of their own. He gets the benefit of the doubt.
If there are facts, find them. Report what you found — and didn’t find.
Then we have one CBC commentary trying to play detective, talking the the Paikin accusations “don’t fit a pattern”?
What does that even mean? There is no pattern to fit. Life is not about set scripts. You dig. You research. You find people and talk to them. Bruce McArthur fit a pattern of an average man, and it meant nothing. Patterns emerge by investigating, not eyeballing whatever snippets the press decide to cover.
Because it is the media that looks for anecdotes that fit their narrative. It is not reality itself.
And it is the kind of back-pedalling arguments that expose the flaws of the Canadian news media.
They do not make cogent arguments based on facts. They make excuses. If you think your colleague has been wronged, give us the facts, please.
But you’re not doing that. You could easily do that without having to wait on an authority figure to do it for you.
You are sitting around and not presenting facts as you use various forms of personal attacks to discredit an accuser.
Why is doing your job so difficult for you?