J-Babble’s Fear and Pity Tour Continues as the panhandling betrayers of the truth want people to trust them again.

Journalism doesn’t pay the bills these days; so many reporters try to drum up some business and make a few extra drachma by way of holding Fear and Pity Tours. Mostly attended by j-schools students and a few retirees who remember when journalism used to be a thing, these forums are very dull and self-serving. I have been to one, and boy, was the event completely mislabelled.

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This whopper is upcoming from The Canadian Journalism Foundation, and it gave me a chuckle:

Building Trust in Media

You betray the truth every chance you get, and then expect to build trust? Ship has sailed on that pipe dream, children, but the event’s blurb adds to the hilarity and chutzpah:

In an age of misinformation, disinformation, AI and media manipulation, how can news organizations and platforms like Google build trust with audiences?

The Dead Profession is trying to maneuver themselves into pretending that they are different than the bots, and they are not.

When you choose to be partisan, there is no difference between and fake news for one reason: both are factually devoid, making them both meaningless and worthless.

And AI is not going to save a thing because in order to create an AI version of your profession, you have to have an empirical foundation to build on and journalism never bothered with those little details.

Another farce.

And, of course, their web site is begging for money.

Journalism has become panhandling without producing anything of value.

Another racket from grifters and the profession is still dead…

Journalism once could take targets down with one punch. Then came the Internet.

If you ever read or watched One-Punch Man, you will know Saitama’s peculiar dilemma of being such a strong superhero, that he can take down any baddie with one punch, making him depressed because he is a hero with no challenge.

He is average in every other way, however. Average height, build, and looks, but his one supreme gift is also his one supreme curse.

But at least he is a restrained hero. He doesn’t kill opponents, only knocking them out.

It was his dream to be a hero, but once he became one who had no challenge, it began to weigh heavily on his soul.

In the Patriarchal narrative, we don’t think of the One Punch as a bad thing, but a glorious bit of heroic hilarity where one hero can defeat another with one punch with iconic results.

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To always be right and justified is the dream for many.

In journalism, it is their default narrative that they are always right and can take down anyone who displeases them with One Punch.

And they never tired of it.

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The same old tricks.

Often known as gotcha journalism, but not always.

Then social media came along.

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And that One Punch didn’t work, nor would have a hundred of them.

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It is akin if Saitama suddenly could no longer defeat any opponent, no matter how many punches he threw.

If he was depressed before, he would be in the shock of his life if the opposite came true.

To journalism, they went from One Punch to No Punch.

And they still keep wildly throwing punches knowing that once upon a time, they had the gift.

And now they don’t.

They do not understand their punches are useless because punches aren’t what’s needed in a changing world.

And when you keep throwing your punches at other heroes as often as the villains, you begin to become the tyrant you proclaim to go after.

And when your punches never land, everyone sighs in relief, knowing that siege has ended…

The inherent violence of journalism: It was always about war. It is time to create the communications of peace.

The Monkees had it right with the song Zor and Zam.

It is an astute song of two little kings who decide to declare war on each other; except no one shows up to fight.

Because the only people who benefit from war are those who call it.

The song could very well be the anthem for the radical centrist — and political atheist.

The one who doesn’t pick sides because it is a rig and a ruse with the same end result of dragging you into a battle where you lose your free will and then are discarded.

Politics is a form of war, but so, too is journalism.

It has always thrived in wars, even if the coverage is pure propaganda.

Especially if the coverage is pure propaganda.

Journalists love a patriarchal narrative the breeds wars: good guy up against the faceless enemy who has no redeeming qualities, and victory is the complete submission and subjugation of the villain.

Look how journalists are going after Facebook and Russia — would you think either had a single positive trait if you went by the news stories?

Or that journalists ever did anything wrong?

We are now seeing the most extremist coverage in journalism in the history of its existence. I study propaganda and have since I was an undergraduate psych student, and I have read hundreds of journalistic war stories over the decades.

And nothing compares to the extremist narrative journalists are churning out every single day.

The question is why.

Simple: because journalists know their fortunes tend to rise when the use that patriarchal and antagonistic coverage that sparks wars, suppresses common sense, and incites people to cheer the destruction of complete strangers who never did any harm to anyone.

But a very weird thing has been happening: the war cries aren’t doing it.

Their secret deadly weapon suddenly isn’t doing its trick. At all.

Which presents a very interesting shift in the world that hints at some sort of evolutionary upgrade: that old method is now out of tune with us, making journalism obsolete.

But it doesn’t make information obsolete.

The problem is we now have a void where we need some other structure and form to get informed.

And journalism isn’t it anymore.

Because journalism itself is inherently violent. It discriminates, demonizes, manipulates, and forces rigged choices and outcomes.

Like Zor and Zam, their influence is gone and their spell is broken.

Because it is time for a communications based in peace, not war.

One where war is exposed as are all of its tricks so that we all can benefit from the bounty that comes from the tranquil chaos of peace instead, of being at the mercy of the greedy who thrive in secret order of war…

 

Beware of opinionists who have anti-Eastern Orthodox bigotry: Guardian, stop demonizing Slavs. Even if the PR firms tell you it’s okay to do it.

During the Civil War in the former Yugoslavia, some of the warring sides spent money, and lots of it on public relations firms to win the war.

Journalists back then were illiterate to the language, customs, history, geography, and psychology of that region, and took whatever narratives they were spoon-fed by these professional propagandists, and completely got away with it.

Fast forward to 2018, where the profession lost clout, but still crib from PR firms to tell them what to spew.

And they are playing the same old bigoted script.

Such as the Guardian with a piece of manipulative and illiterate garbage trying to sound learned, when it is just demonizing propaganda to once again slag the Serbs who are not kissing up to Western journalists because they have self-respect and exercise free will.

And they are Orthodox Christians, and Western media has an absolute burning hatred for Slavs. Serbs get the worst of it, even though they tend to be the least racist nation in Europe, a knee-slapper of an irony to say the least.

The dreck demonizes Slavs to such a disturbing degree that this is hate speech.

“Chameleon”? Really? What about those pretending to be journalists, who are actually propagandists spewing uninformed hate to poison global opinion with vile babble?

But there is a very selfish reason why the press keeps demonizing Serbs, and Russia has nothing to do with it.

Journalists won the war in that civil conflict. They were the biggest winners and benefitted the most from it. They had actually shamelessly cribbed their propaganda, and got away with it, even though the errors they made in their coverage would be torn to shreds today.

As in, mislabelling mass graves of Serbs as Muslim, even though those graves had crosses with Cyrillic writing. 

But they got away with being hateful and subjective. They got away with having no facts or context. They got away with owning the illogical narrative and financially profiting with raises, promotions, awards, and prestige.

Those were the good old days for that profession, when they could corner a beleaguered nation that was broke and broken, and just slap them around, and get the entire planet to cheer that bullying.

So now journalists are trying to go back to what worked, and they are eyeing Serbs once more as their villains.

But this is 2018, where journalists are weak, and their glaringly embarrassing cultural illiteracy can be exposed, as their past sins are brought back to light.

It is also the reason why the press dusted off the old playbook, and pick on Russians: it worked for them before, and it seems like a good idea to jump start their profession’s dead corpse.

And yet, it is not working.

Notice how the Guardian has to always beg for money with every article.

Once upon a time, that kind of propaganda sold newspapers.

And now, nothing.

While journalism’s fortunes have crumbled to nothing, their trusty Slavic target of torment are doing quite well for themselves.

The profession would be better off educating themselves on tolerance and fact-gathering, rather than PR firm-cribbing.

Enough is enough.

Musings from the Tower of Babel: It is a tintinnabulation of the most impossible sort.

Welcome to Bedlam where propaganda is fact, sophistry is logic, and ideological cowardice reigns supreme.

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Journalism couldn’t survive in this environment.

The question is why cannot it not resurrect itself?

That is the multi-billion-dollar question.

Because in an age of partisan propaganda, it gets pulled from all sides.

Journalists have a bunker mentality, and they cannot see how they have failed because they would have to venture out of their shelters to see the reality.

They pathologically give themselves countless awards as if they were Halloween candy, and hold symposiums babbling decrees that the public — if they will not buy their product willingly — should be forced to invest in it anyway.

At no time do they wonder how they must change to re-engage the public.

And that is a horrendous obstacle to overcome.

But it isn’t the only noise that shatters the focus.

You have partisan sites such as Townhall decree that (Left-wing) journalism is dead — but exclude partisan Rightist outfits such as Fox News from their list, making excuses that their opinionist hosts such as Sean Hannity are exempt from scrutiny because he proffers opinion, and thus is not a journalist.

But he works on a news channel. He talks about current events. He interviews newsmakers; ergo, he is not exempt from the same criticisms, especially as their journalists and hosts all walk lockstep to the same partisan line. Nice try.

Just as CNN and the Washington Post pounce on Hannity because he isn’t from the Left, Townhall defend his honour because he is from their Right. The arguing is all very convenient — and so hopelessly wrong from both sides of that made-up linear divide.

When you are the mirror image of your enemy, you are the enemy. You are no better than those who hate because you play the same games and are fighting for the same prize. The babbling drowns out the sensibility as journalists pretend they are being informative.

And if that added noise wasn’t confusing enough, through all of that sanctioned propaganda comes sophistry right into the product. It is nothing but sink or swim patriarchal dreck, such as this piece in Aeon babbling about the evils of marriage and that it should be abolished.

The binary thinking is sanctioned insanity that is akin to forcing all single people to be married. If people wish to be wed in a state-sanctioned way, they should be given the absolute freedom to do it. If people do not wish for the formality, they are free to just shack up, and if there are people such as me who love being single, then I can remain footloose and fancy-free. I do not need everybody else to be single to validate my existence.

It all comes down to meddling: forcing everyone else to walk lockstep with you because deep down, you actually are fully aware you are wrong. When you force your opinions on others and preach for marriage — or against –your cult-like bullying is a red flag that you need numbers to prop up your shaky nonsense because you do not have facts on your side.

Your life requirements are yours alone. My life requirements are mine, and do not force me into living your fantasy — and I will not force you into copying my playbook, either.

When we have propaganda, we lose ideological tolerance. We cannot expand or grow because we want artificial confines and false scripts to guide our passive selves. With take no risks, and we do not experiment. We just coast on static rules.

That’s why journalism died, but more importantly — why is can’t resurrect. It is stuck in its own pine box, believing it is a comfort and a fortress of protection.

We need the alternative to journalism — a place that is not beguiled by ideological partisanship and artificial lines in the sand. We need those who understand ideology is a game of logical fallacies and hypothetical constructs, and instead, seeks facts.

It is the simplest method of informing a public. Do not tell them what to think. Do not tell them how to think. Do not give them scripts that turn into props to hold them up.

Thinks facts. The more you have, the more obvious the solutions becomes.

I have been musing from this Tower of Babel for over twenty years, chronicling its cacophony and mixed messages. It is time for clarity and simplicity, and with a map of facts to get out of that maze and out into the open…

 

The Confirmation Bias and ABC’s News’ “interview” with James Comey.

We are seeing a real infantilization of Western culture, and with infantilization, comes the lack of critical thinking and rationality.

James Comey once had a lofty position as Director of the FBI, the same title J. Edgar Hoover once ruled with an iron fist. We absolutely know that Hoover frightened presidents, including Richard Nixon, whose infamous and fateful tapes had revealed as much.

So let’s get the idea out of the way that presidents and FBI directors are friends on a superhero team, children.

You have one group of exclusively white men (FBI directors) butting heads with the all-but-one white men presidents. Alpha males with paper crowns up against other Alpha males with paper crowns. FBI directors work up the ranks; presidents grab votes.

When I worked as a journalist, I had dealings with the FBI twice: once when I wrote a cover story for a magazine called Vent about the ten best places to work in the US and how to get a job there. Unfortunately, the magazine folded one month before this massive undertaking was published, but one of the places was the FBI.

I got my interviews, and I cannot say they weren’t informative (each agent is vetted extensively pretty much from the cradle on), but I did feel like I was being talked to as if I was a child. The article never saw the light of day, and I wasn’t happy, considering the amount of work and coordination that went nowhere, but the tone of the interviews stayed with me.

The second time was more indirect. There was a journal where I submitted an article about dealing with the press. It wasn’t accepted, which was fine, but the tone of the letter and the reasons were patronizing, and the letter pretty much said the media needed the FBI than the other way around; so something like my article wasn’t needed because for a journalist to lay out the dynamics was self-serving.

Excuse me, but when the FBI exploits the press to do their jobs, that is equally self-serving.

There was that same patronizing tone and logic, and the exercise was very instructive.

When you work up the ranks, you develop a sense of superiority. I have seen it elsewhere and frequently. I am certain Comey had underestimated Donald Trump who comes off as a silly and self-indulgent eccentric, but isn’t. Trump’s firing of Comey was pure theatre, and sent a clear message that he didn’t know everything or could size up the man who was in the White House by means of a “popularity contest” (which isn’t how elections are actually won).

The press, as usual, missed all of the nuances and dynamics. They are taken that Comey thinks that Trump is morally unfit to be president. They are obsessed with Trump’s tweets slamming Comey, which is just another misdirection.

ABC’s very mediocre and kid glove interview of Comey is a study of the confirmation bias, and a true interview doesn’t have that structural flaw. Comey made a lot of statements and innuendoes that could have been challenged, the biggest assumption was that the butting heads was somehow out of the ordinary. J. Edgar Hoover’s reign would indicate otherwise.

People in power clash and often, especially if they hold a powerful position, and then must defer to a superior. The problems began when one man underestimated the other — a man whose job it is to read people and size them up in order to arrest them for their complex criminal activities. That Comey was blindsided in his termination was more than just newsworthy — it was a public game of Go.

That should have been the actual starting point for the interview because the brings far more complex questions about the dynamics of power, and how savvy was a FBI Director that couldn’t profile his own superior. Was Comey fit for his position when he couldn’t get a read on Trump? Is there a systemic flaw that was inadvertently revealed by this peculiar incident, and could a criminal or a collective exploit that weakness to cause harm to the US?

That would have been the questions to ask. This was a book promotion, making it advertising, and someone shilling his book is going to lay it on thick with insults. That’s not news.

But Comey was asleep at the wheel when Trump outmaneuvered him — and that’s more concerning. Hoover, for all of his flaws — was always a step ahead.

But when we think like children, we don’t look for the problems — we just want to be amused and validated — ABC could have done far more than just help someone sell more books, but that’s wasn’t going to happen because in an Age of Propaganda, people don’t want to see that reality…

Memo to The Nation: You cannot “save” journalism. It destroyed itself. How about you stop meddling and corrupting the information stream and an alternative replaces it.

The Nation is pretentious partisan dreck that is all about meddling.

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And they are utterly oblivious to the point of being unintentionally funny.

Because self-serving fantasy-based sophistry that doesn’t align with reality in any way, shape, or form is a real hoot.

It isn’t actually funny because that very unscientific and irrationally-based form of scribbling was the big reason why journalism died.

Now that journalism has been reduced to a stinky rotten corpse, the knuckleheads at the Nation have decided that they have the ability to “save” journalism.

Oh please.

It’s too late, children.

They have made their decree that the rotten Denver Post needs journalists’ meddling.

No, you cannot save the Denver Post. They have imploded, and they have no one but themselves to blame.

Nor do you have the ability or morality to save journalism. That ship has sailed.

It is time to scrap an unworkable and archaic industry that refused to keep up with the times.

It is now time to bring in a superior replacement.

Because the world deserves something far better than the dead profession of journalism…

It is not your “personal truth.” It is your personal reality. No one owns the Truth. Understanding Truth, Perception, and the Nature of Reality.

A couple of years ago, I was actively writing for my experimental Matriarchal storytelling venture A Dangerous Woman Story Studio. I am still at it, but everything is on hiatus while I am working on my forthcoming traditionally-published nonfiction book When Journalism Was a Thing.

Mostly short stories that interlocked, I did write a few novels — and one massive tome.

Clocking in at almost 1600 pages, this is the feminist War and Peace, and by far, the book that is the favourite fiction story I ever wrote.

Dr. Verity Lake’s Journey of a Thousand Revelations.

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The favourite…

The story begins in the late 1930s and spans about a decade of her life. She is an eccentric and enigmatic experimental psychologist living in a very liberated city-state, where her are of study is Truth, Perception, and the Nature of Reality.

Like all of my characters, I studied and researched every area of their specialities. Verity Lake’s speciality began as my undergraduate thesis when I was a psych student at McMaster University. I was studying psychoacoustics — how we perceive sound versus the reality of the actual sound.

Because how we perceive sound is very different to its reality.

And that fact I stumbled upon as a teenager when my ears were bandaged up for a few weeks, and when that thick padding came off, sound was not the smooth and ordered sense I had known all my life.

It was chaotic, with echos and disjointed bouncing of chords.

Everything sounded tinny and repetitive until suddenly my brain remembered how to deceive me, and pulled those chords together and the experience was gone.

But not the memory of it.

It was a revelation that our perceptions of reality was not reality itself.

And then I spent years experimenting with perceptions and reality.

It helped that I also was a fan of stage magic. I developed a new appreciation of how magic tricks take advantage of our limited and faulty perceptions — and our base assumptions that we somehow perceive reality as it is.

It’s not even close.

Studies have been done to show how one person perceives a certain colour isn’t the same across the board — what may be blue to you, may be perceived as green to someone else.

You can even trick people into hearing the wrong words, depending on how they see someone’s lips move. Show a video of someone saying “Pa Pa”, but have an audio of “Da Da”, and they will most likely “hear” “Pa Pa”.

That’s the reality of how we perceive reality.

Because we are never taught to question our perceptions of reality. People become offended and think that you are accusing them of being “crazy” if you ask, “Are you certain of your perceptions?”

Dr. Lake is a recurring character in her younger sister Holly’s non-lethal mystery short stories, but I liked Verity so much, that I spun her off in not just her own novel, but in other stories as well. She is a character who is versatile as both a main character and a supporting one.

She can always find a place in stories because she is all about knowing the difference between perception and reality, and also truth and reality. She understands the difference between what is absolute and what is relative.

Verity has her lifelong quest of uncovering all of the deepest truths of the universe, and while this was supposed to be a comical throwaway catchphrase with her, I owed it to her to dig deeper and explore that concept.

As a journalist, I understood that perception was never reality. People perceived reality, and then they interpreted reality. They never really tested to see if their perceptions of reality aligned with the real thing.

And it isn’t as difficult as it sounds. I had no trouble discovering how perceptions could deceive or be tricked. Animals have a better sense of hearing than do people — so I would try out games with my pets to understand what they heard, how they heard it, and what, in the most crudest sense, what their thoughts and feelings were on the matter.

Were they curious? Angry? Scared? Happy? Did they retain information? What if it was the same stimulus, but activated slightly differently?

But that’s basic sensory reality. There is also livable reality of our mundane everyday lives. Life comes easy to some, but hard to others, for instance. They have two different realities.

But often, you hear people talking about their “own personal truths.” No, you are not talking about truth; you mean your own personal reality. When you are rich and healthy, you have a different reality than when you are poor.

Yes, absolutely.

But how the two perceive that reality can be very different. The rich person may think they are superior, even if they were merely born into money, but the poor person make also think he is superior because he knows how to survive even without the benefits of money.

The rich person may think he is suffering and unlucky, while the poor person may think he is blessed.

This is their interpretation of their reality, but neither is actually looking at the truth.

Truth is universal. It is an egalitarian concept that is universal and eternal. There is no ownership of Truth. Truths are deep, and they are chaotic.

Truths are hard to find, especially if you take your perceptions of reality for granted, and prefer to lure of lies to validate or placate you.

Reality is situational. One moment, you may be a billionaire, and the next, you are in prison being tortured.

Your reality has changed, but the Truth that money is not the foolproof fortress to protect you from all harm stays the same. It applies to the rich person as it does to the poor.

You cannot manipulate the truth. Your truth is not better or different than anyone else’s truth. It is often a weasel phrase people employ when they know there may be a weakness in their narrative, and are using a pre-emptive strike: Well, that may not be what actually happened, but I perceived it to be as such; ergo, this is my truth.

No, it’s not your “personal” truth. That is your interpretation of reality.

Reality is tangible. It aligns with the truth, and can reveal truths, but as reality is relative and changes, it is a path to truth, not the truth itself.

I always found it baffling that j-schools never studied the differences among truth, reality, perception, and interpretation. If your job is to expose reality, then you ought to know what reality is all about and why you need to reveal it to people.

There should have been a journalistic and empirical science on it, but it never happened. I have pointed this deficit out to more than one academic institution, only to be tersely dismissed.

But there is an absolute need for it. How someone carries himself and dresses alters his reality, but if he is a grifter, the truth is that he will never deliver what he promised, and as he takes away resources from his victims, there will be deficits that will drag others down.

It is this lack of training and research that doomed journalism and allowed an Age of Propaganda to flourish unimpeded.

Because we never did bother to understand what is truth and reality, what they mean, and what they have always been trying to tell us…

Patriarchal Theatre and the Rob Ford movie: How ego blinds the obvious.

All the President’s Men — the movie — did a bad thing to journalism: it dumbed down and ego-ed up the profession.

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It was the single worst thing to ever happen to that industry. It was a slow poison, but one that did the job.

There were other fictionalized movies about journalism before, but this was The One that planted the worst seed in the collective mind.

Because it added theatre and entrenched the idea of narrative.

Not facts, but narrative, and a specific one where journalists thought they were part of the story.

No, you’re not. You find facts, There is no story.

You cannot impose a narrative where you are embedded in there because the second you do, then you must be scrutinized with the same intensity as the newsmakers you are covering.

But theatre is a toxic element that has become standard in news reports: the hook to lure readers in.

That means the story must have characters, not people.

But when you artificially impose a narrative on to reality, reality shrugs, and the narrative breaks.

It is the reason journalism has lost its potency over time: when you realize that the narrative doesn’t align, then you lose faith in the storyteller.

Journalism has relied on Patriarchal narrative for decades, and now they have mistaken that narrative for truth, which is traumatic enough, but when you interject yourself into a story where you have no business being in and that narrative is rejected, you completely lose every sense of reality.

The late Toronto mayor Rob Ford is a case in point. He was a wildly popularly mayor whose core was in the suburbs, but he had demons, including that whole smoking crack with gang members in front of a working camera problem.

He stayed mayor, and if he didn’t die of cancer, he would have easily won a second term.

Because very few people actually cared. They saw how he behaved when they voted him into that office the first time.

But the Toronto Star was determined to bring him down in lockstep with the rest of city council.

They failed.

They failed, and a few years later, his older brother Doug managed to become leader of the provincial Conservative party even though he was the long shot.

The paper wouldn’t have even discovered Ford’s crack and gangs secret, but a gang banger took pity upon those blockheads and took the initiative to call a female journalist to pretty much draw a diagram.

There was no cultivating sources or turning over rocks. They got the scoop through passive means.

And then nothing happened. No charges against the mayor. No laws were changed.

In other words, nothing actually happened except Rob Ford became a bad boy rock star on American television. He benefitted from the coverage that humanized him: if he could do all of that for his constituents while stoned, then, hey, he had have been a great guy.

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Even when the late night talk shows were making fun of him with a nudge and a wink. He failed upwards.

This was one of the most inept episodes in Canadian journalism. The paper still lost readers. They still had to fire people. They embarked on a campaign for the government to give them free money to survive.

Try as they might, the Star could not make their narrative stick. What should have brought down their local Richard Nixon didn’t, and the only big break came from the pity of the criminal element who probably were impatiently waiting for a reporter to figure things out and show up at their doorstep, but didn’t actually have the intelligence to put two and two together.

And they are still as oblivious as ever.

They do not get that they were not part of the “story.” They had no idea that it is all about Rob Ford, even now.

So when Hollywood decided to make a movie about that rule-breaker Rob Ford, it was pretty much Rob Ford and others. As in, no one else matters but the Bad Boy Great Man.

They even hired a far handsomer actor to play Ford. He is now officially a Legend.

And one of the female reporters who covered Ford’s antics, is all upset and throwing a public temper tantrum because a male actor is playing a reporter who is after the naughty mayor.

Oh, Robyn Doolittle, get over yourself.

It isn’t about you. It never was. You didn’t catch him, but you tried to hitch your ride on his star. For all you know, he told them to call you and wanted a confession by proxy.

You’ll never know because you didn’t catch him even with that huge net a gangbanger gave you — and you yourself admitted you weren’t even standing when he spoon-fed you. I wonder how hard they were laughing reading your drivel before that point in time.

The Rob Ford story isn’t about journalists because they were bumbling narcissists hoping they’d be immortalized like Bernstein and Woodward. It wasn’t going to happen.

Because it is a generic role. The Bad Boy got away. They’re making a movie about him, but not you.

Because who really cares about the journalists? It could be a man, woman, or a paper cut-out of an alien, no one actually cares because the anti-hero of this dread tale isn’t the no-name journalists who couldn’t stop Ford Nation from rising.

But the flawed Great Man who got away.

Because journalists are all about theatre, but have no real sense of what it is truly all about.

Hollywood knows theatre. They sized up the story, and saw the only person who actually counted.

And it wasn’t the journalist.

Ford Nation is rising, while the Star — like the rest of journalism — crashed and burned.

Because the journalist doesn’t matter in a movie.

And no longer does journalism in the real world…

Ideological Cleansing in an Age of Propaganda

During the Civil War in the former Yugoslavia, there was a PR-spawned and media-happy buzzword used to describe the fighting: ethnic cleansing. The term was meant to show that the region had become intolerant of other ethnicities: an area that had mixed groups would were rushing to “purify” the region.

We don’t use the term anymore despite other international conflicts. It never actually caught on: once the optics front was won, the term faded from our lexicon.

Except the concept itself is alive and well, and thriving on various communications platforms, from legacy media to social media.

There is no tolerance. There is no diversity. There isn’t even plurality.

It is Us versus Them.

With no notion of in-between whatsoever.

It is an ideological war going on, and one with the mental maturity of a spoiled and indulged two year-old in soggy underpants. Suddenly, there is no skepticism, looking at evidence, rationality, or case-by-case examination of the facts. It pure, seething, and manipulative propaganda from both the Left and the Right, nullifying both schools of thought in the bargain.

On the one side of this little game, are men such as Tony Robbins who has decided #MeToo is a bad thing, and everyone who has claimed to have experienced workplace terrorism is doing it for self-serving reasons. There is no looking at facts. He issues an opinion as if it were divine decree, and that’s that.

Anyone who disagrees must be removed from our space because they are defective — and less than human. Hence, ideological cleansing seems like a moral and rational choice. Of course, it is irrational cowardice: we fear our beliefs will crumble; and so, we build fortresses so that we do not have to perceive the reality and truth of our weaknesses. If we do not face it, then perhaps it does not exist.

The irrationality doesn’t stop there. The Atlantic decides Donald Trump — the man who beat journalists and won the White House — is still too stupid to have his own ideas; so naturally it is not his experience with institutions that makes him skeptical of them — he is just a hapless and passive conduit of the 1970s.

But the New York Times opines that it is a good thing that the Denver Post is skeptical of the institution that owns them, and there is not a chance those editorial writers are a mere vessel of the decade they grew up in.

Hedge funds are bad when they own decaying newspapers and have to deal with plunging readerships and advertising revenue, but hedge fund owner Madeline Albright is just fine when she writes an Op-Ed piece for the New York Times, openly plotting to “stop Trump before it’s too late” — that’s up to the citizens of the US to do at the ballot when the next election comes.

Ms Albright, you may have gotten away with those barbaric games with the Serbs, but your disgusting notions of ideological cleansing are off-putting to say the least.

But in an Age of Propaganda, people behave like robber barons: greed it good, and we must buy up as much ideological property as we can to dominate the marketplace of ideas. Monopoly of thought seems like a foolproof plan: if no one objects, then truth and reality of our ideological flaws cannot possibly exist.

Except, of course, they do exist. You cannot cleanse away truth or reality. It is the reason empiricism is essential as is the never-ending search for facts: there is always a flaw that must be discovered and dealt with. Our theories must always be tested as the world changes and expands. Not everyone’s life requirements are alike, and no, one ideology does not fit all.

Journalism was supposed to prevent propaganda from overtaking publicity discourse, but then it became infected and spread the disease, corrupting ideological and political debate to the point it has become useless.

There can be no right answer when the goal is ideological cleansing. It nullifies every argument on either side of the linear divide.

It is the reason why an alternative to journalism is needed: in a world filled with fanaticism, political atheism brings common sense back into visible reality, tearing down narrative, and exposing facts, no matter how upsetting those facts happen to be.

People with billions of dollars to their name are now openly clamouring for a civil war during prosperous peace times. This is no longer moral or rational thought. It is fascism.

And there is no hack or solution from either side of the line in the sand. A map is needed, but one the ignores the narratives and finds the facts to chart a productive route to better — and more emotionally stable places…