The war on journalism is over, and journalism lost. Time to hold that intervention.

So much sophistry going on.

The CBC is wondering if there can be too much transparency in journalism because ABC released all of its transcripts.

That is hardly transparency. How they landed the interview, what parameters were set, how the questions were constructed and why would be transparency.

So no, ABC News wasn’t all that transparent.

Because what ABC News did was give an hour-long informercial to Comey’s book. I don’t recall any real fact-gathering or verification happening there.

When I did Chaser News, I was very transparent. I disclosed everything, including why I pursued the stories I did. I didn’t shill anyone’s book. I interviewed people and revealed all before I did my actual stories. I discussed how the interview went, my sense of the questions I asked and the answers I got, if I thought I made any errors or omissions, and then discussed each finding as I came across it.

Then after all that, came the actual story. I didn’t treat information as a spoiler or reveal. When putting the various facts together, those facts changed meaning.

And ABC didn’t do any of it — yet CBC is treating them as some sort of “trailblazers”. Even Wired and 60 Minutes have given more information to their stories online than ABC did here. I did it before any of them, but in a completely different way.

The Globe and Mail had some sort of point to make in a column about how the “war on journalism is only getting worse.”

No, that war was fought a long time ago, and journalism lost. That ship has sailed.

And had journalism been a little more alert, humble, flexible, and disciplined, they would not have lost. They failed to grasp this whole Internet thing. They thought they had power when what they had was public goodwill with their monopoly.

Once those rigs were gone, journalists had to quickly retool the profession to stay in the game. They kept pretending that nothing changed and they got pummelled.

And instead of facing reality, journalists began to spew propaganda full-time, making their fortunes worse. The Guardian, a once decent outlet, has now lost all common sense and seems to be having a collective meltdown, running around like chickens without heads screaming about Russian propaganda as if no other country in the world didn’t partake in it, too.

Journalists want to blame someone — Trump, Facebook, Russia, their grandmothers — anyone they can get a hold of and shame without coming off as racist loons.

Except they are coming off worse than that. They are hysterical and panicking as they try to pretend they can still be rational.

But they are not rational. They have lost all sensibility because it is starting to dawn on them that they are done.

It’s time to hold that intervention. It is not a “golden era” of journalism. It is not going to be saved for becoming a nonprofit. It is not going to be saved with government money. It is not going to be saved bashing the American president.

And it is not going to be saved blaming others for the profession’s demise…

CBC has gender pay disparity? You don’t say, Globe and Mail! Canadian journalism was always a misogynistic mess. And still is.

The Globe and Mail is tattling on the CBC for its penchant for paying the boys more than the girls.

No kidding.

For all the blustering and moral masturbating from legacy media for their various pseudo-Leftish decrees, it was and still is highly prejudicial against women, and pay is just one factor.

Sexual harassment is another factor.

But there are more factors: women do not get treated very seriously. I can speak of my own personal experiences, for instance. I would pitch very serious stories, and just be shooed away, as if gang warfare was some silly thing to get hysterical over. Art crimes in Canada are also a serious problem, but I could not get that published in any Canadian media outlet.

Then there was about the political ramifications of street graffiti, cult recruitment at various university campuses, sentencing disparities between convicted male and female prisoners, and how social media was going to make journalism obsolete.

Those were all rejected — and there were others, as well.

I had the ability, the sources, the evidence, you name it, but every time I pitched something, particularly to a male Canadian editor, it wasn’t just shot down — but always with some sort of jab that I was wildly exaggerating.

And then the problem would explode in the future, and then my concerns were proven to be spot on.

If I were a male, that would have never been an issue. If you don’t take hard news pitches from a female journalist seriously, you will not be paying her as much as you pay your male reporters. I once had an editor who did a profile on me be absolutely baffled that I didn’t have a higher profile, given my credentials and accomplishments. He didn’t get that it was pure sexism that had held me back in my career — and I still managed to do a lot of important work despite it.

And nothing has changed in the business, except it has been destroyed — but that toxic mindset is still firmly in place…

 

JSP? Really, CBC?

The CBC must have been inspired by The Goldbergs.

The CBC has a history of cringeworthy buzzwords that induce eye-rolling than actual results.

They are chirpy about their “Journalistic Standards and Practices”, which has been labelled JSP.

It is not exactly any sort of deal, big or otherwise. Many newsrooms have vague and nebulous standards and practices and have for decades. When I went to j-school, as I had nothing better to do, our library had most of them in a database, I read and saved them all.

When I wrote about the business of journalism, one of my articles landed in Current in 2001 — a trade magazine about public broadcasting, and my piece was about the CBC. Back then, they were using the term “e-transformation” or something along the lines. It didn’t do anything for them then.

JSP won’t do anything new for them now.

Your scruples and attention to detail should be apparent in your product, not in some chirpy press release-sounding babble. If you have to draw attention to it with some title that some high schoolers thought up, your maturity and understanding of reality seriously comes into question.

I never understood why those in that dead profession always want applause and a lollipop for doing things that are a normal part of the job: it would be the same if doctors demanded a cookie and a paper crown for every patient that comes out of routine surgery alive and not butchered…

Journalism’s looking for free labour continues — Big Brother style.

I love this headline for this article from the CBC:

Help CBC News investigate political ads on Facebook

How much are you paying for people doing your work for you? Oh, that’s right, nothing.

ProPublica is behind this one, and has a similar headline to a similar article:

Help Us Monitor Political Ads Online

ProPublica launches a “PAC” to scrutinize campaign ads on Facebook.

What this extension is a way for media companies to monitor your online habits, without having to pay people a dime. How noble of you to exploit people’s fears and labour as you get to look at what people are looking at so you can tailor-make propaganda in the name of being “journalists.”

Nice try.

Remember — ProPublica was founded by Democrat billionaires.

They aren’t that rich for nothing, kids.

The New York Times pulled the same stunt during the 2016 president election — and Trump still won despite the Big Brother monitoring of the partisan flock.

This is the sort of thing journalists howl at when other people do it — but then they just do the same thing.

If they want to do some market research — then they can pay for it like everyone else…

The CJFE problem.

Canadian Journalists for Free Expression are a confused lot, but before I go into the latest tizzy, this is the original statement that brought this latest mess to light:

CJFE is gravely concerned by the extrajudicial killings of demonstrators which occurred on March 30, 2018 in Gaza. It has been reported that the Israel Defence Force (IDF) used sniper fire, tank rounds and “less lethal” munitions like tear gas during a civil order event on the militarized border between Israel and Gaza. The United Nations reported that 15 Gazans were killed and more than 1000 were wounded. The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms has stated that among those wounded in the massacre are many journalists.

We acknowledge the fact, as Israeli authorities have stated, that border demonstrations at the “March of Return” in commemoration of Palestinian “Land Day” were disorderly and boisterous in nature. We also recognize that the use of lethal force to respond to boisterous demonstration or civil disorder is an anathema to the principles of democracy, freedom and justice. Similar incidents have occurred in Tunisia, Syria and Ukraine. If similar incidents transpired in 2018, in any other country, the condemnation from the international community would be swift and clear.

Canada is recognized internationally as a close ally of the Israeli state. It is incongruous to profess support for democracy, human rights or press freedom while ignoring the deleterious effect that this repression by an allied state has on these values. Failure to condemn the IDF’s brutality will undermine Canada’s moral authority when condemning similar acts by any other nation-state. Targeted attacks against demonstrators and journalists must be condemned wherever they occur. Canada must speak out to defend universal principles of human rights, democracy and press freedom.

The Government of Canada must condemn the one-sided use of military force against civilian demonstrators and media in Gaza, must immediately call for a cessation of these brutal practices, and must use all available diplomatic, political and economic channels to pressure Israel to initiate a fulsome and transparent inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the massacre, which left 15 dead, and more than 1000 wounded.

In the archived link I provided, the author of this statement stood by it, and is upset by this controversy, taking umbrage that it was considered “stupid”.

It was not a smart statement to make, at any rate, but I will get to that later.

Reaction from the press went by the usual partisan lines. The Left condemned the censorship of the statement without questioning its inherent ignorance, such as the Huffington Post.

The National Post frowned on the statement.

The Toronto Star has covered it here and here.

The CBC’s Neil Macdonald missed the point here.

The statement should not have been issued that way. It is the same problem they faced when they issued a previous decree to the government on what it should and shouldn’t do.

This isn’t about censorship, as the Huffington Post erroneously framed it, and it is not about pledging support for fellow journalists as Macdonald mused.

The underlying arrogance that an organization can dictate orders to their government is the problem.

Journalists are used to telling people what to do to the point that do not see that their job is to inform. You use facts. You can condemn an attack on journalists. You can work to create systems to protect them. You cannot play make pretend and behave as if the government is your underling.

The CJFE has no clear understanding of what it can do — issuing that statement is a big nothing. It is passive and arrogant slacktivism that assumes throwing a fit has meaning.

They have managed to alienate their core and fray at the seams. They have discredited themselves unnecessarily, but most of all, they learned nothing from a previous temper tantrum, and the replay of it proves the CJFE has no clue what it is doing or why.

If you wonder why journalism collapsed, this episode demonstrates it perfectly…

Journalism’s Sour Grapes: Facebook outplayed them, and now they are making decrees about deleting Facebook. Nice try.

The CBC as well as Salon (via AlterNet) are marching lockstep like good little zombies, musing whether news organizations and the little people should just give up their autonomy and freedom like the #NeverAgain gang, and delete Facebook.

To the dead profession of journalism: yes, you should delete Facebook because you always sucked at it. Old relics who are unteachable should just, like, stay away from the big scary monsters and just go continue to rot under the bed.

Even the CBC piece tries to dismiss the real reason for trying to weaken the medium that humbled them:

It’s easy to dismiss the comments as sour grapes, but news organizations — including the CBC, which boasts more than 2 million subscribers on its Facebook page — have long wrestled with how to manage what the site has become: an available audience of more than 2 billion people, but without much differentiation between real and fake news.

Of course, it is more than sour grapes: it is a transparent attempt to try to reclaim the power Facebook undermined. Once upon a time, CBC could dictate the narrative and control the information Canadians heard. Now they cannot, and have discovered that the populace may not be the brainless sheep they had mistook them for over the years. People can finally make fun of CBC coverage out in the open, as they present their own realities with each other.

The AlterNet piece is particularly fascinating meta-propaganda trying to confine the narrative to install fear in people:

Whether the Facebook fiasco conclusively proves either Russian involvement in the 2016 election (or the UK’s Brexit referendum), or simply highlights the violation of campaign finance laws, is yet to be determined.

It is a loaded statement along the same ilk as Have you stopped beating your wife? 

It assumes that Facebook is a dupe or an agent of those evil Russians who manipulate those stupid Right-wing people living in trailer parks, and had there not been any meddling, everyone would march lockstep to the Left’s decrees, Comrade, and let them do all of thinking for all of us.

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The article is pure childish fantasy that rips off more of Soviet-era propaganda than modern-day Russia ever could.

Both of these articles are manipulative fear-mongering meant to terrify the masses who should realize one thing: a healthy mind is an unpredictable mind. So let the algorithms tell you what colour underpants you should buy — you do not have to follow marching orders.

I know Facebook has never managed to sell me a single thing — not a pair of socks or a political ideology.

East Germany had something even more powerful — the Stasi and those people married the targets they spied on and had children with them. The Stasi failed and fell, and those who fought against it won out at the end of the day.

There is another amusing sentence here as well in that long, rambling piece:

But in a world in which we have all become reliant on the internet for our information, our searches and declared preferences are constantly recorded.

So what? I work as an author, and whenever I publish a book, the whole planet can pretty much guess what my searches and declared preferences are by reading my work. If I was going to be a paranoid coward, I wouldn’t have had a public profession.

Besides, look who popped in my LinkedIn page:

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No, I will never tire of showing that.

So, it is not just Facebook. Homeland Security had no trouble looking at my LinkedIn profile, and leaving a trace for giggles. So what?

The CIA and MI6 can stop by, and leave me a message, too, as well as CSIS, and any other kind of spook or government agency. Go for it. Figure me out, send me my personality profile via Messenger to amuse me…and my mom who will tell you that you are all hopelessly wrong, or any surveillance pictures you have ever taken of me, especially the ones that are flattering. It beats plastering my Facebook page with selfies.

We share a planet, kids. You had nosy neighbours listening on the party line way back when. People had their phones monitored by all sorts of people as they heard that odd “clicking” sound when they talked on the phone. It is nothing new.

Just as all those ballots you filled out to win stuff were used to gather information on you to sell you junk.

Nothing new.

But the self-righteous babbling goes on:

But a centralized, monopolistic exploitation of these interpersonal links is inviting public intervention, especially as the technology can also survive on a distributed, competitive basis. In the eyes of many, these companies are unlikely to escape the opprobrium of helping to allow the Trump disaster to descend upon us.

They will be regulated because governments will want to hijack that massive power for themselves. Trump didn’t win because of Facebook, contrary to the sore-loser narrative of journalists, whose own mendacity lead to their own ruin. He won because this was the first election where the media’s power was so weakened, that any media-savvy entity could bypass them.

When that happened, the profession squealed. No longer could they make decrees to the little people who was acceptable to vote for — and they turned into paranoid conspiracy theorists. Some of the paranoia came from all that weed they love to smoke, but mostly, for the first time, reality kicked them where it counted, and they realized they weren’t the cunning evil geniuses they always fancied themselves to be.

They do not realize that people moved on from journalism. They moved on. Journalism became irrelevant because of their own arrogant incompetency and inability to see reality, and that is a reason to celebrate. Those shackles were finally broken.

But now, it is time for journalism’s replacement, and one that can thrive in any media as it embraces reality and truth to show a better path where free will is nurtured, and critical thinking brings out the best of humanity.

The Propaganda campaign against Facebook continues: The Persuasion of Dead Journalism is trying to lure the liberated back into their cages.

The CBC’s Passionate Eye has its fear-mongering agitprop piece The Persuasion of Silicon Valley.

The point of this piece is to scare people away from social media, but in such a way as to scare them all while flattering them.

The hypothesis of typical: There are mind manipulators out there brainwashing people into voting for someone the press decreed was The Bad Guy! They will steal everyone’s brain…

Well, not everyone’s brain. Not you viewer, of course. You’re too smart for that…but it is happening to your uncle, your co-worker, maybe even your dumb kids…

You will notice these kinds of propagandistic messages never target the audience. This isn’t directed at people who voted for Trump, ironically, but people who voted for Hillary.

The hypothesis is that no American would have ever voted for Trump if it weren’t for Russians and Facebook.

Yes, the Axis of Evil, Version 2.0.

Except the hypothesis doesn’t fly because you would have to ignore that Clinton won the popular vote. You would have to ignore the lifelong Republicans and the people who were repulsed by Clinton and would have never voted for her, anyway.

All political parties engage in the same dirty tricks. They don’t get have focus groups — they hook them up to all sorts of machines to test their physiological reactions to various speeches and information as well as ad campaigns.

Yet someone will win and someone will lose, and the Democrats and the traditional press were so used to making decrees that they thought the vote-shaming alone would be enough.

They cannot admit their own ineffectual campaigning brought them defeat, so now it has been one giant conspiracy theory coupled with a confirmation bias.

We are living in an Age of Propaganda that extends to Meta-Propaganda, as this documentary is. We are to assume that people are so stupid that they have to be brainwashed to go out and vote.

Politics is a form of war, and war is deception…

And yet, people will vote the way they want to vote.

Speaking for myself, I have never purchased anything from the ads on my Facebook page — or any other one. Amazon just never got to know me, and every book recommendation they have given me was a total miss. I do not believe in the Left or Right, both sides which I see as arrogant grifters and bullies who think that no one can see through their tyrannical games.

I worked in journalism and I know that arrogance of reporters telling people what to think, and getting angry if people have their own ideas.

Now that journalism has failed, they are willing to destroy society to prove they are “right” and still matter. In other words, they are being trolls.

Should you be worried about Facebook? Not really. It does not have the power to brainwash you are hypnotize you based on what pictures of your cat you post online.

For all the scare about Big Brother and Big Data — it doesn’t have the control people think it does — for all the #MeToo narrative, there are people — men and women — who have not been swayed in their opinion at all.

The Facebook obsession is a self-serving one: traditional journalism is jealous that Facebook broke them because they are weak. The squawking is nothing more than a crude form of propaganda that exaggerates.

Besides, Facebook was always amateur press release for the average citizen: it shows check ins at airports, vacation selfies, and pop culture consumption to go along with snarky or inspirational memes — people put their best foot forward…

But in order for psychological manipulation to be successful, you have to know people’s fears and demons. It is the dark side of human nature that makes them vulnerable to it, and when people are posting pictures of the brat’s piano recital or the anniversary pictures of their grandparents, there isn’t that much to work with.

Meaning social media feeds are mostly filled with inane and benign lies and exaggerations.

And cats.

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Lots and lots of cats.

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You should be skeptical of information you receive, regardless of the source, but not paranoid, and certainly not fearful. 

And any documentary that tries to scare you is one that is using fear as a base is trying to convince to trust them instead of your own instincts.

Social media is a liberator that broke the shackles traditional media had on the public. Traditional media is trying to re-chain people by going back to the past where they told people what to think and how to think it.

It is far better to be out in the wild than stuck in a cage. It is like walking out in the open, where you have full control of where you are going, but you still have to be vigilant so you don’t get hit by a truck…but it is still better to be careful as you walk on the same street where trucks drive than to be holed up in a cage because there is some remote chance of getting hit.

It won’t happen if you think before you cross.

And no matter how safe a cage seems, if a predator has you trapped, you cannot merely walk away from the danger if you sense it.

Journalism never addressed their own manipulative games and methods, and they are not in the position to frighten anyone with any dread tales.

I would look into who is feeding journalists their information — what PR firms are being used, and who is footing their bills.

Because it is a campaign to try to do to people what they claim others are doing.

But not to you, of course. 

You’re too smart for that.

And just in case you get a little frightened or beguiled by the lockstep message, remember to do your own thinking, and have a look at a face like this…

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Or this!

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And remember, they didn’t let anyone tell them what to do, or persuade them.

Believe me, I tried

Memo to the CBC: Journalism prompts no closer look at anything. If it did, it would be questioning the very propaganda it is now so gleefully pushing.

CBC has a very deceptive piece here about BuzzFeed UK’s yarns about the fate of dead Russians in the UK. It is worth tearing apart not just because journalists are arrogant sots, but because the piece tries to spin a narrative that doesn’t align with reality.

Let’s go back to the very flawed “dossier” BuzzFeed published. They got themselves in trouble in more ways than one — and then ran to a former senior FBI official to try to verify that dossier because they were not capable to do any actual fact-checking themselves. The dossier itself was written by Christopher David Steele, a former MI6 agent. That it came from the UK and not the US matters for reasons I will explain below.

The provenance of the original dossier should be a red flag that BuzzFeed has caught the eye of people in the optic manipulation business. BuzzFeed is not like Jane’s Intelligence Review. It is not a publication that can handle any sort of “deep” investigative journalism. It can be a proxy for special interests, but it cannot be taken as real investigative journalism.

Because BuzzFeed’s stories leave a lot to be desired. There are a lot of questions, such as why would Russia bother killing ex-pats whose best before dates expired years ago, or who had something to gain by making it look like there is a Big Bad enemy to fear. The smell test for the narrative fails. When we focus on fearing an enemy, we do not focus on scrutinizing those who either pretend to be our allies, or are neutral and hiding in plain sight.

But these kinds of games are nothing new. Magicians make a living of using misdirection to get attention away from the obvious and towards lies. In fact, one stage magician, John Mulholland, wrote the CIA’s manual on trickery and deception decades ago, but was finally declassified and is freely available for a long while now.

But CBC refuses to question the narratives proffered by BuzzFeed — or how accurate their stories actually are.

But then again, CBC is the same network that had one of its foreign correspondents in a war zone in the middle of the night, pretending to quiet her camera crew so they wouldn’t be detected, but then had glaring lights all around them as if soldiers had super-hearing, but were utterly blind. Yeah, you weren’t in any real danger, were you, kids? Nice try.

What the CBC piece does prove, beyond a doubt, is that journalism is still seen as a place to pollute the information stream to frighten middle class people into giving up their rights in the name of freedom. The problem is that it really isn’t working.

Another problem is that journalism isn’t actually what it pretends to be. Finding sources and stories takes effort, but journalists go to (a) authorities in government, and (b) public relations firms to get information. Whenever they try to go one step more, they always have to walk back because the story turned out to be false (you can read Don’t Believe It!, the upcoming When Journalism was a Thing, or earlier entries on this web site if you want proof from me).

Social media became a real threat to those who wish to quash free speech and democracy; and so, an online publication is an ideal place for a vested interest to spin a yarn — particularly one whose base is not the United States — not because the UK is some horrid place, but because the US has an inconvenient measure in place that the UK does not.

Because BuzzFeed’s narrative is pure war propaganda, I find it very interesting that these stories are originating from Britain, a nation that has no equivalent to FARA in the US.

If you do not know what FARA is, then shame on you. I mean it. Shame on you. Whenever a foreign agent or country wishes to seek the services of an American law firm, lobbyist, or public relations firm, those firms have to register with the US government. This has been law since 1938. So really, shame on you for not knowing that.

Why it is shameful not to know is simple: whenever a group of foreigners are suddenly seen as “good folks” or “bad guys” in the press, that means that a foreign agent has paid a PR firm to make their people look good while making their rivals or targets look bad, and reporters, being the lazy and deceptive slackers that they are, cribbed the press release. That means that there is a paper trail in the US…but not in other countries. UK has unbelievably effective public relations firms — and they do not have to let anyone know who is footing their bills. If you are particularly dense, the year 1938 should give you a clue why FARA was created in the first place — because it was about preventing Nazis from infecting the US information stream.

The UK government is now openly talking about meddling in journalism — and a government that is already in a weakened position thanks to their own election bungling, they are not exactly disinterested parties. May’s government will find ways to make it seem indispensable anyway it knows how. There is nothing impressive with BuzzFeed because they are giving a floundering government the perfect narrative to deflect attention away from their own troubles as they try to make themselves look strong.

Contrary to the spin that it was “highly likely” that the Russian regime ordered hits (notice there is never any definitive proof) — using a method that would be immediately associated with them — and then pretending these deaths were not hits — sounds like a theory Inspector Lestrade would offer to Sherlock Holmes — or Sheriff Amos Tupper would offer to Jessica Fletcher. The underlying logic is more aligned with what an uninitiated and sheltered middle class Westerner would think Soviets would do than be what an actual Soviet would do because the mindsets are nothing alike. Either the Soviets are cunning strategists — or bumbling buffoons. They cannot be both at the same time, and this working theory reeks of someone who is both culturally illiterate and has a severe bigoted view of Orthodox Christians.

If you are going to malign an entire group of people with a paranoid conspiracy theory, have the good sense to at least look up a few things on Wikipedia to get your story semi-straight.

The loopy and fear-mongering narrative makes little sense: those Soviet ex-pat spies have already spilled everything they knew to their new hosts long ago. Their use or threat would be extremely limited given they have been out of the loop for as long as they have been. So the propaganda here makes little sense.

Do nations meddle in the affairs of other nations? Of course they do, but that is the unfortunate byproduct of allowing bored control freaks to be leaders of nations. Americans have been meddling in the elections of foreign countries for decades, and they get indignant and huffy if you point out the obvious to them.

And through all of these ghost stories to frighten the gullible middle class, this yarn does suffer from a huge confirmation bias: that if the Soviets — who aren’t all that powerful globally — would be doing such things, then which other more powerful countries are doing it, too?

For instance, I have noticed quite a few high-level hackers have wound up dead lately. Why aren’t we questioning those very, very coincidental deaths?

Because they would reveal that those who point fingers at others have three fingers pointing straight back at them.

Contrary to the article’s assertion that journalism “prompted a closer look” at 14 deaths — journalists were fed information from a source with vested interests to spin a certain narrative a certain way, allowing various institutions to use it as an excuse to push their own narrative that they are needed to Save Humanity from the Bad Guys.

It was done in precisely the same way during the first Gulf War when the PR firm Hill and Knowlton was hired to bring public support to Kuwait. Their secret weapon was a teenaged girl — but you had a couple of reporters back then, who had thinking caps — and they found out the story of Iraqi soldiers killing Kuwaiti newborns was a lie.

The structures of both stories played identically; however, the mandatory FARA filings gave savvier people a lead that perhaps the story was a fraud. Unfortunately, the stunt did its trick and the war was already over.

And make no mistake, the purpose of this propaganda dread tale is to prime people to support a war they should absolutely avoid at all costs, but this time, someone was smart enough to use an Internet era to avoid having to file with FARA and do it in an English-speaking country that has superior PR without the pesky foreign agent registration act. They still reach a global audience, but through the backdoor.

Far from journalism prompting a “closer look”, what it is trying to do is resurrect itself at the cost of human lives. It is a psychopathic and desperate gambit, that blinds with fear, not see with rational calm and critical thinking. We have gone through this scheme before over the decades, but this time, with journalism being a dead profession. It is not doing what it is supposed to do. BuzzFeed may be a digital-only outlet, but its fortunes have tumbled, and its reach is not sparking what it is supposed to be sparking. It would be something that someone who doesn’t actually understand this whole Internet thing would assume is some hip place where all the Young People surf, and leak it to them.

It will be interesting to see what the next move will be when it didn’t do what traditional outlets could have done even 20 years ago.

The former Yugoslavia this is not, when people bought whatever CNN told them to believe.

And it reminds me of all those Dateline/48 Hours/ 20/20 stories about how the police go after innocent people because they form a theory, and then just look at who they believe is guilty without asking hard questions or creating alternative theories you need to confirm or refute.  BuzzFeed didn’t do that, and that calls into question their methods, motives, but most importantly of all, their sources.

That is not journalism. It is partisan propaganda, and we are living in an age of propaganda.

When news stories pick bogeymen, it is usually a preface to a needless war. It never fails.

If we had genuine journalism, the real impetus for the resurrected Red Scare would have been exposed, the same way the real impetus for the first Gulf War was exposed, albeit a little too late.

But we don’t. We have stenographers whose partisan pseudo-journalistic outlets spew propaganda to dwindling audiences. The theatre of patriarchal narrative is the same, but the seats are still empty.

Because while this may be an Age of Propaganda, but also an age out Outrage Passivity and slacktivism where people think marching in the streets and ranting on Twitter will make all the problems go away. When people ignore it and stand their ground, nothing actually changes.

So the CBC is doing what the rest of journalism is trying to do — use hyperbole to pretend that journalism still matters. It doesn’t, kids. It cannot compete with selfies or memes.

You know, something like this…

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How bad is Canadian journalism’s logic? Just read their narrative weaselling in the Age of #MeToo.

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?

Why is doing your job so difficult for you?

Stupid media stunts: The lie detector test.

When a story becomes a freak show, journalists often stoop to silly stunts to add to the freakdom.

The CBC’s Fifth Estate has gotten on the Barry Sherman bandwagon.

We have a colourful character shooting his mouth off to the press.

He makes allegations that the press wants to eat up, but in such a way that they can seem serious and not clowns.

So CBC opts to give said colourful character a lie detector test…as if they were reliable and valid.

And they are not.

They are not foolproof. Honest, innocent, but jittery people can fail them just as easily as guilty psychopaths can pass them.

But the point is that it is not a tool for journalists, even if they hire an outsider to do it.

It is. staple of police procedurals programs that are fiction, and used for drama.

Journalism is not about drama. It is about facts.

On the one hand, reporters have their noses in the air, trashing talking someone to whom they gave a platform. They want their cake and eat it, too.

From the beginning, they have been playing stenographers with this case: when they heard gossip that it was a murder-suicide, they ran with it. When the family paid experts who decided it was a double homicide, they ran with it. When the family demands praise, they praise.

What are the facts?

Information verification is not something that can be done with a polygraph. They are being used less than before for a reason.

It’s a cheap stunt being used in a sucker circus, and it is doing nothing to resurrect a dead profession.