Why it has always been a struggle for journalists to tear down privacy walls.

Just listening to Newstalk 1010 this morning, and the host’s panel was typical Canadian sheep, not concerned about government nannying using absurd logic in “privacy consideration.” The host had made a good observation in regards to a girl who was reported missing in Toronto: when she was reported missing, the police exploited the press by telling them to plaster her picture and name everywhere, publicizing her presence to the world, but when it no longer suited them, they refused to divulge any details of the two women arrested over the false report, citing privacy concerns.

He then went on to say how the issuing of publication bans was promiscuous in Canada, but the panel were complacent sheep — you know, rules are rules.

So many problems in the world happen precisely because people in power want to hold secrets from the public, but Establishment institutions always saw journalists as they extension and tool to blare out what they want, but expect them to comply with silence when the truth would prove inconvenient.

Yes, the laws regarding bans and privacy are out of sync in a world where we can easily preserve and access information. It is a form of controlling the information stream and denying fact-gatherers access to seeing patterns and information that may alter public perceptions, allowing bad laws from being passed because the actual situation is being grossly mischaracterized.

But journalism was never properly organized. They needed to educate and cultivate professions beyond journalist, editor, and publisher: they needed those who could go up against governments and courts to ensure their profession could function. But the blinders always got in their way…

Do Canadian journalists get why they lost their clout? Not at all.

I was listening to Newstalk 1010 this morning where the host was talking to a newspaper columnist about the case of Marie-Maude Denis, a Radio-Canada journalist who is being forced by the courts to reveal her sources.

Her story led to arrests, and now one of the parties on trial are claiming a variety of things, and that her source had a vested interest.

Canada never had the same protections for journalists as they have in the US, and mostly never needed to as journalists tend to be highly deferential to authority. This case is interesting in its own right, given the defence has used an effective strategy for its own fishing expedition, but considering the trial would have evidence that is not the actual story Denis filed, I am not certain how relevant putting her on the stand to make her reveal her sources would actually be.

Should she be compelled to reveal her sources? I would say no, but journalists often make promises they cannot keep in the hopes of getting information.

But the conservation about this case was more interesting to me, with the typical snooty assertion that everything was great until the waters were muddied with bloggers and citizen journalists.

Except Denis is not a citizen journalist.

And the argument falls apart on other factors: journalists, particularly in Canada, were never disciplined the way they should have been if they wished to be the ones entrusted with disseminating information. You need no special training or licence to be a reporter, for instance. There are no standards; ergo, there is no discernible difference between a “real” journalist and a citizen journalist — one is in the army, and the other is a mercenary.

They both do essentially the same thing, but journalists have a little more money to show for it.

So it is not as if journalists were ever prepared. They could have been more effective at their jobs, and then the differences between their work and the citizen journalist would be obvious. You cannot use a Clubhouse Excuse why journalists have become weak and unable to fight back when people they have slagged in their stories retaliate. You put out a mediocre product; you cannot whine when the knock-offs look the same or better than your work.

The segment also brought up the case of Antoine Trépanier, another Radio-Canada reporter who was arrested for “criminally harassing” a source he was trying to interview, even though she had not exactly turned down his request when that would have been enough to make him not ask her again.

I am not unfamiliar with those kinds of sources, though the first time it happened was when I was just starting out and I was asked to write an advertorial about a store and the “source” who kept putting it off, but always said to “call him back” called my editor to complain I was “harassing” him. Never mind that it was advertising and it was paid for by the store’s owner and then told the man (who was the manager) to give me a quick interview.

You get people like that all of the time — those who do not know how to decline a request. The police should not have arrested him — they should have spoken to him, he could have easily provided proof that the potential source had made no indication that she felt harassed.

The problem is that the profession never got its act together. It never had standards the way way a surgeon has standards. We never progressed was a discipline, and that’s why everything got destroyed. People who are doing bad things can easily take advantage of that weakness, and that shouldn’t be happening in 2018.

Because it doesn’t matter if there are citizen journalists or bloggers — if you have a system, the results elevate your work over the amateur versions of it. It is no excuse, and yet journalists whine about their glory days, never realizing it was that glory that brought them to their ruin in the first place…

Deconstructing Propaganda, Part Four: sycophantic narrative dishonesty.

Two seemingly unrelated propaganda pieces: one from Canada. One from the US. Both about multiple deaths.

And both so badly mangled that they are truly propagandistic in nature.

I have always maintained that narrative has no place in journalism. None. I have had grand old fights with editors over the years over it. I dug and found facts that were not just important — but almost impossible to find, and believe me, it took more than just finesse and doggedness to find them. Those facts told the story more than my spinning ever could, and that was the reason I didn’t spin.

Then I had editors want that spin instead, saying what I was presenting was “mere reportage.”

They wanted colour. They wanted filler. Never mind I had found something that others missed that was extremely important to the public discourse. In every case, I pulled my story because if it was a case of getting published with junk, or not getting published at all, I would rather hold back then tell a fairytale that didn’t exist.

It was a pathology I noticed time and again. I had pitched to one Toronto editor a story about that city’s increasing gang problem, and how it was inevitable that civilians would be gunned down in the streets. I was accused of being some sort of hysterical female…and then came one Boxing Day where civilians were getting gunned down in the streets, with a teenaged corpse in the aftermath.

I had facts and troubling ones. The graffiti on the walls, for instance, hinted that things were coming to a head. That alone should have gotten attention — you had someone fluent in it, and could decipher it, but editors did not want to hear it because it clashed with their sycophantic narrative that Toronto was a “world-class city” filled with well-to-do sophisticates who held dinner parties and had their Botoxed mugs plastered in the society pages of government-funded magazines.

That narrative may have flattered the denizens of Hogtown, but it wasn’t the truth.

A few years later, some of those same gang members were revealed to hang around Toronto mayor Rob Ford — showing a link between a politician and a street gang — everyone was so obsessed with a mayor doing crack that the fact that you had politicians familiar with these urban soldiers seemed to slip everyone’s notice. Journalists were so bent on destroying the mayor that they failed to ask how many other politicians could have also had ties to violent elements and groups.

Gangs are unsanctioned armies fighting a war in peacetime (and often, during times of war, those same gang members become war lords). They don’t just attack without a financial reason. Graffiti is their coded communication…

And yet, the Toronto media refuses to open their eyes to it.

Because it spoils the narrative that Toronto is the centre of the universe.

Which means narrative drives the news. Facts do not play into the product.

The propaganda model is a simple one: Us Versus Them. Them may be Devils, but Us are the Angels, and possibly even Gods. You do not question Us on any account.

The trouble is Us Versus Them rarely actually exists. Not all of Them are evil, and not all of Us can be trusted.

The National Post is using such a ruse in their article about Toronto serial killer Bruce McArthur.

In this piece, it is a real Us Versus Him narrative with McArthur being falsely portrayed as some evil genius who covered all of his tracks…

Which implies the default Good Guys — the police — were stymied, and of course, they couldn’t have known…

The big kissy to the police is interesting as they have been criticized for not acting on finding a serial killer sooner — so now the Post has spun a pleasing narrative to authority by making the case that the Evil Genius took all sorts of precautions to avoid detection.

Except he was not all that good at it. He had a criminal record and was questioned by police multiple times over the years. That means the narrative itself is a fraud. You are imposing a story to drown out what the facts truly mean.

It’s propaganda because the narrative does not align with reality.

But when you rely on narratives, you are faced with a problem: you designate a hero and a villain — and it is not enough that the hero has some good qualities, and the villain some bad — somehow, in each retelling, the hero has no faults, while the villain has no redeeming qualities. It becomes a farce.

For example, I have talked at length about #MeToo — and while I have said it was necessary and has done good in many cases, I still have issues with it. Nothing is perfect. No one is perfect…

But sometimes you see problems and you outline them not to dismiss, but to correct — or at least be mindful of it when you are planning your next steps.

#MeToo does have its faults, and one of the biggest ones is that it is not exactly an inclusive issue. It’s not about all women. It is about upper middle class to wealthy white women, and there have been numerous commentators who have pointed this out — quite rightly — as in, I will not defend or justify the omission.

Journalism only knows Big Issues as being suburban white. It is Eurocentric, and pathologically so — even if there is a token Person of Colour, it is insincere, and the representation will not reflect that subset of the demographic as a whole.

When a serial killer or wife killer target Caucasian females, it is plastered all over the news as being America’s problem. If the race is anything other than white, it gets buried and ignored.

#MeToo has not faced the same scrutiny and disdain as, say Black Lives Matter.

It is not just a US problem — in Canada, we have had a subtle genocide of First Nations women in this country — but it is never personalized. Have a bunch of white women vanish into the abyss, and the reaction would be completely different.

Because that is an attack on Us.

I am not comfortable with the racism of omission from #MeToo for many reasons, and one of those reasons is that I do not want to be discriminated against just because I am female — but I am not so self-absorbed that I don’t think everyone else in the same boat should be included. Of course they should.

It is not supposed to be getting attention for people, but a systemic problem.

At first, it didn’t matter how inclusive #MeToo was for one reason: one group reached the spotlight first and that was fine, but it should become more inclusive immediately after that as other groups reached the same spot and had a light to see where to come to expose their realities. It never quite happened that way.

Journalism was in a bind as a disportioncate number of men on the Hitlist came from their own profession. There was a lot of naysaying about it, but the consensus was that this issue was about women in general…when it really wasn’t.

It was about some women. The problem was the first who reached the spotlight set the terms of the narrative right off the bat, and made no effort to go beyond the scope that was being rewarded with attention and the firings of men who made the dubious list.

In many ways, #MeToo coverage become propaganda itself. Not the cause per se, but how it was treated in the news media.

But not as bad propaganda as #NeverAgain.

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Time magazine’s story is probably one of the most deceptive propaganda pieces I have seen in a long time.

Gun Control is one of those empty causes that cannot solve the problem. Countries such as China, have strict gun control laws, and yet, it is those smuggled weapons that end up in many a murderer’s hands globally. Canada, for all its smugness, has a serious violence problem, despite having very strict gun control.

In the UK, you have had numerous terrorist attacks and vitriol-throwing. There is gun control there, and yet there is plenty of violence. Most of Europe does as well, from France to Germany. Let’s not pretend.

And now you have a group of teenagers waste their time voguing (yes, voguing) on a cover of a magazine demanding gun control…

It is a sycophantic narrative deception. We have decided the teenagers are Us, and…the guns are the Them.

Which says a lot about the emotional disconnection a new generation has to humanity — they have chosen an inanimate object for an enemy, and it is not a step up from having people as one instead.

It was a fellow teenager who slaughtered students, just as you had a young adult male in Texas set off bombs. It is not Us Versus Them. It is Us versus Us. The end.

The United States has a very serious violence problem, and it isn’t triggered by holding a gun.

But the narrative does not offend parents who may be raising a future homicidal maniac and do not have the courage to face that reality, nor the teenagers who are the ones snapping and slaughtering fellow students with chilling ease.

It is the reason why the narrative is propaganda.

Because it does not align with reality.

A more helpful and accurate approach is to find facts.

For instance, we know very little about most of these killers. They are not personalized, and they have to be personalized. Not to excuse them or make people feel sorry for them, but to see the ugly truth that these are not monsters — these are normal-looking teenagers who look no different than the teens they are murdering.

When the Austin bomber’s picture was released, an anchor on Newstalk 1010 in Toronto kept mentioning how the killer looked average and normal — as if killers all looked like the devil complete with horns, a disfigured face, and a maniacal laugh.

That is narrative.

The true horror of school shootings isn’t the guns because if you leave the gun alone, no one gets killed.

If you leave the killer alone, he may very well murder you anyway.

What makes school shootings terrifying is you are in a building filled with teenagers.

And some of them will be murdered.

And at least one will be their murderer.

Now walk in and guess who will fall in one camp and who will end up in the other.

The terrifying thing is you cannot tell on first glance, but journalism is nothing but about first glances and ruses.

Kiss up to one side of an issue, and then demonize the side who cannot fight back. People will hold on to that narrative structure and will not let go because arrogance prevents people from ever admitting that they were wrong.

Except for social media, where divergent voices can interject, as I am interjecting right now.

Gun control is a waste of time and resources.

Violence control will save lives.

So why do we pick the one that will not produce results?

Is it because we are that stupid and unteachable as a species?

Or perhaps we don’t really want to solve the problem?

It is precisely because people do not actually want to solve the problem: they may be required to alter something major in their routine, be held partially accountable, or lose a job that hinges on a problem continuing to plague their world.

I find it funny that the latest whitebread social issue’s hashtag is #NeverAgain.

And then another school shooting happened right after that unkeepable promise was made.

So the name is a lie right from the start.

If we had real journalism, we wouldn’t be making decrees or deciding who we should cheer like empty heads.

We would be finding facts. We would be finding facts without narrative. We wouldn’t be having teens posing like they are from a Gap ad on Time — but the dead bodies of those teens killed in Florida.

But journalism was always insincere about who they were, what they did, how they did it, and why they were doing it.

They want an easy narrative instead of facts…and that is why we are still groping in the dark in 2018 the same way our earliest ancestors did before they discovered fire…

Manipulating narratives: When critics gloss over the facts to suit their own denial of reality.

Just listening to Jerry Agar on Newstalk 1010 over Patrick Brown. The screened callers aren’t exactly informed and are getting their facts messed up with no one to remind them of the basic facts of the case. Someone took issue with Patrick Brown’s accusers being “anonymous” and that Brown as a right to “face his accusers”. They are manipulating the narrative, without bothering with a single fact.

Because Brown knows exactly who his accusers are. Here is a passage of an article I have used before:

So Brown knows who are his accusers. He knows of the incidents in question.

So the narrative that these are faceless women, and poor little boy Brown has no idea who is talking, or what they are talking about is rubbish.

And I am quoting his own words.

Scandal doesn’t just happen when something is illegal. Canada is not exactly some country that cracks down on anything. We have the Gerald Stanley verdict to remind us that it doesn’t always matter if a law is on the books, you don’t always have to answer for your actions.

I don’t care if what Brown did was illegal. When a person in a position of power asks an underling for date, that is a form of bullying. You are not on equal ground. That’s not flattering. I am not on the job to get dates, or be noticed for my looks. I have to earn a living, stupid.

As I have said before, there are other things that Brown is associated with — the nomination process in various ridings — that have bigger ramifications, and show that a clear pattern of strong-arming and bullying. I don’t think the PC Party would have kicked him that fast and disavowed of him that quickly unless they saw an opening to rid themselves of someone of that ilk.

And when you see a glow and a popularity surge from a party who is in turmoil at this very inconvenient juncture right before an election, you know that things must have been horrific during the previous regime.

That tells us everything we need to know about Patrick Brown. He is going after women, while keeping quiet on the other issues surrounding his leadership.

But that doesn’t suit the narrative of the #MeToo critics who are hoping against hope that Brown can dodge this bullet with his blustering tirade. Harvey Weinstein is blustering, too. It doesn’t mean a thing.

 

Dear John Honderich: News producers squandered their power. The taxpayers owe you nothing. Stop the fear and pity tour and start looking how your profession destroyed itself.

It is very telling that Chair of Torstar John Honderich is having to recycle a column he wrote in the Toronto Star on January 26, 2018 where he throws a temper tantrum because the federal government wasn’t funding the dysfunctional Canadian newspaper industry.

So Torstar recycled that same flawed column on InsideToronto.com today, and then go on Newstalk 1010’s Jerry Agar’s radio program.

Once upon a time, Honderich’s decrees would have been considered important.

They aren’t, of course. This is a Fear and Pity Tour.

He doesn’t get it, and if the Chair of a newspaper company doesn’t get it, neither do any of his underlings.

And it explains a lot about why Canadian journalism dropped dead.

On the program, he blames Facebook and Google for taking the bulk of classified ads and not putting that money back in journalism.

Sorry, they won the spoils of that gladiatorial battle, and they can do with that booty whatever they want. Advertisers went to Facebook and Google because they reach a broader audience who were more receptive than they were over at newspapers. Classified ads and their ilk were never naturally decreed to be used for funding journalism; journalism lost those valuable dollars for a reason.

So Google and Facebook owe the newspaper industry nothing.

But then he goes off on the federal government as if the government owes the newspaper industry a dime.

Honderich thinks the partisan non-profit model of some American media outfits is a good thing. Its not: it’s propaganda used to support political ideology because that is going to be the only way you are going to shake down people for pity cash. They are not journalism. They are a modern version of the Partisan Press that had to change its ways because that model doesn’t actually work.

He then talks about getting funding through copyright protection, meaning information becomes less accessible. You are giving facts, and it is bad enough newspapers such as the Star scrape ideas from other outlets and people (and yet he has the nerve to complain that radio shows “rip and read” from newspapers on the program) — and now you want copyright protection for it when journalists are notoriously sloppy when it comes to giving proper credit and attribution of where they got their ideas? The legal fallout would be disastrous.

He wants some of the money the CBC gets, not realizing CBC is a crown corporation, and it is wiser and more strategic for a government to have one broadcaster they can babysit, than spread their cash to more outlets.

Honderich then muses that since Canadian magazine and book publishers get government money, so should journalism outlets, never questioning just how bad is Canadian publishing if it needs government funding for its survival. If you cannot make it a go without constant government funding, your industry does not actually exist. It is fake.

The fact that now not even newspapers can survive without taxpayer money shows you a problem that exploded out of control because we never bothered to find the way to make it pay all on its own.

In other words, if Canada cannot produce quality journalism without a government welfare check, then you do not have journalism, let alone quality journalism. Period.

But the biggest knee-slapper is his suggestion that the government pay for news outlets’ lawyers. There are poor people being harmed as we speak and are in desperate need of good legal council — so you just want to snatch funds away from them? Really? Then you are as tyrannical as the boors you imply you are keeping accountable.

There are more pressing groups, such as First Nations people, who have been waiting far longer than newspapers. Get a number and go to the back of the line, like everyone else.

Yet both his advertising campaign/newspaper column, Honderich makes not a single mention of how those in the Canadian media landscape were at fault in any way, or need to make a single modification to their behaviour. He paints his ilk as noble, faultless, and blameless.

No, Mr. Honderich, that is not true. That is not accurate.

That is not realistic.

You are the Chair of Torstar. The buck stops with you.

It is you who has to make the internal changes to take on the external ones.

If your plan is to keep throwing fits and begging the government for money as you keep on the status quo, you do not understand what being a Chair means.

That is not a plan. Why should the government fund newspapers when your audiences keep falling? Why would they sink taxpayer money into a black hole? What’s in it for them?

Newspapers have bred arrogance within their own rosters. You sniffed haughtily at citizen journalism on the program. Yes, the little people are not as well-trained as your journalists who have no clue how to connect with those people who would rather do it themselves than trust the press.

That distrust did not come from nowhere. It came because journalists perpetually ignored all the signs around them, and then people walked away.

The people do not want newspapers. The government doesn’t need you.

Do you understand you have become beneath both?

Buried. Six feet under.

Journalism is dead. Don’t ask the taxpayers to fund the corpse. They’d rather invest it in the living, not the dead.

 

Canadian journalism’s inability to comprehend #MeToo

Women-blaming has been a problem in Canadian journalism.

Patrick Brown getting turfed has nothing do to with a witch hunt.

One talk show host doesn’t see the any “criminal” element in the allegations against Patrick Brown…so what’s the problem?

It doesn’t have to be criminal. If someone is in a position of power is abusing someone in a weaker position, that’s bad enough.

Brown’s behaviour was known to the PC Party. They ignored it.

And now you have journalists making all sorts of excuses how the takedown of Patrick Brown is a bad and chilling thing.

No, it isn’t.

Sexual abuse was always rampant in newsrooms and in corridors of power.

Being a female politician is no protection against workplace terrorism.

Journalists always knew about it, but never bothered to report it.

I was just a j-school student standing in one City Hall corridor and within five minutes, reporters certainly told me about a lot of dirt.

But journalists are twisting the narrative — in Brown case, the accusers were not grown women or adults — it was a particular type, and neither case could be accurately as a “bad date”. In one case, he was not her “date” — but had professional power over them.

These are not “mistakes” — it was deliberately calculating behaviour.

And the griping of career “ruining” was not the fault of the accusers, but the fault of a man who wanted to be a leader but proved to be a very incompetent one. Where was Brown’s accountability?

Worst of all, the defenders repeatedly — and manipulatively — try to equate power abuse with sexuality.

Nice try, but sophistry is not reality. People have been so conditioned by journalism to always see the rot as blessings, that they are becoming alarmed that their sunny view may actually be a big, fat lie.

Had journalism in this country been about reporting facts — they would be able to see it.

But they can’t see it. They are too busy sucking up to power, whether the power is government — or business.

Patrick Brown getting treated the same way women in this country have been treated for decades, has shaken Canadian media to the bone.

Because the little rules were supposed to make life simple, and now no predator is safe.

Good. Reality is a wonderful medicine.

And Canadian media needed that medicine a long time ago.

Memo to Newstalk 1010: Appealing to Appeal to Authority is just really bad logic twice over. Why opinionists need a clue.

The “Roundtable” on Newstalk 1010 is supposed to opinionists spewing opinion about a wide-range of subjects. Most of which they know nothing about, really.

But if we were to confine people who weren’t experts from speaking, very few of us would get to say anything at all.

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News is about fact, but there is way too much opinion that has diluted the product. The Roundtable is a prime example of factual dilution: a host fires off a headline, and then everyone at the table gets to put their own take on the matter.

But this morning’s edition was peculiar as it was pathetic. The topic was why the federal finance minister had sold shares in a company shortly before a policy announcement had negatively impacted shares of said company. The minister had no answers to give during session.

That’s an important topic to discuss, and air time would be better served digging and finding out more about this incident. There may be numerous scenarios, but unless we have facts, it is difficult to say what the truth and reality of this situation is really all about.

But when one panelist expressed his concern that the process of disclosure may be flawed, leftist propagandist Scott Reid had a peculiar reaction to it: he appealed to authority, stating if Canada has these rules and do other countries, what made the panelist qualified to question it?

Really, Mr. Reid? Once upon a time countries around the world sanctioned slavery, genocide, homophobia, and treated women as property — and saw it as normal and righteous.

Are you saying all those who questioned their governments were wrong in doing so?

Well, yes, of course he is. When you try to shut someone down with an idea that people shouldn’t question a traditional way of conducting business because they are not experts, then you are being a tyrant. Once upon a time, it was acceptable to ban women from voting and running for public office. Many countries around the world also banned women from voting.

Did a woman require a PhD to challenge the government?

Don’t be stupid.

Citizens are supposed to question those in power around the world. That is their civic duty.

And if you truly believe that only experts should be allowed to open their mouths, then resign from your little gig on Newstalk 1010 and don’t open your mouth again.

Mind you, I am not of that ilk. Sometimes experts miss the obvious, and it takes an outsider who is not corrupted by the confines of the discipline to take a look around, and ask the important questions the experts missed because they were too in love with their positions, perks, and book smarts to notice.

And we always need free ideas for the world to progress and grow, regardless of who asks them.

The Blinders of Journalism, Part Two

I was listening to Newstalk 1010 this morning to their panel of opinionists (called a Roundtable), and it is always interesting: spewing know-it-all decrees with panelists wearing blinders and giving no context is supposed to be informative entertainment.

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When I was writing When Journalism was a ThingI used to listen to it just to break down the ways journalistic blinders tainted the news product. I had my fill of it, but as things are slowly beginning to ramp up over here, I began to listen to it again.

This morning’s offering was particularly instructive.

Hollywood’s sexual harassment woes aren’t going away just yet, which it shouldn’t. Decades-long workplace abuse should be hashed out in public. In a world where news cycles are too short to be helpful, this story is a throwback to an era that had a longer attention span.

The morning’s prattle revolved around Kevin Spacey getting scrubbed out a movie. (This article is skewed as its author pushes a little too hard cheering the move, which is not surprising given that Hollywood is a business filled with attention-seeking narcissists who must be having a prolonged trauma being called out on the carpet for their tolerance of uncool behaviour, but I digress).

But to hack Christie Blatchford, it was all too much, and she whined about the “saturation point” of this ongoing story.

Mind you, it was all too much when it first broke out to her. The implication was that somehow, this was all a “witch hunt” — a very popular phrase for people who were happy sweeping the rot under the rug. Blatchford is in the same boat as relic Gay Talese who said actor Anthony Rapp should have “sucked it up” and kept quiet at what Spacey did to him when he was fourteen because it ruined a letch’s career.

Truth should not be reported, according to these alleged journalists, because it ruins the lives of people who ruined the lives of others, and who are we going to invite to the next dinner party so we can all pretend everything is wonderful, wonderful amid the fake laughter and hors d’oeuvres the wait staff spat on prior to serving them?

Blatchford’s illogic for being offended by the story was that — get this — she alleges that since she was never sexually harassed at work…that somehow this story was getting blown out of proportion.

This isn’t even thinking. This is what sheltered and judgemental helmet-haired women who wear white pantyhose even in the summer say at church when a kid complains that the priest molested them. “Well, the priest didn’t molest me; so, therefore, he didn’t molest you, either.”

I have worked with people who were beyond nice to me, but they weren’t nice to other people. Abusive people don’t always abuse every person in their wake. There are families where a relative sexually abuses one child, but not others. Just because you (a) weren’t sexually harassed, (b) thought you weren’t sexually harassed, but were used to being abused in that way to the point of thinking this was normal, (c) know you were sexually harassed, but keep quiet because you don’t want to burn bridges or tarnish an tough image, and keep quiet, or (d) made your way up on the casting couch thinking it was your idea, but were too gullible to know that you were being primed and groomed to think it was all your idea to crawl through gutters for a nothing gig that let other predators know it wasn’t your brains or talent that got you that job — doesn’t matter — people get abused on their jobs, and abused frequently.

Getting a job in Hollywood is seen as coveted. Billions of dollars are at stake, and we are supposed to believe all these camera-mugging egotists are always professional? In a place where there is heavy drug use, anything can and does happen.

There may be a lot of smiling in front of those cameras, but actors never struck me as being particularly happy people. Women get lousy roles, and show a lot of skin as they chase after and drool over men in storylines. It never particularly appealed to me as a form of entertainment. I can’t remember the last time I went to a movie theatre. I binge watch shows from time to time, but I haven’t watch a single American program once the scandal hit, and knowing me, I don’t think I will for a very long time.

It’s not a boycott. I just have other things I would rather do, and don’t feel like giving attention to that industry right now. I can always reassess at a later date.

But Establishment journalists who blindly follow the idea of the Great Man, such as Talese and Blatchford, have their preset narratives, ready to cheer those who hold power at any cost. Defending those in power may be their thing, but that isn’t journalism. It’s spin, and it has no place in the news world.

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