Whatever happened to Investigative Journalism? Facts were seen as boring and hard to find, that’s what.

Spiked has a piece wondering whatever happened to Investigative Journalism.

It cut corners, that’s what.

Narrative, opinion, sensationalism, and sophistry seemed like short-term quick fixes and boosts that were cheap. Digging for hidden facts is hard, and viewed as unglamorous.

And facts are seen as dry and boring.

Which baffles me. Facts are exciting. They can tell a story far better than narrative.

Journalism got lazy and passive, assuming their opinions were tantamount to facts.

You have junk organizations such as Nieman Lab trying to ensure that journalism is never held accountable for their own sins:

People’s trust in media is terrible: bad. Attempts to fix that: good. Now, what the heck are they?

Facing the fallout from the presidential election, the rise of fake news, and the stark challenges of covering a presidency that aims to undermine press credibility, the U.S. journalism industry has been positively ballooning with trust-geared initiatives.

Thinking up make-work programs with deceptive names is not going to solve the problem. Journalism is broken, and no self-righteous-sounding organization that just begs for money is going to solve it. It is like trying to fight an inferno with a glass of water.

Not a single one of these organizations have genuine qualifications or merit to know what is good journalism or bad as we never had empirical and tested means to do so. These groups are trying to insert their own biased ideology and keep a broken status quo afloat.

You cannot have a ballooning of fake organizations telling you what is real news. It seems to be a mere get-rich-quick scheme.

And that’s what happened to investigative journalism: it got buried underneath all that rot and hubris. Facts need no organization or title: they just need someone to find them, and analyze them, test them, and disseminate them.

But it is all about window-dressing an hiding rot with over-thinking and sophistry. If journalism just confronted their weaknesses and did what had to be done, there would be no need for yet another “Trust Me” organization shilling its quack services to keep the scam going…

Podcast 11: A Shifting Surface: How the lack of science eroded journalism.

Journalism’s death by arrogance should surprise no one, and the apathy of its demise is deafening (though you will get temper tantrums about mass apathy when it is exposed. It is not exactly adorable how dead titans are cannibalizing one another’s corpses), but how did that once mighty profession not see a shifting surface?

Because in 2018, they still do not understand the science of information gathering, even when they pretend they do.


Podcast is here.

Transcript is here.

The links to various flawed “studies” on fact-checking on Poynter can be found here.

Nieman Labs doesn’t get it. There is no more journalism. This is not a drill.

Journalists do not know which way is up anymore.


When the skits of Saturday Night Live make weekly news, you know a profession is fubar.

Nieman Labs churns out dreck, wondering if citizens will ever look at news articles now that Facebook has realized it’s no longer a thing.

Or putting a sunny spin on the fact that the profession is so messed up and so broke, people with no training are covering events.

Journalism hasn’t existed in a long time, and people got out of the habit.

So they don’t want news anymore.

But PR firms and their ilk didn’t stop their siege, and they gave people something else.


And now, that’s what people want. More propaganda.



It has become a habit. An addiction.

Propaganda is the crack cocaine of thought.

Once you are incited, you need another hit to sustain the high of hatred and fear.

You need to explain why your life is in shambles, and why the adrenaline is so high.

You need someone to blame and to hate.

You need someone to lecture with your outrage.

And someone to feel superior to because you have to be on top of the pecking order.

Journalism was supposed to be the checks and balances that made sure rationality and logic stayed in the equation.

That there was balance and understanding of how the world works, and how human nature works.

There is no longer journalism because we do not have a press that is rational.

We have inciters. We have haters.

When the New York Times now solely operates on shrill mode, you know they have lost the game, the battle, and the war.

And Nieman Labs is useless.

Because they do not see that journalism is no longer a thing.

Memo to Nieman Lab: You don’t know journalism. You never knew science, and that is one of the reasons the profession died a horrible death.

Journalism was always charlatan’s con game, and the Nieman Lab was its happy enabler.


Luke O’Neil’s piece is a prime example of sophistry that reveals why the profession and its satellite cheerleaders still do not get a thing:

Dailies who aren’t already well ahead of the game in terms of reverting back to subscription models, or of significant enough national prominence, or don’t find their own relatively benevolent billionaire owner, will continue to either be neutered or flattened out by conglomerates into content distributors.

This is the heart of journalistic ignorance and why the profession has never been real. It only knows one passive thing: find a sugar daddy to fund it.

They can be denial all they want, but journalists have but a single mandate: find a Great Man and appease him with lavish praise, advertorial stories about him being a “visionary”, and write advertising copy disguised as news stories. It should come as no surprise that O’Neil had been with Esquire magazine: the publication (in all its international permutations) that has all sorts of ways of cheerleading The Boys.

All of that points to the reason why journalism is an inherently misogynistic profession: Great Women do not exist to them.

Hillary Clinton was acceptable to run as president because she wouldn’t be upstaging her husband Bill Clinton because he already been there and done that. It was misframed as being a Clinton Dynasty instead of being called for what it was: the Democrats had to appear to be inclusive, but not with a real feminist or maverick, and a broken-in and broken down Clinton would do. She will always be Bill’s little woman, and little women have no vision or gravitas because they have to stand by their Great Men.

And boy-o, did she have to pay for getting that miserable chance to run for the meaningless paper crown: she had a philandering husband who was preying on a young woman old enough to be his daughter in his office while Hillary was busy cleaning up his messes like a good little woman does.

And when there was no more denying what that Great Man did, she had to go on national television and squawk like a loon about some Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy as she had to come up with campaigns to discredit the female who had less resources, savvy, and experience than her employer.

The press considered her a “strong woman” because she didn’t throw herself off a bridge when she got doused with the horse dung they dumped on her every single day.

No, a strong woman puts up with none of that. She does not make her husband’s career at the expense of her own.

Notice that Bill got to be president first, not her.

The oldest trick in the book, ladies. Remember that one the next time some guy wants something you also aspire to, and he makes a deal with you.

It is never going to be ladies first, but every man for himself. You have been warned, fairy princesses.

When businessman Trump declared his presidency, all the other Great Men seethed with jealousy for not thinking of it first, and those petty little boys threw their temper tantrums.

And the press followed their lead brainlessly.

As they always do.

It it is always about appeasing the sugar daddy with the press.

Nieman Lab has helped entrench this misogynistic narrative and structure for a very long time.

They have made never made a contribution to strengthening or reforming the profession because now they are allowing such Sturm und Drang sophistry about the death of local news on their site.

So there is a decree that the end is already here: big deal, sleepwalkers: I called that long before Nieman Lab did — here, on this web site, and in my books.

But I am a woman. Journalists and editors don’t see my experience, foresight, credentials, vision, or intellect, let alone my theories or my gravitas, and yes, women do have it.

They will first ignore me, then wrongly accuse me of being bitter that I am working from the outside, completely ignoring the fact that I went into the profession to study it, and when I saw the writing on the wall, left to write books about its broken state.

If I wanted to stay in that rot because I thought working in a disreputable profession was a way to validate my existence, I would have not written my exposés, but chosen to gush over starlets’ backsides, poor plastic surgery, and silicon implants as I denied that sexual harassment was a problem in the industry, and dismissed the ways of Mark Halperin, Matt Lauer, and Harvey Weinstein as not that bad.

I would have played their game because it is not a difficult one to crack.

I am hovering above the profession because the stench from below overwhelms. The profession was dead a long time ago.

Once upon a time, I was a doctor who told the patient they were terminally ill and had to make serious changes to survive.

Woman, they scoffed, what a silly little being who is being hysterical.

And now, I am the coroner, telling people outside of the business how that miserable patient died.

For now. I still am an idealist who believes a new model must begin and begin properly.

One that does not mindlessly run to those fake Great Men to stroke their egos — or any other part of their body.

But as a profession that lives in the world and observes and conducts experiments to unlock new information at every waking moment to rejuvenate the world as it grows and understands itself better.

And Nieman Lab is a waste of effort that has no place telling journalists or anyone else a thing.

They can go running to the broken Great Men and continue to do what they have always done: appease and deceive as they fall further into an abyss.