Canadian opinionists spew partisan narrative on Provincial election…as usual, no one knows what they are talking about.

Opinionists in Canada are less flashy than their US counterparts, and as hard as it is to believe, less informed.

Reading the babble about the Ontario election is particularly painful, because it seems as if everything is on auto-pilot.

Ho hum.

The Toronto Star, oblivious to reality as usual, has a silly piece about sexism in election campaigns. It is very whiny with a whiny headline:

Mediocre men walk their way through political campaigns. It is time to end the double standard facing women on the campaign trail

Except of all the sexism to point out, the opinionist picks one that isn’t true.

That headline is essentially her hypothesis, but it’s wrong, and NYU had a very surprising experiment right after November 2016.

They had two actors — a man and a woman — who switched roles — the man mimicked Hillary Clinton in words and demeanour, while the woman took on Trump’s role.

The point of the exercise was to prove that if women behaved like men, that everyone would jump down her throat.

Except that didn’t happen.

Subjects preferred the female Trump — and much more than the real-life male counterpart.

And they disliked the male Clinton, seeing him as smug and arrogant.

I had said in 2016 Hillary Clinton was the absolute worst pseudo-feminist candidate the Democrats could have possibly chosen. They didn’t a firebrand maverick who was over-the-top. This is America, and Americans love someone who is large and in charge. If women were waiting for the moment to be crown a queen instead of a king all those decades, then, for pity’s sake, show it like you mean it.

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I have always said that the problem isn’t that there aren’t wild female eccentrics — I am not the only one on the planet, thank you very much — but they are deliberately silenced — not because people wouldn’t like them — but they would love them just a little too much, and that would bruise those tyrannical male narcissists who hoard power and keep everyone else — including other men — back.

As I write stories with nothing but idiosyncratic women — I have a hard time getting attention, but when people read it, I do get wonderful feedback — so the problem isn’t the the world isn’t ready for a wild woman — women just make assumptions and restrain themselves unnecessarily.

So the Toronto Star is just spewing folksy logic that isn’t true. Kathleen Wynne won a majority in the last election — and considering she is openly gay and has radical ideas that frighten Jordan Peterson — she was given public goodwill the first time around. The Liberals had a minority and a lot of illiill with the public, and they went solidly behind Wynne’s regime.

But her penchant to throw money the province doesn’t have to nanny the people is wearing thin with the public. It has nothing to do with the fact she is a woman.

And the election isn’t over. As I have said before, if she won another majority, I wouldn’t be surprised. She is a survivor and is that way because she has a working brain and knows how to use it instead of following other people’s scripts.

If Wynne loses, it will be because she earned her loss, just the way Clinton spectacularly earned her defeat. Sometimes you lose — not because you are a woman — but because you think you are owed because you are a woman. Get that chip off your shoulder. People do not vote in women — they vote for the person who seems like they are willing to listen to their constituents, will fight for them, and will make things happen. Politics is not an arena for social engineering — it is a gladiatorial fight and people want to see candidates fight tooth and nail for the right to make their lives easier — and if you think that sounds silly, you really didn’t get the memo on democracy.

Don’t take it up with me because if it were up to me, we’d be governing ourselves by referendum and by electoral conscription.

Oh, and by the way, Toronto Star, Clinton had more votes than the victor. Remember that? There may be sexism, but we have come a long way, baby.

But the Globe and Mail has a different — but equally silly take on the election:

Why is Doug Ford giving Kathleen Wynne a chance to invoke Donald Trump?

That’s right! Shame on Doug Ford who obviously forgot to tape Wynne’s mouth shut so she couldn’t invoke Donald Trump. He should have hired a chaperone for the little lady to supervise her. Jordan Peterson warned the world how dangerous she is and everything.

Do you honestly think he could stop her or her operatives from saying it — regardless of what he said and did?

It is a campaign, people: it is all about using dirty tricks, and then using the meta-dirty trick of accusing the other guy of negative stuff as you paint him in a negative light, like Justin Trudeau recently did.

There is so much to discuss when there is an election: platforms, current situation, problems to be solved, qualifications, track records, needs, wants — and yet we have babble from opinionists who have no idea what to say.

We are as ill-informed as we were before. We need facts to make sensible decisions, but what we get is the same old script that is always devoid of any real data…

Exploiting trust: if you have to bring attention to it, you probably lost it ages ago.

The Toronto Star has articles about their articles.

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They call it the Trust Project, though really, it’s just a vague story about covering stories. You don’t actually learn anything or have a point of reference.

Their latest instalment is how they covered bad weather.

It comes off as an advertorial, not a genuine news article, and that is the source of the industry’s woes.

When you have a paper constantly use their platform to lobby the government to give them free money, you have done something untrustworthy.

It is akin to going to the doctor’s because you are genuinely ill, and he uses his examination room to get you to sign a petition to demand that the government give him more free money.

You can no longer trust that doctor, even if he gives you pamphlets telling you how he examines his patients.

Yeah, we know what you’re doing, and that brochure is not going to nullify the fact the trust was broken.

Having a little checkmark in blue is all the rage on social media, but it means absolutely nothing when your actions break a spell that reveals the truth about your trustworthiness…

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 lack of methodology cannot be spun into nobility.

Journalism never truly developed into a well-piled machine. It has always reacted to its environment in a hap-hard way, and journalists often use their own stagnation to spin a narrative of how they are fighting hard and being oppressed.

The Toronto Star has an article with that kind of narrative, and it is unfortunate. The tale of a court reporter who never got to see a court file because she was “stymied” isn’t newsworthy because the mean old Establishment wouldn’t give her what she wanted — it is newsworthy because the profession never lobbied or created system where this problem would be addressed so it was no longer a problem.

Sooner or later, you have to see there is a need for some sort of system for gaining access to basic information. You have police exploit the media when they are looking for someone, but the second they get what they want, they put up a wall. You would think the profession would negotiate with the Establishment: no, we are not going to publicize anything for you — what’s in it for us?

The press often cosies up to the Establishment, printing their decreed without a hint of skepticism or challenge. The Establishment institutions can then set the terms of debate, and that makes an outlet an arm of the government, not an independent entity.

There shouldn’t be this kind of tug-of-war in 2018. The press has placated the middle class and assured them that everything will work out fine, and so, an article like this one isn’t going to do anything for the fortunes of journalism.

It’s not a noble thing to be going in circles for decades. Sooner or later, you have to realize you need some arm in an industry that pushes for openness — and it can be done with people who don’t report the facts. The profession never truly had it, and that’s why they keep going in circles and never progressing at all…

Memo to the Toronto Star: What is this “we” in “If we can’t fix Facebook”? You couldn’t even fix your own woes.

Mark Zuckerberg’s waste-of-life testimony in front of the Establishment was just one of those silly acts of sanctioned insanity we do to make us feel as if something is being done. He did not have to take an oath. Most of those politicians mugging for the camera have no idea how this whole Internet thing works, and if they had real questions that required hard data, they could have merely subpoenaed them.

Like so much journalists cover, it is mere theatre to placate the middle class, nothing more.

This little production number wasn’t actual news, and hence, should have been skipped entirely.

But reporters made it sound oh so important.

How silly.

The Toronto Star decided to sound all huffy and serious about a canned event, making it sound very scary:

They could’ve ended it there and gone off to draft legislation. That’s all anyone really needs to know. The guy who invented Facebook was not safe from Facebook.

If he is cavalier with his personal information, that should be a big clue how worthless personal data actually is. But the headline was a tizzy, wondering about this “We” will be “fixing Facebook.”

Who is this “we”? Facebook is a publicly traded company, there is no “we”.

Users cannot fix it, and neither can journalists, who managed to mess up their own profession beyond repair, and now you are referring to some nebulous we? Are you serious?

But the journalistic jealousy translate into a lot of melodramatic propaganda:

In the end, to watch Zuckerberg testify for two days was to worry about how America will cope with the future. This was a 21st-century tech giant facing 20th-century oversight. If lawmakers don’t know what to make of Facebook 14 years after it was invented, how will they deal with the social-tech issues of tomorrow?

How will they legislate space travel or artificial intelligence? What will the government do when private companies have the ability to read minds and robots are demanding voting rights? How will the government become proactive when it’s now struggling to be reactive, when it can barely get anything done with an atmosphere of partisan rancour?

You can’t serve citizens if you’re too busy bickering with one another.

And you can’t fix something if you don’t know how it’s broken.

If lawmakers are clueless, then that is a big clue that they are antiquated to reality, and perhaps it is about time we question whether or not their meddling would do any good.

Why is every solution somehow involve an authority figure making decrees and nannying the populace?

Can we perhaps expand our repertoire to involve doing something real, and not some meaningless and ineffective slacktivist symbolism that is meant to morally masturbate in public just to get a little fleeting attention?

But what fear-mongering from people who also don’t know how it is broken and have yet to fix their own messes.

It seems the robber barons of Big Tech are going down the exact same route, arrogantly assuming their medium will give them power just because they are superior and special.

No AI or mind-reading technology will prevent them from destruction.

They are playing by the journalist’s own handbook — and those once all-mighty twits were powerful.

And now they are inert, despite all of the tools and rigs they had.

So there is no worrying about Facebook.

They have merely managed to devalue personal information to the point of becoming dirt cheap.

There are real things to worry about and need our fixing — but this little game isn’t one of them…

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…

Toronto Star’s sore loser propaganda scare-fest continues.

Toronto Star is at it again. It is no longer a media outlet, but a shrill propaganda tool used to frighten the masses into reading them again.

It has become very pathetic.

They remind me of Claude Robichaux from the novel A Confederacy of Dunces — the little old man who thought all the troubles in the world came from “the communists.” He had a one-track brain cell and anyone he didn’t like had to be from that scary group.

The Star’s latest hatchet piece comes with the usual arrogant self-entitlement that seems to be a staple at this newspaper. How dare the Canadian government support Facebook and other Big Tech giants when they are all evil?

Remember, this is the same newspaper that used its pages to actively and openly lobby that same government to give them free money to keep their dysfunctional industry going.

The column is obnoxious on multiple levels, but the highlights of obliviousness are here:

Facebook, Google and others are conducting citizen surveillance far more than the Soviet KGB or East German Stasi ever did during the Communist era.

No, they’re not. The Stasi had relatives spy on their families. They infiltrated homes, with agents marrying their targets and reproducing with them. If you don’t share personal data with Facebook or choose to be a luddite, there is no problem. You cannot compare the two. The Stasi scarred people for life. It is insulting and ludicrous.

They have amassed fortunes selling the treasure trove of your and my data, without our permission and without ever compensating us a penny.

As has everyone else over the decades. Those ballots you fill out to win junk did that long before social media ever did. Murdered Canadian billionaire Barry Sherman hired detectives to go through the garbage of rivals. Besides, Facebook data fetches very little on the Dark Web because your information has been culled from everywhere else — and the fact that personal information is dirt cheap should tell you that your vitals aren’t all that valuable.

They are bleeding mainstream media by stealing news content paid for by someone else and vacuuming up an estimated 75 per cent of digital revenues in Canada that total about $5 billion a year.

Now, this is an epic knee-slapper. Facebook is not bleeding mainstream media. They are not “stealing content.” Journalists cribbed from press releases for decades; so let’s not pretend this is an actual thing. They are not reprinting books online for free. They are providing links to articles that were free to begin with; so the logic of this eludes common sense. Scraping information is also a common practice in journalism — taking information from other outlets and then reporting on it.

Besides, information is gathered. It is not created in a laboratory in some newsroom. Get a grip.

Facebook, YouTube, Reddit and others have allowed their platforms to be hijacked by the likes of Daesh and also western hate-mongers — right-wingers, racists, white supremacists, xenophobes, homophobes, misogynists, anti-Semites and Islamophobes.

Yeah, as if the Toronto Star wasn’t hijacked by extremists who paid PR firms to shill their wars and terrorism over the years. Nice try. This is also the same newspaper that told young women not to use a life-saving vaccine because they said it was potentially fatal — and when medical experts became alarmed and pointed out the errors, the Star insulted them and spun a narrative to discredit them.

Had journalism kept up with the times, none of this would be an actual issue. They lost advertising revenue because they stuck with their outmoded vehicle while social media presented advertisers with something superior. Journalists were gate-keepers, and their power came from playing favourites. Once people had a superior mode of broadcasting without having to deal with the old guard, they ditched them.

Journalism kept up with radio. It kept up with television, but then it got lazy, and when the Internet came along, they thought it was all a passing fad and people would eventually come back to the old way of having no control over their news and voice.

The signs that Google and Facebook were going to change everything were there. I had written about those changes way back in the late 1990s, long before Facebook or Twitter were even a thing, but Google came in 1998, and I could see the possibilities very clearly. I tried pitching stories about how the landscape was going to undergo a revolution, but people in the profession flat-out ignored me.

Now, it’s a little too late to be using propaganda to try to get your old power back. That ship has sailed, and you have a vested interest in smearing Big Tech. You are not a disinterested or objective party.

You are loser of a contest that you thought you’d win by default. You lost. You deserved to lose. You earned your defeat and richly so.

But as I have said before, the Fourth Medium is a transitory one, and there will be a fifth one to supplant it, but we aren’t going backwards in time because the old way of journalism proved deficient.

But that doesn’t mean we cannot replace journalism with a superior model…

 

Torstar holds its own opinionists hostage: They all walk lockstep with each other over Sinclair Broadcasting. Maybe you could find some important local issues to write about with some originality, ladies.

The Toronto Star apparently clones their columnists: why else do Rosie DiManno and Heather Mallick write about the same foreign broadcaster in the exact same way?

DiManno’s uninspired by-the-numbers drivel “U.S. broadcaster Sinclair has plenty to gain from parroting Donald Trump” is of the same haughty ilk as Mallick’s drivel “Sinclair TV held its own journalists hostage.”

Come on, ladies, you two are no different and no better than a Sinclair anchor. Really. Marching lockstep to each other will cancel you out, and perhaps clue in to management that at least one of you is redundant.

Some originality and genuine connect to your own state of affairs would be nice, for starters. How about looking inward as to how badly the Star’s fortunes have fallen and what those in the profession did wrong to fail its citizens?

The petty confirmation bias sneaks up once again, with the Star hoping if they point fingers to others enough times, people won’t notice their own shortcomings. Nice try, but it’s not working…

Re-branding failure: Propping up the Metro brand.

The free newspaper Metro is failing, and now that failure is being re-branded with the Torstar name. Metro is under Torstar’s Free Daily News Group Inc. banner.

This is a mere re-naming. There is “expanding”, only consolidating, and using Torstar’s name to try to reverse the chain’s sagging fortunes. Metro is to Torstar as Versus is to Versace — a diffusion line — a cheaper brand to the original.

These cluster of papers are the subject of investigation by the Competition Bureau with Torstar’s deal with Postmedia, with a couple of these titles shut down after the deal.

The sunny spinning of rot is meant to smooth over these rough inconveniences. It is the same newspaper with the same dismal fortunes; the only difference is this is a last desperate push, but it won’t change what is happening or where these papers are inevitably headed…

Journalism’s selective lobbying: Begging for government money, but not freedom of information? Yes, that is a problem for the industry’s credibility.

Canadian journalism was always an odd duck from its contemporaries in the US and UK: it never had the same sense of gravitas or understanding of the profession. The UK still has pockets of real journalism. The US had a profession that, at its height, took down the most powerful man in its nation’s political realm.

Canada always had high levels of media concentration. It always had a pathological need to put a sunny spin on every story, from bad weather to a mass slaughter. The appeasement posture of Canadian journalism is meant to pander to a delicate audience, but it is this very bad habit that proved to be the industry’s undoing here.

Because if it “all works out in the end” because “every dark cloud has a silver lining”, then there is no need for journalism. There are no dangers or problems to worry about since that big-hearted altruists known as They will do our work for us.

The Liberal Party in Canada (known sarcastically as the Government Party) is the Marvel Comics of politics: they understand the “They” propaganda and have over the decades, deftly implied they are that They: they will spend big money bribing taxpayers with not just their own money, but the cash they borrow, and then once they borrowed money does its magic, the government will still manage to budget its books.

See? It all works out in the end because They will fix it.

The conservatives in this country could almost never get the idea of They, making them the DC Comics of politics (the “Distinguished Competition” as Stan Lee once quipped). They have some notion of Them — an enemy to fear — but they want Us to fix our own problems.

The Liberal party can exploit the propagandistic narrative of the superhero They, but journalists in this country — who are primarily driven by believing in They — have done so at their own absolute destruction.

Canadian journalists are all about spinning rot as something positive. This narrative spun them out of public necessity. No one needs to know about the reality of the world because they actually believe in the fantasy. Canada is just perfect the way it is, and so, They can keep cleaning up our messes.

So why bother keeping informed? Trump is an obsession in Canada because he is someone way over There. He is a foreigner and foreigners are not as lucky as We are.

The latent chauvinism is not one where we need to fear outsiders because They will make sure no harm or inconvenience troubles Canadians.

And if that is the case, journalism becomes redundant. Even journalists think they are redundant because no matter how bad the reality, they always seem to find hope and a happy resolution that does not require anyone but They to do something about it.

So Canadian journalists conned themselves out of a job — and a profession. Well play, children.

So Canadian journalism developed the least of the Western countries. It never developed a distinctive style, methodology, or voice. It was always an apologist by nature as if that were a hack and shortcut in the profession.

The trouble was that sycophantic model made journalists buy their own hype, and they never pushed or made the necessary changes they needed to survive, let alone thrive.

Journalists and their employers never lobbied for laws to ensure freedom of information was truly free — they always used the obstacles and governmental roadblocks in their narratives to prove to their audiences how hard they had to work to get information.

Even now, the Toronto Star is trying to exploit that narrative by whining that they have to fight to make information public. It is all part of their charade hilariously called the Trust Initiative (if you have to give something a cheesy ABC Afterschool Special or comic booky-sounding title, it is a sign that what you are doing is rubbish).

It is a deliberate misuse to bolster a narrative, but if journalists were sincere about fighting for information, they would fight the government by lobbying to change the laws to make getting that information easier — but then if it was too easy, then maybe regular citizens could get direct access, and then who would read them?

But they don’t lobby for things that matter to society. They do lobby for the government to give them money to keep their sinking ships afloat.

Because the industry honestly believes They will come to the rescue.

Except They is a group that does not actually exist.

Once upon a time, people believed God would do that work, and then God proved wanting.

So now we have migrated our hopes to social media, and of course They.

Social media is feeling the backlash because it proved to be as effective as a deity.

But They are the figments who are still counted on to help clean up the mess.

Journalism is counting on They to save them, and there is no They out there.

They will not do what journalists should have been doing for themselves all along.

Journalists should not exploit bad laws to pretend they are saviours of humanity. Journalists should have lobbied and fought for better access to information.

That would mean bringing more discipline to the profession, and making the case that as an empirical entity, they have every right to have that information.

It didn’t happen, and when push came to shove, when they did lobby the government, it was for money.

It was a horrifying turn of events, and shows journalism is no longer a thing — if it ever was a thing in Canada…