Why journalism cannot be saved: Just look at who owns them now.

When I covered the Canadian newspaper industry for Presstime magazine, the signs of the industry's illness were already present. Companies were buying and selling newspapers at a dizzying rate, and all this for inflated prices as advertising revenue was going down and circulation was also plummeting.

It was not a good sign. Newspapers that had the same own for decades were being sold to new owners with questionable motives -- all without letting workers know what was actually happening.

It was a scary time, but there was no shining knight in sight. I would express my concerns, but was always dismissed because, as people would tell me, it would all work out in the end.

It is now 2018, and the only kinds of owners journalism products can now attract are the hedge fund types who are asset squeezers.

These are not the visionaries or the innovators. They have no clue what journalism is about. They know how to squeeze assets out of a corpse.

They need a little time to pull out the last pennies, but once that happens, they rid themselves of the empty shell. Journalists are sounding the alarm, but I did so almost twenty years before, but no one takes warning seriously.

The squealing you hear now is in vain, and there is no stopping that train wreck.

You have to build a better vehicle -- and avoid the same unsavoury missteps to ensure the money you attract isn't of that same ilk...

Memo to the bigots at Twitter: Millions of people use Cyrillic writing. Shame on you.

Twitter's bigotry and cowardice knows no bounds.

As in suspending people who write in Cyrillic regardless of message is bigoted. Period.

There are people writing hateful things in English and other languages -- are you suspending people who write in those languages?

No, because you are bigoted and ignorant.

What is the problem? Are Westerns such empty-headed polyglots, that all they have to do is look at Cyrillic and turn into mindless zombies?

Twitter must be pulling some real vile propaganda on the populace themselves if that is the conclusion they have come to.

Just how little respect do you have for human race?

And so, because you are cowering so violently, here is a message for Twitter:

Само кукавице мрзе ћирилицу...

 

An alternative to journalism is a science of understanding reality.

My works sit in Ivy League bookshelves, but I never had the need to be in the spotlight or am starving for attention. I do my research, and when I strike, I do so strategically. Always with a greater purpose, and my end goal is not obvious, particularly to those who use patriarchal scripts as their guide.

It is the reason negging and mansplaining doesn't plant little seeds in my soul. I do not flatter or get impressed. People who are insecure try to create panic and insecurity and if you do not buy their narrative that they are superior to you in some sort of imagined pecking order, they throw their temper tantrums with insults, gossip, and all sorts of pathetic melodrama. Sooner or later, they realize I do not care, and am still focussed on my goal as I ignore them.

Drawing lines in the sand won't work with me. I am eccentric idealist, but not stupid. 

I have been trained since I was a kid to look beyond the obvious. As one of my teenaged friends once accurately quipped about me, while all the other kids were reading dirty magazines with a flashlight under their blankets, I was reading Freud.

It's true.

Freud and Mark Wilson.

I was a huge fan of stage magicians, and my goal was always to figure out how my senses were being manipulated and deceived.

I learned that the same principles of optical manipulation could apply to other areas with better success, such as painting, but other places had a darker motive.

I used to test myself by figuring out how other so-called "amazing" feats were actually being done. So-called reality shows employ them and their feints are beyond obvious, for example, especially when you watch the credits and the script writers are right there.

I have had people stop speaking to me because I pointed out of staged these things were.

But I saw it on the news all the time. Sometimes it was the so-called "videographers" in the early days who were being filmed (meaning there was a camera crew following them), other times, it is so-called "war correspondents" who pretend to skulk in the night so that they wouldn't be shot at by enemy soldiers, but with all those glaring lights they are dragging with them would give them away. Apparently, soldiers have super-hearing, but are completely blind.

Journalists have done their share of fudging, but more times than not, people were fooling gullible journalists into falling for very basic ruses.

For example, it took journalists this long to clue in that Donald Trump's tweets aren't what they seem, as in maybe all those typos may be there on purpose and maybe (gasp!) Trump isn't writing them.

Hello to reality!

Deliberate typos? Of course, it is an old ruse -- the same way Starbucks had baristas deliberately misspell customer names on the cups because people would post it on the socials, giving them free advertising, all while making customers feel superior, even as Starbucks was getting richer.

That there are ghostwriters? There have been advertisements in publications such as Variety and Media Bistro looking for people to ghostwrite celebrity tweets.

I don't read Trump's tweets because it is a form of misdirection: as all the petty little people stare at them, they aren't looking at the things they should be concentrating on.

Even stage magician will deliberately make "mistakes" to lull the audience into thinking he is not as good as they could be -- and then ta da! -- he proves to be the master all along.

Grifters who pretend to read minds or see the future will also deliberately put in errors for the same reason.

The CIA manual also instructed spies to look and act stupid to have their targets underestimate their cunning.

There is a modern-day term for it, as anyone who is into tropes already knows.

It also just dawned on journalists that some of Michael Jackson's magical moves, were also dependent on the same ruses stage magicians use, such as rigged shoes and stage.

But it takes sometimes decades for journalists to see the mundane reality because journalism focussed on sensational winners and heroes for all too long -- it is a patriarchal script that is always looking for special.

This is not the ways of reality. That is the realm for pacifying fantasy.

Narrative corrupted journalism. It started normally enough, and then became extreme because there was too much competition and rivalry, and extreme narrative eventually becomes propaganda.

For people such as me who studied psychology and stage magic, it is very obvious. When you are not an attention-seeker who is desperate for validation, or wish to force people to walk lockstep with your worldview because deep down, you know you're wrong, you are not looking for stories. You are looking for facts.

And when you are focussed on facts, you are not engaged in petty fake vendettas or have an ego that always needs stroking. You are focussed on seeing reality to find the truth.

An alternative to journalism isn't taken by the negging grifters who are trying to get more than they deserve: it exposes those cons and liars to inform the public of what is real, and what is fake.

No true fact-gatherer would be taken in by tweets, for example. The first question is how do you verify the true author of those missives -- and whether those missives are a stratagem of war.

As another text on combat told us, war is deception; therefore, every lie told is an act of violence on the truth.

But that's what happens when you are all about the patriarchal narrative: you can't see reality in front of you because it is in your way as you see it as an inconvenience you can deny to the point of it just going away.

It doesn't work that way.

Humility is the best trait a fact-gatherer can possess: you have a respect for reality, and are not playing games trying to scare off your demons through your job.

Journalism has proved an incapable model of information-gathering; it is the reason this site is becoming an alternative to it. Reality is not something to fear or avoid -- but something to chronicle as we open our eyes to the big picture.

That is the foundation to a science of understanding reality. It is about ignoring the interpretations and going straight for the bottom line to find solutions in a world that is overburdened by opinion, but starving for pure information...

News isn't just flawed: it's fake, starting with the idea of narrative. Why the New York Times is the worst offender and the reason an alternative to journalism is needed.

This is the Op-Ed piece I am going to dissect:

The News Isn’t Fake. But It’s Flawed.

So let's take it step by step to see how an Op-Ed piece (a refurbished speech, actually) can be misleading.

First, the opener is all about Donald Trump. The press is frozen and the date was November 2016. Trump won the election, and he beat the press at their own game.

You cannot expect a profession to resurrect themselves for the future when they are stuck in the pass.

And this opening alone shows a bias in the press: they were scarred by Trump's victory, and now everything they report on is a means to try to erase the fact that they had no power to tell people how to vote.

It is the same as if you broke up with a flame, and then they keep harassing you and badmouthing you, calling you evil and crazy two years after you called it quits.

But one of the most oblivious observations came with this paragraph in reaction to the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner:

Tim Alberta, who writes for Politico, correctly noted that “every caricature thrust upon the national press — that we are culturally elitist, professionally incestuous, socioeconomically detached and ideologically biased — is confirmed by this train wreck of an event.” Kyle Pope, the editor of Columbia Journalism Review, pointed out the inevitability of that train wreck, observing that the event itself is “destined to be either sycophantic, on one extreme, or meanspirited, on the other. Neither is a good look at a time when trust in media is tenuous.”

It completely misses the point: the press got off on all those characterizations for decades, and never cared because they were the gate-keepers.

The rigs worked in their favour, and they still had power, even with those insults.

What happened was much more serious than a few bitter insults: journalists never improved their product or methods. They never became a science. They had a professions filled with untested truisms, and when the Internet came along and destroyed the rig that gave them clout, they never found ways to improve their profession, making them vulnerable.

In boxing terms, they never kept their guard up, and it cost them -- making those insults harder to dismiss.

Because the above paragraph is on flawed and unrealistic ground, the next part of the piece collapses:

We’re under sustained attack by a shameless president whose contempt for a free press is profound. And regardless of the merits of that attack, our response is pivotal to surviving it and preserving the public’s trust.

Journalism is archaic. You cannot rebuild trust the way you cannot rebuild a skeleton into a living human being. There is no public trust to preserve -- that is the precise reason Trump won the election in the first place: he is a salesman first, and he packaged the message to fit the zeitgeist. If there had been strong public trust of the press, the results of the election would have been different because Trump wasn't campaigning against the inert Hillary Clinton, he was campaigning against the news media.

Bruni is groping in the dark here, and his argument only gets further away from reality:

In many ways, that response — from excavations of links between Trump and Russia to exposés of the workings of Facebook — has been excellent, a perfect illustration of why journalists are so vital.

No, Mr. Bruni, journalism had its chance. It failed.

It is a perfect illustration why journalism needs to be replaced.

The argument takes a manipulative turn right after:

Because Trump is so hyperbolic — and so dishonest — about our vices, we’re prone to focusing excessively and even exclusively on our virtues. We sing an immodest aria about them.

No, Trump has been many things, but his assessment of the vices of the press have been spot on.

I have written three books on those vices, Don't Believe It! showed how dishonest the press was in countless news stories over the years. From Stephen Glass to using public relations firms as a source to cover everything from wars to corporations, the press has been highly deceptive.

How so?

1. By outright lying about the content of stories and who their sources were.

2. By not labelling PR firm materials as such.

3. By imposing narratives on their stories, which resulted in many serious problems, from making WorldComm and Enron looks like legitimate businesses, to painting innocent people such as Richard Jewel into psychopathic killers. This are not minor transgressions. They made over real killers such as Charles Stewart as victims, emboldening police to torment the black community by treating them as potential killers.

My second book OutFoxed chronicled how Fox News presented a partisan narrative as news, but make no mistake: CNN does the same. There are rigs to present a skewed opinion as fact.

My upcoming third book outlines these problems in detail -- from Lara Logan's odious 60 Minutes report to the brazen use of PR as a source in wars. Journalism has been corrupted and broken beyond repair. 

And let's not forget that in those same pages in November 1976, Trump was made over to be an American God.

Bruni then tries to justify his own empty columns about Trump, but it is self-serving. He was a follower who joined the bullying chorus of the press, and shows he is not an impartial party to the mass temper tantrum, and no amount of his spinning changes it.

And that alone nullifies Bruni's hypothesis that news isn't fake: using that space to spin and not provide facts, that is as disingenuous as it gets, especially here:

I was trying to cast his coiffure as a metaphor for his inconstancy and obsession with surfaces. But still. I played into a caricature of journalists as smart alecks taking cheap shots from the cheap seats. We have to watch our tone. We really do.

Read: if we have to fake it without being so obvious. We have to be more fake than we already are, so that we can feign shock that our more covert propagandistic swipes are seen for what they really are.

It is too late for that, Mr. Bruni.

The column rambles on for far too long, making me wonder how painful was the entire speech. Bruni does nothing but justify the press's destruction as he blames Trump for everything. So the press's assessments of their enemy are perfect, but their enemy's assessment of them is completely wrong.

Sure.

The finale is as contrived as it is laughable:

It’s easy to be lulled into a false security by the “Trump bump” in business for many newspapers and networks, whose fans are more passionately engaged than before. But that bump may not last forever, and it doesn’t do away with the misgivings that a majority of Americans have about us.

The so-called Trump Bump is an illusion: a few partisan publications are not, in fact, seeing an increase in traffic. Compare the bump to their numbers ten or even five years ago, the numbers are going down. Media outlets are shutting down. Journalists are losing their jobs at a predictable and shocking rate. There is no "Trump Bump" -- just false hope.

The arrogance of the last word is striking:

It’s also easy to be so fixated on the ludicrousness of some of the charges that the president hurls at us that we fail to improve in ways that he’s not discussing. The news that we report is real. But so is the need to be even better at reporting it.

Journalists would have been far better off realizing their enemy defeated them because his assessment was true. It was not dumb luck: it was strategy based on the correct assumption that journalism was too weak, but its members too blind to see what was in store for them.

It is too late now. The dismantling has already begun.

The news report is not real. The methods and techniques of reporting are flawed beyond repair.

This is how not to write a newspaper column. This is how you go on Judge Judy and lose your court case as she chews you out for trying to pull the wool over her jaded eyes.

With a F.R.E.E.D. method, this column would never see the light of day because the one who wrote it would have been challenged with the facts that undermine this flawed hypothesis.

It is about the facts -- not about trying to make yourself over as a hero and victim...

Google hysteria on its way.

Facebook got its beating, and now Google seems to be next on the list.

The narrative has already been set that Big Tech is very dangerous and will control people as if they were robots.

It is a very interesting angle to take. The leaked "Selfish Ledger" video was the opening salvo.

Then it was looking at Google's patents and seeing riffs of that same video.

While you have some outlets dismissing the idea, others are picking up on it, questioning whether other PR stunts at Google are real or a hoax.

Unlike the Facebook Debacle, Google isn't getting the same drubbing, but the journalistic narrative is the same -- and it all goes back to the 2016 US elections.

It is the reason why there is about hysteria over Russia influencing voters -- because journalists could not get everybody to vote for Hillary Clinton. Social engineering has been a goal for those in mass communications for a while now: journalists couldn't sway the vote and panicked, knowing it spelled the end of their reign.

But then Big Tech also panicked for the same reason: because they skewed the coverage, and Donald Trump still won.

The notion that you can fool all of the people all of the time is still strong. The arrogance that you can persuade all 7.4 billion of us is absurd. Dissent is a given, even with propaganda, psychology, and algorithms.

It's not a realistic goal. You are not going to get mass compliance -- there are always rebels, opportunists, traitors, brats, divas, mules, and visionaries who are not going to play ball because they think differently, have different life requirements, and think for themselves, no matter what you do or say.

Both the press and Big Tech immediately pointed the finger at Russia for one reason: they had to blame someone for the upset. Had they respect for their audiences, they would realize people have their numerous reasons for making their life choices, and picked the option that suited them.

But no, people didn't vote because they had their reasons: they had to be brainwashed into it.

And suddenly, the paranoid conspiracy theories overtook common sense, reason, and the ability to grasp reality.

But the press did not just blame Russia. They also blamed Big Tech -- and now we are seeing all sorts of stories about how these companies are villains out to brainwash the masses into compliance.

If Big Tech thinks they can do it, they are free to hold their delusions, but there is a difference between persuasion and goodwill. People will play along until something or someone better comes along, and then, good riddance Big Tech.

And all those games of psychological combat prove to be faulty as their fortunes crumble.

It happened to journalism first. The press had public good will until a superior model came along, and then people left. It will happen to Big Tech -- and much sooner than it happened to journalism.

Even in the political sphere, we see politicians such as Kathleen Wynne play delicate games to appease voting blocs as she gave them the moon -- and they still dumped her the first chance they got when they had an untested rival promise to throw even more money and power their way.

Power and control are illusionary. A deft magician can make it seem as if he has it -- but look beneath the surface, and you see a very different dynamic.

Google hysteria is beginning. There is no doubt that there will be more anti-Big Tech narratives coming in the next few months.

But it won't change progress -- or turn back the clock...

Interview magazine is folding: its fifteen minutes are up after almost five decades.

Andy Warhol's magazine is folding.

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It was never an actual news publication. It was fawning advertorials for whatever white hot celebrity was big at the time. It clung on to the coattails of certain artists who were pretentious enough and mainstream enough to cover. It was all about window-dressing and style. Once upon a time, you could tightly manage that mystique when the founder was an iconic artist, but these days, that is not enough to bluff your way with an audience.

I had been in their offices once about twenty plus years ago. I sent in a pitch for a story, and I got called in -- only to take some online test, which I didn't do, and left as that wasn't what I was applying for in the first place. I made the trek from Oakville to New York City, and it was not a very pleasant experience as those in a position of power were full of themselves, but I shrugged it off as life is too short to care about other people's opinions of themselves.

From what I observed, it was a publication that lived in a sheltered bubble for arty nerds, but the Internet popped that bubble, and made those kinds of artsy sophistry mundane; however, I am not surprised that one of reasons it shut down was their treatment of employees. 

It is yet another media fiefdom that could not survive, and it will not even be a footnote in history as its fifteen minutes were up years ago...

Kathleen Wynne got rattled by Doug Ford, and the campaign shows it.

Doug Ford knows strategy and he clearly delivered a single, elegant shot that has literally made her lose that mojo that has given her those improbable and impossible victories in the past.

He asked her a single question:

When did you lose your way?

It rattled her so much that media outlets actually noticed the shift. She went on News Talk 1010's Moore in the Morning to address it the day after in a classic case of l'esprit d'escalier. 

Too little, too late. The damage was already done.

Wynne is seen as more capable than her two rivals, and until that fateful question, she was.

But Ford's stealth attack did enormous damage to her focus, and we can see her fortunes plummet. He hit a nerve as he dug deep into her psyche, saw her fear, and pulled it out to show it to her and the public. 

Had the question not been asked, we would not be seeing the same campaign. I am not one to go by polling numbers, but now we are seeing something very interesting: a hidden truth about the real health of Ontario.

NDP is the poor man's party. They have no clout or connections with the elite or the financial districts. If they are elected, the banks will all downgrade the province's credit rating. Businesses will leave for greener pastures. There will be no funds to juice all those deceptive freebies, and it will lead to serious trouble here. The fact that the NDP is seeing a surge is revealing how much of a pauper's playground Ontario has become. Those who are defeated always retreat to the nanny party, without realizing there is no tax base to support their fantasy vision.

The PC's are appealing with those who have not thrown in the towel, and see hope in their future to make a life one their own -- that means we have two Ontarios, and not one.

One group who are independent and the other who are passive.

And it happened under the Liberals' 15 year watch. Wynne had played a dangerous game and had tried to please both sides, but the chasm was by then too great. She increased minimum wage, invested in businesses through government subsidies, and gave the voting bloc of teachers more than they ever deserved -- and all groups are thanking her by abandoning her.

This betrayal of alliances is what shook her. Doug Ford let her and the rest of the world know that it happened.

And now watching her photo-ops has been cringeworthy. She goes from place to place, engaging in little stunts, making her come off as someone with a mid-life crisis trying to knock off as many things off her bucket list as possible. I am surprised she didn't dye her hair blue and go get a tattoo as cameras are rolling.

That is a sign of defeat, and someone who doesn't think she has a tomorrow.

She could have easily sewn up this election the way she did last time: talk about pensions and appeal to Baby Boomers. They are still the biggest voting bloc and the ones who still see voting as their civic duty. They may seem set in their political affiliations, but target that group with a tangible and significant benefit and a you-focussed message, and they will come through for you.

But now, Wynne is all over the place, and that's not the way to win an election. You cannot be all things to all people -- nor does victory come from that desperate strategy.

Ford cannot be discounted, and he is very strategic in both strategy and timing. With Wynne running around like a chicken without a head, he can focus on other things. Ford found her kryptonite and used it against her. He didn't hammer away at her. He didn't engage in overkill. He merely pointed at the monster that scared her most, and told her she veered off course to avoid it.

And that is a devastating accusation to make at someone whose job is being a leader.

As someone who has had people try psychological warfare on me over the years from the 36 Stratagems to negging, I see through it and find it funny, even when the stakes are high. You are not going to make me insecure with your manipulative words or doubt myself. Bottom line people shut out the white noise of arguments and insults because they are deadweight.

Meaning that gambit works only if the leader believes it and looks to others for validation and applause. Had she seen the ruse, she could have given an epic rebuttal to turn her fortunes around.

Anything can happen in this election, but seeing Wynne flounder over something minor when she has triumphed over bigger obstacles is fascinating to watch nonetheless.

Fact-checking after the fact: Why journalism is all about tall tales that are short on facts.

When I worked on my first book Don't Believe It!: How lies become news, I had no shortage of hoaxes to work with. Hoaxes that were reported as fact, and it was a shockingly common occurrence. In fact, I had to leave more examples out than I actually had in my book because it would have been overwhelming to readers.

I wanted the book to be instructive by showing the red flags to look for when evaluating information. The original intent was to create a textbook for journalism students so that they would be educated on that important aspect of fact-gathering.

Needless to say, that angle was rejected by every publisher, citing that verifying information wasn't a problem because journalists always report truth.

So I had to flip the focus by showing audiences how to do it instead -- and that's when I found a publisher for the book.

But the absolute denial of the problem by the profession is still evident -- and there are still countless hoaxes and lies in the news to this day.

Let's take this article on the CBC for example:

Did former Canadian ISIS member lie to the New York Times or to CBC News?

Granting sources anonymity can lead to good stories, but it can also lead to less accountability

Now, this isn't an article about a source lying to two mainstream and large outlets and they caught him before publishing their stories.

This is asking the question after stories were made public.

The mess can be found herehere, here, and here, with the final link from the New York Times only now considering this thing called fact-checking.

After publication is known as "too late" -- the episode is as irresponsible as it gets.

But here we have two outlets: one Canadian, one American. One is a national television network. One is a major daily newspaper that put out a podcast.

And they are both equally credulous and unfit to call themselves an journalism outlet.

This was not a time-sensitive story. They first thing to do is to verify and nail as many specifics as possible. You look for inconsistencies and red flags. You do not look for narrative -- you look for facts.

When stripped of narrative, fact-checking becomes the focus -- but when it is all about the get and the story, verification becomes a difficult undertaking.

And there is no excuse for it.

The Myth of Liberal Feminism: No, New York Times. The Left do not own feminism. It is an attempt to confine women and use fear to keep them in place.

The New York Times is heavy on the propaganda these days to the point of see-through obnoxiousness.

Jessica Valenti's piece of pseudo-feminist propaganda is a brazen attempt to frighten feminists by ghettoizing them and confining them into a single category: Democrat. The headline is pure fear-mongering sophistry:

The Myth of Conservative Feminism

There is also a bigger myth of Liberal Feminism, and, as a radical feminist, I can tell you that Liberal feminism has become full of it.

The structure of North American thought is pure patriarchal. It is a structure of using chaos to manipulate people who feel vulnerable by invoking primal fear, and then "offering" a solution that is cult-like: run to the guardian protector who will save you from the bad guys.

Yeah, sure.

Women have been seriously lagging and it starts by placing all of their ovaries in one basket.

The political system works against women who always have work within a framework that is rigged to distract them with manipulative arguments they feel obligated to engage in all while having to remove rigs that drain resources and muddies their focus.

This deliberate deflection takes up all sorts of resources, financial to emotional to intellectual -- and is meant to provide enough of a buffer for those in power to retain it. It is a game, after all, and one where inferior people trick superior ones into "solving" endless fake puzzles and "winning" fake battles to feel happy and relieved to win tiny and hollow victories.

As a political atheist, you are not going to play those self-serving games with me. You can insult me, argue with me, try to pretend you are superior to me, whatever. I don't care. There isn't anything in it for me. It is none of my business what other people's narratives about me are. They are irrelevant and unimportant to me -- and the universe.

Really, people, get over yourselves.

But we have women who honestly believe they are "feminist" just because they believe in abortion and vote for liberal parties.

No, you're not. You're someone who has willingly gone on a hamster wheel and run on it like a gullible rube because someone told you to do it.

You believe in lines drawn in the sand. You believe in memorizing someone else's scripts without questioning who wrote them and what do they have to gain from having empty-heads parrot them, thinking they found the winning hack for life.

Because if you are feminist, you are not going to be fooled by fake titles such as liberal and conservative. Those are hypothetical constructs. The bottom line is to ensure that it doesn't matter who comes into power, they are not going to inconvenience you.

The rich are rich for a reason: when it is an election, they give equal campaign contributions to both major parties. This ensures that it doesn't matter who wins -- they will stay rich. People who win will pay back the favour by creating laws that favour their benefactors, while the losing party doesn't try to gain by going after those same benefactors.

Heads the rich win; tails the rich win.

Women who proclaim to be "feminist" are privy to this reality -- so why aren't they ensuring that it doesn't matter who will win -- their interests are never threatened.

So far from there being liberal feminists -- there should be conservative feminists as well. Why should women shake in their boots during every election? What does that accomplish?

And if you are confined to a single party -- then you are at that party's mercy -- not the other way around. This monomania ensures that the party can make threats and drag their feet because all they have to do is point at the other party to frighten the little ladies to go and vote for a party who cannot have any respect for them.

And in the US, the Democrats have no respect for feminists. None. It is a sham.

Who ran as the first female contender for the White House? The little woman of a philandering president who had "feminists" defend him when he was caught sexually exploiting a young female employee who he could crush with his legal team alone. Those pseudo-feminists defended him -- even in the same Op-Ed pages of the New York Times -- those women trounced on the young woman while defending the man who was old enough to be her father.

Those feminists were nothing more than Man Mommies who had to clean up the mess of the guy in power.

And that's who gets to run for president? That's the best American liberal feminism could muster? Shame on them. (Just as no woman on the top list of the wealthiest females created her own wealth without either inheriting or marrying that money -- it is obscene).

Why is abortion still a issue? Do we, for instance, forbid men from getting vasectomies or have the state force them to produce children against their will?

No? Really, why not?

Oh, that's right: because there is no party that puts that outrage on the table. That would be considered to be insane.

The only reason it is still on the table for women is simple: feminists never learned how to diversify their brand.

That's Liberal feminism's failure. That is their shame.

Liberal feminism has been reduced to a single issue: protecting abortion rights at all costs.

That tunnel vision is eroding women's rights, not expanding them.

If Western feminism ever hopes to achieve true equality -- something that we are nowhere near obtaining -- it has to change its mindset, and stop thinking in terms of the artificial binary.

Feminism isn't negotiable; therefore, it cannot be political. It is not about snobbery and petty linear divides: it is about human beings exercising their absolute right to think and not to follow anyone's unnatural beliefs.

That means understanding that feminism must break down walls: not just ceilings.

And that means understanding that conservative women can be feminists just like liberal ones.

And most of all, understanding radical centrists are also feminists.

Because some of us will not be confined by the misdirection of debate, narrative, and opinion.

The New York Times has never been a publication that understood reality, and that is the reason journalism collapsed: it allowed manipulative sophistry to go unchallenged, setting women back further and further in the bargain...

Why did Time, Inc. vanish?

The New York Times has a telling if meandering piece on the rise and fall of Time Inc., once a titan of print, only to be devoured by Meredith who plans bland and by-the-numbers elevator music shows with the tepid brands that have been done to death on US television for the last twenty-plus years.

And with the tepid logo and "re-brand" of 4 M Studio (the four Ms most likely standing for Mush, Milquetoast, Mediocre, and Mummified).

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Of course, there is nothing but uncertainty for Time magazine as they do not fit with the new overlord's vision of today.

The Times' drivel interviews past and present journalists and editors that once worked for the publication.

And it was very telling why the magazine went down the drain.

By the sounds of the reminisces, the actual work thing was secondary. It was all about the food, drink, and affairs staff had under the roof of a very nice building. Lull your employees into thinking they are staying at a Best Western with a free continental breakfast and happy hour voucher as they pick up chicks at the bar, and then raved about the experience on Yelp...or the New York Times.

Because that's what counts -- moving away from the hick small-town you hated, and then get a nice paper crown in the big city as you see yourself working in a resort. 

Which should have been the omen to watch -- motels are the transients' place -- where everything is temporary, and there is no putting down actual roots.

There is no thinking about tomorrow -- and the mindset begins to seep into the work that you do. You are on a form of vacation -- and your stories turn into tourist attractions and amusements, not actual work. There is no context or perspective. Just a smash and grab here, a quickie there, and stuffing into your suitcases as much little shampoos and lotions as you can.

With that kind of mindset, Time Inc. was doomed to fail. It had no roots as it cultivated a tumbleweed mentality in its minions. Everything was fleeting, but the mote reviews were good enough to flock there, even for a spell.

Once upon a time, Time meant something, but unlike its name, the magazine didn't understand the concept of time -- nor was meant to last the test of time, either.

It came roaring on the scene, and slowly, like a broken hourglass, the sands vanished one by one until there was nothing left in the hourglass at all...

What is F.R.E.E.D.?

It is something I am working on right now, and it is an alternative model to journalism.

I will slowly unroll the system over the next few weeks in different ways.

But this is a short preface.

Journalism had a rig that served as both a blessing until it became a curse: the rig of exclusivity of mass dissemination. When the Internet came along, the rig suddenly served as a barrier, preventing journalists from seeing that much of what they had exclusive control made much of their jobs obsolete.

But not all of it, but what was left could not congeal in the same way because so much hinged on having gate-keepers.

But then other deficiencies began to become a serious problem. The lack of empirical methods would be one. The over-reliance on narrative and ideological bias would be another.

Worst of all, journalists began to pick sides, relying on partisan opinion rather than facts.

It became an unfixable mess.

But it doesn't have to stay that way.

Journalism's models are broken: both the business model, but also the model of journalism itself. There is a loss of trust, and a need for information.

F.R.E.E.D. is an answer to journalism. It is not beholden to the old structures and offers a new way of finding, verifying, and disseminating information in a simple and straightforward way.

It is a system that takes account propaganda and manipulation from the get go. It is a method of overriding press release culture and ignoring narrative entirely. It is a core system of understanding human behaviour and empirical methods of news gathering.

How I unroll this system over the next few weeks is by first outlining what F.R.E.E.D. isn't -- and by showing the shortcomings of mainstream news stories -- how they failed and why. What was missing? What unfounded assumptions were made? Why the article or broadcast failed the public and wasted everyone's time?

I will also discuss how I came to these conclusions and what in my professional life brought me to these conclusions, and I have already started here. Each step of my findings will be posted here before the next level of F.R.E.E.D. begins.

What does the acronym stand for? That will be left unsaid for the time-being. For now, it will be a new phase for this site. As journalism continues to rot away, it is time to give life to an alternative that does not make the same mistakes -- and is global in reach, even when it is local...

Jordan Peterson's intellect wipes the floor with the New York Times. Why journalists don't get his rigs -- and why journalism needs an alternative.

The New York Times has intellectual lightweights who resort to narrative hacks instead of facts to inform the public.

Jordan Peterson isn't an idiot, but his entire thesis is based on facts, but is still hopelessly flawed and wrong.

But try as they might, journalists get trounced by him as he builds his own intellectual empire.

The Times has a very long and pathetic profile on him here. Trying to stick your nose in the air doesn't make you right, and Peterson thrives -- not in order, but in chaos.

He quietly creates chaos when he debates, and that alone disproves his theory that men are about order and women in chaos. That's hogwash. Men constantly create chaos to grab power -- that's why an entire patriarchal system has wars and campaigns, and not order.

Men are disrupters. They are the ones who create riots, anarchy, and terrorism. It is a myth that men bring order to the table. They love the labels of rebel, maverick, and visionary -- all titles that suggest revolutions and changes are imminent. 

Women are not given those indulgences. They, for centuries, have been trained with rote tasks that have drilled the desire for order and predictability as well as stability. 

Even in storytelling, the Hero's Journey is always about bringing about radical change -- in the protagonist -- and his environment.

Peterson's hypothesis is laughable on every imaginable level to the point of childish absurdity, but he excels at trouncing those who are not schooled in the ways of psychology -- which, in turn, gives an appearance that he is right, and those who disagree are wrong -- and whiny.

The Times' piece just gave the man free advertising to those who like to tweak the noses of the politically correct who are genuinely terrified of Peterson.

I am neither fearful of him -- or impressed. He is not a big thinker. He is not an intellectual heavyweight. He isn't even remotely correct. He is merely the equivalent of a Dr. Laura or Dr. Phil for men. He is pop psychology for cowards who must retreat into a man cave and are resentful that sometimes the wife has some say in the environment she shares with the man she reproduces the next generation.

Life is hard.

The problem is that the white men with degrees such as Peterson can go unchallenged where it counts because journalism was never equipped with understanding human behaviour.

In other words, they have no background in psychology.

And you absolutely need it if you are going to chronicle the goings on of human beings.

My undergraduate degree is in psychology, and I can tell you that it has always been my faithful companion. I have been able to make use of it in my career as first a journalist, and then as an author.

A true alternative to journalism would focus on the psych stuff -- the realm where Peterson has the clear advantage. Had journalists been blessed with such a training, they could easily show the numerous weaknesses of Peterson's various musings to those who would normally be attracted to his narrative.

And that's an important skill: not to act as a stenographer, but as a fact-gathering -- a science that is about experimenting, then comparing and contrasting the results before presenting those tested facts to the public.

And that's the reason we need that kind of alternative: to have newsmakers as subjects to observe and test before giving those results to the public. Journalism should have always been a science of emotional intelligence, and Peterson's rise is proof we need critical thinkers who can rationally see the weaknesses, test them, before exposing them in a way that reaches people regardless of their leanings and beliefs.

Just the facts. It is a simple mandate, and one where journalism could never reach -- but it doesn't mean an alternative would fail as well...

New York Times enables bad solutions. Another school shooting. And another stupid op-ed piece not grounded in reality.

Another American school shooting, with a body count.

The New York Times, a manipulative rag that revels in sophistry and the confirmation bias, has this piece of propaganda again harping on gun control -- but suggesting that the Left can trick opponents by framing their demands with a "public health" narrative.

Why does the news media consistently proffer the ineffective "solution" of removing guns from people with homicidal tendencies?

Because the real cause would go against their simplistic narrative.

You can take away guns, but guns are not imbued with magical spells to cause people to become violent. It is not as if you remove guns that you remove the problem.

You take away the guns, people can use cars to kill people. They can make bombs to kill people. They can poison people. They can stab people. They can find other ways to harm people on a mass scale, as Canada and the UK can attest to these days.

They can buy illegal guns. They can make their own guns.

Grow up.

But if you say you have violent youth, then the net widens -- we can compare and contrast school killers -- and, for starters, we can look at their upbringing -- and should some of those children have progressive and permissive parents -- that will break the spell that the Left have all the correct answers and should be in charge of everyone's minds.

For whatever reason, ideological intolerance creates rigid and puritanical binary thinkers, regardless of ideological leanings. It is all or none, when nothing could be further from the truth.

America has a serious violence problem. They have a violent youth. The easy and simple answer of gun control does not address the actual problem of why you have youth who actually and wholeheartedly believe the answer to their problems is to commit murder.

Why do you have teenaged murderers and the grown ups have been incapable of facing that reality, willing to be inconvenienced, admit their failings as individuals and collectives, and find and implement the solution without bickering or establishing false pecking orders as they morally masturbate in public while strutting around with paper crowns?

If you do not want another school shooting, forget the guns. Start focussing on the mindset of violence and the environments that foster that destructive thinking.

The killings will only increase until that first hurdle is reached. Shut up about guns.

It is the violence that is killing teenagers.

They are feasting on each other. They are not connected to each other. They are hating each other.

Why?

That's question number one, and nothing will change until we begin to look at the hate.

When journalists don't get the business of journalism.

Once upon a time, I was a journalist writing about the business of journalism, and it was one of the most educational experiences in my life.

I learned there was a real difference between companies who made profits based on the strength and demand of their products, and those who could make a profit on feasting off the body of a shaky property.

Newspapers were no longer in the former category by the time I was on the scene. They were losing advertising revenue and readers way back in the late 1990s, and it was a very obvious.

But what was also equally obvious to me was how may of these parent companies operated: they squeezed assets and parsed definitions of what defined certain successes.

For one, the definition of paid circulation changed: from those who actually bought a newspaper, either at the stand or through circulation, to those giveaways they shoved in diners, universities, and laundry mats.

Technically, those were counted as being "sold" for one cent, and that was good enough.

Of course, it was a ridiculous notion. People who buy a newspaper are different than those who are just sitting around and reading free material out of boredom -- and with the latter -- most of those newspapers remained unread -- but would be consideration as part of the circulation numbers.

But that's just the definition parsing.

There is also the asset squeezing that is absolutely contingent on having a property that has nowhere to go but down.

Asset squeezing could still be considered "profitable", but it is akin to someone hard up for cash with little job prospects, so they sell their gold, kick people out of the house to keep costs down, hold garage sales, and then sell off the car and the house.

You can say technically, money is coming in, except it is a short-term smash and grab way of doing it. You are not bringing in any new source of income -- you are just jettisoning cargo as you sell piece by piece until there is nothing left to sell.

And that is precisely what you are seeing now in journalism.

You have asset-squeezers selling off real estate and other assets, while letting journalists go. There is no "profit." It is not as if these companies would be as profitable if they didn't fire their staff. Their corporate strategy is cutting and squeezing until it has gone as far as it can go -- then they either sell the shell to a lower-tier bottom feeding asset-squeezer -- or they close up the property because there is nothing left to squeeze.

That is what we are seeing now, but journalists are throwing fits, as they did in this Philadelphia Inquirer article, absolutely convinced that they should keep their jobs because these overlords are getting rich.

This is utter nonsense. The kind of owners who now are in possession of these properties are asset squeezers because newspapers are dead.

This is the reality of the situation. No one is going to invest in a property that is obsolete.

It didn't have to be this way, however. Had the industry kept up with the times and understood the mandate and focus had to shift, there wouldn't be this problem.

The "dissent" is misplaced. Journalists needed to dissent -- but should have rebelled against their refusal of seeing reality and making the necessary changes to stay relevant.

But when people like me sounded the alarm, we were ignored. It was very distressing watching the destruction of the profession -- because it would have been fairly simple to rejig the focus and get ahead of the future.

It didn't happen -- and we are still seeing denial. It won't change the outcome. It can't.

But that's what happens when you forget to observe the nuances to understand what is happening around you -- and why...

Star Wars's Matriarchal Gamble hits fatigue -- but blame the Patriarchal elements for its troubles.

Solo is not getting people as excited, and the fatigue sets in.

So what gives? Is the Matriarchal fatigue-prone?

No, but the Star Wars -- and Marvel franchises have a big weakness: they all stay within the same genre with the same basic tone. 

In essence, it is all the same structure -- and it is Patriarchal. With Star Wars, it is all the same upbeat Sci-Fi offering. No darker, horror versions. No female-centred version. No just-for-kids versions.

They haven't actually evolved. They are sticking to what worked in the past, the end.

DC Comics used to have a darker version of their comics and the imprint was called Vertigo. Strangely enough, Star Wars and Marvel screen properties haven't clued in.

Matriarchal is a flexible structure that allows growth in various directions -- and more importantly, directions where two groups of fans can enjoy the work without ever having overlap, or just minimal overlap. Disney is getting very greedy -- hoping to force people to see as many movies by having these properties too dependent on each other.

That is based on The One. Not the Infinite.

You are growing different audiences and not being an unreasonable imposition on their time and wallets. 

Sooner or later, audiences will have enough of it and bail out from the overload, and Disney is gambling by clinging on to the Patriarchal structure instead of growing a concept by accepting that not everyone wants the same tone, structure, and genre...

The origins of understanding what journalism always needed: Part One.

I got my Masters degree in journalism from the University of Western Ontario.

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I was having a successful year, winning a scholarship, and snagging interviews with the likes of Julian Fantino and Peter C. Newman. Back then, I got big scoops and exclusives that mainstream media didn't get. Sometimes in City Hall, sometimes in the courtroom. I did interesting stories from how gun control laws weren't dealing with the real problem of the smuggling of illegal guns to a teenaged girl who was boxing to the problems hounding the Canadian comic book industry to women smoking cigars for fun -- and profit.

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All this while writing a newspaper column in the Hamilton Spectator, and I interned at CTV's Canada AM, which was the country's top-rated morning news program.

I fought hard for every story I pursued. Much of the research for my first book started then.

This was the basis in my research into understanding journalism. Had I been an academic studying it from the outside, I would have missed a lot of the nuances.

When your research is on your back and you have everything on the line, you develop a respect for reality because you have to negotiate with it.

I have more to say about it, but suffice to say, I came out with an important realization: that to understand, it takes more than just observing and thinking, or even debating.

The core comes from action.

But it is too easy to get sucked into the habits and truisms that those who act take for granted and never question.

You needed a counterbalance to the action.

But what that was would come to me a little later...

Salt Lake Tribune slashes one third of its newsroom. Journalists are still deluded that everything is just fine.

Salt Lake Tribune is slashing away.

I am certain Politico's Jack Shafer can write an article how their owners are rolling in it and are letting reporters go because they are mean.

The insanity continues. The denials continue.

And the job losses and circulation declines continue...

Pseudo-Matriarchal Storytelling: Big Bang Theory/Young Sheldon.

Since 2013, I have actively worked on Matriarchal Storytelling: a way to get away from the single style of storytelling we have always had, namely, Patriarchal Storytelling.

Norman Lear understood Matriarchal by having strategic spin-offs of his flagship sitcom All in the Family. He knew how to move away from the protagonist and then told stories that had nothing to do with them. The Jeffersons were former neighbour who moved on up. Maude was related to Archie Bunker's wife Edith.

The key feature of Matriarchal is the ability to move away from a flagship character enough to allow supporting characters to shine.

The Big Bang Theory seems to have a big cast, but it is not just a sexist show, but a Patriarchal one.

It may have been the initial idea to have Leonard as the protagonist, but it is Sheldon Cooper who stole the show, and then kept it there. Leonard still Leonard after all these years, but the transformations happened to Sheldon alone. Patriarchal.

Once there were complaints of an all-male cast, the girls were allowed in the clubhouse -- but only as love interests for the guys. They prop up the guys, and far from elevating the show, it reinforced its principle flaw, but did manage to fake an more egalitarian perspective.

It is still patriarchal, and all characters bow to the One. Sheldon Cooper.

Then came the spin-off Young Sheldon -- a show dedicated to explaining away and justifying Sheldon's behaviour.

Normally, this would be something you would see in a Matriarchal structure, but not in this case.

It is still about the One. The characters in the spin-off all prop up the unexpected protagonist.

Far from being a Matriarchal structure, it is a visual annotated notes of the One. Everything revolves around Sheldon. The difference is the show has expanded by thirty minutes, nothing more.

The Big Bang Theory is a prime example of using tricks and techniques to keep a stale storytelling concept seem fresh, the way old fish is slathered in cajun spices to hide the fact it is old fish.

It is an old school show with old school sensibilities. It is an interesting case study of how entrenched the Patriarchal is in Hollywood -- and that they will do everything they can think up to keep outdated story styles in play rather than experiment with different -- and fresher techniques..

Policy Options: the elitist forum to keep an unworkable status quo. It is publications like this that are trying to prevent an alternative to journalism.

Policy Options is advocacy publication that is short on facts, but heavy on social engineering.

Their latest bad idea comes with this silly article:

The traditional printed newspaper is still a vital link in many communities, and the federal government’s new journalism fund should help support them.

Why should taxpayers support any kind of journalism? They have the option to support publications directly with the government middleman by subscribing.

If they are not subscribing, you cannot bully and force them to do so by taking away their money. If people want to buy a newspaper, they can buy a newspaper.

You should question why people abandoned news.

The answer is simple: because journalism failed.

Journalism failed and it must own its failure.

Do not start divvying up money and then decreeing who gets what money. It is not up to you.

For all the lies that journalism is all about the importance of democracy, then why are you doing the very undemocratic thing as forcing people to fund something they do not wish to fund?

It is the epitome of tyranny, and proves for all their propagandistic babble, journalists do not actually believe in democracy.

And the the notion is being repeatedly played in Policy Options shows just how out of touch that publication is with the notion of democracy.

It believes in social engineering. It believes on imposing its will on people to keep elites in power, even as they have destroyed their own industry.

They have no idea how this whole democracy thing works -- doing everything they can think of to prevent an alternative to journalism to flourish -- by advocating the theft of public money for a dead profession.

And that is not an acceptable position in a democracy...