Starting over in a Post-Journalism World, Part Forty-Nine.

I

When I was researching the mechanisms of journalism by becoming a journalist myself, I deliberately went to a lot of job interviews in order to see the workings of it. I used the Matthews’ Media Directory as my guide to mark the change in players, but also the dirty gossip rag Frank magazine as my baseline. I had other ways of finding out things, but I found using both together gave me a crude roadmap that I could refine once got going.

I didn’t just go to interviews at media outlets. I also went to ones at public relations firms to get a feel for what they were looking for and their thought patterns when hiring; however, I often found out more than what I could have anticipated.

There was one international firm that had an office in Toronto, and I have discovered through different channels — including Frank — that they had an obsession with the dress code. Women could never show their midriff, which is reasonable, but they couldn’t skip pantyhose, not even if they wore pants.

When I didn’t want a job somewhere, I would make sure to be the right candidate in every way but one. You’d never get hired if you broke one ridiculous rule that had nothing to do with the job and wasn’t obvious to outsiders because that fake rule was the bane of the organization’s existence. You could be otherwise qualified, but if you Broke the Silly Rule, it was their Shibboleth, and that was that.

So, when I got the interview here, I wore flatter pants and dress-up sandals, but no pantyhose. If the rumours were true, that would be good enough not to hear from them again — and it was. The interviewer made a point of me not wearing pantyhose, and that if worked there, I would always have to wear them.

So my intel was spot on, and the interview went precisely as my outside research predicted it would.

But there was something that didn’t conform to my expectations that made this interview a motherlode of information for me.

Behind the interviewer was her computer with the screen on with several windows open. She was in the middle of “monitoring” BBS boards as this was the mid-1990s, and she was doing it for one of their bigger clients.

I took a good look at the screen and saw she was doing much more than just monitoring — she was actively participating — but as if she were just a regular citizen with no vested interest in promoting the client. To others on the forums, she was just another user.

Yet she wasn’t. She was an operative.

And that was the first time in my young career that I realized just how easy it was for PR firms to take advantage of a guileless public who never learned how to reflect to question, but merely react to opine about something they knew nothing about.

II

We talk about “social media influencers”, we know people are paid to shill handbags and shoes, yet when a celebrity tells people to vote for a certain party or candidate, we naively believe they aren’t being paid shills.

And yet they are.

They fight over swag bags at low-rent awards shows. They are paid to appear at birthday parties of dictators (and then try to pretend it was an “accident”). They have ghostwriters churn out their tweets. They pay for fake followers.

If there was any one group whose political beliefs are available to the highest bidder and not to be trusted on any account, it is Hollywood’s A-list.

It is a very Machiavellian business. Two threads stick out in modern political discourse: paying for agitators to cause trouble by having them pretend to be on the other side before encouraging the rivals to make damage to discredit them, and encouraging people to be repulsed by comfort and luxury.

We can see that the American Left have been co-opted for a long time now. The sudden taste for socialism points to it. In order to get people adjusted to getting screwed over by the rich and powerful, you have to first sell them that having a good life is a very bad thing.

But this is nothing new. Art Nouveau was a fin de siècle art movement that made luxury and idealism something even regular people could afford. The idea that everything was art — buildings, furniture, jewelry — was a novel idea and it caught traction in Europe.

It was heavily used in advertising with the likes of Alphonse Mucha defining the women depicted with have whiplash curves and doing things that were hinting at a fashionable feminist — feminista — preface.

Then suddenly, all of those frills were spun as being primitive and minimalism abruptly took over — it was harsh and masculine as it shunned luxury and espoused bare bone pragmatism.

And then World War One broke out.

People were primed to feel aggressive, and they fell in.

Then after power was consolidated, the more flamboyant Art Deco took over. It was the roaring 20s, but when the Dirty Thirties took over, Art Deco was still in play, but soon fell out of favour as the Second World War broke out.

In each case, popular culture had abrupt shifts, and it is a shift we are experiencing now.

But unlike previous eras, there are ways to expose the manipulation by the very vehicle that makes it too easy to prime a thoughtless middle class.

III

Much of the lure of social media is the idea of hiding your identity in order to push an agenda, but when it exposed, it breaks a spell. Amazon in Canada had such a scandal when anonymous glowing book reviews were accidentally exposed the identities to show it was the authors, their friends, and family who were telling people how great the books were.

But paid operatives are nothing new. American literature was also corrupted by having writers be secretly funded to shill political viewpoints.

Which can be disheartening — but also a starting point to get rid of the weasels who pretend to be opinionated, but merely prostitute their words and meme posters to the highest bidder.

The New York Post recently fretted about the illusion of a political divide in the US, wondering if anything can be done to stop, and the answer is yes.

Show which PR firms are being paid to push a political side.

Show how they are manipulating the public.

Ask the public why they are so eager to believe without verification. Yes, put it on the middle class and put them in the hot seat where they fear to sit.

Show which celebrities are being paid, and how much. Show who is paying for their limo rides and writing their political speeches.

Corner those celebrities and ask them hard questions about policy and statistics, and then start asking them to answer basic questions about how is it that they can afford their cars and mansions when they have been out of work for the last five years, and their cable or streamed shows don’t pay them very well to justify their lifestyle.

The alternative to journalism is a spell-breaker: it slays middle class fantasies as it exposes the games of the wealthy. It makes no narrative a safe fortress. It terrorizes propaganda by showing reality, and comparing and contrasting them both.

The American house is not “divided”. It is merely ignorant. Both sides need a good shaming, but not as much as their followers who think chest-thumping can be mistaken for knowledge, confidence, or passion. It is a mere misdirection to hide the fact people have hedged their bets and think that the They chosen will give them some freebies and a lollipop for picking the “correct” side.

Children, this isn’t grade school. This isn’t story time, either.

This is reality. This is life. Take off the blinders. Stop looking for crib notes.

The alternative to journalism is the anti-crib notes: it is the manual for navigating through reality, and actively using your own critical thinking skills as you are responsible for your own fate and future…

Starting over in a Post-Journalism World, Part Forty-Eight.

In the Red Army, it takes a very brave man to become a coward.

Marshal Zhukov, to General Eisenhower, when asked about men being executed for cowardice. (Europe at War 1939-1945: No Simple Victory, by Norman Davies)


I was once at a party almost twenty years ago where there were the older adults, and then there were the “younger ones” who were the adult children of the old guard. I was in my late twenties and working as a journalist and professor, and I had an obligation to attend. The hosts’ two children — the son in his early twenties, and the daughter in her early thirties were in attendance along with several other people in our age group, including the daughter’s boyfriend.

The son was working at an x-rated video store, except no one was supposed to figure this out. Somehow the siblings got it in their heads that they were the only ones with street cred and no one at this large party could put two and two together. They had also marked me as some sort of Victorian rube who was as slow on the uptake as their parents who knew everything and complained to their friends, but their children thought they were the cleverest dodges in town.

The son was out to make trouble, and in front of the younger group, played a softcore video, which caused surprise for some of the younger guests, one who didn’t know the movie wasn’t a home movie, and asked out loud, “Hey, where is this?”, to which his irate wife responded, “Someplace you’ll never be.” She didn’t find my amusement all that funny, either.

The siblings and the boyfriend kept smirking throughout this party, until I asked the son whether they had posters of Janine where he worked. He said, “We used to until…” before breaking off, and giving me an expression of absolute shock that not only I was on to him, but that I had the knowledge to be on to him in the first place.

He suddenly lost his smirk, but his sister and her boyfriend were oblivious, until we had an exchange and I openly said that I knew where her brother worked. The guests were surprised, but the cocky smirks were not only gone — the siblings were quite vexed at me for the rest of the party, as I had committed the unforgivable sin of not being a Victorian rube they had cast me in their little demented play.

To add insult to injury, none of the older guests were even paying attention.

I spoiled their game. It is not fun when people are not as stupid as you imagine them to be.

I had, in fact, turned the tables on them. I wasn’t the rube. They were. They were the ones who underestimated one of their pigeons, making them the unworldly ones.

This was hardly the first or last time when this sort of game was played with me. I have had married people have affairs with each other, and get livid that I figured out that they were having an affair. I will not lie to preserve your delusion that you are a good liar. I have known people who were drug addicts who thought I didn’t know which drugs they were addicted to as if their physical and mental signs and symptoms weren’t screaming it.

I have also let people know that I knew they used a casting couch, that they have a criminal past, or that they cheated to get their position.

It is being like Sherlock Holmes, although I come off more as Patrick Jane from the show The Mentalist.

People think they keep secrets, but their muted confessions are loud and clear to me.

I don’t care. I don’t give lectures. People get angry, not because I am looking down on them — but because I can actually read them. They are angry because they have created an illusionary pecking order where they are far savvier than I am, but then I pop that delusion with ease.

Once I dismantle one delusion, I often have a second one to unravel: do not spin a narrative to make it sound as if I am some sort of staid church lady who is telling you that you are a bad person.

No, I don’t care about your lifestyle choices.

But I am not going to pretend that you are some sort of proficient liar.

It takes arrogance to lie. You think you are the smartest person in the room when you do.

People often do not say openly that they know you are lying. They lie right back, nodding, and making small talk before they run to their friends and let them know that you are full of it.

The origins of lies, however, is not arrogance. It is cowardice.

Fear and hatred. Lies are a psychologically violent act.

As Sun Tzu famously observed, war is deception.

And it begins when parents allow their children to lie because they are too afraid to confront them. It is a taxing job calling people on the carpet for anything. Often, parents are deceivers themselves, or are too busy with their own careers, egos, and paramours to actually bother to adult and parent.

It is not a fantasy world deceivers are building: it is war. They are hostile and are either hiding their weaknesses, or trying to destroy other people’s egos in order to wear them down to stomp over the perceived competition, or even to steal the attention and emotional resources all to the liar.

There is nothing intelligent about lying: it is a lazy man’s passive war that hinges on people believing the lie or giving in to the lie’s subtextual logical conclusion. Call it out and refuse to reward it, and the liar’s true reality is exposed.

Lies are the weapons of the inferior person. Truth is the tool of the superior person.

If you want to be a better quality person, stop lying, and you will know exactly where you stand, what you need, and what you must do to get there.

Journalism gave into too many lies to ever be taken seriously again.

But the alternative gets its energy from exposing lies and finding truths from reality.

But exposing lies means exposing everyone’s lies, regardless of their group affiliation: exposing half a lie is a lie in itself. Unless you expose everyone, you paint a false narrative, implying there is a hero and not just a cabal of villains who are clawing each other for some ridiculous paper crown.

People who gather facts are fighting a war. They must liberate truth from lies.

They must show the deceivers their true place, and it is not at the top. They are not intelligent. They are not brave.

People always try to spin narratives in order to make themselves seem superior.

The straight shooter tells you how it is, regardless of the consequences. They are your inner voice that drowns out the fear that resides within.

It takes a brave person to walk away from the lure of deception. It takes a smart one to see the lies of others and not get caught up in carny or hype.

Journalism let too many grifters tell their lies. They let PR firms dictate the story.

The alternative plays no such games, and finds the truth even when the best liars are put in charge of hiding it…

Starting over in a Post-Journalism World, Part Forty-Seven.

The propaganda film Reefer Madness was designed to shoo teens away from weed by really, really overplaying their hand. It was as if these were sheltered buffoons who either thought they were speaking to peasants, or were fluent because they were one of that cloistered number.

The film is a relic of an era where that mass called the Middle Class just followed whatever script their governments and employers told them to play. If they had to pretend to be morally outraged in a certain manner, then, by gum, that is what they’ll do.

Now it is posh to be pro-cannabis out in the open open (people always spewed about it to their friends and on social media, but they played it straight when it came to police and governments, both of whom were using it, too, but were paid to punish civilians who did it).

But although the content of discussion has changed, the structure remains the same.

We have vested interests building hype with no challenge the Canadian news media, including the notion that there will be “shortages” — so you better buy a lot of it now!

Just as the Canadian government would shill “special” occasion coins as “collectors’s edition” that would “increase” in value until you tried to cash it in, this is another one of those carny stories that are interesting to examine.

Reefer Madness was a hokey movie, trying to make weed into something bigger than it was. It was just a way for the oppressed and repressed to have an outlet as they were repulsed by their expectation to conform in inauthentic ways as they served others as they schemed and connived themselves into a mundane and mediocre life.

The results in the Canadian news media are no less hokey, only in the opposite direction. In this case, that somehow, the Canadian government has invented a completely new drug that people have never had access to and will now be tearing down the doors to be forever hooked on it. It is the new Reefer Madness, as it were, and it is no less propaganda than that cringeworthy agitprop flick.

Weed was never some sort of hard-to-find drug during its prohibition here or was there any sort of shortage: if nerdy high school kids with failing grades could easily find it in the boonies, then there is a reason why: there was always enough of a demand and incentive and no one was actually ever following the rules.

Just as people gambled, had affairs, used the services of hookers, and the like, the baseline was always there.

So if there was no shortage when it was illegal and harder to get, there will be no shortage once it is made legal. In regions that made it legal before Canada, they have overstock.

This is a manufactured advertising of promotional hype. While there is no doubt there is demand, there was always that same demand. The only difference is how the government chose to get its cut: before, you paid them through fines and jail time. Now, you pay them through licensing fees and taxes.

As for the manufactured “fear: there will be a black market, there already is one, and there will be after weed is legal, and I know this because in the last century, my grandfather Anton (known as Anton the Hunter because of his prowess as a game hunter) ran a wildly successful black market during the chaos of the Second World War in Belgrade.

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In today’s dollars, he would have been a billionaire. His underground operations were ingenious. and elegant, and he had a natural talent for it.

If you wanted something — he was your go-to guy.

The criminal element went to him, but so did everyone else, including people in positions of power and everyday people.

Everyone knew where to get the things you could not get during the madness of war.

And then Communists won, and declared their system was going to get rid of the black market, and one of the first things they did was change the currency, and his enormous wealth was wiped out before my mother was even born, but she remembers how that money was used in lieu of firewood growing up all through her childhood.

There was secret police. People ratted people out to curry favour with the ruling regime. People disappeared in the middle of the night. There was governmental meddling…but my grandfather still ran it and ran it from his house.

He may not have been super-rich the way he was at his height of power, but he was still extremely wealthy in a Communist regime.

And people still went to him.

The end of war did not end the black market. Communism did not end it, either. Nothing ended it because there will always be a supply to meet a demand.

People in positions of power went to him; so did Yugoslavia’s middle class. People still lined up.

Nothing changed. He made an adjustment here and there. He still had his own legal fishing operation. He still had an exotic zoo in his house, complete with a monkey, rare chickens, and whatever exotic animal caught his fancy.

He was a player in war. He was a player in peace.

The difference was it was easier to keep bountiful supplies in peace than it was during war, just as it will be easier to keep the supply for pot bountiful in when it is not illegal, then when was when it was.

And there was absolutely no trouble before.

The demand will be the same. People have always talked openly about it, and bragged to their nerdy friends. As I have said, this is a nerdcore drug for the jittery middle class: it is just the middle class bought the Hollywood hype that this was some sort of forbidden, badass fruit, and the myth gave them the illusion that even the nerdy accountant, lawyer, professor, and librarian can “break the rules.”

Anyone can break rules. They are made up things. Brave people break them, but so do cowards. It is done every single day millions of times.

It is turning over rules and challenging scripts that takes true bravery and active intelligence.

Any moron can break a rule. No moron can resist the lure of a self-serving narrative and ego-stroking script.

Grifters are successful with their greed and pity scams because people’s egos always get in their way. People are tripped up by their own narcissism and mental laziness, looking for hacks and cheats to be able to brag, but not do the actual legwork.

Shortcuts to paper crowns is what drives the middle class. That thinking infected journalism, and then they collapsed.

The alternative is not about rules, abiding by them or breaking them. Those are hypothetical constructs.

It is about challenging narratives and scripts with facts. It is about removing the narrative out of preset scripts — whether they are labeled “fringe”, “alternative”, or “mainstream” and then showing how amateur social hypothesis, corporate spin, or government-issued decrees are deficient next to the reality.

And in this case, all three are out of sync with that reality. The problem is what happens when people hedge bets based on the hyper-optimistic narratives and scenarios of vested interested, thinking it is a sure thing, and then gamble all of their resources and opportunities on it.

When hype is built, the level of success is illusionary, and that creates other sorts of feints and ruses to keep the fairytale going, making everything a gamble, and not a risk.

The alternative to journalism is not about spinning gambles; it is about developing strategies to assess social risks to keep a balance of reason.

Right now, journalism is dead, it has been replaced by shills and partisan mouthpieces, and we have no realistic map of the present, let alone the future…

Starting over in a Post-Journalism World, Part Forty-Six.

Canada is not a country run by adults, nor is it professional region that is observed or monitored by adults.

That is the reason we are a vassal state thanks to the pantywaists who bungled USMCA as badly as they did.

Not that we have adults at the National Post who can see it. Andrew Coyne is still in heavy denial, explaining away the truth of the deal — first by insisting on calling it the “new NAFTA”, which is silly because it is no longer “North American.”

That would imply three nations with equal footing, which it no longer is. The US comes first, then Mexico, and then Canada. USMCA is the accurate reflection in the shift. The parts are no longer whole. USMCA is truth in advertising. NAFTA is just a cowardly denial of what has happened.

But Coyne doesn’t see the obvious and sticks to a Pollyanna narrative:

To be sure, most of the language in the chapter is merely about the need for “transparency” and “reporting.” Even the strange new tripartite Macroeconomic Committee is supposed to just “monitor” and “consider” each country’s monetary and exchange rate policies. But then there’s that bit about any party being able to demand “consultations” with another whenever it suspects the latter is engaged in “competitive devaluation,” or to haul it into trade court (“dispute settlement”), with appropriate penalties imposed if it has not been “transparent” enough.

It probably doesn’t mean anything. Folks at the Bank of Canada seem unfussed by it. Still, it’s unsettling to see such intrusive language in a trade agreement, especially at the behest of an administration with such a tenuous, paranoid grasp of trade and monetary policy as this one.

If that had one ounce of truth to it, the US wouldn’t have fought so hard to make shallow cosmetic changes, and Canadian negotiators wouldn’t have tried to fight and resist as hard as they did. The US do not waste resources or would have bothered on wording. They are about action. Canada are the fantasizers who find comfort in symbolism.

Wording can be spun and interpreted, and vague terms are often prime for loopholes and creative interpretations where the losing side feels relieved and is lulled into thinking they dodged a bullet, while the victor is thinking several moves ahead and has a strategy that comes after the pigeon thinks everything will go back to normal.

I do not appeal to authority. Authority didn’t see Trump or Brexit, or many other things. You have to look at multiple factors, from history, case studies, and street level gossip — something both academia and journalism perpetually fail to do.

But so does our own federal leadership. We have an incompetent prime minister scolding Quebec for wanting to have people wait until they are 21 years old before they can buy weed because that will create a black market.

Only Justin Trudeau would think of something that stupid and utter it in public.

Aside from the fact that the human brain does not fully develop until your early to mid-twenties (obviously something his own brain has never achieved), the Prime Minister’s warning is merely a manipulative manoeuvre to try to blame Quebec for something his government has already failed to do: stop any black market for weed.

For starters, there is already a black market. They are not going to go away. Second, they sell more than just weed, and it is not as if everyone who snorts cocaine or injects heroin is just going to give it all up and go for a softcore drug. Only someone who has no connect with reality would think it.

And the black market sells more than just drugs. They also are the place that deal with prostitution, weapons, and stolen goods. Their currency is stolen art, among other things. They target young teenagers, not eighteen-year-olds.

The prime minister can spew garbage to deflect attention away from the fact that an awful lot of people at all levels of government were heavily investing in cannabis enterprises, and there may be a lot other questionable, if not illegal connections and skulduggery going on — meaning there was a sketchy lobby going on all this time that the Canadian news media did not bother to report — but no, let us wag a patronizing finger at Quebec for trying to do something sensible other than give nervous pills to a dysfunctional middle class at an age where habits formed tend to be life-long chains that hold people back.

Canada has a himbo for a leader who lacks a moral compass who seems to be working overtime in altering young people’s minds.

But Canadian journalists are asleep at the wheel — they are always making excuses for his repeated screw-ups and dubious decisions.

Had they had investigative journalists — the first question they would ask — for any change in governmental direction — would be who is behind this push?

Journalists were not supposed to hold the hands of the fragile and jittery middle class — they were supposed to keep them awake by showing the facts.

Not the easy to get facts of statistics or press releases.

But the hard and secret facts of who is connected to whom, who is lobbying, who is bribing, bullying, and blackmailing.

The alternative to journalism exposes the tangled webs hidden from the public. WikiLeaks had the right idea, but they lacked the ability to connect to a mainstream audience. I mused about this problem in one of my fictional novellas. WikiLeaks lacked social graces, throwing information at people with anger rather than presenting facts with reason.

If we had the journalistic alternative, Trudeau would be having hard questions to answer long ago. Instead, the press here doted on him and gave him a free pass, and he in return, made damage this country will never recover from decades from now.

The sky isn’t falling. That is not what does people in.

It is when the ground slowly erodes when grains start getting away from you until they form the quicksand that drags you in because you became adjusted and numbed to the very warning signs that danger is approaching.

That is one of journalism’s greatest failures: the inability to foresee problems.

But the alternative does not have to fall for the same ruses or play the same games…

Reviews of When Journalism was a Thing...

Some are not thrilled with the book, for from those who understand what needs to be done…

REVIEWS & ENDORSEMENTS

Timely and needed analysis of the media relation to our common world. Perhaps since medium really became a message the trouble started. Propaganda-based broadcasting and writing was an exception (or a rule reserved only for tabloid-media) until the news and opinion became a product. Until that time one could expect from serious journalist informed opinion and balanced judgement. The young generation of media workers do not know about these standards. It is being attracted often by quick fame (social media) rather than work for common good. Ms Kitty elaborates on the problem brilliantly. Anyone who perceives herself or himself as an intelligent person should familiarise themselves with "When Journalism was a Thing". ~ Ben Goldberg, Journalist 

A very timely book at a era when journalism and journalists are being attacked as fake news,this is a clear concise look at what journalists do & how important their jobs are.Young journalists should grab this book anyone interested in free presses role wil find this book well worth reading. ~ Rhonda Lomazow , NetGalley

As a lover in investigative journalism, I wanted to learn about the author's take on the rise and fall of general journalism. Journalism is still everything, yet to some it has become like a joke.. Kitty explores the downfall of the profession and presents a solid strategy for its resurrection. Informative read! ~ Erica Watkins, NetGalley

Growing up in a journalist’s home and having been a journalist myself, I was keen to read When Journalism was a Thing. As a profession, journalism used to be a powerful, positive force, one many young people aspired to pursue, especially after The Washington Post broke the Watergate scandal and helped to depose a President. The advent and explosive growth of digital, however, relegated print to a red-haired stepchild position or worse ... changing the face of journalism forever. And the evolution from a truth-seeking entity to a biased ratings-driven hack has destroyed the profession’s credibility, claims author Alexandra Kitty. Kitty, who has published three books, including Don’t Believe It!: How Lies Become News, and Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism, explains the forces that led to the death of “old journalism” while offering a model for a new version she believes can be noble again. She says, “It will take humility, honesty, idealism, and most of all, bravery to make the bold revolutionary changes ... where the battle for truth [not ratings] counts the most.” Highly recommended! ~ Literary Soiree, NetGalley

Starting over in a Post-Journalism World, Part Forty-Five.

I love the beginning of the New York Post article on their snooty cousins the New York Times:

The New York Times is scrambling to quell a staff rebellion at its metro desk after the section’s editor, Cliff Levy, unleashed a blistering e-mail to staffers last week, saying the section had “lost its footing” and was in need of “urgent” change.

The News Guild of New York, which represents the 40-plus journalists in the section, called Levy’s memo a “public fragging” by Times management and said his offer of “voluntary” buyouts as the section became more Web-focused was “an unexpected threat to our journalism and our jobs.”

The New York Times has needed a reality check for a very long time. The old guard is being pushed out for cheaper and younger models who do not cost as much to product dreck, but the stubborn ways of the profession always mystified me as the dead of the profession was more than just entirely avoidable: it was easy to correct in the first place.

But the Times already admits defeat. Print will be replaced by digital? I doubt digital will last as long as Big Tech pretends it will — so what happens to journalism?

It’s dead: you have pseudo-journalism right now. Partisan dreck in disguise as journalism with fewer people using the product because it is too gossipy to be of use.

But we are seeing more than just print publications die. Even those with an online presence, such as the Stratford Star are bidding adieu:

After more than 24 years of publication, Stratford Star will cease operations, effective this week. “Due to economic forces buffeting our industry we are rescaling our business again . The recent volatility of the newsprint market made our options clear,” said Martin V. Hersam, Publisher and CEO of HAN Network, owners of the Star and 11 other weekly papers and websites. “The best efforts of our incredible staff and years of strategic planning, retooling and restructuring we could not overcome the economic realities of tepid advertising and subscriber interest in this market. We just could not sustain a publishing business here any longer,” Hersam continued. The company will continue to publish its other weekly newspapers — the Darien Times, New Canaan Advertiser, Wilton Bulletin, Ridgefield Press, Milford Mirror, Trumbull Times and Shelton Herald. However, four other sister publications — The Easton Courier, Weston Forum, Redding Pilot, and Monroe Courier — are being closed as well. “Stratford, like the other markets we are exiting, is a wonderful town with remarkable residents and we enjoyed being their print and digital local news source. Newspapering is a business we truly love and it saddens us to leave after such a long run. Unfortunately we could not operate at a financial loss here any longer,” Hersam continued. 

In a booming economy, that is quite the declaration to make. They are not the only ones.

We need information the way we need sleep, shelter, and food, so why has journalism falter?

No much junk.

Not enough substance.

The alternative must be one that nourishes the mind and the heart. Facts will do both. How do people find their way?

With truth that comes from kindness, not manipulation.

It had been an easy hack for journalists and politicians to appeal to a certain segment of the middle class: but the entire planet isn’t the sheltered stay-at-mall types — male and female — who just want to brag and pretend they have reached the Promised Land.

There are people struggling with illness, poverty, discrimination, and are willing to admit this.

The alternative can never pander to those who cannot admit they are in the wrong or those who think they are perfect in their beliefs.

The newsroom uprising at the Times comes from those who lack courage to see that yes, they need to change to get themselves out of the quicksand.

The appeal to realists seems counter-intuitive, yet there are plenty of people who know they do not like where they are, and want to know why it is wrong.

If they know the problems — all of them — they can devise their escape from it.

That is all journalism ever needed to be: but its alternative can kindly and bravely pick up the slack...

Starting over in a Post-Journalism World, Part Forty-Four.

I work as an author, but also worked as a journalist, an artist, and an educator, and those three seemingly different careers have one big thing in common: they are Content careers.

Content is what people read, or learn, or see. A book without content is blank. A canvas without content is blank. A classroom without content is empty.

Musicians are also content creators. Playwrights are content creators, too, whose work animate actors to perform their works, but even actors are content creators.

Fashion designers and goldsmiths are also content creators.

And yet it is the content creators who are the least respected when it comes to the business side of industries that would not exist without content creators.

It does not matter if the work is fiction or nonfiction: there is nothing without content, but content providers are given a poor shake, often on contract work being precariously employed unless they are in the top one percent, but even that is no guarantee. Big today; broke tomorrow.

And yet those whose operations require a never-ending stream of content tend to be very well-heeled, even in bad times.

Having respect for content creators is essential to keep industries healthy, but we have yet to see industries practice what they preach. They figure the masses truly are asses, and can be told to cheer for garbage, and they will do it.

It doesn’t matter what is the content…and yet, that’s not true, either.

Content can shape and guide. It informs and opens up new worlds of thought.

But content must be the focus on journalism’s alternative. The vehicle is equally important, but should be a partnership — not seeing the providers as exploitable units who are the afterthought…

Coming Soon: Sugar Crush: A Magnus Lyme Mystery.

This is getting wrapped up as we speak, but not quite there yet.

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Magnus investigates the murder of a couple who played mind games with their lovers as her work in La Nuit heats up in Chicago, while Dwennon investigates the shocking murder of…a regular of the series…

The Victorian Left: How the Progressives regressed to the 1800s and keep retreating.

I have been told by many people that I look just like this Gibson Girl.

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It is all in the eyes and the head shape. I saw immediately myself, but kept it quiet for years, but when other people made the comment, there was no point in keeping quiet.

I have an affinity for much of the era, from Art Nouveau to Sherlock Holmes to Gibson Girls.

As a kid, I noticed something very weird: women in stories and news article were prone to weird stuff, from “hysteria” and fainting, and often needed “nervous pills”.

You didn’t read or see that kind of delicate constitutions from present day women. They didn’t faint when someone made an accusation or gave them shocking news. While people do often need to be tranquilized when they hear catastrophic news, such as the death of a child, this kind of behaviour just isn’t a thing.

Women in that era were just starting to crawl out of oppressive hell.

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And were starting to break taboos.

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Or so it seemed.

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Certain taboos weren’t all that of a stretch, but they were linked to the oppressive lives of women who could not vote, were considered their husband’s property, faced discrimination, and were forced into marriages not of their choosing, having to sacrifice their own ambitions to prop up their husband’s station.

And that took a lot of a “nervous pills” to stomach.

I was listening to News Talk 1010 the other day, where host John Moore made a snide remark that people who say they didn’t do drugs were either lying or nerds, which is ridiculous.

They are either lying, or are Victorian ladies in need of “nervous pills” to cope with the confines of a middle class life.

Because much of what is now illegal wasn’t back then, and those yummy pills those Victorian women were downing had some loopy side effects that kept them seemingly happy.

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It was the way of keeping society humming and semi-civilized.

With Canada legalizing pot, what they are doing isn’t edgy or even new.

They are merely going back in time to the Victorian era to do the same things that were done in order to keep oppressed people in their place and not question their life choices or the reasons why they were settling for exploitation and all around garbage.

But they are not the only ones.

The Leftist media and political operatives are trying to keep current, but have retreated to the same era.

#MeToo had a very 1960s civil rights vibe to it, and had that same upbeat optimism despite the dark origins.

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But then the Democrats hijacked it and turned it into some Victorian melodrama based on a whiny and mediocre Canadian propaganda novel and worse US propaganda television shows.

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The Left have been so obsessed with differentiating themselves from the Right, that ran in the wrong direction.

You are not progressing, but regressing. You are relying on archaic narratives and tropes to make some non-existent point.

The fun and youthful spirit that was once an integral part of Left ideology has been replaced by old-fashioned wallowing, and I am surprised we do not have marches with people fainting.

They can come to Canada to get legal nervous pills.

Once upon a time, when the Left felt adrift, they licked their wounds by channeling the 1960s and bounced back.

But this time, they went in some other, peculiar, and very unhelpful direction.

Part of the reason is that the Left was overtaken by limousine liberals who look down on hippies, and go-go dancers are now seen as overtly sexualized, and like the staidness and caste system of that bygone era.

The other reason is fear. In their minds, they are facing a monster with many heads, and instead of a sensible and brave resolution that involves creating new strategies and playbooks, they are looking for some other symbolic milestone and the suffragists are it.

It is a grave error in judgement because they are retreating and going all by themselves to the very place they fear the Right will drag them, and even willingly dressing the part.

And why they are in need of nervous pills.

Starting over in a Post-Journalism World, Part Forty-Three.

That Western media trounces on people who do not think like them is an understatement. That lockstep mentality is everywhere, and it is only since the rise of social media where people are attempting with varying degrees of success to challenge it, but even now, the we see babble mouths on CNN flung dung on Kanye West because his politics isn’t perfectly aligned to what it is “supposed” to be.

Serbs have always been an enigma to the West for the no filter mouths and bluntness with regards to pointing out reality. This does not sit well, particularly with people on the Left who are addicted to praise and fawning over their so-called “progressive” views.

This isn’t just a North American problem. Western Europe is equally merciless when it comes to people who are rebellious and independent by nature. If you are not on your knees, praising them as the genius next messiah, then you have to be broken and reconditioned to see that they have your best interests all along.

If you believe I am exaggerating, look no further than NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg’s recent speech to Belgrade University students, telling them point blank that NATO bombed Serbs to “save them.”:

“I stressed that we did this to protect civilians and to stop the Milosevic regime.”

No, you did it because you are violent control freaks who wanted to break people who fought for their very survival.

This psychopathic speech did not go over well, but Mr. Stoltenberg’s arrogance was ignored in the Western media.

NATO very well knew that (a) foreign mercenaries came into the country and committed heinous atrocities, (b) that prisons were unguarded and murderers and rapists were free to do whatever they please, (c) that several prominent PR firms were spreading misinformation — fake news — which the Western press bought regardless of how fake the accusations were, (d) that the leaders of Croatia and Bosnia-Hercegovina had fascist and bigoted ideology and were open with it, penning works that would be considered hate speech anywhere else in the Western world, and (e) it was outrageous for the West to allow provinces to break away, but then not allow Serbs who owned land in these regions to join Serbia as they did not wish to separate (and if anyone makes any excuse should see Western politicians and media’s about-face when it is their own backsides in questionincluding former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien. So let us not play make pretend).

So no, the bombing was criminal and unjustified. NATO would have seen the same video footage I did from the region even before the war, where Serbs went to find remains of their dead from the Second World War in Croatia, only to exposed to graffiti that warned them they ought to come back to join their ancestors in those unmarked graves. They knew the traumas Serbs went through in that same war, where there were even concentration camps to keep Serbian children. In the Second World War, the Croatian Ustashi gleefully too photographs of their torture and murder of Serbs — and it happened again in the Civil War of the 1990s.

NATO knew all of it, and they chose a side, and bombed civilians because they could get away with it, and they did not like the rebellious Serbs who would not play by the chauvinist rigged rules of the West.

And that chauvinism continues to this day.

Beogradski Sindikat is a Serbian hip hop group, and they uploaded a video on YouTube depicting the burning of Serbian churches — and although the video is staged, this is in reference to real acts of hate crimes.

YouTube allows all sorts of violent images, except they do not like when Serbs make songs that describe the hate crimes that are committed against them.

And it is this confirmation bias that perpetually dooms Serbs to be stuck in a vortex where they can be harmed, but it is either ignored, dismissed, censored, explained away, or they are villainized.

I know because my maternal grandmother’s family were slaughtered in concentration camps in the Second World War, and I have had people shout over me at the first mention, with more than one person telling me, “So what?”.

When I wrote letters to media outlets regarding their skewed coverage during the civil war in the former Yugoslavia, that “so what”? was uttered to me by phone when I pointed out that Serbs had been the victims of atrocities during that conflict.

So what.

As Serbs were labelled the Bad Guys, then was perfectly normal to say “so what”? when their children were slaughtered.

And I was witness to it. The level of abuse I took from Western journalists, producers, and editors when I pointed out the lies and inconsistencies in their stories is not something many people can actually appreciate.

When confronted with evidence that what they reported was a lie, they denied it.

It is the reason I became a journalist. I realized as a teenager that the Western media was no better than any other one.

I wanted to see precisely how this kind of mind games worked, so it could be countered within the industry, but then social media rolled along, and then journalism collapsed.

But just because we don’t use 8-tracks or cassettes or even CDs or vinyl much anymore, doesn’t mean the world gave up on music.

We still do. We just have a different way of doing it. We stream, but we also go to see them live in concert.

So journalism is the 8-track. It is not the end of the world that they failed.

F.R.E.E.D. is something different. It doesn’t spin yarns. It weaves mosaics.

And it doesn’t say “so what”? when people who suffered have a message to tell…

Rich, Establishment Democrats issue decrees to the little people to fight their battles for them.

Perennial grudge-holder Hillary Clinton inciting the little people to be uncivilized, something her and her equally boorish husband are experts in.

Another well-heeled Establishment Democrat Eric Holder is walking lockstep with that narrative, also telling said little people to “kick low”, as if the Democrats aren’t doing it already with their propaganda memes and Machiavellian fear-mongering to incite people to fight their wars.

That’s right, little middle class people, go fight some wealthy Establishment-types wars for them: get arrested, blacklisted, imprisoned, and even killed so those fat cats can waddle back into power at your expense.

Notice how they keep their manicured hands clean.

Western civilization is highly uncivilized to begin with, and no wonder: you have people in power babble and spew, behaving as if they are owed positions of power. Delusions of grandeur enabled by a yokel press and an unworldly flock.

The sour grapes pouting on the Left has got to stop before they lose their credibility in the bargain. Inciting a pampered middle class demographic is not going to work because that group are hoping some group called They will do the heavy lifting for them.

The Left are becoming increasingly unhinged because Donald Trump has their number, and is cranking calling them to their perpetual humiliation. Former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien is trying his best to spin a narrative that isn’t true:

Chrétien says Americans made 'a monumental error' when they elected Donald Trump

'People don't take them seriously anymore,' the former prime minister tells CBC News

Oh, they take him more than seriously: other world leaders are afraid of him, and for good reason. He is a far superior strategist than the sleepwalkers who coasted on pandering to the sheltered middle class who make pouty faces at homelessness, crime, and anything icky. They got off on the bored housewife/husband dreck of happy, feel-good cheerleading where everyone gets a gold star and no one loses.

Then came Trump and stomped on their false paradise, and they are incapable of fighting back.

They are not street fighters or strategists. They are vain sycophants and weasels who bribe the electorate with suburban goodies. This has been the crib notes for the Left, and now they are paying the price, trying to put a Bad Guy spin on poor and blue collar people by labelling them “populist” (read: fascist).

The Left have insulated themselves from different perspectives and now their tunnel vision isn’t allowing them to see the landscape where Trump owns their collective backside. These were the nerdy children who fantasized about getting vindication and eternally punishing those who didn’t applaud them, and that fantasy world is killing the Left.

The problem is their corrupt mindset has infected their operative institutions across the board: journalism, entertainment, and academia are all equally dense.

They, for instance, do not understand how they lost the Kavanaugh row. One Canadian professor thought she had a clue:

Democrats, on the other hand, attempted to combine the momentum of the #MeToo movement with distrust by progressives of Kavanaugh’s position on reproductive rights to generate enough rage to convince moderate Republican senators like Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski to vote against their party. 

She goes back to it a little bit later::

The attempt to prevent Kavanaugh’s nomination failed because Democrats bet on the energy of #MeToo to supplement the power they actually held in the hope that they could destabilize the Republican Senate majority. This was a foolish wager.

The #MeToo movement is not a political movement. As a slogan and rallying cry it has galvanized an incredible amount of energy, affect — and profit — around enumerable policy projects, many of which are internally inconsistent. Furthermore, it is not clear that many of these policies are progressive or liberal in any discernible sense.

The Democrats did something far more conniving than that: they hijacked #MeToo, and then re-invented it to suited their own narrative. They delegated women into the role of damsel in distress, who were victims of a dastardly villain.

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And with that single move, the Democrats proved they weren’t for feminism or progressive values. They just use it as a threat to keep their flock in check.

The trauma of November 2016 on the Left should not be underestimated: it cause them to be frozen in a spiteful vortex. The soft and sheltered ways of their pampered Establishment were rudely intruded on by reality, and their sophistry led them astray.

They have not come to grips with the reasons they lost: they were intellectually weak and predictable, and Trump was chaotic, innovative, ingenious, and a strategist who pulled the veil on their hidden weaknesses that they still believe they can explain away.

That is the reason journalism collapsed in North America. They don’t get that they are to blame for their own demise. Academia are still insulated and keep spewing the same sophistry that did in journalism. The politicians on the Left have no new original ideas and are now getting their sorry backsides whipped by Trump who won because he was an outsider who brought a fresh perspective into the equation.

For feminists, their interests are not being served by the Left, and it is high time women created a new political party: they will get trounced on in the beginning, but they need to be trounced on so that they become awakened to the reality of the battlefield. If you don’t want to keep losing, then you had better let go of your fairy princess narratives and face reality in order to understand the truth.

That is what journalism needed to do, but didn’t, and now they are reduced to being dead clowns who allowed rich people to incite the masses for their own self-entitled ends.

Nothing is working for the Left and had they dropped the vindictive temper tantrums and started modifying their own views and behaviours, they would have bounced back from losing a single election months ago.

They chose to be stubborn, thinking their stupidity was important to keep because their pride wouldn’t let them see the truth. Clinton lost because she wasn’t capable of winning, and someone should tell her to get off the stage before the crowds get wise to her schemes…

Memo to the Chronicle Herald: Grow up, children. And start thinking like adults.

Canadian journalism is run by unsophisticated hayseeds, small town, big city, they are all shallow and sheltered clodhoppers who honestly think they can sound learned as their logic flies in the face of actual reality. They do not see the obvious and are so self-absorbed that they are blind to things until it hits them square int the crotch.

In this case, it was Donald Trump who kicked Justin Trudeau in the privates with USMCA.

The Chronicle Herald is having a meltdown, and this puerile column is both amusing — and disturbing.

The beginning shows the global ignorance of the author:

If there’s one lesson learned from scrapping with the United States over trade, it’s that Canada needs to find new partners and new places to do business. It’s time to move on, because America might never be cured of its malignant Trumpism.

Canada had decades to find them. They always slacked and saw an easy hack on depending on the US. But here is where the unworldliness begins to bleat:

The talks for a new NAFTA exposed what President Donald Trump is doing to his formerly respected country. He is making it repellent.

No.

Not at all.

The US has done all sorts of unspeakable things to other nations for decades, all in the name of “democracy.” They bombed countries. They starved them with economic sanctions. They meddled in their elections outright.

So this is nothing new. The only difference was Canada, a nation that chose to turn a blind eye and be a faithful lapdog happily running with the US, is now becoming the recipient of their dark side.

It was all wonderful and glorious when the US did those sorts of things to other people. Canada just nodded, applauded, and went along, never considering what would happen if they were in the US’s hot seat.

So spare me this whiny emo rant. It is like a naive women who dates a man who has beaten, fleeced, and cheated on a string of other girlfriends, but she think she is so special, that he will won’t ever do those things to her.

Sorry, fairy princess, you aren’t all that, either, and an abuser abuses, no matter who you are.

But the blindness goes unchallenged in this temper tantrum:

That’s the only conclusion after hearing Trump’s threats about “the ruination” of Canada if it failed to kowtow to him and about how he could “punish the people of Canada.” He also remarked on how our prime minister is “very dishonest and weak.”

And Trump was right in his assessment. He didn’t give up US sovereignty. Trudeau gave up Canada’s; so why are you angry at Trump, and not the one who blinked?

The stupidity continues:

So we have a tentative new trade agreement, but life with the Americans is never going to be the same again. Nor should it be. They can’t be trusted and it isn’t just Trump.

You just realize this now? It was okay for other countries to be broken into submission, but not Canada? Canada enabled this behaviour for decades.

The tirade knows no end:

The president is the least trustworthy major political figure in memory among the advanced democracies. But his tame Republicans support him to the hilt. None will criticize Trump or his poisonous behaviour, presumably because they believe that arrogance and lies are what Americans want.

Hello! The US has done this sort of thing for decades. What cave do you live in?

I will leave with one more hayseed observation because this is a highly unreadable piece of tripe:

Trump also has his fan cult, with its rallies and paraphernalia; its chants and its aura of barely contained violence. Members demand the kind of lies and arrogance you can only get from Trump.

No, not just one president.

Remember those fake “weapons of mass destruction”? They didn’t exist, but it didn’t stop the US from deciding how a foreign government was going to fall.

Or the destruction of Serbia that was instigated by multiple PR firm’s bullshit stories that only a moron would believe?

Or those imaginary Kuwaiti babies in incubators that sparked another invasion?

Canada is lucky they haven’t been slapped with sanctions or invaded for our natural resources.

Justin Trudeau played a game he is not savvy or brave enough to win. He is in a job he has no qualifications for — and the USMCA proved it. The fault isn’t Trump. He looked out after his nation’s interest. Trudeau did not — and he and Chrystia Freeland are entirely responsible for this fiasco. If they thought they were going to dictate to the US what their environmental and gender policies were going to be through negotiations, then they are knuckleheads. No one tells the US what they are going to do because they have a plan and they stick to it.

The only difference between Trump and all of his predecessors is that he realized three things:

  1. Journalism is dead.

  2. The Left are all talk and chest-thumping.

  3. Canada is expendable.

I knew all of these things prior to the US election. If this realist saw the obvious, so did the one who captured the White House. Canada has been living in a perpetually deluded state of ignorance, and thought they had charmed the US.

And Trump told the world in no uncertain terms that he wasn’t buying. For the last year, he challenged Canada’s old narratives, and put the feds on notice that he wasn’t having any of it. Or regime thought they could preen and strut by “standing up” to Trump, and they grossly misread their mark and overestimated their own cunning.

You elect leaders to do the heavy lifting. That is what they are sent to the country’s highest office to do. They are not their to vogue or babble: they are there to ensure your nation is kept safe from all sorts of harm.

Canada has no business and no right to blame Trump: he is not their president. He has no obligation to wipe our noses. Trudeau, on the other hand, is directly responsible. He is the one who has to answer to his people why he screwed up as badly as he did. His point woman has zero experience in negotiations — and that is not something you can wing. Her incompetence glared, and the entire nation paid the price.

This was federal regime’s error. They were full of themselves going in, and Trump won because of it.

You cannot keep blaming a foreign leader for your domestic nincompoopity.

But Canadian journalists hate bad news. It is the way of the unsophisticated who want happy, happy news, meaning they want other people to be bothered with the hard labour and grunt work.

But reality doesn’t have to abide by their sheltered logic…

Starting over in a Post-Journalism World, Part Forty-Two.

The latest CJF J-Talk is the usual teenage angst-fest:

State of Media: Survival Strategies in the Age of Misinformation

No, they are not looking at why they ruined their own industry, but are looking for various bogeymen to blame while they wear a halo:

Journalists and media organizations around the world are under siege from misinformation fed by social media and an antagonistic U.S. president. How should journalism and democracy respond to this dual challenge? How can journalists ensure truth overrides false information? How should they respond to public attacks and historic levels of mistrust? At the same time, many media are seeking sustainable business models and some are asking: can blockchain technology provide security for the future of journalism?

I love this — journalists are “under siege” by the Bad Guys.

How do you respond to “public attacks”?

How about dropping the narcissistic and paranoid attitude first.

This is akin to doctors who were all self-taught whining that they are being under attack by the patients they hacked.

Seriously?

You have no science behind your research, and when the citizenry got university degrees, you are surprised that people are critical of your sloppy, partisan methods and don’t trust you?

You spew war propaganda as if this isn’t a psychopathic thing to do, and you have the nerve to wonder why you are reviled?

These are not the days where people were lucky to have a highs school degree, and your stories sounded right to them. These are not the days where you were the only ones with access to a mass market. These are not the days where there are no alternative voices who can shatter your narratives.

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You have allowed lies the sparked wars to go unchallenged.

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And you have been the perpetrators of fake news for a very long time.

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And you never learn.

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No contrition for making gross errors.

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Or having conflict of interests by owning a PR firm as you work in the news.

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And letting people who plagiarize stay on your payroll.

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They were allowed to spark wars and invasions with empty phrases and no proof.

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Or making up emotionally manipulative stories that won prestigious awards.

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And committing all sorts of other transgressions.

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Even sexual harassment.

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And got away with it for decades.

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And held power as they did it.

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And I could parade many, many more faces.

I wrote books on media deception.

Well-researched books of confirmed cases, and I went into the profession to find out the truth.

So why is journalism dead?

Simple: they so richly earned it.

But the alternative to journalism can never play those same games.

Denial is a game for cowards, and the fearful can only produce excuses.

And there is no room for it when you are dealing with facts…

Starting over in a Post-Journalism World, Part Forty-One.

The Toronto Star’s John Honderich is at it again, using a news product to lobby the government to give the dead profession free money with this noxious column:

Where is Ottawa’s help for Canada’s newspapers?

Where is Ottawa’s help? Memo to John Honderich: they don’t owe you any money. If you are unable to connect with people, that is your problem. We have homeless youth littering the streets of Toronto, and the federal government owes those children salvation.

You blowhards are adults who had a million chances to get yourselves up to code. You didn’t, and now you want someone else to enable your delusions with cash. Forget it.

This passage is interesting:

Yet in the past decade, at least 137 community and local newspapers have folded or ceased publication. This, in turn, has led to the creation of “news deserts” where some communities are left with no news outlet at all. Many others are struggling desperately to stay afloat.

Give me a break. This is such a distortion of facts that it isn’t funny.

I worked for newspapers here in Canada, the first being the Burlington Post. The stories in those local newspapers were happy, happy soft news junk. It is not as if local papers were in the habit of uncovering real items. They covered photo ops of local corrupt politicians. They never bothered pointing out the open affairs they were having and how they rewarded their mistresses with patronage appointments, for instance. There is a casting couch in politics, and one I had witnessed as a j-school student, no less. Reporters gossiped in the corridors of City Hall about a “Council Bunny”, but none of them actually reported on it or named names.

Social media wasn’t around back then, but even in the mid-1990s, you couldn’t give local papers away for free. People were not going to spring for happy advertorials and soft news.

Social media came along and supplanted that dreck, and people informed themselves, making those newspapers useless and they shut down because that “news poverty” and “news dessert” was happening long before social media. The difference is that local businesses had no other venues to advertise, and funded those empty shells. Once those same businesses could crowdfund and advertise on Facebook and Instagram as well as Google, Trip Advisor, and Yelp, they finally had an out. Classifieds were replaced by Kijiji, and an antiquated system was dropped for something far more effective.

It is a Darwinian world. Survival of the fittest, and newspapers weren’t fit. It is a natural law, and dura lex sed lex still applies. Journalism’s de haut en bas attitude blinded the profession from seeing the obvious, and now they are paying the price.

The government is already bailing out countless anemic industries in this country; they don’t need to bail you out as well. Journalism is replaceable, and no government should fund it because the government is the most powerful and corrupt of all our institutionalized monsters, and we don’r need their meddling in it.

The alternative cannot be dependent on the government or beholden to it. Canada has always had difficulty taking actual risks without a safety net. The alternative must be done by bootstrapping alone: using whatever resources you have to make it happen.

In the US, many successful people who broke out that way advocate it, and bootstrapping is a concept that would serve journalism’s alternative well: when you owe no favours, it is that much easier to get rid of our filters and speak the truth unedited...

Starting over in a Post-Journalism World, Part Forty.

As the Toronto Star flounders and gags at the very thought that their mortal enemy Doug Ford got a majority, it is trying to pretend it is doing something real, and it is boasting it joined a clubhouse of misfits called the Trust Project.

Whoop di do. Now that makes it all better that you joined a self-proclaimed non-innovative and non-scientific clubhouse as you refuse to acknowledge all of your sins. Now we are all impressed.

The Globe and Mail bragged about being a part of this farce a while ago, but they are still churning out trash; so it is not like wearing this little scout badge does anything. It didn’t stop them from writing an abusive headline about a murdered First Nations teenaged girl, for instance or got rid of their serial plagiarizing columnist; so let us not play make pretend.

This is a desperate ploy by lazy connivers who think that making up a new paper crown is going to trick people into believing them enough to read them again. They still use their newspaper to write self-adoring advertorials lobbying the government to give them money.

But what is the “Trust Project”?

A worthless paper crown. I love how it describes itself:

The Trust Project, a consortium of top news companies led by award-winning journalist Sally Lehrman, is developing transparency standards that help you easily assess the quality and credibility of journalism.

No, you are a cabal of the same cabal of arrogant blowhards who destroyed journalism, and now are like Boris Badenov, trying to change your disguise, but doing the same things you have always done.

You cannot develop “transparency” as you have no empirical background in doing so. You are partisan; ergo, you are about narrative, and if you were truly what you proclaim to be, you wouldn’t be telling the little people how great you are.

This isn’t scientific. This isn’t real. This is a make work program for people who have antiquated models of gathering information.

And really, if you have media outlets all joining the same organization, they are all walking lockstep with each other, meaning there is no independent or original thought.

It is the same pack behaviour journalists always stoop to because they have no idea what their job is and how to do it.

The alternative is not about scout badges or paper crowns. It is not about tin foil titles and bullshit stories.

It is about facts. That’s it. That is the atom. Not trying to sell people the same lemon they broke down in the first place…

Memo to the Atlantic: The Left and Journalism find community by rejoicing in the suffering of those they hate and fear, too. Who do you weasels think you are kidding?

I am not someone on the Right.

I am not someone on the Left.

You are not going to tell me where I am going to stand.

You are not going to dictate or shame me in how to think.

You are not going to make up rules, draw a line in the sand, and then honestly expect me to play childish games with you that you rigged to place yourself on top of a fake pecking order. It is the equivalent of playing Got Your Nose.

You want to bicker and rage puke, go ahead. If you are some petty and nerdy control freak who must morally masturbate in public and turn life into some annoying little competition so that everyone’s attention is deflected away from living their lives so they have to indulge you and do everything to your majesty’s exacting and self-serving specifications, see a shrink, not me.

I am a Radical Centrist, and there is a difference between being a Centrist (a fence sitter), and a Radical Centrist (a political atheist).

A Radical Centrist is not taken in by the smoke and mirror games of the Confirmation Bias, nor does a Radical Centrist ignore structure and propaganda.

There is no one ideology, narrative, belief, or value, or mindset that is flaw-proof. That’s why we debate, research, experiment, and test those beliefs, find the current flaws, change, alter, drop, refine, and improve them.

And that is what a Radical Centrist does: keep finding the centre of gravity and maintain the balance of reason.

If journalism was actual journalism, that would be what you would find in stories: a centre of gravity. You would have sensibility, rationality, and it would not pander to ideologues who are too stupid to know they have become ideologues or enable the delusions of people who think their life requirements and perceptions of reality are the only things that count in the universe.

But journalism became the preachers to an extremist cult. They villainize people and groups with no regard of the long-term consequences of their behaviour.

Which brings us to the pretentious propaganda rag The Atlantic.

They had the nerve to publish this drivel:

The Cruelty Is the Point

President Trump and his supporters find community by rejoicing in the suffering of those they hate and fear.

And it hasn’t been the point for journalists and the Left?

Do not tell lies.

Ever since Trump was a serious contender for president — and ever since, the press and the Left have had a very sick and twisted vendetta, throwing epic fits because they could not fool all of the people all of the time. They have been actively provoking civil conflicts and openly musing about having a civil war.

Inciting people to murder is as cruel as it gets.

You have faux bored housewife/husband “Resistance” movements, for what? You lost one election. You are not in a “Resistance”: you are in soggy underpants. Please change because your attitude stinks.

And what have the press and the Left thrown from those soiled diapers in Trump’s direction: they have called him a fascist, mentally ill, a traitor, a sadist, someone who has dementia, stupid, and have made sick comments about his relationship with his daughter, because heaven forbid a father admires what his female child has become, and said even sicker things about his youngest.

The amount of hate puke coming from the Left who have become pontifical pricks who have some sort of default assumption that they are even more perfect than the gods they pretend they do not believe in.

The vitriol coming from Hollywood is precious. You are an industry that lies, cheats, and steals, all while you sexually exploit women and children, mistreat animals, destroy the self-esteem of people, are stoned out of your minds, and have been indoctrinating the public to glorify racism, misogyny, xenophobia, and violence for decades with your narcissism — and you call out Trump?

Nice try.

And journalists. Where do I begin? Cribbing from press releases, lying, exaggerating, distorting, and inciting hatred and fear — why are you resentful of him? Because he has more power than you knuckle-draggers do now?

Finally, the Democrats. You never actually do a thing for feminism, but keep frightening the womanfolk into voting for you so they can have abortions. This may come as a huge shock to you fat cats, but if the only thing you can offer is that, you failed women.

I am pro-choice, but you also had Bill Clinton in office, and you all behave as if his behaviour was normal.

The Left in the US and Canada remind me of the old saying that people who point a finger of blame at someone have three fingers pointing back at them.

The article is pure propaganda that uses a confirmation bias to the extreme. American politics has always been ideologically violent and primitive. Left, Right, it doesn’t matter, the entire system is filled with hate and fear. Vote for us or you’ll all be slaves!

And the Atlantic feeds into the wicked fire with garbage essays like that one.

Instead of finding a psychologically healthy alternative that has cooperation and ideological tolerance that shuns pecking orders, we just have small and petty minds try to keep the sickness of pseudo-democracy going long past its best before date…

Memo to Elle: Propagandistic cheerleading cannot hide the stench of incompetence. And memo to the New Yorker: You don't prints maybes. You print truth.

Elle magazine had a recent article on Jane Mayer and her disastrous article she wrote with Ronan Farrow for the New Yorker about Brett Kavanaugh, and it began with this propagandistic headline:

The New Yorker's Jane Mayer Is Holding the World's Most Powerful Men Accountable

The article sounds as if it was churned out by a publicist and has the usually drooling and fawning narative, but it is this passage that is very instructive:

Knowing this is why Ronan Farrow and I were so alert to the significance of other accusers, such as Deborah Ramirez. Her allegation showed that, if true, yes, there was a pattern of misconduct, and likely another side of the judge.

This is not an actual investigative journalistic spewing. This is a gambler hedging her bets, and this is an open admission of being a crusading propagandist.

Just because you have a series of accusations, you do not automatically assume every one is truth.

In my first book, I outlined numerous cases where amid the multiple accusations of victimization (not sexual assault or harassment, but other forms of abuse that struck at men and women, regardless of race) , there often was one case that was fabricated, but the person hoped to slip it in and thought no one would look into every accusation.

Middle Class Ideology is binary in nature: it is all or nothing. Either everything is to be believed, or none. It is The One Rule That Explains Everything, and you can never make assumptions about the whole until you look at each part to verify. This is the economic caste that recoils at independent and active critical thinking and expertise that may cause social humiliation if they are different or wrong, and merely wants a TORTEE so they can blend in and never be wrong. Yes, it always matters if there is a chance of someone being falsely accused, even if it is one percent. That is the reason we must dig for facts so that the right people are punished and that genuine victims do not have to shake because their attacker is free.

In my book, I went over case studies where there were a pat of genuine hate crimes, but then one person got it in their heads to stage it, thinking there could be a class action lawsuit, for instance, and then betting on being believed because there were real cases of it happening.

But then there was the Pepsi tainted can scare of the 1980s, where there were hundreds of reported cases of tainted cans, but then none turned out to be real.

Had the New Yorker been responsible, they would not have gone with the story as it stood. It was a big nothing because there were no facts or anchors. But this was a case of banking on Ronan Farrow’s past successes, but all of those stories were different in that he found corroborating evidence. This was a rush job, and the New Yorker hedged their bets as well, slipping a weak story hoping the previous strong one would prop it up.

What it did was draw attention to the weaknesses of the accusations. Contrast those accusations to those that of the women who were assaulted by Bill Cosby who drugged them. Even though there was variances in their stories, there were specific common threads. It is normal for there to be differences: when everything sounds alike, that is when a red flag suggests collusion and rehearsing.

The problem with the Kavanaugh accusations is that all had the same vagueness of details in the same places. There is something off, and I find it a peculiar common thread — that, and these stories all came out at the same time, even though Kavanaugh’s nomination had been publicized long before the hearings.

It is the reason I strongly suspect that #MeToo was hijacked, co-opted and re-imagined for political gain by people in power. This is no longer a grassroots movement, but war propaganda, and it warrants further examination. When a social movement becomes overtaken by an Establishment entity, it is misused with those trying to fight for equality first becoming exploited before being discarded and discredited.

I have said for a long time that women have a serious problem and that is twofold: (a) they have very little experience in holding power, meaning they are blind to nuances and can make bigger and more devastating errors because you cannot fake it as you have no experience and are tethered by the strategically illiterate Middle Class Ideology, and (b) there are no war manuals for women.

The Kavanaugh Hearings was an unmitigated disaster for #MeToo, made worse by the New Yorker article. Once cooler heads prevail, the fallout will even be worse: how did such irresponsible reportage be allowed to go unchallenged and unchecked prior to its publication and allowed partisan propaganda hijack the industry as well as a legitimate social movement?

If you had concrete facts, it would be one thing. Men such as Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer, Les Moonves, and Bill Cosby were all brought down by multiple legitimate accusations that were backed up by those predator’s underlings, witnesses, victim’s friends, family, lawyers, and colleagues — despite the predator’s wealth and resources were employed by his best efforts to cover up his sins.

The Establishment Democrats had no genuine feel for #MeToo, and thought they could grab an organic movement from the people, and repurpose it to have a surefire teflon weapon to take down a man they despise — not because of his view on women — but because he was part of Ken Starr’s legal team that went after Democratic president Bill Clinton.

One minute, #MeToo is all about empowering women to feel just like Rosie the Riveter.

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The next, women are fragile and delicate children who have no voice and need protection.

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The New Yorker has much to answer for here. Women who fight for equality have never had such a good narrative and always had to deal with garbage from the Establishment.

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No one could imagine the worst thing to happen was for feminism to be co-opted by that Establishment in order to keep a status quo going.

Feminists also have a lot to answer for as well: why, in 2018, are they still placing all of their eggs in the Democrat’s political basket? Why haven’t they pushed into both parties to ensure their interests are taken care of regardless of which political party rules?

And why haven’t they created an original political party in tune with what women want and need?

If you want something off the table, you have better make sure you own part of that table to have a say of what is on it and what never get placed on it.

Feminists are approaching it the wrong way: marching in the streets and working the Troll Scroll do nothing in the long-run. It is just powerless venting.

Elle is a frivolous air-headed rag trying to cash in on the pseudo-feminist cottage industry and is pandering with a narrative not aligned with reality.

True feminism is not pretending you are holding powerful men accountable when you run speculation and unverified gossip. You are causing more harm than good.

Feminism can longer be dependent on the Dems because they have proven to be unreliable as allies — they must their own path and stop being at the mercy of exploiters who see them as nothing more than objects — pawns and political weapons — to be used and discarded…