Brett Kavanaugh, Clarence Thomas, and the difference between social media and journalism.

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is having a very bad month with decades old accusations slowly surrounding him with more than one accusation.

This sort of body-count reporting, in fact, is nothing new.

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Spy magazine did it to Clarence Thomas in 1992.

The title is extremely telling.

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The next time someone fawns over Joe Biden, just refer them to that article.

The rest of the press made it sound as if Anita Hill was the only one…and yet Spy magazine found more than one.

They started that kind of specific rock-turning, but it was ignored.

William Kennedy Smith was also the subject of that kind of reportage from Spy.

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April 1992.

However, their impact was negligible. We had women who were harassed back then, and yet it struck no significant chord the way we are seeing now with #MeToo.

As I have mentioned before, Spy had a big impact on me, and one of the reasons was they didn’t ignore stories like those and did serious investigative journalism.

Back then, they had no support from anyone, including feminist groups.

Nor did the press give them the kind of grit of traction to make that story resonate.

But fast forward to 2018, and it is a whole new ballgame that political operatives and activists alike have realized give them an advantage. Some for the good, some for the bad, and sometimes a little bit of both.

Had we had social media in the early 1990s, Spy’s clout would have been greatly amplified. A story about numerous accounts of abuse would bypass the traditional press and make the rounds.

In 1992, you could have had a Ronan Farrow do the same thing, but not get attention, let alone a Pulitzer, and even now, unless social media gave the story a push, the press would have ignored it, if they could.

That is the advantage when you don’t have a gate-keeper slamming a door in your face.

For many people, they thought a #MeToo backlash would have happened by now, but as the old abusers have found out, they are not getting their back their glory days any time soon.

It is a number of factors. We have men grouse how horrible a force #MeToo has become, but they don’t get what happened.

Women were always sold a bill of goods that they had to endure things as they settled and sacrificed, meaning they had to be degraded in order to “play the game.”

The implied promise, of course, was they would be treated like human toilets for them to relieve their crude urges on, and they would get rewarded with some paper crown to validate their suffering.

Hillary Clinton endured and then she ran for president. Except she lost. She was a bad candidate who had no understanding of the nuances of strategy, but for those women who supported her, it proved that enduring abuse is not an actual strategy for real success.

It is a game of misdirection where you end up being a sucker and a pigeon making your abusers look like Great Men.

And then they realized their daughters and granddaughters were going through or would go through the same game.

That’s when they snapped. It is the reason it has taken off in the US: because they were lied to and cheated, and now all that bottled up rage exploded.

For young women like me, who had the strong guidance of a mother and grandmother who were both radical feminists, I never fell for it. I didn’t care about paper crowns. I was taught from an early age not to play games on rigged boards and was trained how to spot them, and how to fight against them.

Then came along Spy magazine that gave me additional evidence how important it was to take the long road and never compromise — and fight no matter what threats were lobbed in my direction.

It didn’t matter who was in authority; they were not gods to make decrees. If I had to stand up for myself in a group of my peers or a teacher, that was what I had to do. My feelings came first, and if something was unfair and abusive, there was to be no sugarcoating any of it or try to spin it as if I were in control. That was how people were tricked and fooled. It was my duty and my responsibility not to passively march to someone else’s orders.

Popularity, fame, fortune were all worthless if someone was going to try to enslave me.

I would get in trouble if I blindly went along with something that would exploit me.

It wasn’t as if people didn’t try to exploit me or do me harm in exchange for something. I always rejected it, and forged my own path, never pining for things predators paraded as being desirable things to possess, such as popularity or “fitting in.”

Spy was my real-life textbook. It showed just how predatory those predators were. They were cruel, dangerous, deceptive, and always blaming victims when they refused to be a victim anymore.

Spy didn’t take the side of predators. They weren’t fooled or beguiled, and they exposed them as being such.

What is happening now in the US is long overdue.

You are never to blame when someone victimizes you. You are not supposed to be perfect; so that’s no excuse for a predator abusing you.

Predators held power and indoctrinated others to be primed to be exploited — that is the reason fame and paper crowns are used and why they are in fact worthless.

How you are being treated is the only thing that counts, and you treat others is the only true value that you have.

So if the abusers thought it would all die down, they are misreading the zeitgeist and ortgeist.

There is a lot of unfinished business up ahead. There is a lot of pent up rage that was unleashed.

Had Clinton won the election, the notion that to endure exploitation was the key to female success would have been reinforced, and we would have never had #MeToo and all the predators would have blithely continued.

Reality intervened and held up a mirror to those people who saw they were broken, in chains, confined, and powerless.

No, that was not the recipe for winning at life.

Yes, you took abuse, and made your abusers more powerful as you gave them your power in the bargain.

No, it is not set in stone.

Yes, you should expose them and liberate yourself immediately.

No, the past traumas are not your fault or reflect on you as a person.

Yes, not everyone fell for it.

No, they don’t look down on you because they respect truth.

And yes, there is always a better way if you stand up for yourself, regardless of the circumstances because it is not about applause or appeasement.

But the truth…

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

The magazine industry was made obsolete by the Internet just as the album was made obsolete by it as well.

Albums were highly controlled by the creator: the illustration was a message as was the title. The arrangement of songs also contributed to an overall experience of the theme that was the backbone.

Once music become digitized, the monopoly was wrest away from the creator as its parts were torn apart and the centre of gravity went to the listeners.

Magazines are much the same way. When communications was limited, editors had control of the theme, the cover, the articles and their arrangement. There was no confusing Time with Vanity Fair. Each magazine had its own fit and mandate.

And along came the Internet that pulled magazines apart and chopped them up as they did with albums.

Now Time, once the crown jewel of a magazine empire was sold to a billionaire for a pittance of a sum, and even still, was vastly overpaid.

We now have online publications lament magazines and their once vital covers, but covers are the tombstones of an obsolete industry.

Magazines were a creation of confines, not infinite possibilities. They are predictable and do not veer off course. They are static in a dynamic world, and often gave comfort to people who were looking for validation to go along with their stability.

Magazines sell a message rather than mere tell. They sold an idea and a narrative, and mimicked record albums in many respects.

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It created an artificially controlled environment.

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Magazines held court. So did albums, but the difference is the album is a direct message from the artist.

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While magazines were outsiders who told audiences how to interpret the artist — or newsmaker in general.

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Magazines were always crib notes for the middle class in how to think and what to think.

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Music was the message, but magazines was the interpretation of what the message and the messenger meant.

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Magazines and albums are patriarchal by design and it their core.

I would say the Internet is matriarchal, but it was anti-patriarchal, and broke the stranglehold both had on the collective consciousness, and decimated both as guiding forces.

Journalism relied so much on that medium, that it collapsed when that structure crumbled, but it shouldn’t have been that weak in the first place.

If your mandate and methods are clear, you can adjust, and journalism never could.

The reason it could do so with print, radio, and television is all of them had that Patriarchal thread in common. One way communication the way a parent, employer, or government has over their various charges.

Everyone was hunky dory until the anti-Patriarchal Internet came roaring along, and journalists never detected the difference.

And that is more than just a problem: it is the solution to why journalism collapsed: its very structure blinded it to the obvious signs, meaning the patriarchal no longer works.

The Matriarchal, on the other hand, can do more than just adjust, but it is built to detect changes, as it compares and contrasts. It is empirical in nature, unlike the more dogmatic Patriarchal.

And the alternative to journalism cannot be Patriarchal in design, or you are just wasting your time…

Editor and Publisher has an article that is a rehash I wrote for them...in 1998.

There is an article in Editor and Publisher that is a blast from the past:

Are Newsrooms Doing Enough to Take Care of Their Journalists’ Mental Health and Safety?

If it sounds familiar, that’s because it is. I pitched this story way back when. The angle is somewhat different, but the ground it covers is identical to mine.

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It was published in 1998, and I looked at mental health problems among journalists, and what editors can do if they spot it — and I discussed the various programs many workplaces had for issues such as substance abuse, or any other warning sign that a reporter wasn’t going to be able to do the job.

The new article provides a little more self-serving “noble” spin to emphasize stresses caused by covering traumatizing events (that most reporters do not actually witness first-hand), or threats to the workplace.

When I first pitched an article like this one, it was an extremely hard sell, and it was relegated to the back page of the magazine. No one talked about journalists’ mental health. I did.

I find it interesting that it appears now in the form that it does, however…

Jordan Peterson's Big Boo Hoo: Free speech is for women, too, Mr. Peterson.

Jordan Peterson, a Canadian psychology professor whose diva antics over free speech propelled him into a pop culture career as an author, is not extending the same courtesy to another professor and writer named Kate Manne, as he is threatening to sue her for calling him a misogynist.

If you want freedom of speech to be a thing, then you have to accept everyone’s freedom of speech, even when they call you a misogynist.

As someone who writes books for a living, not everyone is enthralled with me, and have said very nasty things about me in a public forum over the years. (Mind you, they also send me lots of nasty email messages, too).

I don’t sue them because I am a defender of free speech, and in a world of 7.4 billion people, lots of people are not going to think you are special.

As in, pretty much all 7.4 billion people who all think they are way better than you, minus your mom and the person who has a crush on you.

Fame is a roulette wheel, and the chances of you always winning are nil.

You are one of the rare lucky ones if half the people in a public who know who you are actually like you. When TVQs were all the rage in the 1980s, only three people had somewhat more than 50%: The Pope, Bill Cosby, and Michael J. Fox. Let that one land in your brain.

Peterson does not seem to get this whole public career thing. He was used to the lecture halls where students were a captive audience who had to behave themselves if they wanted to pass any course, not just his. That is a controlled environment and an unnatural one that is rigged to favour authority and its decrees. It forms unnatural habits and reinforces unrealistic expectations of life outside of academia, and if you spend decades under that kind of environment, your expectations once you reach a different realm where the rules are vastly different and the outcomes less predictable as they are not rigged by tradition, habit, rote, or routine will not be met. You must adjust your expectations accordingly.

If you are intelligent and teachable.

I have taught in controlled environments, and I know how easy it is to think your are in control, but I also worked as a journalist, and I know that control is an illusion. You cannot control your own narrative in a world of social media.

The article in the Cut fails to mention that Peterson’s lawyer Howard Levitt just so happens to be a columnist in the National Post, a newspaper that has repeatedly bristled at #MeToo, women’s rights, and has been openly partisan in its defending of Steven Galloway…and had written at length about many of things that led to the lawsuit against Winfred Laurier University in the first place.

The Post needs further scrutiny because it certainly does not behave in ways one would expect of an objective disseminator of information.

If you are going to make a case of free speech, be advised it applies to people who are not impressed with you. You cannot rig the public forum the way you can rig a university or a court.

But Peterson is doing Manne a huge favour. He has just given her free publicity and a legitimate news peg to breakout as a serious public voice for feminism, the same way his detractors gave it to him under the same set of circumstances.

Manne is no Cathy Newman, a television host who was used to a rigged battleground and could not handle Peterson. Manne is an academic and knows the same intellectual tricks as Peterson. Nor is she a clueless New York Times reporter whose predictable sophistry is easy to dismantle.

Had he ignored the article, the impact would have been minimal as it was actually nothing that his detractors hadn’t already said before, but by drawing attention to it, people are primed and triggered to wonder about Peterson’s own limitations and weaknesses…

Ian Buruma's Big Boo Hoo: Ignorance of societal learning curves is not a reason to wallow.

You know, there are 7.4 billion people on Earth. That’s a lot of people to choose from.

There are people who do all sorts of important things, and viral videos on Facebook showcase those bunny huggers who rescue animals and those people who break gender and racial barriers as well as the inventors, innovators, and the like.

And you’re an editor for a magazine that reviews books. There is something in the business called “fit”: certain pitches get shot down because they go against the publication’s mandate.

A men’s sporting magazine is going to shoot down your pitch for teaching art to children.  A science magazine is not interested in women’s fall fashions. A political magazine is not going to print an article about looking after rescued horses. A Left-wing magazine is not going to write an opinion piece about how great a president Donald Trump is. No, no, no.

But the former editor of the New York Review of Books, Ian Buruma, decided getting an article from a disgraced Canadian radio host not known as an author to wallow about how hard it is when society frowns on your destructive dysfunctionality was a good idea.

Buruma has been in the business long enough to know he did a whole bunch of things wrong, starting from breaking away from the magazine’s fit. He had to go out of his way to solicit a piece like this one. It would have been one thing if Jian Ghomeshi wrote a book about it (a still very bad move, but he could have had a bigger excuse to offer) — but there was actually no news peg to justify the piece is what makes the motives for publishing it in a book reviewing rag highly questionable.

Second, Ghomeshi is no “get”. He doesn’t have a following. CBC radio caters to older demographics, and isn’t some to-go hub for New Yorkers or Americans in general. Ghomeshi’s ratings were not through the roof: he had an advantage of having a slightly younger demo with somewhat higher ratings than one would expect from the CBC. No one was clamouring for this trigger piece. If you are going to go out on a limb, there would have to be some justifiable payoff, and Ghomeshi — no matter how generous or charitable you are with the goalposts — could not possibly be it on his own. He just knew where to inject himself and how, nothing more.

Finally, Ghomeshi has YouTube, blogs, and social media if he wants to air his story, or he could just go to the National Post to get a front-page story about how all the little people should feel sorry for him the way they were instructed to feel sorry for Steven Galloway.

There was absolutely no sound editorial justification for this piece even if Ghomeshi didn’t do anything wrong.

There is every justification if I had been asked to write about the state of journalism as I have a new book out from a well-respected London-based publisher, and have had three previous books published, including one that was a companion book to a wildly popular documentary movie. I don’t hold my breath because well-researched and documented books that prove that journalists are less than saints will get shut out completely.

Now add the fact that the author and subject of the essay was disgraced for being abusive to women and allowed his narrative to go unverified and unchallenged, and then, when interviewed, the editor could not provide a coherent answer. It is a fireable offence, and Buruma was shown the door.

But now, oh boo hoo. Now he gets to write the same kind of unenlightened drivel that got him terminated in the first place.

He shows he has learned nothing.

In an interview in Vrij, he wallows and makes a false comparison:

‘I am embroiled in a big scandal, in the middle of storm on social media,’ said Ian Buruma on the phone from New York. ‘It is rather ironic: as editor of The New York Review of Books I published a theme issue about #MeToo-offenders who had not been convicted in a court of law but by social media. And now I myself am publicly pilloried.’

There is no irony. Buruma refuses to get it: you do not need to be convicted of a crime to be fired. Not every incompetent and/or malicious undertaking results in a judicial conviction.

For example, there is nothing illegal about telling people that they smell like garbage.

However, if you tell it to customers who all march off and vent on social media about it, you will get fired for shooting off your big mouth without consideration of something known as consequences.

Buruma seems to believe that you have to get a court conviction in order for people’s outrage to be legitimate. He isn’t exactly paying attention or asking hard questions, making him sound like an even worse editor.

When Ghomeshi was on trial, what vindicated him was something very intriguing and disturbing: copies of correspondence he had with his various victims after the fact.

Correspondence that would be years old. Why were they kept, and what purpose did they serve, especially as none of these relationships were long or serious in nature?

Computers break. Memory sticks get corrupted. Files go missing, but how convenient it was to have easy access to trophies. The case was far more diabolical and troubling than it first appeared…but Buruma sees nothing save to give a platform to a lost little man-child, and then whine when he faces the consequences of enabling bad behaviour.

If you are pretending to disseminate information, then you do it right: with verifying claims. Since he did not, that alone justified his sacking.

If you don’t know how to do a job, Mr. Buruma, then do not be surprised that you lose it in the bargain...

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

Journalism’s collapse is a self-created one.

We have debates on whetheratonement essays” are being unfairly targeted, let alone that people who are predators are not owed wiggle room to be absolved from their untrustworthy behaviour — nor are they actually owed a lofty career. That is a privilege, not a right.

But the timing of these pieces all came at once. Predators are predictable in their behaviours, and they are always jockeying to get back because they think that they are entitled to that career, with a disturbing and significant percentage working in communications and journalism.

But the kicker is that there is never any “atoning” done, just making excuses, and wallowing.

Fire the predators, but with a subtle promise to give them a chance to lay low, and a year later, get to use these outlets to re-invent your image, but the public is having none of it, even if they are not reading or watching you in the first place.

The element of denial and willful blindness in the profession is still doggedly there.

Perhaps a billionaire or two will buy up an outlet as a vanity project, throw money at it, and then maybe everything will be good again.

Except the audiences are not coming back, the products haven’t changed, and the fact that the Establishment robber barons are buying their tax write offs haven’t done a thing for journalism.

No redemption and no saviours. Just the same delusions that kept journalism from genuinely reinventing itself.

The same hopeful thinking can’t be the baggage brought into an alternative. If you want to chronicle reality to see the truth in your profession, you have to start with yourself first…

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

If progressive thought has made a colossal blunder in its calculations, it is to focus on differentiating itself from the Right strictly in terms of content of thought and utterly ignoring the structure of thought, making the content always be hypocritical because progressive content with a binary, patriarchal, and autocratic structure is merely form of deception. People may have used religion to moral and manipulate others thirty years ago, but when it was exposed as a sham, they jumped shipped, swam to the Left, and now pay the same game, but merely changed what they preach…but still preach.

But when your focus is strictly on content, but not structure, odd things start to happen. You become contrarian and increasingly extreme in some bid to differentiate yourself from an opposing ideology. A little is good, but an overdose is divine. The natural feel of knowing that your place isn’t the default “opposite”, but somewhere unexplored becomes lost. We can no longer navigate away from the old ideologies. We merely go full circle from the opposite direction.

But if the Progressive brand of prepackaged thought has provided no change in structure, we can see what happens:

  1. Progressive is not defined on its own merits, but must be compared to its enemy. It sees the world as Us versus Them; or worse, expecting a They to come in and do all the work to make the changes. However, there is no Them, only Us. And it is Us, not They. Hypothetical divides are illusionary. It is one thing to break away and show why it was necessary, but sooner or later, you must be measured on your own merits. That the Left and Right always trigger one another to pick fights and then create a pecking order where they are rigged to come out victorious should be no surprise.

  2. In order to recruit and convert as many people into the ideology, there is an overemphasis on rights with no balance of responsibilities. We sell our ideas as having a good time with no strings attached, attracting those who do not wish to look inward or take any blame or responsibility for their own failures. Yet, there are no rights unless there are responsibilities. Even governments are made of people; thus it is an all-encompassing bargain: both have rights, and both have responsibilities, but when it is mention of one, while downplaying the other, you can expect not to get as many rights as the seller reaps perks and power.

Journalism never actually did much to explore structures of thought, nor truly challenge our lack of intellectual and emotional progress. These days, they blame one or two people for everything, and offer nothing substantial themselves.

The National Post had a peculiar column about that Ontario premier that won a majority without Toronto. It is a typical column of this day and age where everyone blames and decrees without much foresight or introspection:

Consider: a man with a shady past and disgraceful record is able to seize control of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario without the support of even a plurality of its members, still less of the caucus he then presumes to lead (and whose careers he now controls). He wins a “majority” in the ensuing provincial election with 40 per cent of the vote, by means of which he proceeds to personally and unilaterally rewrite the election laws for an entirely different level of government — for besides subordinating party to leader and legislature to executive, we have also contrived to make municipal governments creatures of the province.

At no time has he mentioned any of this, in either the leadership race in which he finished second or the election campaign in which 60 per cent of the vote went to other parties.

He has no mandate from anyone, least of all the citizens affected. Yet because our system vests such extraordinary power in the office of one man, he can impose his will on cabinet, caucus, legislature, city and province, more or less by fiat.

Even the courts, the last line of defence against arbitrary rule, cannot stop him. For while we have passed a Charter of Rights, proclaiming our supposed belief in limited government, we have embedded within it a clause that allows governments to overrule those same limits. He invokes it, again imposing his will on cabinet, caucus etc, validating by fiat what he had earlier decreed by fiat.

And he does all this in the name of “democracy.”

The same can be said about the entire profession of journalism.

They do everything in the name of this “democracy.” They have no empirical training. They were not elected nor licensed. They do not speak or represent the majority. It is all based on fiat and shoddy and dubious methods of gathering and verifying information. They conduct no studies. They do not tell their audiences who their sources are, that they liberally depend on PR and publicists for information, nor do they often disclose their own conflicts of interests.

They have no mandate and represent no one, and yet claim to inform the public for benevolent purposes.

They present ideology as fact; spew propaganda, rile up a public who are both misinformed and ill-informed, and otherwise pollute the information pool — also, all in the name of “democracy.”

Hypocrisy.

This is a profession without any standards or regulating bodies. These are people not taught in any basic psychological methodology, from statement analysis to experimental design.

It flounders and cannot even decide how to fund itself.

Yet it claims to speak for a majority — even as their numbers tank and their outlets shut down.

The alternative is one that is aware of these double standards and ludicrous games, but while the starting point is to breakaway from journalistic lunacy, it is not to keep comparing itself to an antiquated model of information verification.

That journalism became a sham should surprise no one.

But that we have never thought to replace it with a superior model is still shocking because it means as a people, we are now not even concerning ourselves with content, let alone structure.

It is an intellectual decay, but it does not last forever: a pendulum swings one way before reality compels it to move in the opposite direction.

And F.R.E.E.D. is the system that keeps a pendulum at rest as it begins to build all around it to stabilize both the structure and the content to see the world from every direction…

The Radical Reactionaries: Everyone wants change, until it actually happens.

Doug Ford is slashing Toronto city hall. He is not the first Ontario premier to do this, and finally, Canadian journalists have had their brain cells stimulated to January 2000 when “Amalgamation” happened to several cities, including Toronto and Hamilton when the Tory regime at that time annexed towns and merged them with larger cities.

I remember it well as I was living in Dundas at the time, and was working for Presstime magazine. The fury that Dundas would have to merge with those Hamilton ruffians was something fierce. Hamilton’s so called “mayor-for-life” Bob Morrow, was an accidental casualty: people from the annexed towns expressed their displeasure by voting Morrow out and voting in Bob Wade, who had been the mayor of Ancaster before then.

There were 78 councillors in Hamilton and the other five small towns before it, and it was reduced to 16 afterwards, for example. You can imagine how many more council positions we would have seen if every was kept status quo.

The resentments are still felt to this day that people want to go back to an old antiquated system, even though others don’t see what the fuss is about.

I was at a journalism conference in Toronto hosted by the NAA, which published Presstime and there were many US reporters, editors, publishers, owners, and lawyers there. They would strike up a conversation with me, asking me about the place I called home, and what were the issues and controversies happening here.

I mentioned Amalgamation and what anger it caused, to which I got nothing but blank stares from the Americans.

“But annexation is how cities grow!” one editor said to me, wondering why on earth was this a thing in the first place.

I had thought the same as well. A city is like a garden: sometimes you let things blossom, and sometimes you have to get rid of the weeds and trim and cut. You do not let things get out of control, nor do you cut to the bare bones, either. It is a balance.

But once again, we have the Radical Reactionaries screaming bloody murder over the trimming. They want change, but then get out of their minds when someone changes anything. They fancy themselves as radical, enlighten, innovative, and progressive until the second someone has an idea that alters the landscape, and then they howl like reactionaries.

What they actually want is for no one to ever say no to their demands and to keep on getting things without having to earn them. They more than just want their cake and eat it, too: they want someone else to bake the cake and pay for all the ingredients and deliver it to them free of charge — and it be a bottomless pit service that is on demand for a high maintenance person with very specific demands that keep changing all the time.

How this all get coordinated and done and how this impacts everyone else is immaterial. What matters is getting a never-ending feast of goodies with no concern about who gets burned out, broke, or starved.

And when someone comes in, sees the lunacy of such a set up, and puts a kibosh to the extravagance, the one who benefitted from this skewed fantasy plays the victim complete with melodramatic temper tantrums to drown out the reason and to deflect attention away from the selfish set up in the first place.

We have lost all political and philosophical sensibility; everything is a drama and a temper tantrum of the most impossible sort. People predict nuclear doom and gloom with every single change, and yet keep marketing themselves as some sort of radical and progressive brands and entities.

It would be wiser to reinvent yourself as a rational and sensible realist who understands that sometimes we don’t always get our own way and we can’t always expect this nonexistent group called They to nanny and serve us. Money burns faster than fire but saving it is like building a castle with grains of sand. It is true we have let the super-rich hoard money and take more than they earned. That can be remedied, and not by the hoarders to pretend to be generous with so-called tax write-off “philanthropy” where they get to make demands where the money goes and how it is used.

But at the same time, we cannot governments to nanny us and be our sugar-daddies, either. Neither model is healthy or acceptable and always causes long-term grievances that never get resolved.

They do get resolved with balance, however, but that requires risk and a willingness to change and to embrace a different lanscape, and radical reactionaries always recoil at the thought of change, even when they demand it of others…

Fixpoetry's sexist review of my book: What's up with the stereotypes, fellas?

I am not one of those authors who actually cares whether or not a reviewer likes my work. Take it or leave it. I got more than enough love as a child to spread to an entire nation of children, and I neither get impressed nor try to enable or appease.

It is the reason why I don’t plaster positive reviews of any of my books here. Most of the time, I don’t even see positive or negative reviews of my books right away, as in, I may see it six months from the time it was posted (and in one case, over a decade). I honestly have more pressing things going on in my life than to get stuck on a egotistical hamster wheel, and you can’t please all of the people all of the time because you are not supposed to in the first place. It is called reality.

But when this “review” was brought to my attention by the German publication that spewed it, no less via the Troll Scroll, I did take the time to read it.

And it was a first in all my years as an author: getting a review written with an extremely sexist lens.

As in, what century does this reviewer live in? Certainly not this one.

You can read the translated version here, but suffice to say, there is a lot of talk about my emotionality and anger.

Oh, I see. I am a hysterical female?

And what does that make the reviewer? An apathetic male?

Emotional does not mean irrational, but the lack of emotions is a sign of having a psychopathic personality disorder.

But I am not speaking from anger. I am reporting on these facts:

People died as a result of junk reporting.

Wars raged as a result of journalistic propaganda.

People were oppressed as a result of bigoted journalism.

People lost their life savings and towns were economically devastated because of reporters cheerleading con men.

Children were orphaned, people falsely accused of criminal wrongdoing, and robber barons destroyed people’s livelihoods, and I am being called out for being outspoken (yes, outspoken) about it?

If you are not concerned or disturbed by this, then you have too many birds on your antenna.

But the review is far more manipulative than that. The reviewer has a convenient obsession with my brief mentioning of junk pseudo-celebrity news such as Kardashians, repeating it throughout the review as if this was my focus — but conveniently ignores every instance of hard news flaws I use in my book, which is, by the way, the vast bulk of the book.

Nice try trivializing my work.

Nothing in that review mentions how I discuss how PR firms hijacked the narratives of the Gulf Wars and the Civil War in the former Yugoslavia. Zero.

Nothing about 60 Minutes’ seriously flawed Benghazi report where it was an advertorial for one of their own books published through Simon and Schuster.

Nothing about how reporters such as Stephen Glass and an army of others actually just fabricated stories whole cloth.

Nothing about the long list of grifters who stole billions of dollars all while the press fawned all over them.

How very convenient to distort my book to make a nonexistent point by cherry-picking.

The review makes it sounds as if I am frivolous and hysterical — while completely ignoring the hundreds of references in the back of the book that I used discussing mostly the hard news stories the press botched up.

That is not a logic-based review. That is a strawman argument trying to make me sound as if I were a flighty ditz and jealous and failed wannabe celebrity, and not a serious author and researcher with real credentials who actually has a brain and uses it. That is dishonest and shame on you.

This review is beyond sexist. It is dishonest to the point of being a farce. I do not know what kind of society this reviewer was indoctrinated in, but it must have been a highly misogynistic one with not an ounce of enlightenment whatsoever.

A negative review is one thing, but a misogynistic one that distorts the contents of a book is quite another.

And considering the number of journalist titans who have fallen in #MeToo, this review actually proves me right about the profession.

We have an industry with serious woman issues.

By the way, beggar’s journalism — or what the reviewer spins as virtue-signalling “public service journalism” is equally worthless as it does nothing to confront the serious structural flaws of the dead profession, nor does it provide any checks and balances for wealthy robber baron donors to buy their coverage because they are the ones with money and a vested interest (which they already do) — and now you give them a tax break to manipulate people into falsely thinking that you are a “public service.” Grow up.

Boys, the next time you review a woman’s book, please check your sexist filters at the door, and remember this piece of manly advice before you think your filters show you reality:

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Because some of us do see that road crossing the forest…even if you won’t.

Be careful how you parse your denials: how people in journalism still do not get this whole technology thing.

Jeff Fager tried to downplay his ouster:

The company…terminated my contract early because I sent a text message to one of our own CBS reporters demanding that she be fair in covering the story. My language was harsh and, despite the fact that journalists receive harsh demands for fairness all the time, CBS did not like it. One such note should not result in termination after 36 years, but it did.

Well, CBS News has released the content of the text he sent:

[Fager] sent a text message to CBS News correspondent Jericka Duncan with a warning over the network's coverage of the sexual harassment accusations against him. 

On Sunday, Duncan reached out to Fager for his response to allegations in The New Yorker that he had groped or touched CBS employees at company parties.

"If you repeat these false accusations without any of your own reporting to back them up you will be held responsible for harming me," Fager replied. "Be careful. There are people who lost their jobs trying to harm me and if you pass on these damaging claims without your own reporting to back them up that will become a serious problem."

Wow, there were people who lost their jobs trying to harm him.

That is a very serious threat to make to a coworker who is doing a story on you. Not just “harsh,” but life-altering.

I have heard similar threats when I worked on stories. This is the way people try to shut down the truth from coming out.

CBS was painted as tyrants for kicking him out over some silly little text, and they merely put out that very text.

See? Technology. It gives tangible evidence. I still have all the voice mails 60 Minutes left on my answering machine in late 1993 and 1994.

The move is worse now because we now have a credibility problem: that denials will not be believed, and that a network could allow that kind of behaviour go on unchallenged.

And 60 Minutes is hit the worst of all: for all those decades they were the moral ones who stood up to people who made those kind of threats…and they were playing the same games all along...

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

The worst part of the Civil War in the former Yugoslavia is that in wasn’t exactly an in-house war, even though journalists suppressed that ugly tidbit.

There were many foreigners who jumped into those regions and slaughtered people, such as the Dutch who were slaughtering Serbs with reckless abandon in places such as Krajina.

They were not from an army or the UN, or even NATO. Just regular citizens looking to murder without consequence.

Those Dutch citizens had no business in Yugoslavia, but the idea of killing Serbs delighted them no end, but there were many other civilians from other countries who took advantage of both the war, and the PR campaign against the villainized Serbs to kill.

We would have never had ISIS be as effective or armed if the West didn’t train those Middle East civilians who went into a Yugoslavia to torture and kill civilians. Those were the same people who went back homed both trained and given arms, and then remerged years later as a terrorist group who blew up their benefactors who have never been made responsible for their actions.

Journalists never think outside of idiot that box of theirs. They never consider silent actors or what people have to gain with their narratives, and the middle class doesn’t seem to demand it, thinking it is all simple, binary, and there is an effortless and easy to solve solution that They will take care of for them.

But it is those infantilizing narratives that lure in the suckers, and when problems get worse because those fake solutions cause more harm than good, there nothing but temper tantrums, tears, and whines that life isn’t fair.

No, it isn’t. Deal with it.

As in, you have to actually deal with it.

Journalism’s alternative has to show the exceptions that destroy the false narratives and flawed theories. Confirmation biases must be exposed.

It has to be in your face, regardless of the hissy fits spewed on the Troll Scroll and Facebook.

There is no Them. There is no They.

There is only Us.

And once you begin with the story of Us, our perceptions begin to align with reality, and it is then we can begin to discover the Truth…

60 Minutes' Chief Jeff Fager is out...

If Les Moonves was ousted, Jeff Fager was not far behind.

I had dealings with Mr. Fager way back in 1994 when he was still a producer for 60 Minutes, and I have recounted our exchanges elsewhere, but suffice to say, I was not pleased with the interaction, and being called “curt” for not saying “thank you” to him enthusiastically enough.

His version of his ouster was this:

The company…terminated my contract early because I sent a text message to one of our own CBS reporters demanding that she be fair in covering the story. My language was harsh and, despite the fact that journalists receive harsh demands for fairness all the time, CBS did not like it. One such note should not result in termination after 36 years, but it did.

CBS is not quite confirming that account that they fired him for being curt:

This action today is not directly related to the allegations surfaced in press reports, which continue to be investigated independently. However, he violated company policy and it is our commitment to uphold those policies at every level.

Meaning he is not actually absolved of the other allegations, but given that at this stage of the investigation there would already be things confirmed and uncovered, it was enough to rid themselves of him. I doubt the text on its own would have resulted in an ouster under normal circumstances. It would be enough if something else is emerging.

This is a huge blow for 60 Minutes. When your brass is being removed for bad behaviour, your tut-tutting sounds false.

This turn doesn’t surprise me. Broadcast journalism is a toxic beast, and this ouster is not the end of the story — it is only after the investigation is completed that a fuller picture will emerge…

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

What this about Amazon getting a patent to cage workers?

Oh, they claim they won’t use it…so why did it cross your collective minds to file for it?

As if that never happened before.

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And while we are on the subject of tyrannical Big Tech, don’t you think their Terms of Service are now violating US First Amendment Rights?

Let alone privacy laws.

But it isn’t just those bullies on the playground.

We have a US soldier successfully sue Serbia because he allegedly got Post Traumatic Stress after bombing innocent civilians and children in a foreign country.

You knew what you were signing up for — you don’t like it, sue your own government.

And yes, you knew real bombing of innocents was a real possibility. They don’t train you to kill for nothing.

For all those in Belgrade who lost loved ones to that bombing, they should sue those bombers for the Post Traumatic Stress they suffered from.

The modern world — regardless if it is capitalist, socialist, or somewhere in-between — has a single problem.

They all have identical structures of power that is rigged to reward psychopaths and other tyrants and bullies.

That’s it.

It is a simple enough affair to create a structure that is durable and flexible enough to prevent destructive behaviour from corrupting the system.

After all, people are very good at creating systems that favour corruption. If you can do it one way, you can do it the other way.

It begins with how we form structures of thought in the first place.

And journalism may not form structures, but it does reinforce it. It slops on labels on people without actually bothering to see if the label matches the goods.

So, take out the rig of labels and narratives, and something remarkable happens: people are judged based on their own actions.

We can look at snap shots in time, and then see where they lead.

So you have a trillion-dollar company get a patent for caging workers.

It spin is unimportant.

Asking questions about actions illuminates. You don’t need a PR firm for a sound bite.

You just present the facts.

An alternative is one where the structure is the primary focus, and then the content.

Structures can be gamed and then rigged. Create a new structure that is flexible and takes propaganda and manipulation into its equations, the content cannot mask the reality or the truth.

The Patriarchal is always about The One, and is a form of an audience Stockholm Syndrome: if people are repeatedly exposed to the same tyrant, they begin to identify with the person.

It is the reason so many celebrities keep trying to stay in the spotlight and get all of the attention: if their image is familiar with that audience, they identify as they believe the image.

Once that spell is broken, people have a chance to think and compare — and when the attention hog comes back, it is that much harder to beguile the audience who had a chance to escape and reassess with their own thoughts and beliefs.

Prevent a Patriarchal structure, and you stem the effects of propaganda hijacking independent thought.

It is also the reason competitive people always want to be considered The One: if they hog the spotlight, they cannot be compared and contrasted to someone else — and opening new thoughts and schools of beliefs challenges their power.

We see how Toronto is in a complete meltdown mode because Doug Ford can checkmate them with the notwithstanding clause: they emerged as The One in the province, and now they do not have the power to lord over the fate of the rest of the province after they lost cabinet ministers and even a premier who were representing them with the former reigning party in power. People were just supposed to move there, and be superior to the rest of the country by default.

It was very obvious what would happen, and yet the narrative structure blindsided an entire city to the most likely outcome: even if a judge made a ruling in their favour — either an appeals court would have to overturn it — or the government would invoke the provision that gave them the right as the elected government to do bypass it all and do it anyway.

When you use labels and narratives, you become blind to the obvious: you are forever explaining away exceptions that disprove your theories. Your theories become unfalsifiable, meaning all of the warning signs blaring do not register with you.

And we are in a place in civilization where there is no more excuse for those kinds of childish games.

The alternative does not allow for wishful thinking and trying to break down people to give in.

It presents the facts — as scary as they are.

If you a happy ending, it all depends, of course, on how willing you are face the unhappy beginnings that started the mess in the first place…

Coming soon: The Dangerous Woman 2018 Sampler

I have been doing one every year since 2013. I have been in a holding pattern, but I am working on this one...

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As well as finally finishing up this one as it was 80% completed before I took a break to write When Journalism was a Thing...

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Journalism is no longer a thing? You don't say, That National Interest!

The National Interest has an article that pretty much rehashes what I have been saying here long before the idea popped into their heads: that journalism is no longer a thing.

Neither Bob Woodward's book (Trump really doesn't have anything to fear from it, USA Today as we learn nothing new from 2016) nor the New York Times' amateurish "anonymous" op-ed piece/lazy teenaged temper tantrum (if you don't know who wrote it, you are a lousy news producer) is killing Donald Trump. They didn't manage in 2016 when they proved to have lost their grip on power, and doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome is just plain nuts.

But apparently this obvious fact just dawned on The National Interest now:

They have largely succeeded in this goal, but in so doing, failed again to learn the lesson that was so easy to conclude from the 2016 election and Trump’s steady popularity levels since then. That lesson is that the media and the commentariat no longer determine public opinion. 

No matter how many outraged opinion pieces or news articles (but I repeat myself) the New York  Times produces, no matter how many smarter-than-thou analysts with non-prescription eyeglasses mope about sadly on CNN, no matter how many Obama fan boys and girls left in the White House press corps shriek at the president whenever in earshot, it just doesn’t matter anymore.

No kidding. I wrote the book on that.

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And another replay:

And while the New York  Times op-ed was a nice try by the media, they must on some level, deep down, grasp the new reality: no one hears their screams. 

No one hears the screams of a ghost. Journalism is dead. We need an alternative.

Let's try to keep up with the program, and stop being distracted by the zombie horde who still call themselves the press...

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

The Troll Scroll is the warehouse of ignorance from both the Right, but also the Left.

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Of course you can be fiscally conservative and socially progressive.

The person above may want the government to give free money to the poor and sink it all into a black hole, but that linear, script-following narrative presented above ignore the fact that if you are fiscally conservative , you don't give out corporation welfare to the rich, either.

Why do we assume the government's place is to just throw money at a problem when we have already seen throughout history that doesn't work in the long-term?

In fact, you cannot be socially liberal if you are not fiscally conservative. If you truly believe in equality, then you believe that people are capable of making their own way in the world. There are other ways of fostering progress and equality other than spending money.

You do not put people in a box by giving them a bit of money to subsist on that they become so dependent and afraid of taking risks, that they never actually apply themselves.

Hamilton is throwing epic hissy fits that the provincial government is discontinuing the Basic Income Project; however, we see quite a few on the project labelling themselves as "activists", and we have a lawsuit -- if you can go out and be an activist, and have the means and the time to sue, you also have the time to create a job or apply for one.

You also have the time to lobby the government to pass laws for a better wage. If you have time to give media interviews, and make sad faces at the camera, you have time to do other things, such as pull yourself together and not expect some They to save you.

But we have a holding pattern where people think they are owed made-up garbage. Toronto wants to keep its bloated city council. Why? To keep a few more ninnies employed by a government as they don't do anything, not even bothering to attend meetings?

Politics is no longer politics: it is two groups of self-entitled brats throwing temper tantrums at each other, either expecting the right to hoard and rig the board to give them money, or expecting the right to live like leeches on the taxpayer dime. 

We need a radical centre. The fiscally conservatives who do not show disrespect for having to earn your keep by buying your votes, and the socially progressive who are not going to meddle in your personal life, but are not going to bail you out, either, when your shortsighted life theory proves to be as rubbish as your attitude.

Governments can do many things to be in the radical centre.

For one, they can make homelessness illegal.

They can fine local governments for every person who falls through the cracks. They do not have to arrest the homeless person, who is the victim of the crime, but they can fine cities and towns for sleepwalking.

They can also fine companies who do not pay their workers a livable wage. They can heavily tax those who rely on automation instead of using human workers.

And they can make it mandatory to have a job.

Because we have focussed on rights for far too long, making everyone feel entitled and devour whatever they think they are owed.

And that goes for the Right as much as the Left. They are both guilty of thinking some They owes them something, and they don't.

There is also something called responsibility. Every citizen has responsibilities.

You cannot expect rights if you do not give something in return. No deposit, no return.

Pierre Trudeau brought in a Charter of Rights and Freedoms -- but forgot to add Responsibilities.

It is a balance.

Journalism, just like governments, spent far too time pandering, unlike governments who bribe voters with their own, or worse,  borrowed money, journalists pander to the reigning Establishment.

That means information from the get-go has a very binary and static spin.

Then you have the middle class trying to follow the script to hide the fact they do not have the knowledge or expertise to make an informed opinion; so the run to Twitter just to vent and make up rules they hope and against hope become a sanctioned decree.

It is the reason we no longer have an informed electorate. Just brats stewing as they are blinded to both facts and reason.

Of course, this cannot last forever. Sooner or later, something people ignore explodes, and becomes unfixable.

We do not have a journalism keeping a sensible watch. We, in fact, have nothing.

In an Internet Age, we have nothing to be any sort of reliable lens on what we need to know.

And its replacement always has to be mindful that truth comes from a radical centre that weaves whatever natural pattern comes from the information given.

It won't follow the Left Script or the Right Script -- they, at most, can be only half right.

And in a world of all or none, it adds up to nothing at all...

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

Some people have no instinct or feel for research. They dig without purpose, slop together information, and then get out a thesaurus, use big words, and hope you don't notice the big holes in their work.

The Chronicle of Higher Education has such a piece in The Big Lie: the story of a professor who forged a fake letter as a ruse to his current university to lead them to falsely believe he was getting a job offer at another university so that they would give in to his demands and give him tenure.

The article is a perfect example of sophistry disguised as an investigative piece.

The number of unanswered questions in this article is distressing, but we are supposed to be impressed because you can click and read the letters and police reports gathered for the article.

That is not a big deal. I did that sort of thing with Chaser News a decade ago, but also gathering memos, transcripts, and the like is standard for the job.

But the kinds of information gathered -- and not gathered are very telling.

There is a narrative to the article, but surprisingly, very little actual facts to see what has actually transpired.

The first problem comes with the university not following up with the supposed job offer by verifying whether or not the letter was a gambit. They should have called or email, and followed up, but they didn't.

And considering a university is a place where research is their reason for being, the first oversight was serious enough to ask if there are bigger problems, and the fibbing professor is ma mere tip of the iceberg.

But we don't have any documentation on the university's human resources policy on verifying employees documentation.

There are many other holes in tis article. There is mention of the private investigator the professor's estranged wife hired who interjected himself in her husband's academic affairs, but the narrative presented is dodgy at best. From the accounts, the wife is portrayed as someone who knew the deceptions, but kept quiet and was complicit until she found out the husband she was supporting financially was fooling around.

The article has no focus, and the reason is it has too few facts going for it.

We also have no idea how legitimate the disgraced professor's previous grievances were, or whether his previous work was legitimate or also suspect.

Yet the article purports to interview him without actually using direct quotes, something quite out of place when we have documents in the margins:

When the subject of his fake letter comes up, McNaughton appears exhausted and frustrated. He doesn’t want to talk about why he did what he did. He keeps repeating that there’s no justification for what was clearly a major breach of ethics. He fidgets with a paper coffee cup until he has practically shredded its rim. He tugs at his dark beard. 

But over the course of seven hours of conversation, a few glasses of cabernet and a Yuengling, McNaughton unspools a larger story that is endemic to his profession. Hardly any scientist will ever win a major prize or successfully develop a cancer drug. The odds of that are even more daunting for one who toils away at a midtier public research university. So the focus shifts to smaller wins: a congratulatory email from the dean, a steady stream of pipette tips, a few extra square feet of lab space. Maybe, if everything goes just right, there’s a new interdisciplinary program or an article in a major journal.

These tiny battles for resources and validation can consume a professor, but they do little to answer what became for McNaughton an essential question: What am I worth? He’s still asking that question, the one that got him into this mess in the first place.

This is the way of journalism: throwing a few nuggets here or there, but with no anchor, just colour, sophistry, and narrative.

Meaning we either read to be misinformed -- or not and stay uninformed.

It is a serious problem that must be addressed by the alternative.

We have the tools to be informed, and yet, we are becoming increasingly ignorant -- and there are consequences to it...

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

While my roots are mostly Serbian, my maternal grandfather Alexander (Anton to everyone) was Croatian.

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His nickname was The Hunter, and he hunted with royalty because of his unerring skill, receiving precious stone-encrusted rifle from Prince George of Yugoslavia (King Alexander's older brother) that was taken by a museum after he died against the family's wishes.

He was from Dalmatia -- yes, the place where those spotted dogs come from, but he was a Croat.

Who happened to convert to Eastern Orthodox after the Second World War.

He was there when the Croatian Ustashi slaughtered Serbs and Jews in concentration camps, and he spoke openly about it.

It wasn't any sort of secret that Serbs were the victims of genocide, and that the Croats got away with it, mostly thanks to the Vatican who stepped in and saved their hides in various ways.

The Ustashi were always proud of their sins. Their nuns and priests burned Serbs alive in churches to "convert" them. They had special camps for Serbian children in Sisak. 

They also took a lot of pictures of their war crimes. They posed proudly and smiled for the camera while holding up beheaded Serbian victims. They starved children and tortured their victims.

My Serbian grandmother's entire family was wiped out by the Ustashi, and it is on record.

And yet she married a Croat after the war. She was just one of those people who did not paint an entire group of people with the same brush.

To this day, the Croatians have never been held accountable for their war crimes. They got off easy compared to the Germans who were forced to own their Nazism. The Croats were small potatoes next to the towering Germans and they flew under the radar.

And there are far too many who are still deniers.

But it is the Croats who left the evidence of their hate crimes. When I was an undergrad studying psychology, I took a course on Genocide -- something that had happened completely by accident. I had an elective to take, but the one I wanted was cancelled because of low enrolment, and I needed to find a replacement fast for a Tuesday night -- and when I looked at my choices, the only one that fit the bill was the one on Genocide.

I did not want to take this course. The Civil War in the former Yugoslavia was raging and I just did not want to mar my studies by having to have bloodshed intrude even on my academic work.

And yet, I would change nothing now.

I am stoic by nature, but when I began to talk to the professor during the break about my grandmother's family, I lost it. I wept so much and uncontrollably so that I had to excuse myself from the room.

That had never happened before, and I had been shocked by my own reaction.

So naturally, I dealt with it by doing my assignments on Ustashi and the reasons for their bloodlust.

As usual, I did an obscene amount of research. I forced myself to look at hundred of photographic evidence, read documents and articles, as well as books, and whatever ephemera I could get my hands on in such a short amount of time. I found foreign books that were out of print and tracked down to verify as many sources as I could. 

And I soon realized that the Ustashi weren't slaughtering in the name of purification, ideology, nationalism, or even religion.

They were doing it because they were greedy pigs. They stole land, livestock, and even a stamp collection from their victims. They threw people in concentration camps just to get their beds.

They stole gold teeth from the mouths of their victims. The pride of the people was just a cover: it was all about the Benjamins.

After all, when their fortunes turned around, those same fascists abandoned their supposedly glorious homeland, and took their stolen loot straight to the Vatican who ensured they weren't arrested, and were shipped to different countries to start a new life even though they ended hundreds of thousands of other people's lives.

There was no honour among these thieves. It was just a crude form of stealing, and then silencing your victims by death.

But with greed, there was jealousy. They were jealous of whatever trinkets other people had, and then killed them for those trinkets.

When I wrote my essay, my professor had been shocked at my thesis. I don't think she expected her weeping student to pull herself together and then clinically produce a list of verified items one group of fascists stole from their prey, and explain the factual and logical reasons why the nationalistic chest-thumping was a mere decoy.

But the deniers are trying to erase history in more ways than one. Writing books pretending it wasn't a genocide is one way -- and a vile one at that, but because no one forced the Ustashi to answer for their barbaric crimes, they regrouped, and then decades later, got themselves several high-priced PR firms, and struck again, this time during the civil war in the former Yugoslavia during the 1990s. 

The press, who are historically illiterate by choice, ignored the previous genocide, and spun a narrative that did not align with reality.

It wasn't just the Serbs who were the victims of this new game, but Bosnian Muslims, as well.

Al Jazeera has an interesting piece on one Bosnian Muslim named Ramiz Tiro that is well worth reading and pondering. He was in a Croat concentration camp during that conflict, and there is one passage that struck me:

All the while, Tiro asked himself: Why? Why am I being arrested? Why am I being tortured? Why are we being expelled from our homes when our families have lived here for the past 500 years?

“We went to school together [with Croats], we lived together and all of a sudden he’s my enemy now?" he said.

Tiro recognised one of the soldiers who would lock them in as a former schoolmate.

Tiro asked him, “Why is this being done to us? I’m just like you."

“No, no, you’re ‘balije’ [Muslims]. You’re the enemy of our state,” the soldier said.

“This was unfathomable for me,” Tiro recalled. “But I realised what it was about during my time as a prisoner.”

It is, of course, not all Croats, and many have spoken out. My own Croatian grandfather spoke angrily of what the Croatian people did to the Serbs in World War Two, and was far more vocal than my Serbian grandmother who preferred moving forward without opening old wounds.

But as with the Second World War, the Vatican meddled on behest of those who caused the trouble, and their enabling has also never been confronted.

However, they are not the only guilty party.

Journalists never bothered. They didn't care.

They just didn't care because it didn't fit their narratives.

They ignored the first genocide. They misrepresented the civil war.

And with that, they allowed not just predators, but their enablers to continue their destructive ways.

That journalism collapsed is no surprise. They earned it with their insistence on misrepresenting reality.

But now that they have crashed and burned, it is time to think of the replacement and how it should be different.

For one, it cannot be blinded by narratives and their artificial confines. No group of people should be violent toward another group of people, and no ideology can be used to justify violence.

Enablers and spin doctors should also be exposed, regardless if they are our in-group or out-group.

And F.R.E.E.D. is the system that is about movement of facts to prevent those kinds of narratives from being set.

Because journalism has failed one time too many -- and ended up failing its own members most of all...

Memo to journalists: Journalism's Armageddon has already happened. November 8, 2016. Face it.

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It is pure comedy watching journalists scrambling to win a war they lost almost two years ago.

To put it all in perspective, imagine one day a nuclear holocaust happened. The bomb hit, the mushroom cloud burst and covered the horizon, and people died as buildings crumbled to the ground.

And for the next two years, the survivors around you were talking about fighting back to win, and when you pointed out every sign that Armageddon has already crashed the party, everyone denies it.

You point to corpses, the rubble, and the survivors falling apart from all that radiation, and people laugh, and think you're exaggerating.

That's journalism.

The nuclear bomb hit them November 8, 2016 when they built up a narrative of who they wanted to win, and then the opposite happened.

Donald Trump was the mushroom cloud, and no matter how hard they try, circulation is plummeting, and ratings are shrinking...and yet, online publications aren't picking up the slack.

And yet you have knuckle-draggers in the profession and in j-schools pretending that their Armageddon hasn't happened yet, and they can "fight back" to reclaim their profession.

Yeah.

II

So how did one of the world's most powerful professions kill itself?

It is quite a funny story, and the facts are recounted in my book, which is very serious.

But here is the child's play version of it, just to get a feel of how needless this carnage was.

You used to have journalists who did their job because they were noble.

Watergate happened, which was its high point.

So far, so good.

The journalists who too down a president wrote a nonfiction book about it.

Important, thank you for codifying the public record, Mr. Woodward and Mr. Bernstein.

But then that stupid monster called Hollywood came calling, and turned an important historical events into a movie.

That's when the first seed of corruption got planted. It encouraged too many egomaniacs who were not actress or actor material to go for their Plan B for a profession.

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And the quest for truth slowly became a quest for ratings and bragging rights more than being accurate and helpful.

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And the focus began to shift more and more, and when people have been harmed and maligned, they started seeking justice, and even retribution, but journalists got drunk on their power to see the war beginning to be waged against them.

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When the Internet became mundane, something extraordinary happened: people bypassed the gate-keepers and were liberated, but journalists never saw it coming until that fateful day in November when their decrees were thrown out with the rest of the trash.

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Mind you, people like me saw this implosion coming a mile away, but who listens to observant people who can face reality to see the truth? Not journalists!

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It was an ugly death to a vain profession.

Before that bomb hit, there were people like me who were studying how the Internet was changing the landscape, and how to create a better way to inform a public.

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That meant taking the initiative and taking charge without anybody's permission or blessing.

Some people saw journalism's demise and wondered why it happened as they tried to shine a light on the reality.

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But the zombies of that Armageddon kept rising up, trying to shoo away people from seeing the truth.

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Some people didn't care because they could finally draw attention to their problems and realties in a public forum, and took full advantage of the new path that did not require the validation of a news media to be legitimized.

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But the zombies were still strutting around as if they weren't radioactive undead relics of a bygone era.

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You'd think the younger generation who wanted to be in that dead profession would want to learn from the past? Not a chance!

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I guess it takes a certain oblivious type.

But there were people like me who saw it and pointed it out. In my case, I used both the book form and the Internet to show it.

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But I also decided to create an alternative, learning from history so I do not make the same mistakes. I became inspired.

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But journalists were passive, looking for some cheap hoodoo to resurrect them so they could deny ever being decimated in the first place.

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Others chose to whine and wallow all while denying their profession got hit by a nuclear bomb.

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But I am excited that journalism is finally that one annoying obstacle is out of the way because it is a perfect time to create a new way that weaves the chords together to create an exciting new form of informing a public.

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And that's how journalism got itself blown up by its own ignorance.

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I started my great quest to understand it all over two decades ago.

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And now while one curtain fell, it is time for it to rise once more.

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It is a risk that I feel passionate about because all that nuclear power isn't always destructive: it can also be used to create a new energy.

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III

So that's why we lost journalism. There weren't actually any "dark forces". They just got full of themselves, didn't keep up with the changing reality, and then became irrelevant.

The rest is histrionics. 

The Chuck Todds of the dead profession should just get over themselves.

What's next?

For me, it is finally getting to the nuts and bolts of F.R.E.E.D.

And I am looking forward to it...

Starting over in a Post-Journalism world, Part One.

Chuck Todd's sophistry in The Atlantic is as cringeworthy as it is completely out of touch with reality:

It’s Time for the Press to Stop Complaining—And to Start Fighting Back

A nearly 50-year campaign of vilification, inspired by Fox News's Roger Ailes, has left many Americans distrustful of media outlets. Now, journalists need to speak up for their work.

This is a paranoid conspiracy theory and a form of misdirection: journalists have no one else but themselves to blame for their death.

Yes, Mr. Todd, journalism is dead.

Journalists spewed a lot of lies. On purpose. For personal gain. Fake news, and I chronicled it all way back in 2005 in my book Don't Believe It!: How lies become news.

And Roger Ailes had nothing to do with it, as he was also a news producer whose feints and ruses I wrote about in my second book OutFoxed: Rupert Murdoch's war on journalism.

So let us get that misconception out of the way.

Journalism was in trouble for many reasons, and I chronicled that in my fourth book When Journalism was a Thing.

You had your Stephen Glasses and Jayson Blairs. You had your Janet Cookes and your Kim Stacys. Your profession cribbed off so many PR firms and press releases during hard news events such as wars, that to now wear a fake halo and pretend you are all some kind of moral authority is a real gag.

Have you forgotten how many of your own were ensnared in #MeToo? Your colleagues. Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose, the Big Boys.

Rose was with CBS, but Lauer, he was at your network, Mr. Todd.

NBC.

The network that killed Ronan Farrow's story.

So your spinning in the propagandistic Atlantic is as pathetic as it gets.

Bottom line: your wicked cult did it all to yourselves, and you are no better than those priests who abused their power by abusing children and covered it up.

Enough of your garbage.

Journalism is dead.

Good riddance.

Besides, Mr. Todd, it is too little, too late.

Journalism is over. Finished. Gone.

And now it is time to start over in a Post-Journalism World.

Yes, Mr. Todd, you forgot to read the memo as you were busy writing your temper tantrum about how everybody else is to blame but journalists.

A post-journalism world isn't something on the horizon: it is happening now.

Journalists can complain or not complain: they are no longer relevant, and their profession is no longer a thing.

Deal with it.

They ignored the nuances of the Fourth Medium to their detriment. They were so used to telling the little people what to think that they didn't see the people went marching on this spinning globe without them.

But we have a huge void to fill with the next generation of information disseminators.

Journalists are too ignorant and arrogant to change their ways. They are declaring war on the dead Roger Ailes, instead of realizing that the war is over and journalism lost.

And it deserved to lose. It earned its loss.

Why is it Ailes' fault? Because he didn't walk lockstep with your propaganda, and chose to use his own instead?

What a perfect world he ruined presenting another viewpoint? If only he stuck to your little script, it would be all so very glorious for your kind?

That is not what killed journalism -- or its façade.

If you cannot see reality, then you cannot be left in charge of reporting it. The end.

And it is the end of journalism.

But when a curtain falls, it will rise again, but with a new act on the stage.

Journalism is a relic of a bygone era when people were at their mercy to get their information, and to disseminate it.

Those days are gone.

Because we will see the rise of another medium, and it will also change the way we live in this world,

That is the reason why a new replacement to journalism is beginning to emerge now.

The old guard are tone deaf. They are too tainted to be credible, reliable, valid, or useful.

They use old methods when those methods no longer do what they are supposed to do.

And when you have an Establishment journalist writing in an Establishment magazine about "fighting back", what you are saying is you wish to wage war on the people to keep a tyrannical status quo in place.

Because that is what journalism was: shackles that prevented people from being able to bypass the gate-keepers to speak to the world directly -- unedited and unfiltered.

Right now, we are living in a Post-Journalism World. It is one of pure anarchy, and it is devoid of any reliable and valid system of gathering information for a general audience.

But the seeds of the alternative are already in place.

It is F.R.E.E.D.

It is the system of getting information without the egotism and drama as well as the narrative and the sloppy methods that have no empirical value.

It is a creative science whose laboratory is not in the Ivory Towers, but in the real world.

I ran myself as a test subject for years.

The backbone of F.R.E.E.D. is Method Research.

It is a far superior way of gathering information. It forces those gathering information to be vigilant, disciplined, humble, and active, something journalism always failed to do.

Mr. Todd may be barking orders to no one in particular, but F.R.E.E.D. does not play those childish and self-serving games.

Journalism is dead.

And it is time for those in that dead profession to try their hand at adulting -- meaning facing the reality and truth as they finally admit their own responsibility for their own destruction...