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

When civil war broke out in the former Yugoslavia, naive Alexandra Kitty was an ingenue who did not know that you can buy positive press coverage for yourself and bad press coverage for your enemies.

I also had no idea that people are paid to attend “red carpet” events, either.

Eventually, I got savvy. I stopped looking at the wrapping, and started peeling away the layers.

I learned that the communications industries — both journalism and entertainment — really used the same tricks and techniques as a magician’s stage show, and as a magic aficionado, I could easily deduce certain things, and then do the legwork knowing where to look and what not to take at face value.

The US suddenly has a well-organized push for socialism, which isn’t some grassroots drive: this is some very wealthy entity who is footing the bill, making its supporters mere stones in a game of Go. I never bought it.

I also never bought Hollywood’s lockstep anti-Trump campaign, either. These are actors who do not get out of bed unless they are paid to attend events, and have other people churn out their tweets and write their speeches.

So when you have legacy Establishment actors such as Alec Baldwin, advocating sedition, I immediately wonder who is behind it.

Because why would anyone in the US overthrow the government? The majority of Americans in 2016 voted Republican: in the state races, the Senate, and the House. While the president did not win by a majority, he now has his popularity higher than what he had when he was first elected.

So what we have is an ideological minority wanting to stomp over the will of the majority.

That is not democracy.

So when I see actors and singers shilling Democrats, I wonder which PR firms are at play, who is footing the bill, and why is it so important to deflect Americans’ attention away from their real enemies by having them slap fight each other on Twitter and Facebook.

It is no different than what happened in the former Yugoslavia. Foreign vested interests hijacked the country and then took the spoils of their propagandistic manipulation for themselves. Germany certainly did well for decades after meddling — and now that their economy is lagging once again, they are starting to meddle.

In the US, this artificial divide goes beyond mere political differences, but we do not have an actual news media to unearth it because they are too busy memorizing those press releases as they spew it as if it were their own idea.

60 Minutes certainly dropped the ball when Lesley Stahl interviewed Donald Trump who had no trouble using the newsmagazine to get free advertising for the mid-terms. Stahl was no match for Trump. He kept on message and she veered horribly off.

And 60 Minutes is the top tiered news outlet in the US.

We have a peculiar mess in communications: a profound lack of transparency. We have preening and bragging, but very little in terms of actual quality or, more importantly, provenance.

We have no way of determining which PR firms are involved as no entertainment or news outlet is required to disclose it. We see primal attacks on people, but from the shadows, and when they have a chance to confront a target, they flail.

What we have is some peculiar attempt from a small vested interest to use traditional outlets to cause discontent. The Left have their usual bigoted fear-mongering against Russia (ironic as the system the Left are now in love with comes from that region of the world), and yet no one is questioning who is controlling their message and narratives with scripts and real cash money.

The alternative to journalism is transparent. There is provenance. There are specific questions to be answered first: who is behind the push. Are the people we see posing at an event — whether it is protesters or the beautiful people — there on their own volition — or are mere paid mouthpieces? Who wrote the speech? Who wrote the tweet? What PR firms are micromanaging the optics?

Those are the preliminary questions to answer.

After determining what is genuine and what is choreographed, then we look at the event, person, or issue. The questions are focussed. They are not partisan or loaded.

Do not waste time on spectacle. That is misdirection. It is reality we care about.

Like the alchemist who tortures metals until its purest form emerges, the chronicler puts facts in a tumbler: what comes out after the rigours is the reality that brings us the truth.

Truth is what counts. It is the only thing that counts in the intellectual realm. That we have settled for filler is an indictment of the uncivilized nature of Western society — Left and Right.

Once we find the atoms of facts, we are then ready to discover what needs to be done and how…