One of the worst newspapers in terms of spreading meta-propaganda is the Toronto Star.
They are absolutely relentless, like bible thumpers.
While many journalist vehicles settle for a war strategy, the Star uses fanatical religious strategy, with dash of pick-up artistry.
I worked as a journalist. I wrote about journalism. I wrote about the Toronto Star. I have recounted before how their one-time managing editor Jim Travers lied to my editors at Presstime, accusing me of making up quotes, forgetting that I tape recorded the entire interview with his express permission. They got my tape, took my side, and told him they confirmed that what I quoted was what he said and in context. I did nothing wrong, he told them he would call to apologize to me — and never did.
But the Star is very image-conscious. They have cultivated a fortress that hides the true rot inside. Sometimes the rot comes out, but they preach so loudly that they hope to drown things out.
People like me do not fall for it.
Toronto Star tries to use every cosmetic tool under the sun to hide the fact they are not what they preach to be, and try to cut off criticism off at the pass, but their arrogance keeps getting in the way.
Let’s take a look this propagandistic column:
What readers should know about journalism
So, right off the bat, they have, like other cults and religions, created a pecking order. You don’t “know” journalism, and now the preacher will sing the gospel to you:
Study after study on trust in journalism points to an “understanding gap” between journalists and their readers.
They are manipulating readers from the first sentence: we have nebulous and un-empirical “studies” to show that readers are just too stupid to understand journalism.
This is more than just a pecking order: this is a brazen act of negging.
Pick-up artists use it to aim for a woman who is out of their league, and then knock them down a few pegs by making her question herself.
No genuine information provider would produce something so manipulative — the headline and first sentence alone betrays something far more malicious than what is presented.
This is no different than cult literature.
People understand journalism. It is not a complicated product.
People have no use for a gate-keeper anymore. They left because they found sound better.
But the Star hopes people turn back and come back.
The reason we have cultish publications such as the Star is that the structure of journalism actively fosters such Us Versus Them thinking. They are isolated in their little compounds called newsrooms. They have pecking orders. It is a very abusive and stagnate environment.
I understand journalism. I worked in it, wrote about it, studied it, and wrote books about it for two different publishers in two different countries on two different continents.
The cult of the Star is rapidly eroding, and not even a government bailout will change their fortunes, not in 2019, and not ever.
They will keep trying to position themselves as being intellectually and morally superior to their pigeons — but it is an old ruse, and one that no longer is working for them…