More papers are being closed, and that should surprise no one. Canadian journalism has destroyed itself years ago, but now that the piper has come to collect, newspapers are being taken into the grave.
Journalists and editors are still in absolute denial, blaming a broken business model, which is not an adequate explanation. The entire journalism model is broken beyond repair.
The level of unprofessionalism was always atrocious, but Canadian journalists got away with it for years because they were the only game in town. The Internet broke down those confining gates, and journalists never bothered to keep up with the times. They have always been sloppy, incestuous, deferential to authority, and used sophistry and even propaganda when it suited their purposes.
The National Post is Postmedia's crown jewel, and yet the smaller properties are crumbling all around it -- for a reason.
The Post's dubious shenanigans have subtly helped pull down an entire profession's credibility. They cover events in a blatantly slanted manner...and then one of their writers/lawyers takes two of the "newsmakers" associated with the story as clients.
Once upon a time that would have been a scandal and a textbook case in journalism ethics, but a destroyed profession doesn't muster much ire.
And then there is this "column" by the Post's Barbara Kay -- a wallowing, but by-the-numbers crisis management piece meant not to inform, but to sell shamed mediocre author Steven Galloway.
When I wrote Don't Believe It!, I discussed how the Canadian arm of the PR firm Hill & Knowlton had proffered crisis management advice -- and one of the feints was the use of proxies: having other credible friends, allies, and acquaintances to act as your mouthpiece without seeming to be your proxy.
This column is a classic proxy rehab feint -- it has every element of crisis communications in it, making it a serious conflict of interest that Kay has no business writing -- and the Post had no business printing.
But the Kay family has a peculiar obsession with Galloway. While Barbara Kay supposedly disclosed one association in her article, it is not exactly complete. Her son Jonathon Kay has also subjectively shilled for Galloway's innocence in public -- and I had been there at one very bad J-talk at Facebook's Toronto offices where the topic was about journalism and truth. Of course, there was no actual discussion of it, just an obsession with Chartbeat -- but out of the blue, son Kay went on an irrelevant tangent about poor, little Galloway -- he too, was pushing forth proxy image rehabilitation -- and he wasn't disclosing why this was so important to him.
When there is more to the story -- the right thing for the Post to do was not to publish something very questionable -- but it got worse for another reason -- and a highly deceptive one.
The Galloway Affair was a pre-#MeToo incident -- and the article's headline and content implies this was a #MeToo thing -- and this was a shady implication as a column could possibly get.
Because it was a very different social atmosphere at the time of Galloway's ouster from UBC.
#MeToo is an American phenomenon, not a Canadian one. The Galloway Affair was not inspired by #MeToo. It was not part of a movement. It wasn't a bandwagon knee-jerk incident. It was not inspired by the success of #MeToo as that movement did not exist and it was not common for women to come forward at the time. Even in the final report, Galloway did not come off as a wronged innocent; so he is not some poor little boy.
He is a professional communicator. He makes his living as a communicator. He was in charge of teaching university students the art of communicating. He cannot make any claim of not being able to communicate clearly to anyone.
He had a free and easy pass with the Canadian Media Establishment and Elite -- many who wrote an open letter defending the little boy.
Just as the Kays are doing for him now.
To link the Galloway Affair with #MeToo is deceptive: he wasn't part of #MeToo. Kesha was also a pre-#MeToo case -- and she was flayed alive by other women. Jian Ghomeshi was also pre-#MeToo, and his accusers were disbelieved because they had things to do with him after he smacked them around -- as if this wasn't typical behaviour. Women are murdered by their husbands who abused them -- so we know it's a thing.
So Galloway wasn't a #MeToo witch who was hunted. His case was no where near it.
He behaved unprofessionally, and he had all sorts of Establishment cheerleaders running to defend him. For Kay to misuse newspaper space to babble and shield him is astounding.
Memo to Barbara Kay: If Mr. Galloway has something to say, let him write a book about it himself. You aren't his mommy -- and neither is your son. Both of you are way too emotionally involved to babble in professional settings about it.
But for the Post to enable such non-journalistic image repairing is unconscionable.
However, this is par for the course in Canadian journalism: always running to defend little friends with big titles who do very sketchy things and get caught, as real issues get ignored.
It is no wonder that Postmedia is deep in debt and hard up for readers. It is not just a bad business model.
It is a rotten journalism model, too...