US journalists cast themselves as victims as they demonize the audiences they abandoned for the city slickers.

This Associated Press piece of propaganda is interesting:

Anger toward media spreads into local communities

Boo hoo.

It is a bullshit story, and one I have no flying fucks to buy, but journalists don’t get it.

It reminds me of CBS’s Rural Purge in 1971 or so, when they cancelled a slew of popular programs that had a small-town theme because they wanted to just appeal to the city folk, and screw the small town yokels.

Entertainment brass decided it should be all glamour all the time, and apparently, you can’t get that in some village.

It was a classist act, and media owners followed suit, looking down on the small town people as they patronized them with fake news of the fuzzy bunny variety instead of giving them real information that they needed to know. The press spoke poorly of those smaller communities, as if they were idiots.

And they are now shocked how much anger those people have against them.

Well, you called them all dumb, inbred Nazis, did you expect a lollipop from them?

Were they supposed to thank you for placing them lower on the pecking order than those sophisticated rubes in the Big Apple, who are merely dumber versions who overpay for their cramped condos to make some sibling jealous?

Never do journalists ever consider whether their own attitudes and behaviours caused this hate against them.

You failed this group of people. You keep insulting them, questioning their every thought, belittling them at every turn, and now they hate you.

This is class warfare. This is the Establishment creating excuses to make this group faceless villains who must be confined and contained.

The way they tried to do to Serbs.

Find the PR firms and who is bankrolling them. Find out who their contacts in the press happen to be.

The news is fake. And it is vain.

And people will get hurt so some asshole can buy one more Mercedes…

Journalism lived in the present, and never evolved. F.R.E.E.D. pays attention to all the chords of time.


This is an ignorant tweet.


No, it’s not where the US is "at.”

It is in the 1990s when Democratic President Bill Clinton was accused of having truckloads of people whacked on his climb to the White House as if he were Tony Soprano only with a saxophone and a Southern accent, according to Republicans with their various vast and diabolical conspiracy theories and the Democrats correctly thought that the GOP were hysterical loons who were just reaching.

We just flipped the roles now where it is the Democrats who are the conspiracy-spewing hysterical loons saying the same childish thing about Trump that the Republicans said about the Clintons.

It is just sour grapes.

The middle class live in the now. The wealthy live in the future. The poor are stuck in the past.

And as journalism always pandered to the middle class, they stuck themselves in the now.

But never actually saw that obvious truth.

Prey live in the now. Predators think steps ahead. Prey and predators who were taken down are stuck in the past.

But when a predatory profession such as journalism emulates prey like the proverbial wolf in sheep’s clothing, and begins to assimilate to whom they are pandering, they lose their advantage and get hunted down.

And in this case, the wilier predator was Big Tech.

They bamboozled credulous journalists who live in the now that the future was strictly “video.” They took this decree to be Divine Truth and changed what they did to be hip, with bad results, and Nieman Labs honestly asking stupid questions:

Did Facebook’s faulty data push news publishers to make terrible decisions on video?

Publishers’ “pivot to video” was driven largely by a belief that if Facebook was seeing users, in massive numbers, shift to video from text, the trend must be real.

And then recalling the fateful moment when the profession got played:

“It will probably be all video.”

In June 2016, Nicola Mendelsohn, Facebook’s VP for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, spent several minutes of a panel at a Fortune conferencetalking about how Facebook was witnessing video overtake text.

“We’re seeing a year-on-year decline on text,” Mendelsohn answered. “We’re seeing a massive increase, as I’ve said, on both pictures and video. So I think, yeah, if I was having a bet, I would say: Video, video, video.”

“Wow,” the moderator, Pattie Sellers, responded.

“The best way to tell stories, in this world where so much information is coming at us, actually is video,” Mendelsohn continued. “It commands so much more information in a much quicker period. So actually, the trend helps us to digest more of the information, in a quicker way.”

I also recounted this very episode in A Dangerous Woman Story Studio essay entitled Word in 2016:


I called it out as bullshit then, and in other places as well.

But journalists didn’t call it out as anything but the gospel, and dutifully followed someone else’s decrees, even though Facebook is hardly an honest corporation.

And still, the Associated Press gives them yet another journalistic free pass with this piece of PR baloney:

Facebook’s election ‘war room’ takes aim at fake information

As if they were qualified or credible. They throw money and algorithms at the problem, never considering their shoddy methods will do nothing but provide some ineffectual window-dressing to make their PR problems go away and have proven to be as credible as the now defunct journalism profession.

My favourite part of this photo op is the picture with the photocopy sign of “War room” taped on the wall. Gee, that makes it real if you post the sign on the door.

And you buy what they are selling yet again? Are you teachable?

When you live in the now, you have no purpose or meaning in your individual or collective existence.


Here is another ignorant meme, this time on Facebook:


Yes, there are plenty of gay animals. One of my cats, Davy Jones, is one of them. He has never had any attraction to female cats, but the male who doesn’t reciprocate. They are all fixed, but it doesn’t change the fact that many animals in nature are gay, or that Davy Jones is the kindest, most responsible, loving, and well-behaved cat I’ve ever known.


But the second part that animals do not practice religion is bullshit.

It is a real phenomena, and one I studied as a psych student. We do not know what goes on in the hearts and minds of animals; so do not speak on their behalf.

But this meme is classic middle class logic: there is just black and white and we assume that we have to have 100% occurrences for it to be real and definitive. This is primitive and patriarchal binary rote thinking or The One Rule That Explains Everything.

No intelligent person would say no animals have religion. That would be to ignore a wealth of data that says otherwise.

An intelligent person would say, it is more than possible, but probable, and look for confirming and refuting proof.

But in order to do that, you cannot just live in the now.

You have to be living in the past, present, and future simultaneously.

In other words, you have to be in tune with reality.

So no, religion is not only not “against nature”, it is a biological drive.

It is innate and natural.

Even atheists treat their atheism as a religion without a god with their incessant need to preach and hold on to their unscientific beliefs as they create pecking orders and using othering to separate themselves from those who do believe.

They have not found the loophole that places them higher on any real intellectual pecking order. They are just disguising their primitive thinking.

Because religion occurs in every single nation and civilization. Neanderthals practiced it. Animals practice it.

So what we have is a lie and a piece of propaganda spewed by atheists who want to rig public opinion to force everyone to think just like them, and they will lie and ignore facts to do it.

Just like a religious fanatic. No difference in structure or motive to control others, but just choosing different content of thought.

So atheists spew untested and unscientific garbage just like those who use the bible to try to control people.

People hedge their bets going for whatever seems posh or safe to believe and follow it with no regards to past history or the consequences of their actions.

They way people who live in the now operate.

The way so-called “middle class avengers” are throwing temper tantrums in public, beating up on people who have different beliefs than they do — but try to spin a narrative that their violence and aggression is moral.

No, it isn’t. You’re just an air-headed thug who is morally masturbating in public using misdirection to hide your own wickedness, except you are doing wicked things.

Just like those who burned women at the stake at Salem and said they were doing a public service.

But when you live in the now, whatever garbage someone else pops in your empty head seems great and glorious.

These are not anarchists: these are spoiled and sheltered followers who were trained by social media to throw tantrums and do nothing but complain when things do not conform 100% to their sheltered and unscientific beliefs.

People are using ideology to use virtue-signalling as a Trojan Horse in order to gain control of other people.

But when you want 100% compliance, not only do others spit in your face and do whatever they want to do, but reality and truth do the same thing.

The middle class can never grasp it because the past and future are foreign concepts to them. Whatever they see on television or online is what they are thinking.

It reminds me of one of Nora Dunn’s classic skits when she was on Saturday Night Live (which I have mentioned before, but here it is again):

Well, you caught me doing my favorite thing -- reading a good book! You know, I like to think of my mind as a big, empty bucket, just waiting to be filled with pictures and words and...whatever. Surprise me! That's why Vogue is my favorite book...and you know, I have my own library -- volumes and volumes of Vogue. You know, I can just refer to them. What was I thinking last October? Well, I can look, and it's right her, between September and November!

Except there is no library of previous thoughts.

But not only does the middle class not think about tomorrow, let alone yesterday, journalists are the same, as this ridiculous and arrogant Think Progress drivel spews:

As ‘news deserts’ widen across America, communities and civic engagement fray

A new study has researchers worried about the future of our democracy.

Not at all, and a bad study with no context proves nothing.

The myth of a “news desert” is just that — a myth. It is no different than the myth that animals cannot be gay, that animals cannot be religious, that religion is unnatural, or that the president you did not vote for is a real-life Vito Corleone.

Get a grip, children.

Social media has replaced journalism for now. It is the place holder, and what is happening is the same thing that happened during the Pre-Penny Press Era, when everything was partisan and there were many newspapers shilling and manipulating people trying to gain dominance, destroy the competition, and gain patronage appointments from those in power.

This article is just another way of trying to scare people into going back into their cages where it is journalists alone who tell them what to think and how to think it.

The 1980s had more honesty, not just from Nora Dunn, but from Diane Sawyer whose Letterman film short from 1986 is also worth repeating.

That was always journalism’s default goal: to do or say whatever they want, and the crowd they called their own all happily marched behind them, cheering them on.

Now that they lost their grip of tomorrow as they forgot their past, other like-minded people are trying to cut in on their bit.

That is why future generations will call this era the Dark Ages where sophistry and temper tantrums were coming from everyone, including those with doctorates.

Because they all chose willingly — and willfully — to live in the now.

That is the reason the middle class are jittery by nature: because they are not visionaries. They follow whatever an Establishment tells them to do, even when they try to “do their own thing.”

Instead of Vogue, they scour the Troll Scroll or Liebook for clues.

Because the majority of people in the Western world identify as middle class, they are the ones trying to break out to be the next intellectual dictator and messiah, giving the impression that things are unravelling, when the opposite is happening.

If they are all behaving alike, there may be content incongruity, but not structural incongruity.

Meaning they are all walking lockstep.

And sooner or later, that lockstepping will trip up their plans.

Big Tech will not be able to do anything about it. Journalism won’t, either.

But when you have an alternative to journalism that can do something none of the other structures can do, that’s when things begin to change.

And that something else is not to merely live in the now with no respect for yesterday or tomorrow…

Is WikiLeaks still relevant in 2018?


When I taught Write to Publish at Sheridan in the early 2000s, I used to warn my students to be very aware of the reality of publishing: it was not a get-rich-quick scheme. If they were looking for praise and validation and didn't like criticism, they were not going to like having their work published. 

After all, when TVQs were all the rage in the 1980s, only two celebrities had more than 50% of people who knew who they were actually like them (Michael J. Fox clocked in at 51% or so, only second to Bill Cosby); ergo, most of the public will not applaud you, nor should you ever expect it.

There was something else I used to tell my students: what is your goal seeking publication? If it is just to be published for the sake of being published, then compromise away. If it is just an item on your bucket list, you need to build up a resume for more serious pieces, or you want to make your siblings jealous or wear a paper crown, pander away.

But if your goal is to share wisdom or a piece of your soul, you cannot compromise. You will face more rejection, insults, temper tantrums, and criticism from editors and publishers, but you have to be choosy and stand your ground.

If you treat your deeply personal and/or moral work the same way as the person who just wants to throw their name out in the public, you will get published faster, but you will have to make so many concessions that you will never want to look at that article or book ever again, and your retreatist tactics will haunt you.

I was always careful as an author. I did not compromise. I was never a weakling who thought writing in public was going to be easy. I have been criticized, and some of criticisms were downright bizarre. One forum threw a fit because my book Don't Believe It! didn't mention Scientology -- never mind that the book never claimed to chronicle every misinformation and hoax -- I gave numerous case studies, showed readers how to determine the veracity of a news report -- and then they could apply it to any news story.

There was no suppression of information: it showed the business of journalism, how reporters did their jobs, where they were vulnerable, and then illustrated real-life cases to show readers how to apply it. The criticism in this case was, to be blunt, just plain stupid, but there is no divine rule that human beings have to be smart when they gripe.

And I never thought I was the hapless lone target of those kinds of attacks. If tomorrow, some brilliant mind found the absolute cure for all cancer that was painless, universally effective and had a 100% cure rate, made no damage to the body, and healed people without poisoning the body or cutting it up with no side effects and was cheap, there would be anger and outrage that now millions of people would lose their jobs. Pharmaceutical companies would launch public campaigns against the poor soul because their bottom line would be seriously impacted. The person's motives would be questioned, conspiracy theories would swirl around them, and hate mail would be plenty.

Do not kid yourself. The heat would be so great, that the person would face lawsuits from people who would proclaim the cure was their idea. There would be accusations that a "culture" that came from being ill was under threat. Parents would complain their children's dream of being the curer of cancer were destroyed.

Not everyone who was cured would be grateful. 

That's reality.

You still fight solving problems because the motive must never be selfish.

That you want to please people or make them grateful.

If you choose to solve a problem as part of your career, you have to be absolutely aware of that reality.

It means forget about narrative. You focus on the facts that will help you reach your goal.

Once upon a time WikiLeaks seemed to understand that piece of reality.

But they never did, and it is beginning to show -- especially now that their leader Julian Assange played a game a Chess when it was a game of Go, and he is losing more and more liberties.


I find WikiLeaks interesting. The concept of hacktivists intrigued me in my fiction writing, but it also was a promising alternative model to traditional journalism.

A theory, but application would be very tricky.

It was patriarchal in execution with the usual young, rich white boys at the helm. Julian Assange was the leader, but the question was always could he hack it, and actually understood what it meant to do something as anarchistic as WikiLeaks.

I had my doubts, but I appreciated the theory. As I have said before, people who play chess are no match to those who play Go, and Assange is a chess master.

Chess is a game about paper crowns and following set scripts: kings, queens, rooks, and the like: bishops can do certain things, but not others -- classic "It's not my department" in-the-box thinking that slowly erodes critical thinking and active progress.

Go is a different game. No stone gets a title. There is no pawn promotion. The game is about surrounding an enemy as he loses his liberties. It is the intellectually superior game to chess. Chess's inherent flaw has always been to feed an ego. Go is a game about getting the job done.

If Assange understood the reality of power, he would be playing Go. If his hypothesis was based on Hollywood patriarchal bedtime stories used to lull privileged white boys, he was going to play chess.

He played chess.

His enemies were playing Go, and you never play chess during a game of Go.

The Hollywood white boy bedtime story is all about the Hero exposing the Villain's nefarious schemes, the enslaved citizens are all shocked, awaken brave, help the Hero chase away the Villain, crown the Hero the King and Winner, and he lives Happily Ever After, always with some dumb fawning blonde drooling all over him.

If you are going to expose the dirty laundry of the Man, remember, they are the ones who are putting those propagandistic stories out there for a reason. They know the Middle Class are very tolerant of the Man's dirty work, and may express surprise, but they don't want change that may result in tearing down the industries that employ them. They were never going to overthrow any government when they would rather get a tattoo and watch Game of Thrones. 

There wouldn't be gratitude for WikiLeaks. They wouldn't see Assange as a hero, but a nuisance. 

And so would the people whose emails were being exposed. They don't want their rivals to be privy to their scheming and plotting -- they have too many issues about being the most cunning person on the planet for that.

The Monkees' song Pleasant Valley Sunday pretty much nails North American thinking to this day. There would not be a revolution over leaked emails, but for those in power, they would find anything to strike back at Assange.

And they found it. A damsel in distress who told a story about Assange and while other women who made the same complaints to police about other men, suddenly, this women's accusations were immediately believed -- and the police went out to look for the bad boy.

It is here that Assange's test as leader was put to the test. If he was brave and willing to put his skills to practical use, he would march to the police station and turn himself in. He would put his freedom on the line, and stand up to that Authority. You want a fight? It's a fight you'll get. After all, if you have dirt on that authority, nothing stops you from leaking it all while being on trial.

It didn't happen. He fled.

And for the last few years, has been a prisoner of a different sort, retreating in an embassy as his liberties have been removed one by one. His health declined. His clout declined. His credibility eroded. His communications was removed. His visitors have been banned.

Even prison inmates have more freedoms and access to the outside world.

Chelsea Manning, on the other hand, faced grimmer odds, and made it through. She survived prison, and she has a vastly different life -- one where she is currently running for a senate seat.

Assange's flaw has always been his equations have always been misaligned with certain realities. He is shrewd in many respects, but naive in others. The concept of WikiLeaks was excellent, but if you go in with unrealistic assumptions and something goes wrong, you better be someone who can improvise with an alternative plan -- and when you do what WikiLeaks do, you have to account for the possibility that you still have far less intelligence and plain old dirt than those you are exposing -- and less power. They will make a play to punish you because insecure control freaks who function by schemes have way too much on the line to allow their house of cards from collapsing.

The trick is not running away and hiding in a rabbit hole -- it is by standing up to those tormentors to show them you took their manipulations into your equations, and they don't scare you. 

Assange turned from would-be Hero to Victim.

And then it started going downhill from there.


It is not as if WikiLeaks hasn't exposed important information (they have, and consistently so), but without the proper guiding sense of reality from the top, corrupting elements would inevitably creep in, and since Assange's power came from mass communications, and then lost his sole source, things have taken a very concerning turn for their fortunes lately.

The first sign of an appeasing gambit came with Assange's opinion piece (mentioned here previously) in the Washington Post, where he tried to draw parallels between WikiLeaks and the Post. If it were a strategic move to gain sympathy with the very Establishment press WikiLeaks threatened, it was a passable chess move, but in the wrong game. All it managed to do was shift the centre of gravity -- and WikiLeaks was the loser, especially as there have been many journalists who have allowed themselves to be arrested covering protests and unrests -- as well when they refused to divulge the name of sources -- and Assange is hiding in Limbo rather than face the Devil himself in Hell.

The Freedom of the Press Institute picked up on the theme with this opinion piece, but the effect is not one it may have intended: what is happening to journalism is not remotely the same as what happened to WikiLeaks. Journalism is an Establishment tool. WikiLeaks was the underdog fringe. The two are not comparable, and yet, those who proclaim to be outsiders are trying to establish a sentimental connection on two separate groups, when none can exist.

Journalism and WikiLeaks are two different beasts, and are more than rivals, but incompatible elements. Once upon a time journalism held all of the communication power, and were a thing -- the thing.

WikiLeaks is the upstart that was never an Establishment property. It is akin to a high schooler with a column in the school paper comparing himself to a best-selling author. The tumbleweed is comparing itself with an old tree, even if the tree now has rotten roots and fell to the ground because of neglect.

But there was a time where the tree was strong and had firm roots. The tumbleweed never did.

That the corpse of journalism is being devoured by vultures is not the same as the attacks on WikiLeaks. It is the reason we need an alternative to journalism -- because the sole contender is not doing what it needed to do.

WikiLeaks needed to fortify itself, but Assange's actions have prevented it. Instead, WikiLeaks is making moves toward trying to build a bridge to the press that failed the world, such as this tweet, praising the Associated Press for their "scientific journalism," though looking at their evidence shows it is anything but scientific or journalism (the documents are not a smoking gun showing skulduggery of one operation or man; that is the way corporations all do business). When your work is based on a confirmation bias that skews raw information, and leaves out key information, that is not science, but quackery.

And WikiLeaks was never in a position to declare what is good journalism. That isn't their place. They were created, in theory, to expose the very things journalists refused to do, either out of fear, complacency, or for partisan reasons.

WikiLeaks was raw data told in an epistolary style. Journalism is processed information drowned in narrative. There is no middle ground.


If WikiLeaks was supposed to be the answer to the dying journalism, its results have been uneven. It was still a step up, but without the gravitas that required to breakthrough. It once had swagger, but with a leader who refuses to come out for a single battle, it is not fighting a war. It is throwing stones from a fortress, and hence, has trouble comprehending the battleground.

Because fact-gathering is a form of an intangible war where you have soldiers who liberate truth from lies -- or more fundamentally, liberate reality from delusions.

And that liberation begins when we are free from narratives.

We may have a story to tell -- infinite stories -- but stories are maps to show us new paths and unexplored spaces. Narratives are boxes that confine us and deaden our senses. Stories require active exploration, while narratives induce passive opining that hinges on forcing others to validate our fantasies.

WikiLeaks is in danger of becoming co-opted -- if it hasn't been so already -- and with that, it is neutralized as a genuine threat. If it requires a single face to survive, its prospects become dimmer. Assange is not a martyr, nor is he a soldier. He had a very good idea. He took bold steps to make that idea a reality, but there were obvious weaknesses that he could not see, and those weaknesses are usually hidden behind patriarchal narratives.

Is WikiLeaks relevant in 2018? It still is, but at its current trajectory, I doubt it will survive in spirit. It has made too many concessions and compromises, despite its angry alpha male tough talk. Its leader isn't leading. You cannot make progress unless you take real and serious risks -- and the consequences of those risks. Had Assange bit the bullet -- regardless of the threats I am certain his enemies made to frighten him in order to prove to the public that he cannot defend them as he is not a soldier at heart -- it would have been over and done, and he would have been in a bigger position of power, and I wouldn't be doing what I am doing now because there would have been a viable alternative to journalism firmly in place.

It didn't happen. I seriously doubt its fortunes will change, but that doesn't mean a journalistic alternative cannot happen, even if an earlier model had some of its equations off the first time round...

Associated Press, Fox News, and the Trust Issue.

Fake news is supposed to mean non-media entities parading as legitimate news, but as I shown in 2005, legitimate outlets have been spewing fake news for years. The Associated Press did just that when they mischaracterized an on-air blunder on Fox News Channel's MediaBuzz hosted by Howard Kurtz (the original story is archived here and here, while the corrected version is here and here):

Fox News inadvertently posted a graphic showing it lagged other cable news networks in trustworthiness.
It happened during a segment Sunday on "Media Buzz." Host Howard Kurtz was talking about a Monmouth University poll about whether the media regularly or occasionally report fake news.
But the graphic on the screen showed results from another question about what cable news outlets do respondents trust more. Fox News was last at 30 percent.
Kurtz realized the mistake. He said "that is not the graphic we are looking for. Hold off. Take that down, please."
The graphic was shown out of sequence. It wasn't shown "accidentally," especially as it takes time and planning to create that graphic in the first place. Kurtz discussed the graphic in question, but it wasn't supposed to come up when it did.

This wasn't a case of "gotcha." This wasn't a story at all.

Kurtz pointed out the distortion, while Left-winged partisan outlets, such as AlterNet took full advantage of the original flawed piece as did BoingBoing. Other outlets, such as the Washington Post covered the incident as did MarketWatch. Some others have been having a fit over AP's antics.

The kerfuffle is over a very flawed and melodramatic partisan study from Monmouth University that makes a huge leap in logic that "‘Fake News’ Threat to Media; Editorial Decisions, Outside Actors at Fault."

The AP story proved that fake news is a problem inside the old guard outlets. The FNC is a partisan outlet, as I chronicled in 2005, but here is a case where a bad study wasn't questioned, and then another media outlet ignored the methodological flaws of the same study and could have brought MediaBuzz to task for not scrutinizing the study. Instead they misrepresented a mundane error and polluted the information stream.

Journalism has a serious trust issue. While the Monmouth study did reveal that people do have trust issues with the news (a no-brainer observation considering that news media use has been eroding for years), how they did it, and the questions they asked leave a lot to be desired. It is like using a psychic to determine if the man whose bone is protruding out from his leg has a broken limb.

But these are the screwy times we live in. There is a profound disrespect for facts. It is all about a narrative that is used to force people to believe the same ideology you believe in -- and of course, this ideology completely benefits your backside. It is driven by folksy logic -- the belief that life is a parable where fictional patriarchal story structures are logical and natural, and drive reality.

And it's not.

You have to fight to find facts. They are raw and unprocessed. It is the reason why we need a profession that ignores the narratives to find those nuggets that show us what is really happening.

And when you have a program that takes a study for granted because they appeal to authority, and then have a wire service misrepresent the program, there can be no deep trust. Everything becomes babble, and our instincts to see truth from lies becomes dulled, and we begin to lose our way...

Pot black, kettle says: Journalists' turnovers and blood-letting is horrifyingly bad and getting worse, yet they still find time to criticize others for doing the same thing.

This article is yet another dig at a President who, all things considered, is handling a lifetime lack of experience of politics better than they are handling their own dead profession. The Drudge Report's header is a riot:

Screen Shot 2018-03-03 at 12.08.04 AM

Their senses aren't working. The press keeps hoping to smell weakness, but what they are smelling is the stench of rot that comes from their own dead profession. The jobs losses and outlet closures have chaotic newsrooms with a revolving door of owners, publishers, producers, editors, and journalists. Nothing is working.

Once upon a time, a president who got this kind of scathing non-stop coverage would have been finished, not having stable polling numbers that have slowly gone up over the course of the year. It's unprecedented and shows the impotence of the news media.

It's galling for them, but they are distracting the rest of the world from replacing them with a superior method of reporting...