Fourteen years ago today, OutFoxed: Rupert Murdoch's war on journalism was published.

Disinfo is no longer in business, but the book is still around.

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As I am still toiling away, I would like to take a breather and point out some of the fuckery going on in the press.

Like this bullshit piece from Quartz:

A new Twitter account is outing shoddy reporting in science stories

You misogynistic motherfuckers, some white guy starts a Twitter feed, and you give him free publicity about showing shoddy reportage about science?

I wrote two books chronicling the same thing and showing how to spot it, and I did not get a mention.

Don’t Believe It!: How lies become news was published in March 2005 and I had an entire chapter on this problem.

When Journalism was a Thing also extensively went into this problem last year, and you ignored it.

The man posts five seconds on Twitter, and you drool and slobber all over his ass as if he did something original. Go fuck yourselves.

And speaking of fuckery, boy, someone with big boy pants must have taken over the propaganda arm of the federal Liberals.

The National Post are being dutiful little minions and are doing free propaganda for them:

'Inconsistent with democratic values': Internal conflict flared over Jody Wilson-Raybould's controversial last act as justice minister

An internal memo claims Crown lawyers were being overruled and told not to use certain defences to appear less adversarial toward Indigenous plaintiffs

Really? JWR was your pick, assholes. That was the culture of control you cultivated. She was well within the brand of political reasoning — and you wait until your little SNC-Lavalin scandal got this far away from you to try to take swipes at her?

You losers do realize the more you slag her, the worse you sound, right? You either mistreated her, which speaks poorly of your prime minister, or you picked and propped up a lemon for years, which speaks even more poorly of you. If you had class — which, by the way, you don’t — you would be better off copping to the former rather than the latter.

Do you idiots realize this has now gotten way, way bigger than two ousted female MPs? You are all going to get hit with a bigger scandal or three before October, and it won’t matter. It doesn’t even matter now. You all sound like vindictive spouses going through a divorce and come off as petty shits. Get a crisis management team and get over yourselves.

And as for the National Propaganda — stop being stenographers for the Man. No wonder you guys bleed money.

But it goes beyond the childish and psychopathically abusive nose-tweaking. The Grits are desperate and reek badly of it with their vast conspiracy theories of political interference being floated as a possible bogeyman for them to frighten the little people into voting for them.

Dumbasses, here is the memo: all countries meddle in the affairs of other countries. That is why Julian Assange had to be silenced by bribing the regime who gave him refuge with loans — who knows what drugs were given to the guy during his exile to discredit him, but WikiLeaks released information that showed the the “political interference” happened everywhere all the time, and the Left sound like Loopy Lous trying to make it sound as if meddling happened only with Trump, and we have people in the Liberal Party sound like paranoid potheads warning that other countries will meddle in our election.

Yeah, the way you stick your pointy little noses in theirs. Fuck you. For a group of blowhards who preach about globalization, why would this even bother you? Globalization precisely means the right to meddle in other countries’ affairs. That’s like wanting to fuck everybody and still be a virgin. Morons.

One last observation: Peter Mackay’s column in the Toronto Sun seems to have a very sly, but nasty jab to Justin Trudeau:

No one is fooled by the crafted image, stage-managed appearances, bold bromides, soaring rhetoric and flashy wardrobe; the stuff of an Old Spice commercial spoofing itself for effect.

The Old Spice reference doesn’t fit — unless you recall that Matthew Perry’s stepdad was the Old Spice guy in commercials…and that Perry boasted in public how he used to beat up Trudeau in school when they were kids.

Trudeau could never compete with Perry in the acting sphere, so go show up the guy in politics where you are completely unqualified. Take that, Matthew Perry!

That’s all for now. I am averaging a chapter a day, and I am picking up speed. Propaganda-busting gets my juices flowing. I could never stand liars because they are arrogant cowards to the core.

Ciao!

xoxo.

Why journalism's patriarchal narrative structures keep distorting our perceptions of realty.

The Economist has a very distorted chart worth noting here:

White nationalism after Christchurch

The new face of terror, much like the old

Violent white nationalists increasingly resemble the jihadists they hate

This is a very stupid chart and a stupider hypothesis, but not for the reasons that you think.

In my 2005 book, Don’t Believe It!: How lies become news, I go over a very important method of dealing with hate crime stories, terror stories, and war stories: erase the ethnicity or race of the players. Just forget them entirely.

Look at the facts. Look at the logic. See if Group or Person A could possibly do this to Group or Person B.

Many times, just by removing ethnic or racial designations, the story completely falls apart.

Because the distorting lens is removed, and the emotional triggers are gone.

Why is this method effective?

Because our own personal biases and prejudices are gone, and we have no idea who is suppose to be the hero or villain. We are looking at actions because we don’t have the hacks of ethnicity to cloud our judgement.

But it goes one step deeper: it kicks away our props and supports and we are forced to judge people as people.

But journalism cannot do this because its entirely existence is based in a Patriarchal Narrative where there can be only one good guy, and anyone else is a bad guy.

It cannot deal with Matriarchal realities of intersecting lives. It does not compute. If journalism was a calculator, it would be one that could not do math. It would have just two numbers: 1 and 0.

It would know that 1≠0, and that’s about it.

And 0=bad and 1=good.

That’s a pretty shitty calculator.

So what the Economist is trying to do is present an inaccurate truth of 0 and 1, and that’s not true.

White supremacists were always terrorists. They lynched people who were not like them. There is no “increasing” here. We just cherry-pick certain events and then try to paint a narrative how we should now see these people are bigger bad guys than the ones who are bad guys of a different in-group.

No, they are the same. These are both racist cabals who are violent. The end.

The world is full of violent people. The press wants to somehow knock Trump by proclaiming one violent group is worse than another violent.

No, you have two violent groups. They aren’t just racist, but misogynistic.

So your chart is garbage and so is your hypothesis.

The world was always violent. It always had cabals who terrorize people and cause harm to innocents. There is no narrative. I don’t want to deal with any of them. The Ustashi slaughtered my grandmother’s family just because they were Serbs. The Nazis slaughtered Jews. They both were violent, and both got away with far too much.

And any other group that wants to kill people is a bad group. No worse, no better. If your mandate includes extermination, you suck. The end.

And if journalists were truly “progressive” as all the cool kids try to convince me, they wouldn’t be making racist charts or bringing up race: they would say that there are various clusters of violent people targeting innocent people for slaughter. They would not indulge the excuses. They would name names and put faces to the names. You wouldn’t be employing the faceless techniques of war propaganda.

Because in the end, race doesn’t make you a murderer. It’s your lack of character, ability to see truths, emotional illiteracy, and cowardice.

If we held individuals accountable and didn’t indulge their excuses, they would not be able to hide in numbers. They could not pretend they had a cause, because they don’t.

But that takes breaking away from patriarchal narratives and stop distorting reality just to make silly charts and nonexistent points…

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Fake news on fake news: Don't pin it on your ideological enemies. There is plenty of blame to go around.

Fox News Channel has this agitprop on their menu:

“Black Eye: Dan Rather and the Birth of Fake News”

That title is fake news itself.

Fake news has been going on long before 1968, too, Politico.

For as long as there has been communications, there has been propaganda.

That is not a “left” or “right” invention.

It is a people invention…

A fake expert was quoted in multiple media outlets as being legitimate? You don't say, Gizmodo!

A fake expert was believed and quoted without anyone asking questions?

You don’t say!

Remember the Lying Dutchman? The social psychologist who made up his studies, and then the press believed them, for like, years?

They didn’t learn from that episode — and in fact, got even worse because they didn’t even double-check the new champ’s creds.

I wrote the book on these kinds of things, and it is common enough that one wonders why journalism never had a vigorous screening process on their so-called “experts.”

Did you read their studies? Their books? I have done so, and I have even had people who wanted to interview me make sure that got and read the book before interviewing me.

I may be eccentric and not fit any simple and sanctioned label, but my credentials are sound, verifiable, and above reproach.

And I have had people interview me who had no clue who I was at all. I have turned down interviews because I wasn’t the one who could or should speak on the topic.

So not only is this not surprising, there are a lot more fake experts being quoted even now, and nothing ever changes…

Yes, it really is Fake News you are getting. I have been advocating and creating the alternative for a very long time.

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The Jussie Smollett Fiasco is just the latest hoax to make mainstream news. No one in the mainstream press did their homework.

Worst of all, they knew it wasn’t true, and still ran with it, and this is not the first time this kind of skulduggery has happened.

And are still justifying it by pinning the blame on the Internet.

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We are way beyond “the age of the hoax”, Financial Times where narrative is the problem.

We are — as I have said numerous times on this web site, in An Age of Propaganda.

Stop cribbing from me, and then try to spin and downplay it as you shift the blame away from journalism.

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And, for the record, I am not a scammer. Speak for yourself.

I have written books on this subject.

I have written articles on the problems in journalism.

I went into journalism in order to study it.

And I have devised an alternative to journalism.

Because it is long overdue.

It is not just fake news, but also thieving news with people who steal ideas from others in order to make themselves look smarter, too.

Universities are useless in that they do not want to even hear about better methods of reinventing the profession.

And I know it personally.

Both my first and fourth books go over the problems in excruciatingly-researched detail.

I have spent my entire adult life on this problem, and discuss it here and elsewhere.

We are in a pathetic state of affairs, and it is time to say, time for a new way!

Long overdue.

There is no They, but there is me.

A lifetime spent working on it, and I will continue to work until I get my way.

I am not going away, and I am not going to keep quiet.

Oh, and Financial Times? Keep your eyes on your own paper…

Watching the confirmation bias as a legitimate way of doing the news.

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I was watching my local news station where they were talking about this attack on Beach Boulevard on Friday.

Oh dear. Gracious, how dreadful.

Memo to CHCH: when people in the neighbourhood tell you it is a “good place”, they are trying to salvage the real estate value. That’s not a good barometer. You don’t buy their bullshit stories.

Because how many domestic homicides are met by neighbours by a declaration that the body bags were once “really nice people” and “such a good family.”

They aren’t going to tell you that they saw the husband beat his wife and children senseless because then people will wonder why no one stepped in sooner.

Remember Kitty Genovese? Or Angel Torres?

Their distress was ignored by people around them. Genovese was attacked, raped, and murdered in 1964 and her screams didn’t even compel people to cal the police. She was utterly alone, and the injustice of apathy puts her at Person #34 of People Everyone Should Know. She is the reminder that too many times you can fight, scream, and let the world know that evil has arrived, and everyone around you will blow you off.

Angel Torres was an elderly man who was lying unconscious on the street, and people walked over him.

If you interviewed those people, they would tell you they didn’t see anything, fiddle dee dee.

And then they go and rant on the Twitter about how the world should be to their exact specifications and why isn’t the government doing more for people.

But confirmation bias seems to be a way of presenting the news. Someone gives you a story, and you run with it, not concerned whether they have a reason for spinning a certain angle.

I worked as a journalist, and I have more than once been asked to cover a person whose story did not sit well with me. There were people who claimed to have an illness, and they presented me with a narrative complete with an act. La belle indifference sometimes bothered me. Other times, it was the layout of their house that told me nothing was modified to accommodate their disability and they lived alone and claimed no outside help.

I looked after a severely disable relative who literally could not move and was a prisoner in her own bed. Whenever doctors, nurses, ESM, or PSWs came to our house the first time, they asked if we were a nursing home. We had to modify the house, but even before then, we had to install a stairlift, rails, a ramp, bathroom modifications, and countless other things to give that relative independence. That’s not cheap.

At the time, I didn’t have those issues to think about, but I still knew things were off. I could have just run with the story, but I didn’t. The sad, sickly voice, the doe eyes, limping and the like seemed to confirm the person was ill, but was there evidence that refuted it?

There was one way to find out. I would watch the person after the interview when they didn’t know the audience they solicited still was watching. Sometimes, the off performance was shocking. No walking aids. No limp. I once went as far as asking someone to call the person, and tell them it was a wrong number — no sickly voice, just a strong robust one.

Talking to others who knew the person confirmed they also thought something was off, but they couldn’t put a finger on it.

Most times, stories like that don’t run.

And they should.

In my first book, I recount many stories of people faking illnesses for attention or money. It happens frequently. So did fake hate crimes, robberies, kidnappings, and assaults. When we take someone’s words as the gospel truth and look for only confirming evidence, we are gambling our credibility.

I have interviewed people who were genuinely sick, and while I looked for confirming evidence, I also looked for refuting evidence — and there was none. Everything aligned: from their demeanour, symptoms, and even household modifications.

So when neighbours tell you how everything was just warm and fuzzy, you go to the archives and see what’s what. You call the police and ask questions about the area. You find out about the crime stats of the area — any if they align, then mention the crime was atypical, but even then, you don’t really know. Maybe there is a meth lab. Maybe someone is trafficking weapons or people. Maybe child porn is being produced there. Sometimes one skirmish is a sign that something dangerous is going down there and it is about to explode.

It is not about preserving real estate value or maintaining a folksy image. It is about digging deeper. Sometimes people get dismissed when they shouldn’t be. Other times, there is a mask that needs to be snatched off.

People can see a homeless man spewing obscenities and then think he is some sort of dangerous monster. Others, see a poet, a soldier, and a gentle soul who has something to say and contribute to society despite it all.

You don’t know. You never do. That’s why you dig.

You try different paths and see where they take you. It’s what I did as a journalist. I always learned something new. I am an explorer by nature, not a stenographer, and it is the reason my career was an odyssey and a journey of a thousand revelations, and not some platform to vogue without purpose or meaning…

Actrivism, Part Seven: The first question should always be: What PR firm is behind the "trend" and who is footing the bill?

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Jeff Bezos is trying to claw his way out with a veiled Blame Trump. That’s right. The government grabbed you and made you cheat on your wife. But the deflection and gaslighting is nothing new.

Bezos is merely taking a page from Hillary Clinton’s old playbook: It’s a vast right-wing conspiracy!

Yeah, and your husband still did the deed all by his horny little self. The end.

Bezos is not used to having bad publicity. He is trying to do what every other philanderer does: blame someone else and make himself look like the victim. He isn’t a victim. He plays with the Big Boys because he is one of the Biggest Boys. His employees from Amazon to Whole Foods to the Washington Post are miserable to the point of open revolt. Anyone who falls for his garbage is naive.

And just to be clear, I am a regular at Whole Foods, which I like, and Amazon, which I have ordered countless books and other items from superhero statues to a carpet sweeper just in 2019 alone; so I am not against the company. I got my amplifier, radio, theremin, and ozone generator from Amazon. Bezos has piled up quite a few of my pennies over the years because I like the service and use it regularly, but I am not blind to a feint.

Because it doesn’t matter in the Bezos Scandal: he has enemies because he is a general in a corporate army. Globalization is a battleground. There will always be casualties, and generals like Bezos get lots of help, and when they lose one alliance too many, they implode. He cannot blame himself, so he blames others.

You went into the boxing ring willingly and had your guard down and got knocked out. That’s on you.

Globalization is monopoly and it is not a good idea. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Don’t rely on one path because you are missing out on new worlds and new opportunities if you don’t pave others. Bezos may have had plans that hinged on always being on top, but that’s not a realistic or functional theory, and that speaks to his glaring weaknesses as a strategist.

It would be nice to have a list of all of the people Bezos stomped over on his climb to the top. Having a list of enemies would be a handy reference for the public because they wouldn’t be hero worshipping if they saw it.

But the Zero-Risk Mindset plays tricks on you.

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But notice how Bezos sat and stewed for a bit, trying to come up with a narrative to deflect attention away from his adultery. He is wealthy because he thinks.

And what he thought was: who is behind this?

Middle Class people don’t think in active terms, for the most part. That’s the reason they never breakthrough the barrier.

They never ask who is behind this coverage?

Especially if the coverage fellates their egos and validates their folksy and uninformed opinions.

Look at this New York Times piece of propaganda:

Thank God for Canada!

Our boring neighbor is a moral leader of the free world.

Oh, I am sure the homeless in this country, all the rape victims who’s reports are dismissed by police, and the First Nations people here are thinking the same thing.

But, I am sure SNC-Lavalin is thankful for such a helpful government!

Boy, talk about bad timing.

But why did the Times choose to publish it?

That’s a very good question.

We can look on FARA to have a quick sketch of the country’s use of US firms for their affairs. This list isn’t definitive, but it is a start.

If we started to investigate the origins and motives for such a piece of fawning propaganda, we’d have a better understanding of how certain narratives take root and grow.

I find Samatha Markle’s tweet about her sister interesting.

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“Stop the PR crap.”

It would be great to know all the firms that represent the Duchess of Sussex, for instance, and then compare their angle to the angle used by journalists.

Because journalists do not disclose this information to the public.

I stumbled upon this fact during the civil war in the former Yugoslavia as a teenager. Both my mother and I had seen actual press releases on separate desks at different daily newspapers.

Hello! You are coverage a war and you are using a press release as a source?

And then with a little more digging and research, I found out that there was more than one PR firm hired by both Croats and Bosnian Muslims to skew the narrative and optics to their side. Even a publication geared toward the intelligence community confirmed it.

So yes, no wonder the side spending millions of dollars on publicity were seen as the Good Guys and the poor helpless victims, and not aggressors.

Just like Kuwait hired Hill and Knowlton and got Western countries to do its dirty work for them against all odds.

I knew about Hill & Knowlton. I knew about Ruder Finn in the Yugoslav conflict.

So was it just wars, or was this just the way things rolled in journalism?

I decided to find out for myself by going into the business and seeing how it would be vulnerable to various kinds of manipulation.

And how it interacts with the public.

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There are PR firms, and Crisis Management firms, and it is not hard to spot when a person or company employs one. The messages fit a certain pattern. Their effectiveness on manipulating public opinion are fascinating.

People will let their children eat their boogers because it’s too much effort to discipline them, but suddenly, they advocate a certain brand of shoes, or spout a political philosophy, thinking it is posh.

No, it has been paid for by someone else.

You suddenly like a new hamburger chain? That’s not your discovery. That’s an effective advertising campaign. You get your directives from advertisers, and follow it until a competitor finds a new angle and the cycle repeats.

Whenever there is a new trend, there is some sort of push from a third-party.

That includes this latest socialism kick.

Who are these players? How did they get the money and the connections?

Who is paying for their expensive PR?

That is the question people should ask first. Find the moneybags and the PR firm and then you know exactly why you are being recruited to believe in anything from “social media influencers” to “socialism.”

Overnight sensations are not overnight: the fantasy of being discovered and then having instant fans fawning all over you is a myth. There is always someone in power with clout and media experience backing the “ingenue” for a variety of reasons. It is not organic.

I recount this type of scam in my first book: the “overnight sensation” trope has been used often enough. Lana Turner was said to have been “discovered” by accident, when she wasn’t. One young violinist was also the benefactor of a choreographed farce with a wealthy man pushing her from behind the scenes.

When you are a spectator, you are passive by default. You only see things once the curtain rises. You think it is all natural.

Take reality show competitions: they have scriptwriters and rehearsals along with NDAs to ensure people don’t spill secrets. You have “judges” look “shocked” at how good a performer is, and we don’t wonder how genuine the response is.

The same goes for newsmakers: we don’t question who is behind the scenes and what is the benefit. Do you go to a music concert just because?

What is the usual incentive? Once you figure out the incentive, then you know how you are vulnerable to PR.

It is one thing to like your music or frozen dinner because of an effective ad campaign, but it is quite another to choose your politics or religion that way, and yet that’s what people do.

When I worked as a journalist, I made mental notes of even why I was drawn to certain stories or issues: how much of it was me — and how of it was as a result of someone’s effective persuasion?

Being an Actrivist forced me to include myself as a test subject: okay, why am I taking this track? Why am I interviewing this expert? How did I find this person? What was my criteria for choosing this professor over a hundred others who all study the same thing?

And what percentage of the “criteria” was mine, and what was the other direct or indirect influences?

Am I being played here directly? Collectively? Deliberately? Inadvertently? Am I a the target audience, or am I a proxy to influence the publication I am working for — and/or the audience that reads it?

Because I broke down my methods to study them, I was very aware of subtle influences of all sorts.

That’s why it is always automatic with me to ask who is the kingmaker of any given story? Who is pulling the strings and setting the agenda?

Is this newspeg organic or contrived?

It is contrived. How else do you get a reporter’s, producer’s, or editor’s attention?

In a world of 7.4 billion people, how does one stand out?

By having the money and backing of someone with clout who is schooled in optics.

Even on social media…

Memo to the New Yorker: Der Spiegel's "pathology" infected the rest of the profession, too.

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The New Yorker has a naive piece on the Der Spiegel scandal where they let one reporter use leftie fantasy tropes and sophistry, folksy details, as he charmed the staff, knew how to outwit fact-checkers, and slathered his stories with no facts, just lots of colour and eccentric characters.

And then have the shallow twits have the nerve to talk about “deep psychology.”

No, you’re too stupid to know about “deep psychology.”

This is a replay of Stephen Glass and the New Republic.

In other words, Der Spiegel doesn’t do anything differently than any other news magazine.

They just got caught because someone in their magazine started to get suspicious.

Someone who was younger and less established — the same way Glass finally got exposed.

And nothing ever changes. Even the New Yorker is doing the same things in its telling of the scandal.

I wrote books on this problem — and even in the New Yorker piece, they are still playing partisan games, by trying to spin the idea of being upset over fake news as being some sort of Right-wing/Fascist/Trump Supporter lie.

And it isn’t.

If you are not perturbed by the amount of lies and errors being churned out in news products, then there is something seriously wrong with you.

You cannot distance yourself or try to downplay the number of scandals of deceit journalism has faced over the decades.

Fake news is a real problem. It is a real problem in mainstream Western journalism. There are no government bodies or quality control requirements or standards. The very fact that this reporter felt compelled to put some sort of qualifier in a bid to discount the “fake news” label makes this piece less than credible.

Just because you look down on people who are criticizing you doesn’t make you right or them wrong.

It is no different than the National Post always looking down on women who say that men in power sexually harassed and assault them — and then are upset because their criticisms are dismissed.

Do you not think those women aren’t a little peeved — and have merit to their arguments?

And their detractors are always trying to dismiss as being nutty and slutty?

That is the reason we cannot trust journalists reporting on their own sins and atrocities.

Because they see only their enemies’ bad habits — never their own…

Unreadable Narrator: Just get to the point, New Yorker.

The New Yorker has a rambling piece on how author Dan Mallory is full of it. Bottom line: if someone is a liar, they aren’t all that interesting or warrant that much colour and filler.

That we have fiction authors bullshit about their lives is hardly anything new.

When you go for melodramatic bullshit stories, you are going to get hosed for eternity. The end.

Spinning yarns gets you lucrative contracts, and Mallory knows the game well.

He also knows that you can spin a story to deflect the accusations, and go on.

Vox, a publication for morons addicted to sophistry, loved the New Yorker puke-a-thon,

The greatest thriller I have read this year is not a book. It’s a new article in the New Yorker by Ian Parker about the editor and author Dan Mallory, and it is filled with so many twists and turns, such scheming and brazen lies, that it eclipses fiction. It definitely eclipses Mallory’s 2018 novel The Woman in the Window — written under the pen name A.J. Finn — which is a competent but paint-by-numbers thriller that is substantially less interesting than Mallory’s real-life story appears to be.

Honestly, if that is the “greatest” anything you have read so far in 2019, you are sheltered idiot. Go get some real life experience.

This isn’t a story to build up: this is a story to tear down. A man gets ahead in a lucrative career by conning people at work. Just the facts. Figure out how it happened and where the breakdowns are.

There is no “thriller” here. What you have is deceit.

This is the precise why journalists constantly get conned: they honestly believe sophistry, color, and babbling make a good story.

You are building up destructive people, making them sound more interesting than they are, and that makes you no less deceptive than the subject you are rambling about.

Please shut up, and try you article again…

And in other fake news...

Stolen girl scout cookie money turned out not have been stolen, after all.

Jerk steals $1K from Girl Scouts selling cookies at mall! blared the New York Post.

Cookie Monsters! cried one CBS affiliate.

No.

I wouldn’t call it a “mix up” and the scout leader was let go, not surprisingly.

Some very gullible people donated money without thinking about the story’s veracity, but a picture of a crying little girl holding up a box of cookies does something to critical thinking skills.

As usual, newspapers had the alleged victims pose with very serious faces. It doesn’t make it true.

I wrote the book on this kind of fake news way back in 2005 — and we still have the same problems.

These days, important, critical thinking words, such as “allege” or “accusation” aren’t even used in news reports. People can make anything up.

Fortunately, police are wise to journalism’s lack of due diligence and do their own legwork to verify…

New York Times is afraid of Twitter: Op-Ed encourages reporters to run away.

If you can’t beat them, hide from them.

The New York Times seems to think so with this Op-Ed piece:

Never Tweet

The controversy over the Covington students shows why American journalism should disengage from Twitter.

The reasoning is quite instructive:

The Covington saga illustrates how every day the media’s favorite social network tugs journalists deeper into the rip currents of tribal melodrama, short-circuiting our better instincts in favor of mob- and bot-driven groupthink. In the process, it helps bolster the most damaging stereotypes of our profession. Instead of curious, intellectually honest chroniclers of human affairs, Twitter regularly turns many in the news — myself included — into knee-jerk outrage-bots reflexively set off by this or that hash-tagged cause, misspelled presidential missive or targeted-influence campaign.

But Twitter isn’t just ruining the media’s image. It’s also skewing our journalism. Everything about Twitter’s interface encourages a mind-set antithetical to journalistic inquiry: It prizes image over substance and cheap dunks over reasoned debate, all the while severely abridging the temporal scope of the press.

Memo to Farhad Manjoo: Twitter did not ruin the media’s image. They did that all by themselves with doing the same thing I chronicled in my first book.

The book that showed way back in 2005 exactly one year before Twitter debuted that this kind of behaviour was a problem that destroyed the profession’s credibility.

What Twitter does is expose the groupthink that was always there. You are merely telling colleagues to hide their ugly side, not confront things.

And no, Twitter isn’t “helping [to] bolster the most damaging stereotypes of our profession” — that is your profession.

Deal with it.

Another journalist caught making stuff up...

At least 27 stories were found to be riddled with fibs in one Netherlands magazine.

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Peter Blasic was a very naughty boy.

Western Europe has been asleep at the wheel, but it is not just a European problem.

It looks like my first book Don’t Believe It!: How lies become news is as relevant in 2019 as it was in 2005.

Fake news!

Building antidotes to war games, Part Four.

Cyril Burt was an interesting con man in that he was an academic whose lies had a profound effect on the UK educational system.

He decreed that intelligence was innate, and you couldn’t do anything about it; so the educational system should not even try.

He based his decrees on fake studies of all these amazing number of twins who were separated at birth, adopted out to vastly different families, and given IQ tests, and lo and behold, they had the same intelligence. And the results were always identical for each of his “studies.”

No one has ever come out and said they did these studies with Burt. No twin or their adopted parent ever said they did the study. No trace of how he came across these twins or his contacts.

Nothing one fucking thing.

But to this day, you have people pretend there is a possibility that his bullshit story is the truth.

No, it isn’t.

This is a case of out and out academic fraud that forever altered lives, labelled innocent people, stole opportunities and rigged the board.

But that is not just what happens when you blindly appeal to authority: it is what happens when you think a certain kind of person has all of the answers.

People see the gullibility and promptly take advantage of it.

I covered Burt in my first book. I read the flimsy excuses, and the over-thinking said it all.

He made shit up. The end.

And that confined the narrative and scaffolding that is still deeply entrenched in governmental and educational dogma, as well as fictional, nonfictional, and societal narrative.

And it was pure bunk. Junk science. Fake news..

Creating antidotes to war games involves understanding just how far and wide the rot in our scaffolding is.

And it’s not pretty…

Building antidotes to war games, Part Two.

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Journalists are now having bricks in their pants right now.

Hedging their bets on the Left for the most part, they have proven they cheering goobers that they absolutely know are no different than the ones on the other side.

And now some are lock-stepping in a different direction, hoping to spin themselves out of the box they built themselves into.

But even their seeming about face is just as manipulative: you do not admit flaw as you state that neither side is trustworthy, but suddenly, your unchanged methods are to be trusted?

Nice try.

It is a way to pivot and bridge by means of misdirection, and it’s not working.

Once upon a time, however, it did work.

In 1996, for example, the Toronto Star won an award for their reportage on a con woman who lied about being mugged in order to get drugs.

The problem is that they were the ones who first reported her yarn as fact. Only after people recognized the anonymous woman’s shadow and called in to the paper that they suddenly change what they were reporting.

The Star should not have won any award. They should have been fined for public mischief: the people who recognized the woman and called the newspaper should have gotten the award.

This was before Facebook and Twitter where people could expose hucksters without a middleman to get the credit and the glory.

My goal has always been to create manuals of combatting deception by various means. Much of how we are raised in rote memorization of rigs, rules, and roles that isn’t education, but indoctrination. Specifically, into accepting patriarchal structures as reality.

Question things as a radical centrist, and that isn’t something you can fake, wing, steal, or make up.

I have done my research and thoroughly so, but I have respect for my labour and my talent. I demand credit where credit is due. Online, I give nudges, here and elsewhere. You may be trying to throw a brick to get a jade, but that’s not going to work with someone who builds manuals.

In book form, I spell it out with sources and plenty of them. There is a huge difference.

But journalism tries to hedge their bets. I like this passage from Ann Coulter very much:

What viewers don't understand is how lazy media personalities are. They are merely quoting what someone told them. They don't know. Their expertise consists of memorizing a set of talking points, like ABBA memorizing the syllables to English words without knowing what they meant. 

If journalists allowed follow-up questions and you could ask, "How do you know that?" The answer would be, "I heard it from a guy at Vox." 

The media go to extremely biased sources; they know nothing, so they're not in a position to challenge them; and even if they were, they wouldn't, because they're on the same team. 

Yes, but I would add they also steal ideas from people and then appropriate them as their own.

And this happens because journalism was never an empirical social science or science.

If you have to show how you have come to your conclusions, and can have your work replicated, you are going to take a very different approach. You are not going to steal from other people because all eyes are on you. Journalism is one of those professions where personalities dominate and hog the attention, but their actual methods and practices fly under the radar.

My work has been to spotlight those practices and methods. Left, Right, Centrist, it is all the same game.

Radical centrism is a different perspective. You are not sitting on the fence. You travel in all directions while finding and maintaining yourself in the core.

Not the middle, but the core.

Journalism could have been a powerhouse academic discipline for a general audience.

It chose laziness and ego, and there is no place in the information stream for that kind of pollution…

Building antidotes to war games, Part One.

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That protest sign looks like the cover of my first book, but just as I had nothing to do with creating that cover, I had nothing to do with the placard.

But the book cover captures the spirit of my book, and I am very fond of it — so much so that I had that image blown up and it is framed and hanging on my wall, although I have people asking me to this day why the anchor has no face.

Ask the illustrator, but honestly, it is appropriate.

But that book was the first of my counter-manuals for not falling for war games, and the biggest game is of course misinformation and propaganda.

So far, I have three manuals and counting. I have two more I would still like to do. Both go to an atomic level of deciphering propaganda.

I do a rough sketch on this website, but there is much more to it than meets the eye.

But for me, my focus is on exposing and removing rigs in order to see reality to find the truth.

It takes as much emotional intelligence as it does intellectual intelligence.

For example, if you consistently think people who do not believe what you believe are idiots, the problem isn’t them. It’s your arrogant filters. You are no less vulnerable to propaganda than those you disagree with.

My odyssey is a rewarding one, even when I see the co-opting of concepts I created. I am still going strong, and still have a lot to say about how those lies become news in the first place…

Der Spiegel's mess gets messier...

Big fibber Claas Relotius apparently was doing more than lying, according to his pigeons at Der Spiegel:

…Der Spiegel said Sunday it would file a criminal complaint against a disgraced reporter after it emerged he may have embezzled donations intended for Syrian street children.

Claas Relotius, 33, resigned this month after admitting to making up stories and inventing protagonists in more than a dozen articles in the magazine's print and online editions.

Spiegel said it now had information that Relotius allegedly launched a campaign for readers to give money to help subjects of an article he wrote but that the bank details he gave directed the funds to his own account.

This isn’t good, but as journalism is an unregulated and unlicensed profession, there are no checks and balances. You have no idea of the product you are getting, What I said in 2005 in my first book, I can still say today as we approach 2019.

Think about that. In Canada, media products get no strings attached tax money. They are unlicensed, unregulated, and have absolutely no empirically tried and tested standards, no matter what little symbols they place on their propaganda or what made-up organizations they use to lobby for money. It’s a sham.

In medicine, there are at least standards and experiments, and medical trials. Journalism has none. There are more Class Relotuis's out there that have yet to be tagged.

So remember that the next time someone gets worked up over an article or broadcast…

Der Spiegel's Fake News: It is not just them. I wrote the book on this topic in 2005, and it has gotten worse.

My Internet was down for a few days; so that is the reason I did not talk about Der Spiegel’s little fake news scandal. Claas Relotius was an award-winning journalist; just so you know awards mean squat.

And it went on for years.

Fact-checking as some sort of fail-safe is a myth. Stephen Glass proved that years ago.

I wrote the book on journalistic fraud — and notice no one is calling me for a quote on this hot mess because it is more than obvious that I am going to say this is not an isolated incident, and that news fraud is a real and series problem happening right now.

Journalists do not want to hear it. They like to be sanctimonious and smug gas-lighters who imply that to point out their lies and propaganda makes you some sort of anti-democratic loon.

No, I am pro-democracy, pro-education, pro-information accessibility, and pro-critical thinking.

I am also pro-journalism alternative.

That was overdue about twenty years ago, but better late than never…