Legacy media put out bad statistics? You don't say!

There is a must-read article by Thomas Baekdal about the latest “report” purporting to show how big bad Google is “stealing” money away from the victim media, complete with bad statistics as so-called “proof.” Baekdal does an excellent job of punching colossal holes in this report, but seems somewhat naive as to the motives of why this report was put forth in this form in the first place.

As someone who covered the journalism industry and went into journalism in order to study it, I can fill in the blanks.

The statistics of the report are meant to deceive: it is putting forth a false narrative how journalism is a blameless victim industry that was ravished by Donald Trump, Russia, and Big Tech. In this case, it is Big Tech who are the villains. The entire narrative is a sham.

And to make this clear: journalism would never put forth any sort of empirical or sound research: they only know narrative. No story is without a purpose or fit, and ever since Trump won the election even though the vast majority of news outlets told the little people to vote for Hillary Clinton, they have been scheming to go back to the good old days where their decrees were taken as Gospel Truth. The industry — both the owners and the content providers (i.e., journalists, producers, and editors) do not want to keep up with the times or make changes — they want their old clout back. The end.

This is the very reason journalism collapsed, and why we have a black hole when it comes to accessible information: people are not taking the void seriously. I am. It is the reason I have been pushing for an alternative to journalism for years. My motives are not tied in to dictating thoughts or exploiting people’s fears to get rich: things would run smoother and kinder if we had a reality report to guide us.

This “report” is pure garbage and is not meant to inform, but persuade: it is meant to scare middle class people and turn them away from social media as politicians — who also like to tell the little people what to do — are given permission to meddle and wrest control away from those citizens on the pretence of protecting them. It is an age-old game of propaganda, nothing more.

What News Corps and other media owners are hoping is to force this lie on the information stream and people to relinquish their own power and go back to the days when the press decided who you were going to vote for, shun, worship, and believe. Those days are done, and no manipulative fake report is going to get them there. The script does not play in the real world. The legacy media memorized the rhythms of a single wavelength that was rigged in their favour and that wavelength is gone.

The rhythms of the world shifted and changed. The end. Power is like virginity — once you lose it, there is no getting it back. You’re fucked.

Anyone who challenges this report and its subtextual narrative is going to either get their voices ignored or attacked. This is like a thug who gets arrested ranting about how the police are trampling on his rights to impose his authority on people and is somehow a helpless victim.

Because if media owners were truly in the business to inform and be integral to true democracy, they would have never fallen behind the times, but kept up with it. That never happened for a reason: because the old ways made them powerful, and the news ones had different rigs that were more equitable.

But even if that report was true, it doesn’t support the narrative, anyway. The industry failed to see reality — meaning they never had a grasp on it in the first place — and that’s not something they can blame Google: they saw the new world and work with it, while the press stayed on the old, and thought that was going to work. It didn’t…

Memo to Journalists: Google and Facebook aren't responsible for your problems. You are.

Here is a headline of a piece of propaganda:

Media layoffs bring heat on Facebook, Google

Here is what it should say:

Journalists throw temper tantrums and blame others for their incompetence.

You want to know why journalism collapsed?

Read this book.

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Journalism did not keep up with the times. They were irresponsible. Their damsel-in-distress act is not going to save them.

Isn’t funny that they cannot decide what contrived role they are?

Remember in December when Time painted them as valiant heroes?

And the world ignored it.

Now they are pretending to be victims.

They reported on Kardashians and ignored real abuses in the world. They reported on who got an Oscar nod instead of all the human trafficking going on. They glamourized the Beautiful People who are in bed with the criminal element, and then you wonder why your talents and hard work don’t pull you out of poverty — and then have to nerve to lie how great the economy is doing.

They act as if they are trained to verify information and then just spew partisan opinion.

And then want to force people to use a very bad product.

Facebook and Google liberated citizens by allowing them to find things for themselves and express things for themselves. Their whining is like a mobster whining because he can’t shake down people in a city because they have found a way to bypass him.

If any profession needed an invention and psychological intervention to deal with their toxic delusions, it’s journalism…

The Chaser Dilemma, Part Eight: The question no one ever asks is, "How did you know unless you were complicit yourself?"

The US is cannibalizing itself with the Left and the Right not realizing the rest of the word sees the whole, and thinks they are all scum equally.

The Left are gleeful thinking they are going to sink their manufactured villain, Donald Trump, but it won’t work because there is something they are not computing.

The extent of corruption and rot in both their corporations and their governments.

And this confirmation bias is going to hit not the rich or the poor, but the middle class, who don’t possess even basic critical thinking skills.

Here is an article to show you the level of dumbfuckery:

Google isn’t the company that we should have handed the Web over to

All right, then who should have the middle class people “handed the web” over to?

You only know how to slobbering over and fellate grifters. You cheer frauds and scoundrels, and make fun of honest and decent people.

You cannot make it in business unless you are a cutthroat willing to play the game. You do not reward honesty as you throw childish fits and make ridiculous and unrealistic demands because you refuse to take risk.

So which one of you motherfuckers gets it?

You are mad at Amazon, but you cheap asses are willing to spread poverty to millions of people in lousy working condition to save a buck.

And you never, ever think about tomorrow.

And what is this salivating over finding bad things in Trumpville?

Do you know why there are bad things there?

Because every single Titan of Industry did the same things.

And how does the government know ahead to look?

Because they not only allow it to happen, they rig the system to reward it; so if someone should get out of line, they have blackmail.

And what do middle class people do?

They can tell you all about these fuckers, that’s what.

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They know fake things, and never question the real things.

I remember when I was taking a class at Mac and one student pretended that she never studied, but she got sterling grades.

She said she didn’t need to read the texts because the class notes were enough.

Everyone believed her except me.

I asked, “How does she know that unless she read the texts?”

There was a moment of shock, and then no one was impressed with her.

It is a question I asked a lot — as a journalist, and as a citizen connected to my surroundings.

How do you know?

How do you know where to strike unless you were privy to certain information?

And that’s the problem with both corporations and governments: they know each other’s dirty little secrets. Governments rig the boards, and those who success figure out the rigs and play the game.

I have seen what happens when Canadian grifters swindle this country, but then get too full of themselves and then try to swindle the US, where they get caught fairly easy: they get arrogant with their small potatoes success, and have no idea about the rigs.

But the natives know them.

It is the reason why the grifters are more successful than the honest geniuses.

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Goodness, kindness, honesty, hard-work, and genius are never rewarded.

Remember Nicola Tesla. The modern-day cheering is, in a real way, a slap to his face.

You bastards should have done it while he was still alive. Fuck you.

To this day you are screwing over the Teslas and fawning over the Edisons.

That is the reality that I am contending with right now, and am challenging as I write this…

Are Google and the Washington Post run by bratty five-year-olds?

Seriously.

Here is a memo: Just because someone does not applaud your rigs and does not believe in exactly everything that you do, does not give you the right to destroy, confine, or censor the other person. Not everyone’s life requirements are like yours.

Maybe your parents were too busy having affairs to bother with you during your formative years. Maybe “willful intellectual neglect of children” was on their bucket list. Maybe ideological OCD is a real thing. Maybe you were just born an asshole. I don’t actually care about the why.

Really, I don’t.

But why on Earth do people, still in 2018, resort to childish measure when it comes to trying to impose their thoughts on others?

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That’s essentially what some knuckle-draggers at Google tried to do to Breitbart.

Yeah, it’s partisan and biased, just like you.

And inaccurate, just like you were with your little blurb about me for years that never got corrected even as I was sending feedback.

It’s much better now, but it took me getting it verified for that to happen.

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Besides, kids, the Internet is big enough for everyone!

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So share that space, Googlers!

But I am sad to say that the brats over at the Washington Post are petty and mean.

Read this bullshit bullying disguised as a piece of news:

Meet the Bottomless Pinocchio, a new rating for a false claim repeated over and over again

You Posties have been known to tell fibs on many occasions, as in, over and over again.

You blame Trump for the demise of newspapers, even though the industry was in trouble long before that.

You had Janet Cooke, the whole Jessica Lynch is Rambo fiasco, the whole giving legitimacy to a dubious web site about fake news, and that thought thieving reporter you fired.

You guys have a very large nose you pick, too!

Memo to the motherfuckers at the Washington Post: We got the memo that you do not like the President of the United States because he said you were no longer the “cool” kids, but a bunch of nerds who tell fibs to make yourselves sound important.

Yes, it is very sad for you that you can no longer be kingmakers and tell the little people how to think.

That wasn’t a lie. He told an inconvenient truth that you cannot accept and that denial destroyed your profession. If you had the courage to face that reality years ago, you wouldn’t be throwing temper tantrums in the gutter.

You are so vindictive that you are trying to manipulate the public hoping they do not believe anything Trump says because he said you were fake and a bunch of scheming liars — so if you discredit him, then maybe people will be tricked into reading your bullshit again.

But life for 7.4 billion people have gone on without you long before the November 2016 US federal election, and they will go on without you no matter who is the president because you did not keep up to code.

That is on you, not the president.

So get over it, children. Adulting is a powerful technique you should try.

So your “fact-checking” ruse is a pile of garbage.

And fake news, too, because it is war propaganda disguised as information — and people with brains aren’t buying what you are selling…

Bullies on the Virtual Playground: How search engines fancy themselves as thought police.

I never understood cowards. They are those who want to find out as much about you, but hide their lives — and then want to use your information against you, and then think they are so cunning and superior to you, that they are going to force you to think the way they want you to think…and muah ha ha, and all that jazz.

That’s Google in a nutshell. Evil.

In addition to quietly gathering intelligence to use against you, they wanted to rig search results to hide publications who are not in lockstep with that they fancy as being superior.

Worse, for a search engine that pretends to be “Left”, they certainly are acting like robber barons and capitalist swine.

So, they are bullshitters on top of everything else.

Lovely.

But burying people in their search engines is nothing new. Until I was verified, my own web site was ranked way down the line when you searched my name with quotation marks.

There was a lot of junk. My author profile was always embarrassingly wrong, and for a long time, I had zero traffic from Google search engines, which makes no sense. I am talking about current events, but only Yahoo, Duckduckgo, and Bing are directing traffic, but not #1 Google?

I have discussed these issues before on my site, but when you have overlords who can do whatever they please with no one to oppose them, you have a serious problem of how a collective’s flow of information is being actively impeded and manipulated — and with people looking at Facebook, they tend to overlook the bigger problem and Big Brother Bully on the virtual playground…

EU, Copyright, taxes, and social media: A protectionist idea that will not save journalism.

An excellent and thorough discussion on EU’s “snippet tax” can be found here on Baekdal, but I would like to add something to the discourse.

If European media outlet think they can punish Google and “reclaim” ad revenue they erroneously blame Google and Facebook for “stealing”, they are sadly mistaken. Google can create or buy up a wire service or outlet and then just bypass having to bother with the press entirely. They can drop any links to media outlets, and it will be outlets — not social media — that suffer by the shut out. Like cable channels that ran re-runs of network programs until they gained enough money and audiences to create their own, Facebook and Google no longer are dependent on news outlets.

Western European news outlets are playing chicken and it is a game they will lose. It is too little, too late. Western Europe sticks to old patriarchal traditions, looks down on change, and when they do not adapt, they lobby the government for nonsensical laws that never solve the problem.

This was a problem that should have been addressed about twenty years ago when Yahoo, Netscape, and MySpace dominated cyberspace. Google and Facebook can vanish and be replaced with another breed that can bypass the old system with a different method.

Media outlets are at a crisis globally, and judging by their Mommy Government solutions, they are incapable of solving a thing on their own…

Google rigs its search results? You don't say, New York Post!

Donald Trump has spoken the obvious about Google, and CNN, being the powerless and brainless immature teen, takes a contrarian viewpoint just because.

The New York Post frets about Google's power, and they are right to do so.

It is not a conspiracy theory. Google, by its very nature, has to rig results. Google can deny it, but then again, they have been fined by the EU for rigging.

Google and Facebook rake in billions, but they expect people to give ratings and reviews on places and products for free. So, right off the bat, you have a structure of exploitation: grabbing content for free, and then mining big data to sell and advertisers who pay these social media companies, not those providing content.

And if you have a robber baron mindset, then it extends in everything you do.

A few years ago, without my permission, Google Books had chunks of my first book online for free, and yet had advertising on the side of the page -- so they were making money on my print product.

I wrote to them to complain, but they cheerily refused my request, telling me to take it up with my publisher, which I did, and they thought it was a great idea, because, according to the publisher's logic, it was like browsing at a bookstore, which I said was a wrong analogy because it was more like having a photocopier right beside the shelves with free paper.

I still, as an author, have problems with Google. When you google my name, what comes up in the search results is a crapshoot, which it should never have been. Most of my articles that should show up, do not. 

And then there is the sidebar that they can never get right. I have written to correct it several times. It never gets changed, or gets changed back to the incorrect version.

I clicked on the small print that says, "Do you manage the online presence for Alexandra Kitty?" to claim it, but the process is obscene, asking for way too personal information that includes providing a photograph of me holding up my driver's license.

Excuse me? Why would I give you a photograph of that? You are using my image and my works, and you have control over what is in my biography -- one that, if Google's system wasn't rigged, would have it right.

But it doesn't have it right. It never has. Why isn't this website at the top of the search results? Why does my Twitter feed outrank alexandrakitty.com?

So Google's denials are insincere. I have played around with it, and I have noticed patterns of rigs. It is not just political with suppression of other ideologies to just a single one (and hello! there are far more than two). It is also rigged to maintain an individual's confirmation bias.

You get different results on the same search words depending on your previous searches. I have a couple of computers and use different Google accounts. On one, I searched scientific and atheist information. On the other, I looked up tarot, astrology, and other hoodoo.

Then I used neutral searches that were unrelated on both for each primed account.

The results were very different. It restricts alternative thoughts as it reinforces your opinions.

So Google denying that it rigs search results is rubbish.

Search engines can easily socially engineer people's thinking patterns, and it forms unnatural habits.

Yes, we need to study Google empirically to see how their various rigs alter thinking and behaviour.

And it should be a top priority...

Google hysteria on its way.

Facebook got its beating, and now Google seems to be next on the list.

The narrative has already been set that Big Tech is very dangerous and will control people as if they were robots.

It is a very interesting angle to take. The leaked "Selfish Ledger" video was the opening salvo.

Then it was looking at Google's patents and seeing riffs of that same video.

While you have some outlets dismissing the idea, others are picking up on it, questioning whether other PR stunts at Google are real or a hoax.

Unlike the Facebook Debacle, Google isn't getting the same drubbing, but the journalistic narrative is the same -- and it all goes back to the 2016 US elections.

It is the reason why there is about hysteria over Russia influencing voters -- because journalists could not get everybody to vote for Hillary Clinton. Social engineering has been a goal for those in mass communications for a while now: journalists couldn't sway the vote and panicked, knowing it spelled the end of their reign.

But then Big Tech also panicked for the same reason: because they skewed the coverage, and Donald Trump still won.

The notion that you can fool all of the people all of the time is still strong. The arrogance that you can persuade all 7.4 billion of us is absurd. Dissent is a given, even with propaganda, psychology, and algorithms.

It's not a realistic goal. You are not going to get mass compliance -- there are always rebels, opportunists, traitors, brats, divas, mules, and visionaries who are not going to play ball because they think differently, have different life requirements, and think for themselves, no matter what you do or say.

Both the press and Big Tech immediately pointed the finger at Russia for one reason: they had to blame someone for the upset. Had they respect for their audiences, they would realize people have their numerous reasons for making their life choices, and picked the option that suited them.

But no, people didn't vote because they had their reasons: they had to be brainwashed into it.

And suddenly, the paranoid conspiracy theories overtook common sense, reason, and the ability to grasp reality.

But the press did not just blame Russia. They also blamed Big Tech -- and now we are seeing all sorts of stories about how these companies are villains out to brainwash the masses into compliance.

If Big Tech thinks they can do it, they are free to hold their delusions, but there is a difference between persuasion and goodwill. People will play along until something or someone better comes along, and then, good riddance Big Tech.

And all those games of psychological combat prove to be faulty as their fortunes crumble.

It happened to journalism first. The press had public good will until a superior model came along, and then people left. It will happen to Big Tech -- and much sooner than it happened to journalism.

Even in the political sphere, we see politicians such as Kathleen Wynne play delicate games to appease voting blocs as she gave them the moon -- and they still dumped her the first chance they got when they had an untested rival promise to throw even more money and power their way.

Power and control are illusionary. A deft magician can make it seem as if he has it -- but look beneath the surface, and you see a very different dynamic.

Google hysteria is beginning. There is no doubt that there will be more anti-Big Tech narratives coming in the next few months.

But it won't change progress -- or turn back the clock...

Journalism's answer to their death: put a bandage on the rot.

Memo to Google: You cannot "fix" journalism. It beyond fixable in an age where people have their own outlets, and don't want to put up with someone else's propaganda.

Had journalism had the discipline to evolve their own profession, it would have never been decimated in the first place.

La Presse is becoming a nonprofit because its own owners see the writing on the wall.

And memo to the New Statesman: journalism is beyond reform, and no bad law will make it worse. It is done.

Journalism for the past couple of years have been talking about all sorts of "reforms" and "fixes", never considering that there is a point in time where there is no fixing anything.

It is akin to a house being bombed to the ground, and then standing around wondering if the rubble can be "fixed."

No, just because there are a few broken beams and bricks laying around, it doesn't mean they can be glued back together and everything will be as before.

You have to face the fact that rebuilding is in order -- from scratch...

The Globe and Mail's spinning of the Internet continues.

The name of reporting beats can tell you a lot about how the profession of journalism sees the world, and when one of your reporters covers "Media and Marketing", you know whatever the newspaper knows, it isn't journalism. Media is the vessel. Marketing is content that often exploits the vessel to promote a third party, but not always. These are two different spheres. You can cover media, or marketing, but putting them together is like having an Internet and Cats reporter because cats happen to be on the Internet.

Journalism very often wants to mimic academia with titles denoting precision specialty, but it's not actually the case. It is an unreasonable facsimile of it.

But that's the fault of editors and publishers who create bogus titles for reporters to carry.

The Globe and Mail 's article about Google is as deceptive and skewed as one can get. It gets the propagandistic narrative into full gear from the get-go:

With all the hoax headlines, election meddling, clickbait and conspiracy theories, the internet is starting to look more like a misinformation superhighway – and that's a problem for the digital giants who make billions of dollars a year off that ecosystem and are now facing pressure over its misuse.
This week, Google Inc. announced a US$300-million investment in a slate of programs to come to the aid of news publishers – an industry that's struggling partly because companies such as Google and Facebook control the majority of digital advertising revenues.

Yes, of course, it is all social media's fault, as if journalists didn't partake is countless hoaxes, election meddling, and conspiracy theories themselves. As the author of three books on journalism, I know its irresponsible and arrogant side.

When an editorial endorses any candidate, they seek to meddle in the election's outcome, wanting their votes to count more than just one per person. I always found the practice to be supercilious and outside the mandate of the profession.

And let's not forget how hard newsman Mike Duffy lobbied prime ministers to give a senate appointment.

So right off the bat, we have an article carefully crafted to focus the blame of the Internet for all this "misinformation", while carefully dodging the fact that traditional news outlets were doing this and more all along. The author of this manipulative tripe fails to mention how news outlets crib from press releases, which may explain why they sullied the name of a murdered First Nations teenager with a headline; perhaps if she was a rich white girl whose parents had a PR firm dictating the headlines the Globe used, they would have never made that mistake.

What we have is a discredited industry shaking a finger at the industry who humbled them by taking away their advertising revenue because they did it better than the legacy outlets. There was nothing stopping the profession from doing that themselves -- once upon a time, their owners had a far more resources to make those investments than did the pioneers of social media. They could have bought and integrated that model within their own products, and then not meddle, but they never could do it right. AOL Time Warner Turner. News Corp. and MySpace. The old guard just could never get their act together and never listened.

The subject of this interview is the head of Google News, and it is instructive to read

in that it is not just banal and devoid of actual information, but it also illustrates how two rival media skirting around the actual issue: that neither side has ever done its due diligence or ever became qualified to verify information. The pull quote used the headline "Google is not the oracle of absolute truth" isn't damning: it has been the truth about new media and old media alike, and reminds me of this meme:

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The Internet is under threat precisely the old relics in charge want people to come running back to them for more manipulation. The problem is their credibility had been destroyed -- and then made more galling with their uppity attitude. That kind of oblivious hubris-filled attitude stopped Hillary Clinton from becoming president because not everyone wants a self-absorbed and manipulative blowhard to tell them what to do.

It is a fight between warlords -- the old guard and the new guard. That is why there is so much fear-mongering in the news coverage -- media power has now sunk to a critical low, not bouncing back, and now it is all about survival. The problem is the old guard do not understand street fighting because they were never poor or forced to think in terms of making it through another day on their own wits alone.

The new guard had an easy ride until now because the old guard kept thinking the kids would tire of their selfies and coming crawling back to the powerbroker. It didn't happen, the rate of deterioration accelerated, and now it is a fight for survival with the old guard smearing the new with every story they churn.

The Internet will have a new battle, but whatever their fortunes, the traditional media isn't strong or cunning enough to reclaim what was lost two decades ago...

The Warlords

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Once upon a time, the Warlords called newspaper owners ruled the roost with impunity.

And then came a new set of Warlords. First radio.

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Then television that was the giant of the three whose narratives controlled the rules of engagement for decades. journalism-tv-studio

It defined what to think and how to think it.

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Your childhood fantasies were controlled by them. How you saw justice, coolness, wisdom, beauty, and morality.

The career choices and the what you saw in a spouse were defined by the flickering screen that you had in your living room.

For decades, there were always battles, but battles within the medium.

 

 

 

And then the battleground began to stretch.

 

 

 

And then everything began to change when the Internet came roaring to life.

And the new Warlords destroyed the old guard.

 

 

 

Some were seen as friendly, but not all of them were.

 

 

 

The ones who owned the platform did far better than the ones who produced the content.

The new Warlords liberated the world, by smashing the gates the old ones built to control the message.

And the old warlords were seething, licking their wounds, hoping one of the new guard made a misstep to attack.

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And it did, and the old broken warlords tried to grab their old power back.

Even some of the new warlords tried to take advantage of the smell of blood.

But there is a war going on.

One where the currency is propaganda that pedals in paranoia and fear.

And the spoils of war is not data, but control of the flow of information.

Data is cheap.

But controlling the gates is priceless...

When the gullible enter the dead profession: J-school students will amass student debt, graduate unemployed and unemployable.

Journalism required critical thinkers and innovators. Instead, it got rote narcissists with a bad case of hubris.

The tradition continues. I have chronicled the works of j-school students here, showing their numbness to reality and truth.

I went to j-school. I graduated without owing a penny. I got myself jobs in the profession, but as I have mentioned before, I was not in love with the profession at the time. Journalism was going to be what I studied by working as a journalist.

But I remember worrying at the time about my job prospects when I was in j-school, even though I had a newspaper column at a big city daily, because even then, there were big job losses going on in Canadian journalism back in 1995-6.

Some of my classmates said that was nothing to worry about because that meant those outlets would merely hire our generation to fill those holes because we'd be cheaper.

It didn't exactly work out that way, however. There was no turn around.

Journalists are still hoping, and find comfort that there are people applying to j-school (read: partisan stenographers) now because of the fabled "Trump Bump" and brouhaha over "fake news."

I have met many j-school grads over the years -- most who never got a job in the profession. The ones who did had to leave because they either lost their job, or were fired because the company couldn't afford to keep even the cheap labour.

J-schools have made no core change to rejuvenate the profession at all. Journalism became outright propaganda waging war on people and groups they do not like.

That is not journalism. You have people who are meddlers telling other people they are thinking wrong.

People now have social media, and despite the campaign to weaken it, the current scandal is being overblown.As I have said before, people mostly use social media as a form of amateur public relations, and a lot of assumptions about people are unwarranted. More women voted for Trump than Clinton in the last election. A lot of people who are the most strident online often do the very opposite of what they pretend to believe. People with an image of happiness take their own lives, people who cheat on their spouses talk glowingly about their marriage, and people who break the law go an attack others so people wouldn't suspect them.

But you don't need journalism anymore. You need to get rid of all of the rot from the ground up, and start fresh without the baggage and the confines.

It is no hope that you still have the oblivious and the gullible going into the profession, but as the University of Wisconsin's recent move hints, humanities and social sciences are not delivering, and administration is not going to revamp these programs, but shut them down.

Oxford University is no longer accepting candidates for a Doctor of Letters in the English department, either. Communications education -- fiction or nonfiction -- is in a freewill, and we are not seeing the kinds of innovative minds coming in to change anything. They are following the same structural scripts. They are already making the same logical mistakes that sunk the ship they wish to sail in.

This isn't going to save journalism.

We need something else that reflects the world we live in right now -- not the one that never existed fifty years ago.

Once upon a time, universities were the innovators who created new professions in those Ivory Towers. Now, they play it safe, following trends and not creating them.

I know because I have been knocking on doors trying to do something about it.

Those going willingly into a dead profession have misperceptions of reality -- because if they truly wanted to combat "fake news" -- they would first see all the fake news that profession was responsible for spreading. They would bypass j-schools and go into disciplines that would give them the necessary tools to combat it.

They won't be helpful because it is the same kind of people who went into the profession before -- to tell the world what to think instead of giving the world the facts they need to form their own plans that are tailer-made for their own life requirements.

What you have is a group of young minds who bought a narrative -- there is no sense of realism, critical thinking, vigilance, or skepticism, and that helps no one in the short term or long term.

And that is a very troubling sign for the times...

Google's delusion: It thinks there's such a thing as "quality journalism" and that it knows how to spot it. Yeah, your press release full of itself.

If it is in the press release, then it must be true! Google certainly thinks so with this piece of propaganda:

Elevating quality journalism on the open web

Google, of course, has no idea how to do this, but it thinks an authoritative-sounding ad copy will fool people.

But traditional outlets are dutifully cribbing the press release without even questioning it because, you know, cribbing press releases is a sign of "quality" journalism.

Fake news is the bogeyman for the journalist relics out there.

If Google had a clue what was the difference between real and fake news, it certainly would not have written that embarrassing dreck that comes off as some sort of PSA flick from the 1950s. "Google News Initiative" sounds like what stoned out high schoolers think sounds grown-up.

Facebook tried it, and now we see that it isn't exactly working for them.

There is no quality journalism. A dead profession cannot create it. Social media was never made to do it, either.

You need empiricism, not arrogant childish robber barons make stupid decrees without actual methods to see it through.

You have a serious problem, and Google is ill-equipped to solve it.

It is bad enough that journalism is dead, but that you have people in other industries who do not know this when they should know it -- and are incapable of seeing it, is very disheartening.

North America is having a real informational and ideological meltdown. The patriarchal structure has collapsed, and nothing is working because everyone in the profession is a slave to rote scripts and the habits spawned from sanctioned insanity.

There is no discipline. There is no empiricism. It is just talk and empty phrases -- and none of that can solve the problem that there is a real and serious information void.

The childish games and lazy press release-cribbing is an insult -- and it has gone on long enough.

Journalism as advertorial: From tech news to hard news, it has all become advertising.

A couple of articles touching on the same theme in different ways. The Intercept has a solid article about 60 Minutes' softball interview with Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman with the author of the piece asking the hard question:

Launched on CBS in 1968, “60 Minutes” has been described as “one of the most esteemed news magazines on American television” and has won more Emmy awards than any other primetime U.S. TV show. It claims to offer “hard-hitting investigative reports, interviews, feature segments and profiles of people in the news.”

Got that? Award-winning. “Esteemed.” “Hard-hitting.”

So why did the segment on MBS resemble more of an infomercial for the Saudi regime than a serious or hard-hitting interview?

Because it was an infomercial -- or more accurately, an advertorial. It was a fuzzy bunny that added no real and hard facts. 60 Minutes has not been a hard-hitting program for a very long time. It may go after easy targets, but should the newsmaker be media savvy, it is a different ballgame.

But at least The Intercept was perceptive enough to see it, but not all outlets proclaiming to do journalism can. TechGenix was on the other side of the spectrum, with an article getting all huffy because people believe tech news is fake news:

The only way that I can think of to debunk this one is to talk about the way that tech journalism really works. Some of the major tech sites and publications do employ staff writers, but the vast majority of the tech journalists that I have met over the years are freelancers like myself. Although there are exceptions, freelancers are usually given a great deal of autonomy regarding the things that they write about. For example, nobody told me to write an article about fake tech news. I have a certain number of articles that I write each month, and the topics and content are up to me.

This isn’t to say that topics are never assigned. Sometimes they are. For example, I recently had someone ask me to write an article about Azure Active Directory. Once again though, the substance and the tone of the article was left up to me. No one told me to say that Azure Active Directory was the greatest thing ever to come out of Redmond, nor did anyone ask me to write a hit piece. It was up to me to decide what went into the article.

That isn't quite true. There are junkets. There is graft. You have a form of fake news in most tech stories -- but the form it takes is advertorial writing. It has always been too deferential to the industry.

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It rarely asks hard questions -- usually after a scandal explodes, and one that should have been seen by journalists years ago.

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That is the reason more people are now dismissing tech news as fake news -- they can sense the sunny spin and the positive coverage isn't journalism.

And they are right.

But it is easier to take the path of least resistance and be perky and positive than ask hard questions. Confrontation is tough. It is easy to do it on social media where your outrage is buried amid others as there is always safety in numbers. But when it comes to being the lone skeptic who sees it first, it is not the happiest of situations.

It is no excuse, however. It is not a profession to get a pat on the head and a lollipop. It is about finding truths in reality.

And that takes courage, something the profession has lacked to its own destruction.

Don't invade our privacy, decrees Live Out Loud Generation: Yes, kids, "Checking In" at your bathroom is profitable to the enterprising.

Social media is good at exposing the infantilization of modern Western thought. The temper tantrum that other people can make money from your bragging vanity has been a hard pill to swallow.

Facebook is getting flack. The Drudge Report is having a field day, and helpfully reminds the little people that Google is also a hotbed for privacy invasion.

Why people are upset is mystifying. Privacy has been a problem on social media, but people chose to Live Out Loud. I remember a few years ago, there was a website used to collect social media feeds of people who advertised that they were out of the house -- to draw attention that all robbers had to do was mine those sites to know where to rob an empty house. People ignored it.

This phenomenon is nothing new. The Stasi (short for Staatssicherheit) was an East German secret police force that used to recruit family members to data mine citizens. People discovered decades later that their parents, children, or even spouses were spying on them all along.

Privacy is a hypothetical construct. It is not an actual real thing. With AI coming into its own, Big Data is going to be the fuel to target people to get them to behave lockstep in a certain way.

Which will be easy. Critical thinking is not taught in schools, nor is the quality valued.

It will not be used to protect people. We have had no shortage of mass killers post their intentions online and no one acted on it.

People are up in arms over something that has been a thing for as long as social media has been around. You cannot stop it at this point. Laws will be circumvented. The convenience of apps will override common sense every time.

If you choose to Live Out Loud, you are giving away information, and people are free to do with it whatever they like. If you are an active critical thinker who doesn't scour social media to see how to think, it doesn't matter what you say online -- your data cannot be manipulated to control you.

People will need to learn how not to be defined by their data. Once you create the technology, there is no going back. Even if it is outlawed, that line in the sand will merely ensure it goes underground.

You might choose to live out loud, but for those who are enterprising, they work from the shadows, and get what they want at any cost...

How irrelevant are j-schools now? No one can think of anything better for them to do than provide anti-overdose training. Yes, j-schools are done.

This pathetic article on Al Jazeera's website explains precisely why j-schools failed the profession:

US journalism students should undergo anti-overdose training

The article morally masturbates in public, praising anti-overdose training so that reporters can enable illness in people with substance abuse disorders...

Instead of finding out facts that society needs to confront their demons.

J-schools are not the place for EMS-style training. If you want to know how to do it, there are places that offer those workshops. I have taken life-saving training through St. John's Ambulance, for instance. J-schools were supposed to be the place where you learned how to dig for facts.

You want to play hero, children, put on a cape and cowl and go run outside in your backyard, making laser noises.

If you want to be an adult, grow up, become literate enough to read the job description, then get those necessary skills to do it.

This thinking is self-absorbed lunacy and arrogant laziness disguised as compassion.

Not once in this article does either author consider why there is an opioid epidemic in the first place.

Because we had journalists sit there and do nothing of value for public service. They were too busy covering hot dog eating contests, celebrity gossip, and cribbing from press releases.

They were too good to cover local news, such as what is happening in school halls. That's where the troubles began.

There is a difference between Are your children safe at school? versus Are you safe at school?

And now journalists are so unwilling to change their core, they are trying to think up ways to pretend to be useful to society without having to do what is needed to rebuild.

Well, we refuse to do real work, cover reality, or write about facts; but keep us around because we'll bring you back from the dead if you do too much drugs, okay?

How the mighty have fallen face first into a pile of horse dung. No wonder their logic stinks.

It is not the addicts who needed an intervention. It was the journalists.

J-schools are dead. And there is no anti-overdone drug that will save those oblivious sots from the mendacity of their own worthless sophistry.

The Gray Lady is a mean ex-girlfriend: Trump, Weinstein, and now Google. Why their love affairs always turn sour.

The New York Times went all nuclear on Google in this hatchet piece. This isn't exactly objective journalism: there is an agenda as traditional media got their collective backsides whumped by Google, Twitter, and Facebook. Even the headline is kind of cute:

Critics say the search giant is squelching competition before it begins.

And who are these critics and competition? The Gray Lady, perhaps?

It wasn't always like this. In fact, the New York Times has a very interesting habit: they chase after Titans of Industry and Great Men with shameless fawning...and then somewhere along the way, the love affair turns sour, and then the Gray Lady has public tirades disguised as investigative pieces.

Which means that they ignored red flags, kept certain things to themselves, and then lash out when things go south.

Let's start with how they once loved, loved, loved, Donald Trump (I have mentioned this one before, but let's mention it again), when they first wrote about their heartthrob on November 1, 1976:

He is tall, lean and blond, with dazzling white teeth, and he looks ever so much like Robert Redford. He rides around town in a chauffeured silver Cadillac with his initials, DJT, on the plates. He dates slinky fashion models, belongs to the most elegant clubs and, at only 30 years of age, estimates that he is worth “more than $200 million.”

Wow, he looks like Robert Redford! He has nice teeth! And a cool ride! And goes where all the cool kids go! Yay, Donald!

But when Trump called the Gray Lady and her little friends "fake" and then won the presidency without her drooling over him, she was very angry. How dare Mr. Nice Teeth kick her to the curb like that?

By 2017, she was always calling him crazy and immature, as in here, here, and here, for example.

How many exes have I heard diss their former sweeties by calling them crazy?

But their fan cheerleading wasn't just over Donald Trump: they also had their cutie crush on Harvey Weinstein.

But with Weinstein, it is a different matter: the paper nixed an exposé on his harassment of actresses way back in 2004...but aside from one article assuring readers that he wasn't going to be charged with one "groping incident" in 2015, you'd never know about that dark side.

In 2012, he was portrayed as a busy man about town, making a serious foray in Broadway with the help of his friends, like Bono:

Now he is relying on the advice of many, including reviewers and friends. Bono and the Edge of U2 saw the show early on; beyond friendship they were returning a favor, because Mr. Weinstein offered feedback on their Broadway musical “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.” Bono suggested a joke about the local Leicester paper, which got laughs, while the Edge talked about tightening the storytelling. The composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, the Broadway theater owner and producer Jordan Roth, and the Tony-winning actor James Corden were among others weighing in.

Yes, he was a Great Man as another article gushed from 2013:

Seven minutes before Sunday’s premiere screening, Mr. W himself was out on Yonge Street, a foot from the red carpet, buffed and beaming. He didn’t look like a man who had been up all night, fending off competitors and buying up distribution rights to “Can a Song Save Your Life?,” a festival darling that was herded into the Weinstein fold on Sunday.

And in another 2012 piece, the saccharine sugar mode was in full blast:

The Punisher. The Boss. God. Harvey Weinstein earned a lot of nicknames during the Golden Globes, not least among them “Winner.” So when the Bagger saw him at the Weinstein Company afterparty...we naturally asked: what was his favorite nickname of the night?

...“My favorite nickname,” he said, “ is Dad.”

You mean, not "monster"?

Only when Ronan Farrow started openly nosing around why Weinstein was called a "monster", did the Gray Lady rush to beat him to the punch with their own exposé on him as she turned on him.

There are others, but let's get back to Google.

While the Gray Lady was always a little wary of the brash young Google, she still had her crush.

Wasn't there anything Google couldn't find? Google was always efficient and knew what they were doing.They were future-focussed visionaries. They were in demand with "quirky brilliance". They were almost godly in so many ways.

They were decided titans in 2003:

In the last few years, Google has risen as a force on the Internet by offering its smarter, faster searches as a free public service. Now the band of technoinsurgents who run the company are striking a blow against the business strategies of giant Web portals like America Online, Yahoo and Microsoft's MSN by rewriting the rules of Internet advertising.

Emerging as a powerful new marketing medium, Google has found a route to profitability that stands apart in a Silicon Valley that is still crippled by the dot-com crash.

Today? Not so much.

The love affair has turned into a hate fest.

That the Gray Lady is fickle is an understatement. She adores you one day, and then wants to break you into pieces the next.

That is not journalism. That is a mood swing.

It is one thing to be wrong about people in the beginning. There is a lesson to be learned about not relying on spin or publicists, and then doing what you need to do: find facts as they are, and then reveal them. Lay off the superlatives. Perhaps polished people seem great on first appearance, or maybe they take a wrong turn. That's more than possible, but sooner or later, when it happens one time too many, you have to start questioning how you are presenting information.

In the case of Weinstein, they were already given the memo. Even if they didn't share that memo to their readers, it should have been a reminder that cheerleading isn't reportage, and it should have stopped. It didn't for another thirteen years.

It is for that reason the profession lost credibility. The narratives were directives, telling people how to frame their perceptions of reality, instead of just presenting reality as it was.

The Gray Lady has issues. She goes from publicist to vindictive revenge-seeker, and it is time her temper tantrums were called out and she gave her flip-flopping opinions and narratives a permanent rest.

Stoney Brook j-school dean: Journalism students need to know how to spot fake news? I wrote the textbook for that idea way back in 2005. Too bad you are ill-equipped to teach it.

Stoney Brook needs to get with the times and the ethics of the profession of journalism. Their dean Howard Schneider is talking about how journalism students need to know how to spot fake news. Really?

You just thought about this now when I came up with the textbook in 2005.

This book:

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That was the reason I wrote it in the first place.

Bakersfield had a class that used it when the book first came out, but it wasn't j-school program per se.

But don't expect Stoney Brook to have a course worth anything because their premise is too flawed -- and do not touch the reasons for journalistic credulity.

There is no empiricism in their approach. A broken mindset will make matters worse.

You needed a course such as this over a decade ago.

You need an alternative to journalism now because to j-schools, they live in their ivory caves and have no natural feel for what needs to be done.

This is all about patching up things and keeping flawed and fragmented egos and mindsets protected. The problem is propping up rot doesn't solve anything.

I had also proposed courses in information verification to various North American colleges and universities for twenty years. I was turned down by them all.

This isn't anything but a face-saving course that merely wallpapers over the rot.

They are not equipped to devise a course like this -- the problems in their educational system are too deep and too wide.

J-schools needed to make revolutionary changes a long time ago.

Now, they are cribbing ideas from elevators and trying to spin it as their own brilliant ideas as they get Great Man credit, but as they do not understand the nuances, they miss the mark, and make matters worse.

Start from scratch. The profession is dead and a course isn't going to change a thing.

You need a new program run by fresh, untainted blood.

Not this.