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.

An update...and laughing at the deluded trash the Spec is passing off as "journalism"...

I am still alive, conscious, and coherent!

One book manuscript is done, and I am taking photographs for it. The other book is over a quarter done, and should be done in a couple of weeks.

After that, I will need a bit of a rest and recalibration.

Lots of garbage passing off as journalism and politics, but most have not compelled me to break my hiatus.

I came across this two-part knee-slapper about the murder of a Dundas couple from the Hamilton Spectator and it is pure delusional and arrogant bullshit.

It is typical of journalistic stenography when Establishment types who want to intimidate a target — regardless of innocence or guilt — by using a media campaign against them. Journalists, like good little puppets, always comply.

When my family sued the city after what paramedics did to my grandmother, all of a sudden, our case was slapped on the front page, even though it was not actually newsworthy. There were and are other cases of paramedics being sued in Ontario (I know because I went down to the courthouse to have a look) and for the exception of one, most never made news.

But the Spec drooled over the stronger and wealthier side, of course, meaning City Hall. Our lawyer advised us not to talk to the paper, but I wouldn’t have anyway. I know who these people are because I wrote a column for them and saw everything up close. The paper quoted one source who also went on to defend some shady criminal characters as well, which I have written about here previously.

The reporter pretty much got everything wrong, of course. The article did nothing but rely on authorities and parrot them brainlessly. It was free advertising about how grand, glorious and hard-working paramedics are, as if we were lazy do-nothings.

No, assholes, we were working 24/7 looking after a woman whose catastrophic injuries made her completely disabled and bed-ridden. They are just paramedics, not saints. They also have cushy government jobs and often make the Sunshine List. My mother and I weren’t living it up changing my grandmother’s diapers and feeding her because she could not feed herself. She was a prisoner in her own body, but fully alert and aware.

My mother was upset by the coverage. I knew what the city’s gambit was, and also knew that the Spec cannot give away their newspapers; so I took it in stride.

But my mother, months later, got in touch with the reporter and gave her side and wanted to show the results of what happened to us. Needless to say, they never bothered with a follow-up.

We weren’t the Man, after all.

So back to the articles of pure trash about the Dundas double homicide.

This passage is pure deceptive doublespeak and arrogance:

In recreating the night of the fire that killed Alan and Carla Rutherford, the search for a suspect in their deaths and the ripple effects the fire and the killings had on others, the Hamilton Spectator spent months speaking to multiple sources with knowledge of the family and the case, along with experts.

Some sources are confidential because they fear reprisal.

The Spectator independently verified all details.

The Spectator has also examined public financial, property, court and employment records and sifted through social media posts.

No, you didn’t. How are you exactly qualified to “independently verify” it? Are you trained or licensed? What empirical methods did you use? Are you police? Forensic psychiatrists?

No?

The fact that you needed to puke that passage out tells me everything I need to know. This is a ruse to sound as if you did something different and were authorities whose word meant something, and it doesn’t. This is a manipulative tactic and a feint, nothing more.

And how did you define “independently verify”? Talk to a second cop? Read a press release? That is an empty, garbage term. I do not recall you doing that when discussing what happened to my grandmother.

Did you see the photographic evidence we had? Did you read the hospital reports or spoke to experts on the matter?

Nope. You interviewed irrelevant parties who had no knowledge or expertise on the matter. They were there as cheerleaders to the men who dropped my grandmother, and you never once independently verified a thing.

But the faux authoritative babble of the Rutherford murder is cringeworthy. You looked at social media posts? Any motherfucker can do that. That is not an actual thing.

The purpose of articles such as this one is simple: put the pressure on the target, in this case the man arrested for the murders. You try to taint public perceptions in a bid to isolate that person and make them do what you want them to do. It is a strong arm psychological siege and the press always dutifully complies. You will always notice that everything is from the perspective of the Authority’s narrative, not the facts, and certainly nothing presented that ever refutes the theory.

The Spec is not an actual investigative body. It is just a few writers who suck up to police or government sources and then puke out whatever will make the source happy. When it is criminals involved, most people don’t care, but they should because this practice is deceptive and makes the press sound as if they are something they are not or have any business of being: Authorities who determine what narrative is socially acceptable.

I can talk about the glaring flaws and holes of both those articles, but I won’t. I will save those inconsistencies for another day, and even another book. The Spec cut my pay check in the 1990s. I wrote about them for Presstime in the early aughts. My family was traumatized by them a few years ago when they kicked an old, diasbled woman as she lay dying. I know who these people are and they do not impress me or have one grain of my respect.

I do not buy their self-serving decrees. It is a ruse, and one that is easily deconstructed. Real experts frown on using journalistic sources for a reason.

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I feel sympathy for Julian Assange, however. He was sheltered and naive in thinking the Middle Class would rise up against the psychopathic tyrants who manipulate and control them if he just exposed their slave masters.

That’s not how the middle class roll. You are telling them that they made a mistake and are defectively unenviable, and in that, they will never forgive him.

At least he understood what journalism should have been. This is not an assault on journalism because journalism never was as honest, organic, or brave as WikiLeaks, but the Guardian is trying to make a false comparison as self-serving vultures always try to do. WikiLeaks certainly isn’t the low-class garbage the Spec pukes and then pretends is real. I am writing about Assange in my latest manuscript; so it is the reason I am not mentioning anything here.

I am off again to go back to writing about war propaganda. It is a very depressing subject to tackle, especially when I am writing about it in the dark all by myself at 3 o’clock in the morning, but I am writing it from both ends to keep a positive balance. Sure, things are broken, but broken can be repaired to be better than new.

Life is meant to be Kintsugi, and it is an art that sings beautiful love songs to me; and I am grateful.

Til then…

xoxo.

How defending Jim Acosta and throwing Julian Assange under a bus could cost journalists a whole lot more.

The narcissistic and short-sighted strategies journalists employ are a sign that this is a profession that does not think about the future, consequences, or strategy.

They painted WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange as some sort of Russian agent or dupe because his group revealed unflattering but accurate truths about Hillary Clinton. It was all true, and everyone knows it.

Instead, they were jealous, and now some are realizing how dangerous things will become if Assange is prosecuted.

The Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald said it best:

Over the last two years, journalists and others have melodramatically claimed that press freedoms were being assaulted by the Trump administration due to trivial acts such as the President spouting adolescent insults on Twitter at Chuck Todd and Wolf Blitzer or banning Jim Acosta from White House press conferences due to his refusal to stop preening for a few minutes so as to allow other journalists to ask questions. Meanwhile, actual and real threats to press freedoms that began with the Obama DOJ and have escalated with the Trump DOJ – such as aggressive attempts to unearth and prosecute sources – have gone largely ignored if not applauded.

But Greenwald is the lone sane man in that journalistic nuthouse. The obsession the press has with hating Trump has blinded them to how stupid their knee-jerk spasms are or the consequences of their childish games.

CNN’s Jim Acosta is not Bob Woodward. He is not breaking news or doing any actual journalism. He is a clown who behaved like a moron, and when he lost his hall pass, journalists defended him, which was a supremely bad move.

The White House banned a single idiot for being an idiot, and a low-class one to boot. No one else from CNN was barred; hence, they should have taken a hit on Acosta, and then leave it alone because if it becomes a shoving match, they are unevenly matched and the regime can do worse things that cost everyone much more in the long run.

They went to court and cheered that Acosta was allowed back in as if this would be the last of it.

Stupid, stupid move.

Now there will be rules in place.

Rules that had never been there before.

And now it dawned on the press that the rules will far worse than what they had before.

And they have CNN and Jim Acosta to thank.

Politico was very naive when their headline blared in part:

Trump discovers new weapon against media

Never considering that Trump's banning Acosta was a probe for him and he was actively seeking that weapon all along. Acosta’s selfish antics was a costly mistake and the press should know by now what happens when they resort to nose-tweaking Trump.

They never think ahead. They never plan ahead. They have some narrative running through their heads that they are good guys and if they slap back, everyone will back down and they will win.

Memo to journalists: at what point do you wake up to reality?

At what point do you change your ways?

You have had people like me research and point out rationally why you were actively being the agents of your own self-destruction.

You chose to ignore me and shut me out repeatedly.

And you chose to give free publicity to a knuckle-dragger like Acosta and cheerlead him even though you all know who he is.

You earned this wallop.

You earned the fallout because you never listen to people who speak the truth because they are brave enough and loving enough to see reality.

That is the reason you all have become a joke.

You were cruel to Assange, and he was an idealist who had a good idea. He is in over his head, and you are all responsible for it.

He knew what direction it should have gone. He has flaws, but he knew something and had a piece of the puzzle to your resurrection.

Now you whine.

But you were always lousy friends to the truth, and to the people who actually were trying to do something to save an industry.

Shame on you for that.

Shame on you for being as selfish as you are….

Is WikiLeaks still relevant in 2018?

I

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Not everyone who was cured would be grateful. 

That's reality.

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

That you want to please people or make them grateful.

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

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

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

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

II

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

A theory, but application would be very tricky.

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

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

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

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

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

He played chess.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It didn't happen. He fled.

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

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

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

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

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

Assange turned from would-be Hero to Victim.

And then it started going downhill from there.

III

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IV

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

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

And that liberation begins when we are free from narratives.

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

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

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

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

Pseudo-transparency and reflection in journalism cannot save it.

It is not hard to imagine why journalism collapsed, but it is not as if every in the profession is oblivious to what needs to be done. The problem is the vast majority are bringing the profession down.

I always said WikiLeaks is the ideal journalism should have been: true outsiders. Julian Assange has lost much of his focus lately, though I cannot say I blame him. He gave traditional media too much credit trying to plead his case that WikiLeaks and legacy media have the same goals. They do not.

WikiLeaks tried to awaken the population so that they would know what is really happening. Journalists at the Post and the New York Times want to mug for America as some action heroes of democracy as they attend red carpet affairs. Seriously, I respect Assange and root for him, but he is proof of what happens to you when you don't get out enough.

But of the few people in legacy media, most have no idea of what they should have been doing, though Newstalk 1010's Jerry Agar had some inkling recently doing a multi-day story on the impact of miscarriages -- starting with the personal and then branching out to the medical and psychological over the course of days. It wasn't a narrative. It wasn't sensationalism or social engineering. It wasn't bombast or fear-mongering. And it never tried to weave in Donald Trump into it in any way. But Agar is not a journalist by trade -- and that's disconcerting that the personality sees something the news producers do not.

In a world with a glut of opinion, people are getting opinion fatigue because opinion doesn't solve problems.

Facts do.

But journalism ran away from facts a long time ago. WikiLeaks understood facts and they gave the world facts.

But the world was too in love with spewing opinions that they ignored them, and worse, villainized them because those facts clashed with their opinions.

Journalism long ago realized spewing opinion was cheaper than gathering facts, and now that they lost their monopoly on broadcasting it, they are trying to move back a more credible model, but they no longer have a pulse on what that even means.

We can take the Toronto Star as an example. They have a public editor acting more as an apologist and justifier, explaining to the little people why journalists interview grieving families for stories because you have the perpetually offended trying to one-up each other to be the Queen and King of Morality on Twitter and whining that exposing the world to the ugly reality is a bad thing, and that privacy is necessary. Besides, what if they are made accountable and forced to change their routine, proving them wrong? What will the jealous siblings say about them on the Facebook?

No, there are people who never want to be inconvenienced by other people's troubles and they do not want to see bad news because then someone may realize their lives are dysfunctional and they do not live in paradise.

Why do you need a public editor for that? People videotape all sorts of tragic and embarrassing things that go viral -- and millions of people watch it. Those same snowflakes hold up traffic to gawk at car accidents on the highway. It's a sham.

Besides, if families do not want to talk to reporters, they don't. Journalists can't issue subpoenas. 

But the Star thinks it is being transparent when it isn't.

It tries to put that façade of seriousness. Even when it tells the Great Unwashed how their reporters get government documents to copy verbatim, assuming that people don't do the same thing in their own jobs or personal lives. 

I don't see the Star actually questioning the veracity of those papers or whether or not what is on them is accurate and valid.

Journalism should have been more than just appealing to authority.

But it wasn't because facts are not important when you are spewing opinion, propaganda, and narrative.

True journalistic transparency takes a lot more than that -- when I ran Chaser News, I was transparent -- not just with how I gathered facts -- but how I analyzed and verified them.

As well as my reactions to things I came across -- such as my anger during a Take Back the Night rally that had trained professionals in mental health and social services completely ignore a woman having a panic attack as she was visibly distressed. It was not part of my original story about trying to find a missing woman, but the episode did hint that people fall through the cracks because we often become numb to our surroundings even as our jobs dictate we must be vigilant.

But vigilance has become something people look down on these days: It's All Good! Perfect! and No worries and three very worrisome attitudes we have accepted as being cool and acceptable.

No, it's not all good. No, it's not perfect. Yes, there are worries.

That's why we have to always work hard to improve things, even if it means being distressed and questioning ourselves, our choices, and our methods.

Had journalists been transparent, they would have seen where they were going wrong. Instead, they chose that nonchalant attitude to pretend they were doing everything perfectly.

And then came their destruction.

An alternative to journalism must take care that the attitude is never a flippant one that deadens the senses and encourages lethargy and complacency. Life is a struggle and a never-ending riddle -- and the alternative must be a realistic and true reflection of our own essences to connect and thrive in the world...

Julian Assange loses his Internet. Facebook under attack. This is a tintinnabulation for Internet power. Is #MeToo going to be next?

You can feel a tide turning. First Facebook gets smeared in a targeted and coordinated media and government assault with other Big Tech distancing themselves from them, and now Julian Assange has been grounded. Freedom and liberty are being made to be bad things, as if the truth, and the obedient middle classes will be given a scary story about bogeymen, as if their own governments aren't spying on their citizens (that's right, China: we have human trafficking and illegal arms dealing, but let's make sure those jaywalkers are put in their place!).

I do not agree with Apple's Tim Cook's assertion that Facebook should have regulated itself. It would not have mattered. They allowed anyone to have a presence to a global platform to say or show whatever they wished, and their success placed that target sign on their backs.

Assange is a spoiler. He is both cunning and naive. I do believe he is a chess master, but never realized it was a game of Go he was playing -- he may have honestly believed that if he showed the world how they are being lied to, abused, and subjugated by their governments, people will revolt.

No, sorry, Julian, they are way too busy gossiping about the creepy Game of Thrones and making kissy faces in their selfies to get up and march in the streets, and when they do march in the streets, it is to demand the government has given them too many rights and should nanny them as they take their rights away.

You will not hear me bad-mouth Assange or WikiLeaks, as that is the closest thing we have to journalism left, and I do believe he has planted seeds that is too late for the governments or media to pull out and kill, despite their best efforts, but he will pay a dear price for it.

The problem is there is a crackdown on liberties in the Western world -- idea-shaming didn't work. Journalism didn't work. Trying to get people to retreat won't work because the Internet wasn't something people did strictly for work -- it was always about fun and adventure without the effort that hinges on vanity and greed. Take that away, and people will become angry at those who spoiled their fun and games, and will retaliate in a devastatingly passive aggressive way. They waited about a decade too long to strike, and it will get away from them.

Why?

Because social media shortened attention spans and loyalties. The world has become more mercurial. Remember how loyal people were to the Clintons after Trump's victory? Then came #MeToo and made them seem bitter and icky -- and Hillary is no longer a rallying cry, just a crybaby.

The wavelengths around the world have shifted and changed -- and you have old schoolers trying to wrest control with outdated sensibilities. The pendulum keeps swinging wildly with a world that is both perpetually self-entitled and offended, and that creates an unstable environment.

I would not be surprised if wars and skirmishes break out. It is already beginning to get ugly in Kosovo, for instance, and with a connected world, people become inspired faster than they ever did before. All it takes is One to bring chaos to the Infinite, and all order is lost.

Assange is being punished for kicking the hornet's nest. Facebook is being punished for unleashing an entire hornet's nest to sting whoever they desire. Both are being demonized with dread tales about their alliances and "sinister deeds". Unfortunately, those doing the smearing and accusing are doing a lot worse than both put together.

WikiLeaks, Facebook, and #MeToo are all threats to the old order, and so far, two thirds are under attack, meaning expect #MeToo to be under fire as well.

It will be very interesting to see how it all plays out, but that Assange is still standing for over five years is shocking...