People have short memories, and the press often takes advantage of the collective amnesia to bury the endless blunders they committed. Remember the Hunting for Bambi Hoax? Or when Andrea Mitchell cut short an interview about the NSA to report about Justin Bieber?
Most likely not, but there people such as me, who do, and make a career of finding, cataloguing, analyzing, and keeping track of those blunders.
But the middle class live in the Now. They don’t think about yesterday’s errors or tomorrow’s consequences. When people hear me talk about how serious the troubles in journalism are, there is a list of mental denials they try to pull:
It can’t be that bad. I then rattle off not just the errors, from the WMD to Stephen Glass, but then mention some very disturbing things the press doesn’t report that is happening in their area, such as what foreign governments own what in their own country, to how some countries get their weapons and tanks. As the middle class are notoriously squirmish about bad news, this starts to make them feel uneasy.
There must be some outlet out there that is doing good reportage, right? They ask for a list. I mention the Intercept and when people in Canada ask what are good outlets here, I say none. The end. When there is corruption, killers who are walking the streets, rights being eroded, and the like, this is not positive information.
Yes, but the new generation are a lot “smarter” and “more informed”; so no one has to worry about anything. Wrong again. What makes them smarter? We know universities have diluted their content, inflated their grades, and we also know that if the adults with more experience are without information, their children are, too. When I ask what those children know, it becomes obvious the answer is not very much, especially as mother is doing all of the kid’s homework assignments so the family’s financial investment in that education doesn’t go down the drain.
There is something being done, right? No, there isn’t. Journalism reform and revolution isn’t a thing. You pretty much have me and a few other lone wolfs, but unless there is a breakthrough, it just gets worse.
It’s hopeless. No, it’s not. People with cancer lived through war zones; what’s the middle class’s excuse? That there isn’t an app for them to shit-post?
We have generations who have been lulled into a Pollyanna mindset, even when they think they are savvy. They aren’t.
Some people do sense this black hole.
They know that deep down, education that is shallow doesn’t allow citizens to question the information they are hearing. The trouble is that we drill narratives and scripts into people who then expect reality to bind by their worthless urban fairytales.
And life doesn’t play by the rules followed by the middle class.
The fall of Yugoslavia snapped a lot of people out of their fantasy slumber. You had the breakaway regions such as Croatia who worked themselves up and had a fantasy delusion that all the Serbs — whom they blamed for every single one of their deficiencies and troubles — should be wiped off the map, and then Croatia will flourish and become a Promised Land filled with a superior ethnic group.
It didn’t happen, of course, because Croats are just people like any other people. They are not special or superior. They are just people.
Just like the Serbs.
Serbs, too had their own fairytales: the first was that the country wouldn’t fall apart. Then it was that people would see how distorted the media coverage was and see the truth. Finally, they thought Russia would roll in and rescue them.
Every single one of their fairytales turned out to be bullshit.
But one young Serb didn’t hold any delusions.
A young boy named Spomenko Gostić, who is Person #11 of List of People Everyone Should Know.
He was a young Serbian boy in Bosnia whose father left, and his mother raised him until that civil war killed her. He then lived with his grandmother, who was also murdered in the conflict, and he was left an orphan in the middle of a war.
And so, he became a soldier in the Serbian army. Underaged but an adult before his time.
He fought for his people because he had nothing left to lose. Those fairytales were nothing but lies.
He was mortally wounded when he went home to bake bread for soldiers.
He died at fourteen.
He was also the youngest decorated soldier in the Serbian army.
And we have people in the West who honestly think their children know something.
They know nothing because those patriarchal fairytales keep them stupid.
As an educator, I had moronic mothers enable their equally moronic adult children, telling me how their little snowflake cannot do homework because it is so hard.
They should have been introduced to Spomenko and then run that bullshit story with a straight face again.
And worse, that same ilk of snowflakes are pretending to be resistance fighters because they didn’t vote in 2016 and the superior candidate won.
But the Establishment certainly banks on middle class brain rot when we have NATO head Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said to Serbian university students in Belgrade that NATO bombed Serbs to save them.
No, you didn’t bomb children to protect them. You bombed them because you are psychopaths who get off on murdering on a big scale. (If you are wondering about the origin of the links, it is not as if Western sources are literate or vigilant enough to have even noticed the significance of the speech. The speech happened and it happened as described — but more about that in another post).
Fuck you, too.
And Nato stated its intentions in 2017 to meddle in Canadian affairs to make sure the only propaganda spewed is of their own specifications, and I do not hear those two knuckle-draggers Justin Trudeau or Chrystia Freeland doing anything to stand up for the Canadian sovereignty they blithely gave to Donald Trump.
Fuck them both.
Chaser News was based in knowing that lying is the default in larger organizations: the bigger the organization or institution, the easier it was for grifters to slip in and use the establishment as a cover to do horrible things undetected.
Journalism — had it been a real profession — would not have been spewing press releases or appealing to authority: they would have gone in knowing that the mandate was to expose not only those grifters in that collective, but also their enablers and those who had things to gain by staying silent.
There is no such thing as a “good bombing.”
And I find it interesting that all those limousine liberal Democrats who had bombs sent to them were having conniptions, but when those same Democrats lobbied to have Serbia bombed, were all righteous about it.
So yes, fuck them, too.
They are no Spomenko. Just a cabal of cowards wearing paper crowns and soggy underpants.
They have to endanger other people’s lives protecting their worthless asses.
Some leaders they are.
An orphaned teenaged boy had more morals and courage than the lot of them put together.
So if they run away at the first threat, they cannot be competent leaders.
So why are they not being called on the carpet for their cowardice?
If the middle class honestly think the wealthy will protect them, they are in for the shock of their lives.
They are even bigger milksops than they are.
Coward Central MSNBC would rather cover the boring antics of Justin Bieber than ever acknowledge the Spomenko Gostićs of the world. They do not want to admit their beloved Leftie president has blood on his lecherous hands or could they ever be wrong about the people they drool over, nor do they want to show those minion classes how timid they really are next to them.
Spomenko had the chance to be adopted by a Serbia couple living in France.
He turned it down.
He knew full well going in that he was likely not going to make it.
And if he did not, the odds would have still been dismal.
He could have run away and looked after his own backside.
Or he could make the most with what little time he had.
He chose altruism.
Unfortunately, the region where he lived was taken over by religious extremists who were aided and abetted by the very cowards who have bricks in their pants that some extremist lunatic could easily send them a bomb.
You reap what you sow. You enabled one set of extremists to take a town hostage to their own whims, and then you set off the chains of events for it to hit you.
But that cycle has got to stop.
Violence doesn’t solve problems.
Journalism are not honest brokers or truth tellers.
They are fairytale spinners, nothing more.
It is why after careful deliberation, I decided to resurrect Chaser.
I will know where I stand by the first week of November. There is a lot going on. I will discuss it when I know the score.
And then world, get ready…
That Western media trounces on people who do not think like them is an understatement. That lockstep mentality is everywhere, and it is only since the rise of social media where people are attempting with varying degrees of success to challenge it, but even now, the we see babble mouths on CNN flung dung on Kanye West because his politics isn’t perfectly aligned to what it is “supposed” to be.
Serbs have always been an enigma to the West for the no filter mouths and bluntness with regards to pointing out reality. This does not sit well, particularly with people on the Left who are addicted to praise and fawning over their so-called “progressive” views.
This isn’t just a North American problem. Western Europe is equally merciless when it comes to people who are rebellious and independent by nature. If you are not on your knees, praising them as the genius next messiah, then you have to be broken and reconditioned to see that they have your best interests all along.
If you believe I am exaggerating, look no further than NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg’s recent speech to Belgrade University students, telling them point blank that NATO bombed Serbs to “save them.”:
“I stressed that we did this to protect civilians and to stop the Milosevic regime.”
No, you did it because you are violent control freaks who wanted to break people who fought for their very survival.
This psychopathic speech did not go over well, but Mr. Stoltenberg’s arrogance was ignored in the Western media.
NATO very well knew that (a) foreign mercenaries came into the country and committed heinous atrocities, (b) that prisons were unguarded and murderers and rapists were free to do whatever they please, (c) that several prominent PR firms were spreading misinformation — fake news — which the Western press bought regardless of how fake the accusations were, (d) that the leaders of Croatia and Bosnia-Hercegovina had fascist and bigoted ideology and were open with it, penning works that would be considered hate speech anywhere else in the Western world, and (e) it was outrageous for the West to allow provinces to break away, but then not allow Serbs who owned land in these regions to join Serbia as they did not wish to separate (and if anyone makes any excuse should see Western politicians and media’s about-face when it is their own backsides in question — including former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien. So let us not play make pretend).
So no, the bombing was criminal and unjustified. NATO would have seen the same video footage I did from the region even before the war, where Serbs went to find remains of their dead from the Second World War in Croatia, only to exposed to graffiti that warned them they ought to come back to join their ancestors in those unmarked graves. They knew the traumas Serbs went through in that same war, where there were even concentration camps to keep Serbian children. In the Second World War, the Croatian Ustashi gleefully too photographs of their torture and murder of Serbs — and it happened again in the Civil War of the 1990s.
NATO knew all of it, and they chose a side, and bombed civilians because they could get away with it, and they did not like the rebellious Serbs who would not play by the chauvinist rigged rules of the West.
And that chauvinism continues to this day.
Beogradski Sindikat is a Serbian hip hop group, and they uploaded a video on YouTube depicting the burning of Serbian churches — and although the video is staged, this is in reference to real acts of hate crimes.
YouTube allows all sorts of violent images, except they do not like when Serbs make songs that describe the hate crimes that are committed against them.
And it is this confirmation bias that perpetually dooms Serbs to be stuck in a vortex where they can be harmed, but it is either ignored, dismissed, censored, explained away, or they are villainized.
I know because my maternal grandmother’s family were slaughtered in concentration camps in the Second World War, and I have had people shout over me at the first mention, with more than one person telling me, “So what?”.
When I wrote letters to media outlets regarding their skewed coverage during the civil war in the former Yugoslavia, that “so what”? was uttered to me by phone when I pointed out that Serbs had been the victims of atrocities during that conflict.
As Serbs were labelled the Bad Guys, then was perfectly normal to say “so what”? when their children were slaughtered.
And I was witness to it. The level of abuse I took from Western journalists, producers, and editors when I pointed out the lies and inconsistencies in their stories is not something many people can actually appreciate.
When confronted with evidence that what they reported was a lie, they denied it.
It is the reason I became a journalist. I realized as a teenager that the Western media was no better than any other one.
I wanted to see precisely how this kind of mind games worked, so it could be countered within the industry, but then social media rolled along, and then journalism collapsed.
But just because we don’t use 8-tracks or cassettes or even CDs or vinyl much anymore, doesn’t mean the world gave up on music.
We still do. We just have a different way of doing it. We stream, but we also go to see them live in concert.
So journalism is the 8-track. It is not the end of the world that they failed.
F.R.E.E.D. is something different. It doesn’t spin yarns. It weaves mosaics.
And it doesn’t say “so what”? when people who suffered have a message to tell…
What this about Amazon getting a patent to cage workers?
Oh, they claim they won’t use it…so why did it cross your collective minds to file for it?
As if that never happened before.
And while we are on the subject of tyrannical Big Tech, don’t you think their Terms of Service are now violating US First Amendment Rights?
Let alone privacy laws.
But it isn’t just those bullies on the playground.
You knew what you were signing up for — you don’t like it, sue your own government.
And yes, you knew real bombing of innocents was a real possibility. They don’t train you to kill for nothing.
For all those in Belgrade who lost loved ones to that bombing, they should sue those bombers for the Post Traumatic Stress they suffered from.
The modern world — regardless if it is capitalist, socialist, or somewhere in-between — has a single problem.
They all have identical structures of power that is rigged to reward psychopaths and other tyrants and bullies.
It is a simple enough affair to create a structure that is durable and flexible enough to prevent destructive behaviour from corrupting the system.
After all, people are very good at creating systems that favour corruption. If you can do it one way, you can do it the other way.
It begins with how we form structures of thought in the first place.
And journalism may not form structures, but it does reinforce it. It slops on labels on people without actually bothering to see if the label matches the goods.
So, take out the rig of labels and narratives, and something remarkable happens: people are judged based on their own actions.
We can look at snap shots in time, and then see where they lead.
So you have a trillion-dollar company get a patent for caging workers.
It spin is unimportant.
Asking questions about actions illuminates. You don’t need a PR firm for a sound bite.
You just present the facts.
An alternative is one where the structure is the primary focus, and then the content.
Structures can be gamed and then rigged. Create a new structure that is flexible and takes propaganda and manipulation into its equations, the content cannot mask the reality or the truth.
The Patriarchal is always about The One, and is a form of an audience Stockholm Syndrome: if people are repeatedly exposed to the same tyrant, they begin to identify with the person.
It is the reason so many celebrities keep trying to stay in the spotlight and get all of the attention: if their image is familiar with that audience, they identify as they believe the image.
Once that spell is broken, people have a chance to think and compare — and when the attention hog comes back, it is that much harder to beguile the audience who had a chance to escape and reassess with their own thoughts and beliefs.
Prevent a Patriarchal structure, and you stem the effects of propaganda hijacking independent thought.
It is also the reason competitive people always want to be considered The One: if they hog the spotlight, they cannot be compared and contrasted to someone else — and opening new thoughts and schools of beliefs challenges their power.
We see how Toronto is in a complete meltdown mode because Doug Ford can checkmate them with the notwithstanding clause: they emerged as The One in the province, and now they do not have the power to lord over the fate of the rest of the province after they lost cabinet ministers and even a premier who were representing them with the former reigning party in power. People were just supposed to move there, and be superior to the rest of the country by default.
It was very obvious what would happen, and yet the narrative structure blindsided an entire city to the most likely outcome: even if a judge made a ruling in their favour — either an appeals court would have to overturn it — or the government would invoke the provision that gave them the right as the elected government to do bypass it all and do it anyway.
When you use labels and narratives, you become blind to the obvious: you are forever explaining away exceptions that disprove your theories. Your theories become unfalsifiable, meaning all of the warning signs blaring do not register with you.
And we are in a place in civilization where there is no more excuse for those kinds of childish games.
The alternative does not allow for wishful thinking and trying to break down people to give in.
It presents the facts — as scary as they are.
If you a happy ending, it all depends, of course, on how willing you are face the unhappy beginnings that started the mess in the first place…
To say that Western journalists made a mess of their coverage during the Civil War in the former Yugoslavia is an understatement. Many journalists should have been convicted in The Hague for their gleeful abuse of their profession. When I was an undergraduate at the time studying psychology, I spent my Friday nights writing letters of complaint, as well as working my fax machine. I had amassed banker's boxes filled with evidence that showed media reporters were wrong, exaggerated, and even fraudulent.
You may think I was looking at looney and fringe sources, but no. I read UN reports, for instance. I conversed with professors at various universities, reading their well-researched work. I found information through FARA. I talked to people who were in the region during the bloodiest of battles. I had video footage. I had pictures. I read trade publications for the intelligence community. I deliberately went through conventionally "credible" channels for a reason.
But I also vetted the so-called dubious sources. Some were out to lunch. You had people claim that Serbs were engaging in cannibalism. It was classic war propaganda.
And then there were other sources I went through that took a certain appreciation and mindset to digest, let alone try to verify.
From my research back then, I could say that the Western media got a sum total of one fact correct: that there was a war going on. They got everything else wrong. It was a shock to me, but it made sense.
Journalists covering the conflict did not speak the language. They were so poorly educated, that they could not even get the religion right of Serbs. I remember one ABC "special" that called Serbs Greek Orthodox.
Try Eastern Orthodox.
Speaking of religion, it was interesting how the press framed the issue: they called one side Muslims, one side Croats, and one side Serbs. They should have been consistent: Muslim, Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox, but then again, no one would dare pick any side if it were based on religion alone. It was a linguistic sleight of hand to dodge criticism.
It is extremely difficult to cover a war -- any war. Journalists like to be pick sides, regardless that to have a war, all participating parties are killing each other. No babes in the woods here. I had relatives on all warring sides -- and that is not unusual as the intermarriage rate prior to the war was high.
Of all the factions, Serbs took the biggest beating in the press coverage, mostly because Serbs did not have a PR firm representing them to the public, and the other two sides had several firms working to massage the optics. While Hill and Knowlton were the ones who got the US to invade Iraq during the first Gulf War, the Yugoslav factions upped the ante and had their full assault in the press.
It was no secret. I found out as a Canadian university student studying psychology. Journalists knew, of course, because they were getting press releases from those firms with their letterhead on it -- and ever so conveniently, those same stories appeared on the news as is.
It was unprecedented. I was a witness to propaganda up close. I would always ask the same question whenever a news story broke out: who is the firm representing the factions? Whoever had the most money, always got to the hero halo, and it didn't have to be a war for it to happen.
It is the reason people such as Harvey Weinstein got away with trollish behaviour and undeserved accolades and Oscars for years -- he paid for the coverage and the accolades, and he got them.
Even these days, "Big Tech" is under fire -- but the real question will always be who is paying for the press coverage?
It is pure capitalistic consumerism.
There is a difference between confidence and arrogance. When you know what you are doing, you are confident. If you don't and have to wing it, you are arrogant.
A confident person admits that he doesn't know everything, and is willing to learn, and modify or even change their theory, depending on the evidence. They are dynamic and active in thought. An arrogant person never admits he is wrong. He makes up all sorts of excuses and reasons why he is right, despite the evidence, and his thinking is static and passive, mistaking a hypothesis with fact.
The problem with the Yugoslav coverage was that you had journalists parachuted in and then look for cheat sheets. They knew absolutely nothing about the most basic stats of the regions, and it was that ignorance that skewed everything from the get-go.
In Bosnia, for instance, Serbs were more likely to be farmers. They had a smaller population, but owned a bigger percentage of the land. The other sides were city dwellers, more populous, but owned far less. We see this divide all the time: in my province of Ontario, for instance, there are many more Torontonians, but being stacked up in condos gives them a smaller spread of land, than let's say, people who live in rural communities. One has numbers, the other has lots.
Now, if Toronto wanted to separate from the rest of Ontario, I am certain many people from the rest of the province would gladly throw them a good riddance party, but only if those in Toronto were content with leaving with the land they owned.
But what if Toronto decided they wanted the entire province for themselves because they also wanted to separate from Canada and declare themselves a country of their own?
That wrinkle changes everything.
Those in Hamilton, Kingston, London, Windsor, and Niagara Falls may scoff at the notion. Mississauga may wish to stay put as well, being happy to be Canadian.
But Toronto crowing it has more people makes them feel entitled to the lot of the province, and decides to drive people out of Ontario who are not from Toronto.
That was the Yugoslav conflict in a nutshell.
Will there be bloodshed? You better believe it. There will be panic, terror, and rage. You spend generations on a single parcel of land that strangers have now decided belongs to them.
And you had headless journalists jumping in and deciding those who didn't want to lose their land or their citizenship were wrong and evil. The idea was insane.
If the coverage was accurate or sane, there would have been basic questions: who is funding the drive for separation? What is there to gain from declaring your rock a country? Are they actually entitled to do so? What happens to people who didn't want to separate?
You look at the money trail. Nationalism is a feint and a cover to steal and plunder. We have seen countries get looted for their oil, for instance, but the cover of freedom and democracy downplays the spoils of war.
The Yugoslav conflict had nothing to do with nationalism, or "blood and belonging" as Michael Ignatieff mistakenly, and very naively believed -- it was all about the Benjamins.
Yugoslavia was up to its eyeballs in IMF debt. It had a high unemployment, a worthless economy, and a currency that was essentially worthless. You had people with multiple university degrees who could not find stable work.
Yet they had natural resources, and plenty of it. Some of the regions' leaders thought if they declared their rock a country, they could get the US to give them money as they dodged that crippling debt.
But Serbs wouldn't play along. They never do. They are a people not impressed with the West. In fact, they do not impress with anyone as a general rule. They are seen as stubborn, but what they are is complicated and self-confident.
Their history is a bloody one where they were nomadic mercenaries. They made the trek away from the Ottoman Empire to the Hapsburg Monarchy to finally put down roots. They revere family because they have lost too many loved ones over time.
They also were victims of genocide during the Second World War -- a genocide that has never been acknowledged by the West. Serbian children were placed in their own concentration camp, and the Ustashi were very proud of their barbarity, taking numerous photographs of their torture and murder of Serbs.
Many Western scholars do not understand the emotional literacy of a people who have known obstacles of that magnitude. Some of the more ignorant have some childish notion that Serbs see themselves as victims.
What they see is their history of losing their homes and lives. It would be akin to telling Holocaust survivors to suck it up, or tell African Americans to stop whining because their ancestors were slaves to whites who managed to erase the knowledge of their own history, or even to tell LGBT community to stop whining about being labelled as mentally ill in the DSM.
But Serbs are too exotic for Western patriarchal narratives. They have their own mindsets and independent narrative structures because they have spent hundreds of years separated from other Euro-centric cultures.
But Western journalism is not about plurality or acceptance of diverse mindsets. It saw an exotic people who were independent thinkers who reject a given script, and xenophobic reporters attacked. It would be the punishment for not sucking up to the West like good little foreign people were expected to do with a frozen smile on their faces.
When I was collecting the list of gaffes and lies coming from Western journalists, I was taken aback at how much of it didn't make even physical or logical sense. Often, even their own footage contradicted what they were narrating. Places where Serbs allegedly "attacked" had their symbols all wrong.
That is not likely to happen to natives, but very likely to those not familiar with the culture, but trying to make their best guess at how it looks, and, not knowing the meanings, let alone nuances, widely missed the mark.
They misidentified soldiers as Serbian, even though Serbs weren't wearing that uniform, but the other sides did. They misidentified mass graves as Muslim, even though Muslims in the region weren't burying their dead with crosses or Cyrillic writing -- bonus points as the markers had very Serbian names written on them -- and then when confronted with the inconsistencies, you had culturally illiterate believers explain it away as some sort of "conspiracy theory" on the part of Serbs who would be in a position to know what they wore when they fought. I have even had people literally run away from me when showing them photographic evidence of their arrogant lunacy. All I had done was hold two photographs in my hands and asked them point blank to explain how their theory could explain that discrepancy.
There is no greater coward than a liar.
But those cowardly journalists had bigoted filters throughout the conflict, and had no clue what a Serb even was. They were told by vested interests that Serbs were the aggressors, and that was good enough for them. Serbs were willful, unruly, idiosyncratic, and unimpressed with American journalists. Serbs were a people who survived on their wits for hundreds of years, and could spot a disingenuous lightweight a mile away.
Journalists were running to the white tents set up by PR firms to feed them information, and never bothered to inform their readers and viewers of it. They didn't understand mothers and fathers standing guard with their soldier offspring. American parents weren't fighting alongside their grown children during their conflicts; and hence, the sight of a father with his children as their mother cooked and kept shelter was jarring and unnerving.
They did not ask a single important question. They didn't know the region's history, and had they been historically literate, they would have seen it.
They would have also seen that as the prisons in the former Yugoslavia were unguarded, the worst killers were out in the open, preying on everyone, and not particularly caring whose throat they slit.
They would have seen how many foreign mercenaries were parachuting in and hijacking the battles. I had seen videos of Serbian soldiers being tortured to death as their bodies were placed on a spit by the same terrorists who would eventually form Al-Qaeda, and later on, ISIL. Western soldiers trained those killers who returned the favour to their benefactors by slaughtering Americans.
And Western journalists stood by and let it all happen as they spewed their daily propaganda. When I had challenged more than one of these reporters on their coverage and gave my proof, they would retreat, and shrug it off with, "Well, the first casualty of war is truth."
No, the first casualty of journalism was truth.
Sooner or later, truth gets her revenge. Journalists see their games in the former Yugoslavia as the good old days when their trusting audiences still believed a word they said. Had there been social media back then, I always said I could have easily posted the discrepancies online. I wouldn't have bothered writing hundreds of letters to various media outlets. There would be no need.
Since then, journalism turned to the same rubble as what NATO had done in their punishing temper tantrum in their bid to gain strategic control of a region that had once been savvy enough to keep out of that organization's clutches.
But now NATO is playing a new little manipulative game. They have "unfinished business" with the Serbs -- the same people they maligned and bombed -- and wouldn't you just know it? they are still standing and rebuilding. Serbia had a hellacious time, but now they are on the verge of real breakthrough and renaissance -- all without the West.
And without Western journalism drooling all over them.
But NATO needs an excuse to exist, and they never were competent enough to lift a finger unless they harmed other people who had things to take. But Western journalists never had the cunning or the courage to stand up to NATO, and so, they continue to parrot whatever that self-styled authority figure decrees.
In this case, it is all about trying to link Serbs with Russians without a shred of proof -- but there is plenty of evidence that this is a propaganda campaign. It is also a bigoted attack against Orthodox Christians. The press's "proof" is the mere say-so of authority figures who have vested interests in riling up the little people to do their bidding without having to give said little people anything in return. By trying to establish a link between the two nations, the game is simple: demonize the Serbs with some fake news, and perhaps people will sign up to die in the name of us.
But 2018 is very different from the early 1990s. For one, journalism is a dead profession. It has no respect, and it is a global problem, not just a Western one.
It no longer carries any authority.
CNN, once the world's most energetic and powerful war propaganda machine, has become a repulsive joke, and those nerds of the news are in a bind of their own making. Their childish war against Trump makes it impossible for them to support any military action he could make against Serbs. They have already painted him as an extremist lunatic that Left-leaning people must fear and distrust, as has the New York Times, another hawkish media outlet.
But now there are outlets where alternative voices can step in thanks to the Internet.
It is not difficult, for instance, to find out who is funding this latest push against Serbs who are usually seen as allies to Russians, though Russians did not come to the aid of Serbs during the war, and it has not gone unnoticed. It is not the same landscape as was a quarter century ago. NATO has countries with their own ethnic and economic precariousness, and they do not have the same pull as they did during the Civil War.
Serbs in Bosnia and in Serbia proper are still more likely to be rural, and still hold more than just generational land: they have resources that many NATO countries could use to fill their own empty bank accounts.
Serbs are still exotic, unimpressed, rebellious, independent thinkers, and stubborn, as they are shrewd and many have learned their lessons from the last conflict. There is a sizeable Serbian population in the UK, for instance, that were refugees from the war. In an era of political correctness, painting an entire people as evil is not going to happen so easily, especially those who have a platform to remind a public of all of the misinformation the West had spewed the first time around with evidence to show the ridiculousness of those once serious claims.
There are other factors, but the most important one is that the tool of the hawk -- the news media -- has been destroyed by its own ignorance and hubris. When media outlets have become paupers begging for an audience and the funds to attract them, they lost face. They are not authorities anymore.
They are their own casualties. They cannot blame the Serbs for their own downfall.
They can blame their own arrogant nature, however, their rush to judgement, their gullibility, their dependence on authorities to tell them how to think, and their own sloppiness and narcissism. NATO is behaving as if it is the 1990s, and all they will have to do is bluster and make a decree as the media gets everyone to walk lockstep.
It is a world of anarchy. It is not the same landscape. Serbs do not have to play the villain for an intellectually inadequate press any longer.
And despite all the mud-slinging on the part of that dead profession, nothing is sticking, and the rest of the world spins along without paying any attention to their decrees.