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.

It is always the unspoken things that reveal the truth.

Internationally speaking, journalism has been dogged by outright corruption for decades. For example, bribery for positive coverage has been an issue, and no, Outline, it is nothing new. Foreign newspapers went so far as to doctor coverage for cash to bolster false refugee claims in Canada. When I wrote When Journalism was a Thing, I had done thorough research on other kinds of journalistic skulduggery, but I confined my focus to Canada, US, and the UK because had I mentioned other nations’ practices, there would be indignant replies that Western journalism was much better in comparison, which it actually isn’t. They use the same scams, just manifest them in different ways.

Because there aren’t any rules, global standards, empiricism, governing bodies, or anything resembling professional discipline, you aren’t going to get the full story. It is not as if things cannot slip through tiny cracks, but when you have big gaps, anything can come crawling up to infect the information stream. To express opinion is one thing, and I am a firm advocate of free speech — even things that I do not agree with — but when it comes to facts, then no, here, it is responsible speech. All facts are fair game — but you can’t just puke them out with manipulative propaganda attached to it. Fuck that.

But most people do not understand the professional life of journalists. I am forever amused by the Middle Class stupidity when it comes to how they perceive journalism. They highly edit their own Facebook page, but think journalists don’t do the same. Just how stupid are you — or do you think that you have the monopoly on being sneaky?

Maybe if you were more truthful with your selfies and personal slumps, you could spot highly edited bullshit a mile away. That’s on you.

But when someone who writes a newspaper column misses the obvious, you just know that I will have to call it out.

The Toronto Sun has this instructive column about the Jive Turkey Scandal. Most of the column is by-the-numbers, and unremarkable, except for this little nugget:

This brings us to the media coverage of this issue. Too many reporters are acting like columnists. The hyperbole is ridiculous. Journalists have concluded that something criminal has happened without first reporting the actual news.

No one seems to understand what a deferred prosecution agreement is. I believe both the former attorney general and the prime minister are telling the truth.

Now this passage is missing the point. No one actually cares about deferred prosecution. It’s not even relevant. Why has the Jive Turkey — who has gotten more lavish media coverage than most people deserve save for those who risk their lives saving and helping others — suddenly had the press turn on him so gleefully?

This rage puke is a collective catharsis. It is just like when you have to go with your parents to the home of a mean family friend or relative who keeps picking on you and insulting you for hours and you have to sit and take it — and then second you are out the door, you let the entire planet know what a worthless piece of garbage said mean family friend or relative is (for the rest of your life!)

So what gives?

I can tell you as someone who worked as a journalist what it is — it is the same thing the happened when Harvey Weinstein got great press in the beginning, but then it turned around in a heartbeat — because reporters covered him dishonestly in the beginning: they saw all of the horrible things he did because they have to hang around in corridors, and they talk to underlings and staff who spill tea, but they do not report it because they can be sued, even if they report the truth. They saw all sorts of things and heard all sorts of rumours, but they don’t tell the public.

I witnessed this the first time when I was a j-school student covering one city hall meeting — all the reporters told me about the affairs the members of council had with one person and how this same individual got positions as a result. There is your tax dollars at work. No one uttered a word outside those corridors, let along aired them in public.

And these reporters would know the Prime Minister better than the general public. They see things and hear things that they cannot report.

They still cannot, but now here is a legitimate outlet to express indirectly the sentiment they have.

For example, during one former Prime Minister’s tenure, a television reporter merely asked for the English version of a response given in French — and this person was manhandled by the RCMP as a result. There was no need for this level of violence, and I had even interviewed this person about it to confirm it, but good luck trying to find reference to it in a database or online — because it’s not there.

Things happen that the public never hears about — such as the relationships between reporters and politicians — we may vaguely recall that a lot of reporters ended up working for former President Barack Obama — how neutral was their coverage? If you are angling for a job, you are not going to be critical at all.

Just as some reporters keep silent to get something lucrative in return, others keep silent because they do not want to be sued and/or fired and/or blacklisted. There are no protections for news producers. Jody Wilson-Raybould was a prominent cabinet minister and when she stood her ground and used her own judgment, she was kicked to the curb. And for all the bullshit stories about the PM wanting to save jobs, it was only one job — his own seat in the next election — that counted. The member for Papineau, Quebec may have worried about jobs — the one public sector one, and a potential private sector once out of office — but Wilson-Raybould’s job was completely expendable.

So for a columnist to make that kind of decree is baffling. I am absolutely critical of journalism — but I am not blind to the fact that the structure of the profession hampers and harms the foot soldiers. If media owners stood behind their troops, it would be different, but they don’t.

So I am not surprised that we have the unleashed downloading on this man. The coverage before this scandal was beyond unrealistic to the point of farce. I am a very nice lady, and very moral and sensitive, but if someone wrote a fawning article about me making me out to be the next messiah, I would be just as upset as if they wrote a hatchet job on me to demonize me. I am a human being. I am not perfect. I have a temper. I can be stubborn. I also have no filter and will tell you what I think, but I am also the one who’ll go looking for you if you have strayed too far for too long. I am eccentric, enigmatic, and I do not give one flying fuck what other people think about me. I can tell you off and save your hide at the same time.

So don’t trope me one way or another, but the press did nothing but deify this man from Day One. They saw him as some sort of urbane messiah where there was not a single thing in his history that would warrant such high praise. He is a political dilettante, even now. He has a perpetual smirk on his face, and needs an entourage to validate his existence. Had the press boxed his ears from the beginning and prove to him that he is not as cunning as he thinks he is, none of this would be happening.

The press in the US is completely negative about their president, making it that much easier for him to ignore them, but the press here until now was soft on our prime minister, making it that much easier for him to mistake their fawning for outwitting them.

No, they saw what you really are all along.

And now that all pretence is off the table, they can finally rage. It is the reason why it is so loud and deep — and long.

This primal scream has been a long time coming, but once it starts, it just never stops…

When experts aren't all that...

The Toronto Sun pulled a column from Dr. Ken Walker (non de guerre is W. Gifford-Jones) where is seems to be sitting on the fence when it comes to vaccines…but is all for taking lots of Vitamin C.

Of course, you should be aware he peddles Vitamin C for bucks.

This is a clear conflict of interest.

The article is not precise, and as he is a retired physician, he doesn’t seem too concerned about keeping up to date.

There has been a backlash over the article regarding the sloppy science, which has even been dubbed as being propaganda.

To me, him using a newspaper column to tout a supplement he sells that should have prevented such an article from being published in the first place. He may be a doctor, but doctors can have vested interests just like everyone else…

Toronto Star once again charging for something it cannot give away for free.

They are broke, and now going through the process once more of selling access to their bad journalism.

I love their pretentious sale pitch:

Real journalism is always grounded in fact. Real journalism uncovers hidden truths. Star journalism goes further for you; not only revealing issues but motivating our readers and our leaders to change things for the good of our families, our businesses and our communities. It's your fastest way to the truth and to a solution.

Journalism means we investigate. Justice demands we advocate. All of this comes at a cost.

Register now for free and get limited time, full access to thestar.com. Later, your continued access will require a paid subscription. It's a way for you to support the Star's necessary empowerment of the truth. A way for you to stand beside us as, together, we stand up for your city.

Wherever you are, whenever you need us, we're here.

If they had done real journalism, they would not have to draw attention to it like that.

They have tried this before, and then had to give it away for free, and then no one read it, anyway. The Trudeau regime wouldn't bail them out, perhaps because they also never bothered the Star's shameless pitches for free money in their papers, but it doesn't matter.

Because neither does the Star...

Gracious, what a tintinnabulation! Jordan Peterson, do not call Kathleen Wynne Canada's "Most Dangerous Woman" because it makes you sound, well...sheltered...

It is very untrue, for starters, because if she were, what a total letdown that would be for Canadian women if that is considered the "most dangerous" our gender could muster. She is not starting wars. She is not violating people's rights. She is merely wasting taxpayer money on unhelpful things that voters gave her permission to do in the last election. The Human Rights Commission is frivolous, and doesn't do much to help the sick or disabled in this country, for instance. Do not build her up to be a monster. She is a pandering strategist who knows how to play the game as she always comes up with shockingly similar campaign promises to Andrea Horwath's right after the NDP leader offers them first, and there is quite a few of those kind of players around.

Besides, she is hardly Canada's "most dangerous woman," and considering I have been writing about the World's Most Dangerous Woman since 2013, (actually, 2012, before here and here) I am in a better position to know than you...

 

How did Canadian journalism implode? By stringing words and saying nothing at all.

Three unrelated articles from three Canadian newspapers are riddled with a whole lot of nothing, but seem to be saying something. That is quite a feat, and Canadian journalism has a knack for it. Andrew Coyne's column in the National Post is interesting on many levels. It is artful. He seems to be arguing against bailouts, as I have been, and suggests that journalism should look inward, as I have as well.

Until you read it carefully.

The problem, according to Coyne isn't about the core -- but that journalism had clumsy forays into making their products in tune with digital media.

It is a whole lot more problematic than just that. It is more than a cosmetic misstep: the entire profession has never questioned itself, how it conducts itself, how it gathers facts, how it analyzes them, and then disseminates them to the public. It never questions why it never got empirical. It never questioned its own folksy logic. Its entire mindset never kept up with the times. It is a relic of a bygone era because when you have all of the control, you think that's Truth and not a fixed reality that can change at any time. He is still walking lockstep with the rest of that dead profession.

The second article is this knee-slapper from the Toronto Sun filled with innuendo and sophistry that seems to condemn one of Brown's accusers without actual proof or logic. She won an award from CTV as a university student. So what? I interned at CTV when I was in j-school. I also won an award from a woman who and her husband worked at the Hamilton Spectator. I have no pull or connections with either organization. I had a column with the Spec -- and it amounts to nothing. I didn't get the scholarship because I knew the woman or her late husband.

I did visit her in the isolated nursing home a few times after I won the award. She had no pull, either, and I never asked or tried to network with her.

So she won an award -- so what? Brown was a politician in Barrie for many years -- I am certain he schmoozed with those who work at CTV's Barrie affiliate station -- why didn't the Sun mention that?

And speaking of pull, who is chummy are the staff at the Sun with Brown? Have they disclosed any of it in their hatchet job or in their publication in general?

They really should.

Because they have a glaring confirmation bias because of it.

The Sun did elect to mention that Brown "passed" a lie detector test.

Again, so what?

As I have said before, lie detector tests mean zero.

And when you are the one who hires the lie detector firm, it means even less. So what? You can take the test until you pass -- the company that you hired can ask loaded questions to your favour because you are the one paying for it. You also can be a sociopath who can not get rattled, or you can merely be deluded with no sense of reality.

You can pile up an article full of non-facts all you want, but there is nothing in the piece that has any merit. It is pro-Brown propaganda meant to shade and skew, but merely draws attention to its own glaring holes.

The third is a pair of articles from the Toronto Star is an example of puffery dodge.

It is hyped as an "investigation" with Ryerson University -- and for all the puffery, it boils down to common knowledge that is easily accessible: how much jurors get paid according to province (something easily obtainable to an average citizen), and that jury pools come from those who own a house, also not a big reveal.

The article is in response to the Gerald Stanley verdict. A white man shot a young First Nations man and was acquitted because the all-white jury believed the defence theory that the gun accidentally fired.

But the Star's spin masks the real issue that turned the Stanley verdict into a watershed moment: the town where the trial took place had a First Nations population at about 40%, but it was not as if the pool was exclusively Caucasian. The defence lawyer merely picked off potential jurors based on race until he rigged the racial make-up to be all white.

That was the central problem. This is not to say the system isn't dysfunctional and archaic, but the central flaw was not who was called to serve jury duty -- it was that the accused's lawyer literally could have a White's Only decree and the courts could indulge him.

So it doesn't matter who is in the pool -- it is who is allowed to actually serve that is the bigger problem. The Stanley trial was not in Ontario -- so the fact that Ontario pays the least than the other provinces also would not have made a difference in the Gerald verdict. Those jurors were paid more and began as a more diverse racial make up from the get-go.

It didn't matter how much the juror were paid or the skin colour of those responding to the summons -- the outcome was the problem, meaning even if the government paid more and had a more diverse pool coming in -- the outcome would still be the same.

But that is the problem that felled Canadian journalism -- they dance around central and critical issues as they tackle everything else save the thing that must be confronted.

Three different newspapers. Three different articles. Three different subjects with different reporters from different ideological schools.

And all of them make the same error in the same way, informing no one, but skewing perspectives so we cannot even begin to find a solution to any of our problems.