Is Canadian media a sugarbaby? You betcha. This time, it's Postmedia.

Postmedia got five and a half million dollars from the federal Canadian regime a few months before an election.

Canada is a corrupt banana republic where anything goes, including having a sugarbaby media. Torstar did something very similiar a few months back. Postmedia is the only other game in town (aside from the Globe and Mail) and both quietly get big pay checks from the federal government.

This country could not survive if some level of government didn’t foot the bill. That creates more than just dependency — but incompetence. No wonder the press hates Doug Ford — he ain’t giving the sugarbabies any dough, and they are throwing temper tantrums.

Ontario is out of control with their dependence on the government to keep the people going. This makes us very vulnerable to any outside force deciding on a little economic terrorism: stop trade, wreck the credit rating, and then call in the debts. What we have are people who overestimate their own cunning, intelligence, abilities, and mastery because we have poor people think they are middle class, middle class people thinking they are wealthy, and a disturbing percentage of top 1% earners who would be out of a job if they lost their superfluous public sector position.

No wonder the press marches lockstep with the federal regime…

The slow demise of the Hamilton Spectator: it started over two decades ago.

Torstar is letting go almost two hundred full and part-time employees at the Spec in the mail room and printing departments and will sell the Frid Street building that has been pretty much empty for a quarter of a century.

I had a column in the Spec’s Ego section in 1995-96. They were letting people go then, and shrinking the size of the newspaper — and those were the days when they were the crown jewel of Southam.

Once Torstar devoured the Spec, the Hamilton newspaper had already been bought and sold to others and lost its cache. I had written about their travails when I was a journalist covering the Canadian newspaper industry.

But the paper was never a place to get ahead. During the early days of the Internet’s climb to mainstream acceptance, Southam had a short list of “Best of the Web” articles from various journalists and columnists. There were 30 slots, and I took two of them — and was the only one who did. I wasn’t there even a year, but the Spec was a bitter, petty, and hostile environment. A brass young female writer with swagger and vision to go along with the talent wasn’t going to get her talent incubated and cultivated there. That just wasn’t happening. I soon left and then went on to write for US magazines before going on to writing books, which is my medium of choice.

Still, I am not shocked at the news. It is inevitable and no government bailout is going to alter their fortunes. When Torstar is engaging in asset squeezing by selling the building (not exactly a good location for anything, but it is big) and consolidating their printing, it is cannibalizing itself.

They starved their talent before feeding on themselves. It is a sick game, but when you run on hubris, that’s how you roll in the gutter…

Torstar loses millions of dollars. No big surprise.

They are in trouble. Banking on digital subscriptions won’t save it. The declines are sharp, the economy is declining, the federal Liberal sugar daddies are not going to win the next election, and they are offering nothing new.

The only story going right now is the SNC-Lavalin scandal, and they have hedged their bets wrong, and aren’t breaking any stories. They have been whumped and badly.

And considering that the Grits gave them a slush fund, but had to renege it once it became public, means that Torstar is radioactive — whoever wins the election is not going to do them any financial favours.

What a tintinnabulation…

We call the shots and reap the rewards and glory, but you foot the bill: That's not how it works, kids.

The Left have a serious problem being Reality Deniers these days.

Once the voice of reason and compassion, their ideology has been hijacked and replaced with some idea that they are owed something to the point that they can call all the shots, reap all of the rewards, get all of the glory, and the people they slag have to foot the bill.

This is sanctioned insanity.

You want to call the shots, foot the bill.

That should have been the Left’s focus all along: ensuring that people have the economic freedom and ability to earn their own way.

Not to be dependent on a nanny state or look for well-heeled sugardaddies and sugarmommies, but to have the cash money to afford upward mobility.

Not a hamster wheel. Not a chain of debt.

But the Toronto Star has problems with the notion of personal competency.

They lament that student newspapers will wither because students will have the option not to fund them. Ontario university students — the ones who get titles running for useless organizations — are upset that those who do not wish to find them will have the right. No one owes you a paper crown, kids. Do not pretend you are holding anyone “accountable.” What you are doing is résumé-padding, but no worries: you will still land that same crappy jobs after graduation as your friends who skipped that exercise entirely.

Contract work “unfair” to newbies in universities? How old are you people again? It was profoundly unfair that my grandmother was dropped by paramedics and that I had to look after my mother who had cancer at the same time I had ovarian cancer. An untested commodity not getting a bragworthy contract, who gives a flying fuck? Earn your stripes first.

But the Star’s logic extends beyond post-secondary education, and lands currently right on Ontario Place with a pair of very manipulative articles:

Ontario Place must remain ‘family friendly’ and accessible to all, experts say. Here are their ideas.

and:

Ontario Place Cinesphere, pods could be demolished under Ford government plan.

Must be “family-friendly”? No, it doesn’t. There is no logical or physical necessity. It can be condos, a retirement village, an airport, a casino, a mall, a hotel, a factory, a school, a resort, a university, anything.

It can be a nudist resort. It can be a weed haven. If the Ontario government wants to convert it into something else, they have the mandate. Experts do not. They can try to exploit their paper crown to meddle, but at the end, it is not their call.

I have many times in my life decided on a course of action where “the experts” said that I must do something else that went against my wants and needs. Every time, I was right to trust my instincts, and had I gone with their sexist decrees, I would have not succeeded or been in a good position.

Ford got his majority. He has never made a secret of what his vision of Ontario Place was — and it is not called Toronto Place, but Ontario Place.

It used to be “family-friendly”, but then it didn’t work. It wasn’t making money, nor was it attracting people. It had to be shut down and has been in limbo ever since.

Experts are not elected. They can have opinions, but they cannot dictate the parameters. Your cabal of experts rig the results one way. Someone else’s cabal of experts will rig it the opposite.

But what we have are people trying to bluff their way into power. They do not have the financial or political authority or means, so they try to position themselves as having the moral or intellectual superiority to be the ones in charge.

Except they have neither. It is just a grab. The way Torstar openly lobbied for government money — forcing people to pay for a product they do not use — and then pretend the money is not for them to keep their titles and pay checks even though they are incompetent propagandists.

You cannot be a functional system without fiscal management skills. You cannot borrow and get yourself in a hole because then you are beholden to someone else. The Left have never been a viable option because they want control of a populace by making them financially dependent on the state so that the state can scare them and do all of their thinking for them.

This scam doesn’t work. Other Leftist nation who played that gambit imploded. It is time to retire that economic ideology once and for all.

If you truly believe in freedom and freedom of choice train people to thrive on their own out in the wild. Do not throw them in cages and then feed them a bullshit story how glorious and moral it is to live in a cage. That’s what Millennials are doing to their own perpetual misery — and instead of moving out of the cages, they want to be forced to be in a smaller cage with less freedom.

Western thinking lacks instincts and literate ferality. When you have a society trained on apps and prepackaged goods, something gets lost.

Life is not trouble-free or without effort or heartbreak. It is ironic that for all the bad-mouthing of capitalism, champagne socialists are the most indoctrinated — the difference is they want someone else to give them stuff and an enviable lifestyle, not be the ones who earn it themselves.

If capitalism had one serious defect, it is that it failed to take human greed into account. It rewarded financial hoarding. Had there been a slight tweak in its structure, we wouldn’t see the blaring inequities we are seeing now.

Nor would we be seeing people expect a champagne lifestyle as if it were a human right. It is not a human right. There is something to be said about having to earn your way and not be given it.

We don’t have an adequate system that deals with the worst of human thinking, such as greed, jealousy, deception, anger, arrogance, or laziness. Sins or not, a truly viable political and economic structure goes in knowing that grifters, thieves, and manipulators want to leech from the competent and the diligent, but in order to do that, they have to dupe enough empty-heads into relinquishing their power and free will to form a barrier to keep prying eyes away from their blood-sucking.

We have two seemingly competing ideologies that have the identical structure, meaning we don’t actually have a choice.

It’s just like journalism: we don’t have a choice. We have propagandists who spew from the Right, and those who spew from the Left. We have no alternative structure that actually does its job.

Journalism that wants to call the shots, reap the reward, and get the glory — but have someone else foot the bill.

No wonder the profession is fubar: with ridiculous thinking like that, it was inevitable…

Re-branding failure: Propping up the Metro brand.

The free newspaper Metro is failing, and now that failure is being re-branded with the Torstar name. Metro is under Torstar's Free Daily News Group Inc. banner. This is a mere re-naming. There is "expanding", only consolidating, and using Torstar's name to try to reverse the chain's sagging fortunes. Metro is to Torstar as Versus is to Versace -- a diffusion line -- a cheaper brand to the original.

These cluster of papers are the subject of investigation by the Competition Bureau with Torstar's deal with Postmedia, with a couple of these titles shut down after the deal.

The sunny spinning of rot is meant to smooth over these rough inconveniences. It is the same newspaper with the same dismal fortunes; the only difference is this is a last desperate push, but it won't change what is happening or where these papers are inevitably headed...

Is there hope for journalism? Not a chance. There is too much rot. Why the world needs a fresh start.

There is a Pollyanna mindset in those whose destroyed journalism. Some way, somehow, they think the mess will clean up itself. It's a mindset from those who grew up sheltered with parents who often have clout as their offspring seek attention and have their sunny dispositions shaped by weed. Journalism is not a profession where being mellow is an asset. You have cutthroats and grifters who know how to manipulate optics -- and even data to paint an inaccurate picture of what is really happening. Of course, not everyone in the business came from privilege, but enough to see what happens when you have not faced consequences in the eye, let alone stared death in the face.

It is not as if things may look bad, but something will save the day. It's unfixable in its current form.

Both Torstar and Postmedia are the subjects of a Competition Bureau probe, but so what? They did what they said they'd do -- close down newspapers. The end.

It is not as if these were thriving newspapers. They were closed because they weren't. They went past the point of no return.

But you still have reporters believing they can somehow trick people into saving them with ridiculous optimistic campaigns, such as  Journalism Matters.

Always begging for money, of course.

Even if reporters pretend to be pessimistic as they "question" those assertions, they will pin the blame on factors unrelated to the heart of their problems, such as newsrooms being too white and male, before trying to find a saviour, such as "data journalism."

Nah.

The critical problem isn't that journalism is "white" and "male." It doesn't matter what the packaging happens to be -- the same mindset is prevalent in the entire profession. No one has made a single fundamental change.

And data journalism? As if companies can't fudge data or authorities cannot get it wrong -- or keep information back? As if there aren't flawed measurements? You never heard that figures can't lie, but liars can figure?

Really? Really?

Because journalism's collapse is global in scale.

It isn't just a thing that happened in just North America, the self-proclaimed centre of the universe, where ex-reporters of the Denver Post are sobbing a little too late. Other races and cultures made the same mess of things, too.

We have people from every other country questioning the way journalism is doing its job, such as this sharp column from Pakistan's Daily Times.

But you have CNN's Chris Cillizza in La La Land, with "analysis" that is nothing more than childish conjecture about Donald Trump being some sort of real life "reality show" (memo to Cillizza, do you actually comprehend that all major newsmakers could say the same thing as their lives were always under the media microscope?), as if journalism could have any virtuous airs about them.

At least former CNN Soledad O'Brien called out Cillizza for his devoid analysis,  rightfully pointing out that it is that kind of worthless junk that turned millions of people away from traditional journalism, though Cillizza was too thick to get it.

So is there hope for a dead profession?

No.

But journalism can be replaced with an alternative that has far more than hope -- but the power to transform and engage the world again...

 

The Competition Bureau pays a little visit to Postmedia and Torstar...

This visit is not a common occurrence. As in, unprecedented. The massive newspaper swap late last year raised eyebrows, but usually, despite the high media concentration going on in Canada for decades, the Bureau usually doesn't pay attention (Toronto Star has finally made a mention of it, but both the Star and the National Post relied on the Canadian Press article here). competition-bureau

But this time, they searched the offices and had a nice little chat with the two groups.

Yes, they had search warrants.

First Newsweek gets raided in the US. Now two of the largest newspaper chains in Canada are paid a visit for different reasons...

But once upon a time, when outlets got searched and served warrants, it was because they were uncovering government corruption, and they were being searched to see who were their sources; so those leaks could get plugged.

Now, it is happening for vastly different reasons...