Journalism in the West is in a disgraceful shambles, and it shows with every article and segment they churn out. The problem could be easily solved, but as they keep doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome, the mess becomes bigger and more toxic to the society they cover. The New York Times is a very bad offender. Their latest apologistic propaganda drivel disguised as an op-ed piece is desperately trying to salvage the reputation of Al Franken.
It was fine to finally out Harvey Weinstein as a predator because he was losing his clout, his cash and support did not translate into a Hillary Clinton presidency; so it was justifiable to throw him under the bus. He became expendable, and the press has no trouble disposing of no longer useful players.
But then came still very viable pawn Al Franken.
Now things are entirely different.
Now, all of a sudden, the narrative is about making excuses for him. Well, everyone makes mistakes, is the sophistry used to justify vile behaviour; so let's ignore it and move on.
No, overcooking a roast is a mistake. Grabbing a woman's chest when she was asleep and then memorializing the disgracing pose against her will as a trophy to prove you are more cunning than your prey is very deliberate. It is fitting that this took place in a military setting because that picture itself was a guerrilla ambush.
It is war and Franken won by sneak attack. There is no mistake there. That assault was a calculated one of opportunity and says a whole lot more about Franken's content of character than most people in journalism can admit.
But journalists often serve as maids and janitors to those currently in power: they clean up the messes by spinning, ignoring, downplaying, or re-interpreting their masters's numerous sins.
Exposing Franken was a tactical error, but it was the fallout of war: the point of this entire Weinstein/#Metoo campaign was a game of Go against Donald Trump: he was accused of being a boor; so the point was to slowly surround him by exposing a few weakened titans who were accused of doing the same or worse.
The gambit didn't work the first time when the Clinton campaign went after the now infamous recording of him prattling to Billy Bush -- but perhaps if there was a longer arc on it, there is a chance he could be eventually stymied.
Prime your audiences to renounce sexual harassment, and then shaming him is the natural and foregone conclusion.
Except it didn't work out quite as planned.
Because people in power don't become powerful because they are gentle and sensitive, or even intelligent or competent.
The power structure in this society is such that people who are conniving rig things to ensure that their conniving ways are rewarded, and that intelligent and benevolent people are too distracted to challenge them.
If there is a direct comparison, the connivers are going to lose. So, ensure that the moral and intelligent are too unfocussed and overwhelmed to be serious threats.
So when the sexual harassment Pandora's box opened, there truly was no telling what would happen.
Because once upon a time, journalism had an iron-grip on what information would be made public, and it made outcomes easier to manipulate and control.
But with the Internet, things are less predictable, yet journalists still hold on to those old rules, making the results of their campaigns not quite what they were aiming for.
So when valuable pawn Al Franken got exposed as the pig that he is, the press now has a dilemma as they lavished positive press on him for years.
And now the backtracking begins, which itself will undermine the entire narrative: if journalists say that sometimes it is okay to sexually humiliate women, then harassers will just cop to saying it was all a mistake, they are sorry, and then women will be placed in a worse position than they were before: once again being seen as hysterical harpies who should be compassionate and accommodating toward their abusers, who, by golly, are just making mistakes at women's expense.
Do not think that can't happen. It is already starting, thanks to the apologists at The New York Times and the Daily Kos.
If women truly do not want to be oppressed even worse than they were before, they must ignore the apologists and demand Franken's resignation. There must be a line drawn somewhere, and it must be a very severe and serious one.
No, it is not okay to humiliate a woman. No, it is not okay to take a photograph of you fondling her when she is asleep. There was no consent. You were on a job, and she was your coworker. It would not be any different under any other circumstance, but this is the epitome of sexual harassment, and we do not make exceptions to popular Democrats who morally masturbate in public just because traditional media drool all over him and he once handily won Celebrity Jeopardy.
But the Times's propaganda piece does raise one more interesting question to ponder: why didn't the press see the Franken debacle coming?
The answer is very simple: because you have journalists who are not trained to be street fighters, but sheltered, ignorant, and arrogant teenagers who think they are smart just because they have a university degree or two.
Journalism requires those in the profession to understand that they are soldiers in an intellectual war. You have to fight to hunt and gather every grain of truth. J-schools do not train soldiers: they indulge brats who cannot be bothered in learning how to fight and how to survive. They sit at their computers all day, and have no idea about this thing called reality. They imagine themselves as kings and queens, telling people how to think -- who to shame and who to hero worship, and then all the little peasants follow their decrees.
Journalists love having war stories, but so long as they do not have to actually fight in any battles.
The profession got decimated precisely because journalists really had no clue they were in a war.
They never fought. They haughtily schemed. They all thought they were royalty in a castle, not the knights who had to defend that castle called Truth at all costs.
They saw Republican hypocrisy, and thought that aligning themselves with the Democrats was the easy answer by default.
No, the Clintons and the Frankens of the world are your enemies, too. They used you, abused you, exploited you, manipulated you, and lied to you again and again and again.
And all you ever did was kiss up to them and reward their conniving ways. To them, it must be like shooting fish in a barrel.
Stop your maid service to Franken. Stop your janitorial detail to the Clintons.
Take off that ridiculous crown and maid's outfit, and get out your soldier's uniforms, and put them on right now.
If you haven't noticed, there is a war raging out here right now. You are surrounded by hostile forces, you lost far too many liberties, and you have no idea how to fight as you threw away your weapons, and wouldn't even know how to use them if you still had them because you gave them to the enemies who are using those weapons against you.
If you can't read between the lines, then here is the memo: the war is over, and journalism lost.
I don't know about the rest of you, but I am not sitting around waiting for the enemies of truth to dictate anything to me...