CNBC is trying to pretend journalism didn't collapse. Outlets are closing. Jobs are being lost and more so by the day.
And they are still in denial.
It is the gambit of trying to drum up support with a shrinking audience base is nothing new.
They are trying to stick it to Trump, as if he cared. If CNBC thinks stroking his ego by telling the world that he is the only fascinating person on the planet, gee, you tell him, guys.
The profession is still dead. It has been replaced by vindictive propaganda that is unimaginative.
Kids, you are not fooling anybody. Your arrogance won't save you.
On a personal note, I will be offline for a couple of weeks as I am making major changes to this website.
In structure and in content.
For the last few weeks, I have been having a peculiar technical issue with this site -- possibly malware or I have been hacked -- and as no one as been able to pinpoint the problem in that entire time I have been trying to resolve the issue, I will have to find an alternative.
The short answer is that words I write somehow change after my blog post gets published -- but when I go back to correct it -- the original writing flashes on the screen for a second before the word I didn't originally write comes back. This happens even when I cut and paste a passage in order to quote it.
I will chronicle that headache later.
So that's the structural side.
As for the content side, I am also dealing with some other personal matters, and I will be in a better position to know the direction I will go soon enough.
I have wanted to make a major shift here since January since pointing out the rot of the fallen arrogant isn't what I want to focus on because they are not worth my attention, or anyone else's.
My upcoming book will outline all that -- but it also discusses the future, and it is the solution that is more important than the problem caused by petty and myopic sheltered relics.
I keep saying journalism needs the alternative, and that's precisely what I will start when I come back. I have worked on this system for over twenty years, and I have been good to go for a while now. It is a blend of Chaser News and A Dangerous Woman -- with other things in the mix.
But how I can move forward with that all depends on how things unfold on my end.
Once upon a time, when I was a kid, they made us watching morality plays in school to tell us how to think and behave. And then you'd run home, turn on the television, and then you'd be stuck with yet another morality play.
This article in the Washington Post is one of those things that reeks of that kind of childish indoctrination.
#MeToo bothers journalists because it exposed their immortality to the world.
And because it is a profession that puts more currency on narrative than reality, it is always trying to spin things into neat little packages, and this is an enormous disservice to people trying to improve their surroundings.
You win battles, you have setbacks, you keep fighting until you win the war. You do not have one victory, and then expect the people who defeated to now congratulate you for putting them in their place.
#MeToo is an army of sorts, and the battle is to go to work in peace, yet it is always being spun as some sort of "witch hunt", which it never was.
It was a mass reaction to a problem Western society still has not dealt with adequately, if at all.
So you have a woman who created a list of men who abused women on the job, and it was leaked out and her identity exposed. She believes she was naive, but she wasn't naive: she took on a fight that went on longer than it should have.
When you speak your mind out in public, you will get abused. It doesn't matter if you expose a child molester, people who also molest children, their enablers, and those who got a pay check from said molester and now are out of a job will slag you in public because you tore down their façade.
If you expose that a so-called reality show is fake -- people will do the same thing.
People abuse people in their own homes -- their own children, parents, and spouses -- so it is to be expected that they bluster and insult strangers.
It doesn't mean that it should have been exposed.
There is always a trade-off: the problem is Western thought has been trained to believe you can squirt something on a dirty stain -- and the stain will erase itself, and you can go back on the sofa and drink beer and watch television.
That's journalistic narrative.
Life is not about convenience -- it is about pushing forward and understanding there will always be resistance -- but you have to push forward, even when others try to push you back.
If life was wonderful, there would have been no #MeToo. It wasn't as if people were bored and then decided to make themselves vulnerable and reveal they were powerless at work and scared. They confessed in order to make those problems go away.
It worked, but that was one battle -- it was not the end of the war.
Except the Washington Post doesn't comprehend what the movement was all about.
The column offers no reality and no context.
But journalism was never about either...
Opinionists in Canada are less flashy than their US counterparts, and as hard as it is to believe, less informed. Reading the babble about the Ontario election is particularly painful, because it seems as if everything is on auto-pilot.
The Toronto Star, oblivious to reality as usual, has a silly piece about sexism in election campaigns. It is very whiny with a whiny headline:
Mediocre men walk their way through political campaigns. It is time to end the double standard facing women on the campaign trail
Except of all the sexism to point out, the opinionist picks one that isn't true.
That headline is essentially her hypothesis, but it's wrong, and NYU had a very surprising experiment right after November 2016.
They had two actors -- a man and a woman -- who switched roles -- the man mimicked Hillary Clinton in words and demeanour, while the woman took on Trump's role.
The point of the exercise was to prove that if women behaved like men, that everyone would jump down her throat.
Except that didn't happen.
Subjects preferred the female Trump -- and much more than the real-life male counterpart.
And they disliked the male Clinton, seeing him as smug and arrogant.
I had said in 2016 Hillary Clinton was the absolute worst pseudo-feminist candidate the Democrats could have possibly chosen. They didn't a firebrand maverick who was over-the-top. This is America, and Americans love someone who is large and in charge. If women were waiting for the moment to be crown a queen instead of a king all those decades, then, for pity's sake, show it like you mean it.
I have always said that the problem isn't that there aren't wild female eccentrics -- I am not the only one on the planet, thank you very much -- but they are deliberately silenced -- not because people wouldn't like them -- but they would love them just a little too much, and that would bruise those tyrannical male narcissists who hoard power and keep everyone else -- including other men -- back.
As I write stories with nothing but idiosyncratic women -- I have a hard time getting attention, but when people read it, I do get wonderful feedback -- so the problem isn't the the world isn't ready for a wild woman -- women just make assumptions and restrain themselves unnecessarily.
So the Toronto Star is just spewing folksy logic that isn't true. Kathleen Wynne won a majority in the last election -- and considering she is openly gay and has radical ideas that frighten Jordan Peterson -- she was given public goodwill the first time around. The Liberals had a minority and a lot of illiill with the public, and they went solidly behind Wynne's regime.
But her penchant to throw money the province doesn't have to nanny the people is wearing thin with the public. It has nothing to do with the fact she is a woman.
And the election isn't over. As I have said before, if she won another majority, I wouldn't be surprised. She is a survivor and is that way because she has a working brain and knows how to use it instead of following other people's scripts.
If Wynne loses, it will be because she earned her loss, just the way Clinton spectacularly earned her defeat. Sometimes you lose -- not because you are a woman -- but because you think you are owed because you are a woman. Get that chip off your shoulder. People do not vote in women -- they vote for the person who seems like they are willing to listen to their constituents, will fight for them, and will make things happen. Politics is not an arena for social engineering -- it is a gladiatorial fight and people want to see candidates fight tooth and nail for the right to make their lives easier -- and if you think that sounds silly, you really didn't get the memo on democracy.
Don't take it up with me because if it were up to me, we'd be governing ourselves by referendum and by electoral conscription.
Oh, and by the way, Toronto Star, Clinton had more votes than the victor. Remember that? There may be sexism, but we have come a long way, baby.
But the Globe and Mail has a different -- but equally silly take on the election:
Why is Doug Ford giving Kathleen Wynne a chance to invoke Donald Trump?
That's right! Shame on Doug Ford who obviously forgot to tape Wynne's mouth shut so she couldn't invoke Donald Trump. He should have hired a chaperone for the little lady to supervise her. Jordan Peterson warned the world how dangerous she is and everything.
Do you honestly think he could stop her or her operatives from saying it -- regardless of what he said and did?
It is a campaign, people: it is all about using dirty tricks, and then using the meta-dirty trick of accusing the other guy of negative stuff as you paint him in a negative light, like Justin Trudeau recently did.
There is so much to discuss when there is an election: platforms, current situation, problems to be solved, qualifications, track records, needs, wants -- and yet we have babble from opinionists who have no idea what to say.
We are as ill-informed as we were before. We need facts to make sensible decisions, but what we get is the same old script that is always devoid of any real data...
60 Minutes really is a shadow of its once towering self. Watching tonight's offerings reminded me just how away from news that newsmagazine has gotten. The first segment "The Data Miner" was just cheap no-brainer pot shots at Facebook, with the standard journalistic fear-mongering. Lesley Stahl came off as some helmet-haired church lady in it, practically putting words in interviewee's mouths with all sorts of admonishments usually reserved for your grandparents finding out your new squeeze came to the family picnic with alcohol on his breath.
The worst of the segment was pretending that the lack of privacy was unknown: if you use any app on Facebook, it usually asks permission to access your friends' list, for instance. If developers and advertisers know it going in, and the app's connecting splash page asks, I am not sure where the secret part comes in.
And as one of those people who does scan the terms of service, this isn't shocking.
Someone should have given Stahl the memo that the term "Big Data" comes from the mining of mass information and then selling it to various third parties. No babes in the woods, folks.
But apparently journalists were too busy drooling over Kardashians and coming up with cutesy portmanteau's for celebrity couples to know what was happening in reality.
In any case, the propaganda here was kind of rickety.
The second piece from Scott Pelley is pure advertorial for MIT's "media lab", that is really out of touch. First, the awing over the touchscreen computer screens in the 1980s isn't really all that impressive -- Disney World had them back in the day and I should know considering I used to use them to make dinner reservations at the Magic Kingdom.
But the true hilarity is the drooling over computer uses in academia, while completely forgetting that Facebook began at an Ivy League university. If you are going to make a case for people to be impressed with the goings on in Ivory Towers, then don't bring up Facebook, and if you are going to make the case that Facebook is sinister, then don't go cheerleading at the same kind of environment that fostered it in the first place. Make up your mind.
In any case, 60 Minutes proves that journalists truly do not understand this whole Internet thing.
The Pelley segment was truly obnoxious -- absolutely no critical questions or wondering about the ethics of any of it: it was just a bunch of goll-ee! remarks while giving a free platform to MIT. Science and technology reporting is notoriously just a giant ad for the industry, and 60 Minutes may very well be the worst offenders.
The third segment was the only one with any value, and that it was done by a doctor who has an understanding of empirical methods explains it. Watching the decade-long decline of a woman with Alzheimer's Disease was truly a heart-wrenching, but informative human interest piece of the consequences of a husband who eventually could no longer look after his wife. The traumas are real and permanent.
The only segment that had worth was the one that neither tried to put a sunny spin on things, nor tried to fear-monger, but one out of three is a very poor average...
Let's get one thing out of the way first. No reporter has been able to figure out the future in any way, shape or form.
Nor are they able to social engineer the little people the way the once did.
They did not predict a Trump victory. They tried to override it in 2016, and it didn't work.
Now they are floundering, but still playing make pretend that they matter.
Joe Scarborough, a very partisan opinionist, is trying to make the case that Trump won't run for president again.
If your little tricks to prevent his victory in 2016 didn't work, this gambit won't work, either.
Donald Trump has been one of the most unpredictable public figures in modern life. He didn't buckle when he had to file for bankruptcy. He didn't buckle when his affair with Marla Maples became a scandal. He didn't buckle when the press marched against him lockstep when he ran for president. He isn't buckling under the threat of impeachment.
Sooner or later, you would think those in the profession would have just enough intelligence to realize all they are doing is spewing hot air.
Trump is the rare soldier who literally can be an army of One Man against the world, and win.
Journalists aren't like that by nature. They are cowards who can only function by mob and collective.
It is the reason they are insanely jealous of him to the point of complete irrationality.
Trump can easily win in 2020 because he can thrive in chaos.
But he is not the only opinionist mistaking wishful thinking sophistry for fact, explaining why journalism confused itself to death.
Here is a very childish piece about the alleged "flaw" in the -- get this -- "anti-anti-Trump cohort."
You see, pointing out the irrational flaws of haters is flawed.
Because, of course, these Anti-Trump people are absolutely flawless and morally and intellectually perfect, just as the Catholic Church once marketed itself to be.
Because while nothing is working for the anti-Trumpers, they are grasping at straws: it's working! they claim.
Limousine liberals are marketing themselves as resisters, which is an insult and a joke. You are not a "resister." You are a temper tantrum-throwing brat who is having a fit because you didn't get your own way. The end.
But the stupidity doesn't end there.
The author of this propaganda piece clings on to the fact that Democrats have won some seats.
The usual cycle of US politics has mostly been checks and balances: when a president wins, usually his party also captures the Senate and the House, but as time goes on, the Senate and House go to the other party, and the president usually wins a second term, even though the Senate and House do not align.
It happened to Barak Obama and Bill Clinton. It happened to George 43. You cannot cite a civic habit as evidence of anything.
The fact that people in journalism do not know their own system of governance or how their citizens votes tells you how absolutely clueless they are to reality.
The American collective is a shrewd one. They work by shifting waves, forcing both parties into bringing changes they need to make. Barak Obama brought social change, but at the expense of economic prosperity. When people couldn't make use of those freedoms because they were broke, they went for Trump who promised to focus on economic growth. You can have all the rights, but if you are homeless, you can't take advantage of them.
Bill Clinton was shrewd enough to try to market himself as the hybrid of both, with mixed results, but results nonetheless.
But as this "resistance" movement is an artificial one, the press's harping on it comes out as insincere, and people know it. It is a mere misdirection form the Left because Trump managed to tap into genuine poverty-striken voters from the Rust Belt -- and now the Left -- who should have had a plan to include their plight from the get-go -- is instead pandering to champagne socialists who want to be nannied because self-reliance is too hard.
The Anti-Trumpers merely have a very bad case of sour grapes. They didn't need the melodrama. All they had to do was concede they ran an elitist campaign, rethink their strategy with dignity, and then have a better and more inclusive platform the next time.
In other words, be an adult, and take advantage of the wonderful intellectual and emotional capacity that comes from being fully developed as a human being.
Journalists are trying to stoke the fires, but they are merely giving has-been celebrities the false hope that if they babble uninformed political babble in public, they may reignite their careers -- or at least get a supporting role on a Netflix series.
But the Washington Post is just playing games. They are not informing people. They are trying to cause division so that everyone is distracted and looks to the press for salvation.
It's not working because there is social media. They still don't need -- or want -- journalism.
Nor should they want it. It is too ideologically violent and bigoted to be of any social value. It wants societies to be divisive so they have something they can speculate over with zero facts.
But society deserves peace. We have suffered long enough.
So much sophistry going on. The CBC is wondering if there can be too much transparency in journalism because ABC released all of its transcripts.
That is hardly transparency. How they landed the interview, what parameters were set, how the questions were constructed and why would be transparency.
So no, ABC News wasn't all that transparent.
Because what ABC News did was give an hour-long informercial to Comey's book. I don't recall any real fact-gathering or verification happening there.
When I did Chaser News, I was very transparent. I disclosed everything, including why I pursued the stories I did. I didn't shill anyone's book. I interviewed people and revealed all before I did my actual stories. I discussed how the interview went, my sense of the questions I asked and the answers I got, if I thought I made any errors or omissions, and then discussed each finding as I came across it.
Then after all that, came the actual story. I didn't treat information as a spoiler or reveal. When putting the various facts together, those facts changed meaning.
And ABC didn't do any of it -- yet CBC is treating them as some sort of "trailblazers". Even Wired and 60 Minutes have given more information to their stories online than ABC did here. I did it before any of them, but in a completely different way.
The Globe and Mail had some sort of point to make in a column about how the "war on journalism is only getting worse."
No, that war was fought a long time ago, and journalism lost. That ship has sailed.
And had journalism been a little more alert, humble, flexible, and disciplined, they would not have lost. They failed to grasp this whole Internet thing. They thought they had power when what they had was public goodwill with their monopoly.
Once those rigs were gone, journalists had to quickly retool the profession to stay in the game. They kept pretending that nothing changed and they got pummelled.
And instead of facing reality, journalists began to spew propaganda full-time, making their fortunes worse. The Guardian, a once decent outlet, has now lost all common sense and seems to be having a collective meltdown, running around like chickens without heads screaming about Russian propaganda as if no other country in the world didn't partake in it, too.
Journalists want to blame someone -- Trump, Facebook, Russia, their grandmothers -- anyone they can get a hold of and shame without coming off as racist loons.
Except they are coming off worse than that. They are hysterical and panicking as they try to pretend they can still be rational.
But they are not rational. They have lost all sensibility because it is starting to dawn on them that they are done.
It's time to hold that intervention. It is not a "golden era" of journalism. It is not going to be saved for becoming a nonprofit. It is not going to be saved with government money. It is not going to be saved bashing the American president.
And it is not going to be saved blaming others for the profession's demise...
The Globe and Mail is tattling on the CBC for its penchant for paying the boys more than the girls. No kidding.
For all the blustering and moral masturbating from legacy media for their various pseudo-Leftish decrees, it was and still is highly prejudicial against women, and pay is just one factor.
Sexual harassment is another factor.
But there are more factors: women do not get treated very seriously. I can speak of my own personal experiences, for instance. I would pitch very serious stories, and just be shooed away, as if gang warfare was some silly thing to get hysterical over. Art crimes in Canada are also a serious problem, but I could not get that published in any Canadian media outlet.
Then there was about the political ramifications of street graffiti, cult recruitment at various university campuses, sentencing disparities between convicted male and female prisoners, and how social media was going to make journalism obsolete.
Those were all rejected -- and there were others, as well.
I had the ability, the sources, the evidence, you name it, but every time I pitched something, particularly to a male Canadian editor, it wasn't just shot down -- but always with some sort of jab that I was wildly exaggerating.
And then the problem would explode in the future, and then my concerns were proven to be spot on.
If I were a male, that would have never been an issue. If you don't take hard news pitches from a female journalist seriously, you will not be paying her as much as you pay your male reporters. I once had an editor who did a profile on me be absolutely baffled that I didn't have a higher profile, given my credentials and accomplishments. He didn't get that it was pure sexism that had held me back in my career -- and I still managed to do a lot of important work despite it.
And nothing has changed in the business, except it has been destroyed -- but that toxic mindset is still firmly in place...
Again? Gee, my LinkedIn page must be so exciting, Homeland Security hungered for more, and moseyed on over to my Facebook page.
Unlike the others in my privacy settings, I didn't visit or like their web site or any pages, nor shared my email address with them.
And no, I never received any "advertising" from them on my feed. I don't look at their stuff at all, anywhere. It doesn't even look real, more like something from a t-shirt.
What did they learn from my Facebook page? I adore my cat Magnus, I drink a lot of coffee, love eating at small restaurants with quirky names, write books, teach art, listen to the Hives, love Niagara Falls, and Ted Kord the Blue Beetle is my all-time absolute favourite superhero.
The Hives and the Blue Beetle aren't on my LinkedIn page, and neither are my dining practices. So there is another piece of the puzzle I am certain the entire universe -- including deities, should they exist -- already knew about that for, like, years. Somehow, for whatever reason, someone on the Internet who isn't Alexandra Kitty has decreed Blue Beetle's "birthday" as "May 10" -- which happens to be my birthday.
I mean, come on: Alexandra Kitty is an open comic book...
This is not surprising, given that embellishments are often the way many journalists and columnists operate, sensationalizing information or exaggerating what they have witnessed or experienced, but most are not called on the carpet or exposed...
Welcome to Bedlam where propaganda is fact, sophistry is logic, and ideological cowardice reigns supreme.
Journalism couldn't survive in this environment.
The question is why cannot it not resurrect itself?
That is the multi-billion-dollar question.
Because in an age of partisan propaganda, it gets pulled from all sides.
Journalists have a bunker mentality, and they cannot see how they have failed because they would have to venture out of their shelters to see the reality.
They pathologically give themselves countless awards as if they were Halloween candy, and hold symposiums babbling decrees that the public -- if they will not buy their product willingly -- should be forced to invest in it anyway.
At no time do they wonder how they must change to re-engage the public.
And that is a horrendous obstacle to overcome.
But it isn't the only noise that shatters the focus.
You have partisan sites such as Townhall decree that (Left-wing) journalism is dead -- but exclude partisan Rightist outfits such as Fox News from their list, making excuses that their opinionist hosts such as Sean Hannity are exempt from scrutiny because he proffers opinion, and thus is not a journalist.
But he works on a news channel. He talks about current events. He interviews newsmakers; ergo, he is not exempt from the same criticisms, especially as their journalists and hosts all walk lockstep to the same partisan line. Nice try.
Just as CNN and the Washington Post pounce on Hannity because he isn't from the Left, Townhall defend his honour because he is from their Right. The arguing is all very convenient -- and so hopelessly wrong from both sides of that made-up linear divide.
When you are the mirror image of your enemy, you are the enemy. You are no better than those who hate because you play the same games and are fighting for the same prize. The babbling drowns out the sensibility as journalists pretend they are being informative.
And if that added noise wasn't confusing enough, through all of that sanctioned propaganda comes sophistry right into the product. It is nothing but sink or swim patriarchal dreck, such as this piece in Aeon babbling about the evils of marriage and that it should be abolished.
The binary thinking is sanctioned insanity that is akin to forcing all single people to be married. If people wish to be wed in a state-sanctioned way, they should be given the absolute freedom to do it. If people do not wish for the formality, they are free to just shack up, and if there are people such as me who love being single, then I can remain footloose and fancy-free. I do not need everybody else to be single to validate my existence.
It all comes down to meddling: forcing everyone else to walk lockstep with you because deep down, you actually are fully aware you are wrong. When you force your opinions on others and preach for marriage -- or against --your cult-like bullying is a red flag that you need numbers to prop up your shaky nonsense because you do not have facts on your side.
Your life requirements are yours alone. My life requirements are mine, and do not force me into living your fantasy -- and I will not force you into copying my playbook, either.
When we have propaganda, we lose ideological tolerance. We cannot expand or grow because we want artificial confines and false scripts to guide our passive selves. With take no risks, and we do not experiment. We just coast on static rules.
That's why journalism died, but more importantly -- why is can't resurrect. It is stuck in its own pine box, believing it is a comfort and a fortress of protection.
We need the alternative to journalism -- a place that is not beguiled by ideological partisanship and artificial lines in the sand. We need those who understand ideology is a game of logical fallacies and hypothetical constructs, and instead, seeks facts.
It is the simplest method of informing a public. Do not tell them what to think. Do not tell them how to think. Do not give them scripts that turn into props to hold them up.
Thinks facts. The more you have, the more obvious the solutions becomes.
I have been musing from this Tower of Babel for over twenty years, chronicling its cacophony and mixed messages. It is time for clarity and simplicity, and with a map of facts to get out of that maze and out into the open...
The CBC must have been inspired by The Goldbergs. [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWMiFXU2iAM?rel=0]
The CBC has a history of cringeworthy buzzwords that induce eye-rolling than actual results.
It is not exactly any sort of deal, big or otherwise. Many newsrooms have vague and nebulous standards and practices and have for decades. When I went to j-school, as I had nothing better to do, our library had most of them in a database, I read and saved them all.
When I wrote about the business of journalism, one of my articles landed in Current in 2001 -- a trade magazine about public broadcasting, and my piece was about the CBC. Back then, they were using the term "e-transformation" or something along the lines. It didn't do anything for them then.
JSP won't do anything new for them now.
Your scruples and attention to detail should be apparent in your product, not in some chirpy press release-sounding babble. If you have to draw attention to it with some title that some high schoolers thought up, your maturity and understanding of reality seriously comes into question.
I never understood why those in that dead profession always want applause and a lollipop for doing things that are a normal part of the job: it would be the same if doctors demanded a cookie and a paper crown for every patient that comes out of routine surgery alive and not butchered...
The TORTEE Generation are a curious lot. They have a single belief in The One Rule That Explains Everything.
They grew up indoctrinated on commercials that told them a simple and passive hack will make all the problems disappear.
No ability for critical thinking. No ability to see beyond the façade.
It's why you have kids who are clamouring for gun control -- they want to be nannied so some other servant will clean up their messes. America was built on slavery, and that exploitative mindset never got cleansed out of their system.
They are always offended and enraged, like the spoiled diva whose maid didn't press her underpants in the exact way she was ordered, and didn't treat her master like a god.
Arrogance, insensitivity, and ignorance are the toxic qualities that destroyed journalism.
They issue decrees, and now are having fits that people ignore their royal edicts.
There is no one rule to explain everything. You have to experiment, and test, looking for flaws and weaknesses -- not to judge and gripe in the hopes someone will give you something to console you, but to understand and improve.
Sinclair Broadcasting is no better or worse than the other outlets.
They make the same demands, treat their employees the same, and do what media outlets have always done: force the same narrative on all of their stories. The end.
But the little j-school brats got spooked that Sinclair got some bad publicity, and 21 of them think they have dodged a bullet by not going for an interview for some low-paying dead-end job.
Kids, I have bad news for you: it is no different anywhere else.
We are in an Age of Propaganda.
In a partisan press, you must follow the script.
The FNC had their memos, which I chronicled in my 2005 book OutFoxed. Nothing has changed. I had my own stories spiked if I did not walk lockstep with a media outlet's royal decree.
When I wanted to point out the problems of Toronto's gang wars, I was rejected because the white people of Toronto didn't want the spoil their cocktail parties. When I wanted to discuss the political significance of street graffiti, I was rejected because the middle and upper classes refused to believe that the fringe were more politically savvy and aware than they ever could be. When I wanted to talk about how Canada was a hot bed for art crimes, no one wanted to hear it because, you know, it's Canada.
And when I wanted to point out how journalism's own internal mechanisms were going to lead to a collapse, no one was interested because that would mean some blowhards would be exposed for the bumbling oafs that they were.
In 2018, there is no excuse for this generation's complete ignorance and passivity.
And no, throwing a temper tantrum in the street demanding adults clean up your bloody messes isn't being active.
Journalists ran and hid from their problems to their industry's devastation.
And that you are going into a dead profession is a real knee-slapper, but to pretend you have scruples and standards by rejecting that dead-end placement is an absolute riot.
Because it is the same wherever you go.
Left, Right, there is no difference in the culture or the methods.
But it doesn't;t matter. You chose to cavort with the dead -- get used to the rot, children because it's contagious and it destroys everything and everyone around it in a blink of an eye.
And there isn't some quick and passive little hack that will fix it...
When I had my own experimental news site Chaser News, I was transparent. I didn't edit anything, from interviews, to my progress on stories. When I did things and got information, how I got it was made public. When I struck out, I said it out in the open. In 2007. Imagine that.
Oh, whoop di do.
They are calling it "unusual".
Actually, it is too little, too late.
It is a desperate move because the "get" didn't deliver, and it was still an empty and factually devoid interview...
When I wrote OutFoxed: Rupert Murdoch's war on journalism, I discussed how the Fox News Channel used memos to keep ideological consistency in their stories. The documentary by the name same that came out before it, had originally exposed John Moody's now notorious memos. Those memos were not just part of the FNC ideological narrative -- they were the way journalists walked lockstep to build a wall of defence to prevent anyone from challenge their conclusions when their facts were wanting.
That lockstep is now continuing across the entire profession with a false narrative that a crisis in journalism means a crisis in democracy.
The Los Angeles Times is the latest copycat trying to scare people into coming back.
The headline itself is pure propaganda:
The staggering body count as California newspapers founder, and democracy loses
No, the bombing in Syria has left a body count -- what you have is journalists losing their jobs because of their own inability to keep up with the times and change gears. Do not play manipulative games with your bloated egos.
Democracy transmuted with the onset of the Internet -- something that journalists to this day cannot grasp. They do not understand that democracy is strong enough to go on without them.
Society has informational resources and venues to speak out. Journalists had the monopoly on both, and now they don't. If they wanted to stay viable, they should have faced that reality, and done something about it -- they had that opportunity, but they thought they didn't need to take it. That isn't the public problem.
Journalists want everyone else to accommodate them -- and that's not going to happen.
So this fear-mongering temper tantrum has to stop.
It won't, but it won't do the dead industry any good.
People left for a reason. They wouldn't have if journalism gave them what they needed. It didn't, and it hasn't.
If you want to connect to the public, then don't have a chip on your shoulder. Otherwise, get your walking papers can get out of the way...
The Orange County Register is trying the propaganda route into saving a dead profession.
The whole "democracy is at risk" tantrum isn't actually true. Democracy is thriving online through social media.
Journalism was supplanted by a superior model, and that's a reality journalists have to accept once and for all.
Yes, news isn't free, and is expensive to churn out, but you cannot bully people into buying your product.
Yes, the business model is broken, but that's not the fault of citizens. When you stubbornly refused to change in a changing landscape, that's what happens.
You had journalists like me sound the alarm about twenty years ago, and I was ignored. This collapse was more than just obvious way back then, it was entirely avoidable.
Journalism had to make a series of adjustments to take into account the Internet's effect on the world: the business model was one, but the mandate, and methods were more important to tackle.
Once upon a time, if I wanted to be heard by a mass audience, I had to be dependent on journalists to give me legitimacy.
Now, I can write on my blog, go on Facebook, or Twitter, to achieve the same ends.
Journalists should have completely reinvented themselves to make themselves relevant. They had the money to do so. They had universities to act as their own laboratory.
None of that ever happened.
And now the profession is dead, and while you have people who are trying to co-opt the profession, they are doing nothing different, and are doomed to fail because they do not see the obvious.
We have a void in an Age of Propaganda -- it will take more than whining in a column to change a thing...
We are seeing a real infantilization of Western culture, and with infantilization, comes the lack of critical thinking and rationality. James Comey once had a lofty position as Director of the FBI, the same title J. Edgar Hoover once ruled with an iron fist. We absolutely know that Hoover frightened presidents, including Richard Nixon, whose infamous and fateful tapes had revealed as much.
So let's get the idea out of the way that presidents and FBI directors are friends on a superhero team, children.
You have one group of exclusively white men (FBI directors) butting heads with the all-but-one white men presidents. Alpha males with paper crowns up against other Alpha males with paper crowns. FBI directors work up the ranks; presidents grab votes.
When I worked as a journalist, I had dealings with the FBI twice: once when I wrote a cover story for a magazine called Vent about the ten best places to work in the US and how to get a job there. Unfortunately, the magazine folded one month before this massive undertaking was published, but one of the places was the FBI.
I got my interviews, and I cannot say they weren't informative (each agent is vetted extensively pretty much from the cradle on), but I did feel like I was being talked to as if I was a child. The article never saw the light of day, and I wasn't happy, considering the amount of work and coordination that went nowhere, but the tone of the interviews stayed with me.
The second time was more indirect. There was a journal where I submitted an article about dealing with the press. It wasn't accepted, which was fine, but the tone of the letter and the reasons were patronizing, and the letter pretty much said the media needed the FBI than the other way around; so something like my article wasn't needed because for a journalist to lay out the dynamics was self-serving.
Excuse me, but when the FBI exploits the press to do their jobs, that is equally self-serving.
There was that same patronizing tone and logic, and the exercise was very instructive.
When you work up the ranks, you develop a sense of superiority. I have seen it elsewhere and frequently. I am certain Comey had underestimated Donald Trump who comes off as a silly and self-indulgent eccentric, but isn't. Trump's firing of Comey was pure theatre, and sent a clear message that he didn't know everything or could size up the man who was in the White House by means of a "popularity contest" (which isn't how elections are actually won).
The press, as usual, missed all of the nuances and dynamics. They are taken that Comey thinks that Trump is morally unfit to be president. They are obsessed with Trump's tweets slamming Comey, which is just another misdirection.
ABC's very mediocre and kid glove interview of Comey is a study of the confirmation bias, and a true interview doesn't have that structural flaw. Comey made a lot of statements and innuendoes that could have been challenged, the biggest assumption was that the butting heads was somehow out of the ordinary. J. Edgar Hoover's reign would indicate otherwise.
People in power clash and often, especially if they hold a powerful position, and then must defer to a superior. The problems began when one man underestimated the other -- a man whose job it is to read people and size them up in order to arrest them for their complex criminal activities. That Comey was blindsided in his termination was more than just newsworthy -- it was a public game of Go.
That should have been the actual starting point for the interview because the brings far more complex questions about the dynamics of power, and how savvy was a FBI Director that couldn't profile his own superior. Was Comey fit for his position when he couldn't get a read on Trump? Is there a systemic flaw that was inadvertently revealed by this peculiar incident, and could a criminal or a collective exploit that weakness to cause harm to the US?
That would have been the questions to ask. This was a book promotion, making it advertising, and someone shilling his book is going to lay it on thick with insults. That's not news.
But Comey was asleep at the wheel when Trump outmaneuvered him -- and that's more concerning. Hoover, for all of his flaws -- was always a step ahead.
But when we think like children, we don't look for the problems -- we just want to be amused and validated -- ABC could have done far more than just help someone sell more books, but that's wasn't going to happen because in an Age of Propaganda, people don't want to see that reality...
And no, it is not the same owners of the Denver Post, and no, it's not the stupidly named Tronc.
It's a Hearst property, and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer is blood-letting.
It isn't even a shadow of its former self.
It was once a very good newspaper, and one I used to read voraciously when I got my hands on it before the Internet made the hunt unnecessary.
It also had its entire archives online for free at one point, and when I was writing my first book, I used those archives a lot for research on hoaxes making news in addition to my local library's online databases (which have been gutted since then), as well as many paid databases, but it was the P-I that made my research much, much easier back then as I needed to refer to thousands of articles to do my book justice.
The P-I's fortunes shattered, however, and now we are seeing how badly journalism collapsed. You may have knuckleheads in the profession in denial that their profession is dead, but one look at the P-I's fortunes, and the reality of the situation is obvious...
When I worked as a journalist, most of my stories concentrated on the business of journalism. It was not exactly an easy gig. There was a lot of egos and even more secrets, and that usually hinted that things presented were far more shaky and sketchy in reality. And those hints always turned out to be right.
The business end was always rickety. There was always some sort of scheme to prop up the true health of the industry, and it was always presented with a sunny spin. For instance, free newspapers were counted as part of the circulation, which was a very dodgy gambit meaning that those stacks of unread papers were counted as readership.
Journalism's fortunes were already on unstable ground back then, but now, it is in a free fall.
The journalism part and the business part are two separate problems, but because the journalism side reports on their business side -- and the business side has no qualms misusing the journalism side for self-promotion, score-settling, and lobbying, it is a good idea to look at how that toxic dynamic contributed to the profession's collapse.
For example, the New York Times has one of their gushy Great Man profiles on new Los Angeles Times owner Patrick Soon-Shiong. The puff piece is typical of how the Times perpetually shuts off its brain when doing free ad copy for a real or perceived Titan of Industry.
I go over this in more detail in my book, but the Times has a very bad track record of doing these kind of kid glove pieces, only for the test of time to prove they should have been more skeptical and critical in their coverage.
The headline is troubling to me as someone who has seen this game before:
L.A. Times’s New Owner Plans Big Moves. First Up, Relocating to the Suburbs.
When I wrote a profile of one up-and-coming newspaper owner, he tried to use the identical angle on me: "big plans" and some cutesy colour of how his wife thought they would have to "remortgage the house" for him to buy those pricey newspapers. I didn't bite at either angle, and his tenure was fairly short-lived, and proved to be the tip of the iceberg of a much more serious problem.
But never expect the Times to do anything that resembles genuine research.
The exit of Michael Ferro is presented in a threadbare manner: there is much more to say, but don't expect a Tronc property such as the Tribune to confess anything in regards to their own dirty laundry. Bloomberg's piece scratches the surface, referring to Ferro's tenure as "controversial", but what really went down is not going to be examined with any authenticity. Even the Wall Street Journal's article is milquetoast, calling his time as "short but rocky".
Not that other news media has a clue. WBUR attempts to look at the collapse at local news, but nary a word on how the profession sowed the seeds of their troubles themselves. It is shallow, self-serving, and cannot do a thing to resurrect the dead profession.
It is not a well-oiled machine: one side of the equation should help improve the other side, but it is often used to hide the true state of affairs from the public. Journalism needed a better method, but when your own chroniclers of reality cannot unearth the reality of their own, there were doomed to crash and burn so horribly...
You would think journalists would learn by now that every new owner is that much more removed and worse than the owner they had before it. The Denver Post is praying for a new owner, and actively trying to pretend the only problem is their current overlords.
They can be bought by someone new, nothing will change because their narrative is a false that one that is setting the industry up for false hope.
I saw it all in the late 1990s and early 2000s when I wrote about this very problem: newspapers changed owners more often than they changed their underpants, and nothing has changed. Each new master is worse than the one before it, and the product suffers.
This will change nothing. If the profession hasn't learned its lesson in the last 20 years, there will be no revelation coming to them now.
That doesn't mean the rest of the world has to be tethered to those delusions: it just means an alternative should move without the baggage of the past...