Everybody loves a loser: Why Patrick Brown's downfall got the blow-by-blow attention.

Maclean's has been having a field day over Patrick Brown's cringeworthy downfall here, here, and here. Rarely has the Canadian media gone into such excruciating detail over someone's public demise. While they were protective of TVO's Steve Paikin and dismissed the accusations outright without bothering with any details, Patrick Brown's accusers were taken seriously from the start, and every second of Brown's takedown has been chronicled for posterity.

Maclean's article is detailed (and had outlined what I said earlier that his accusers were not "anonymous", but unnamed as he knew of their identities, particularly as CTV had told him of it), and is interesting in that the press often loves a loser more than a winner.

And Brown played the part perfectly with cartoonish zeal.

Brown is the perfect Patriarchal character, and the news media gets the Patriarchal perfectly. It was a perfect story for them: detailing his actions fit in perfectly.

When it comes to stereotypes, journalists can write about them forever, regardless if the truth is more complex. Brown's downfall is reassuring to the press as it reminds them of their glory days: taking down the losers, and then chronicling their final days in power.

It is something the press can relate to these days all too well.

Cheap media stunts that backfire: We can draw attention to pay disparity, and hope no one notices it goes on in journalism.

Maclean's tried a cheap stunt with their covers: MAC02_EDIT_POST

The nerdy National Post, as usual, didn't actually get it. They tried, bless their heads, to compare people not buying the more expensive edition with getting paid to say there wan't pay disparity because people don't pay for more expensive things.

Yes, they do. They overpaid for their bread because there was price fixing. They overpaid for houses in Ontario. They overpaid for CEOs from Sears and Target who didn't manage to bring profits over here. They overpaid for lots of things, sometimes because they have no choice, and sometimes to gloat, and sometimes because there that whole thing about a fool and money.

(Oh, and obviously the author if the piece never heard of variant cover comic book covers where people paid a lot more just because the cover was different or rarer, even though the contents were the same.)

Women are underpaid, and paid less than men.

Especially in journalism (something I discuss in my upcoming book with one glaring example).

So much so that Vice Media finds itself staring at the business end of a lawsuit for its actions.

Journalism ought to know how badly it treats its female employees.

And the Maclean's covers are an appropriate symbol of a profession that always saw women as lesser than men.

Memo to Maclean's: Misogynistic gossip is not your job. Stop conjecturing with the global village gossip. We do not need another Baba Natalia.

When my family talks about their days in Beograd, there are no shortage of colourful characters that lived in a bygone era. Uroš was the man who didn't have a nose. Ilya was the guy who was always philandering, no matter how many times his wife marched in on him and beat him up. Milka was the Roma housekeeper that my grandfather convinced my mom as a toddler that was her "real" mom. Then there was Baba Natalia.

Old Lady Natalia was the neighbourhood gossip, and if it was a boring day, she'd make stuff up and draw very salacious conclusions based on zero evidence. Gossip-mongering was cheap entertainment in a place where not everyone had a television set.

It wasn't the most reliable grapevine, to say the least. She never let the facts get in the way of a story that was clearly none of her business.

Maclean's is a magazine once ran by Peter C. Newman -- and his tenure was best symbolized by the map of Canada he had on his wall -- with pins reminding him to represent news from all areas so that the publication was relevant to as many people as possible.

Maclean's now has none of that. It has been reduced to gossip and conjecture about Melania Trump.

Anne Kingston's piece is a sad sight: with no facts, she speculates about the American president's wife, whom we are all supposed to pity. Without knowing anything about the First Lady, she churns out drivel that tells the readers nothing newsworthy or important.

She is like Baba Natalia spinning a yarn to make herself sound wise and in the know.

The First Lady has no power over legislations. She is not elected. She is the spouse of the president.

Her notoriety hinges on the press writing about her, but if the press were doing their jobs, they wouldn't actually be giving that kind of press to the person who is living in the White House only because of marrying someone who won the competition.

The state of that union is not actual news. It doesn't affect citizen's lives. The First Lady has no power to increase taxes or send troops to foreign countries.

But it is cheap and easy stories. The press still talks about Michelle Obama as she encourages the Left to wallow as if they all lost their careers, homes, and all of their freedoms in the last year.

But it is gossip, and journalists never could distinguish between news and gossip.

And yet there is a huge difference. Gossip is nebulous and unscientific. It isn't even emotional: it is pure spite. It is there to establish a false pecking order with the target of gossip being inferior to the person doing the gossiping. It is a form of personal propaganda, and is used as a personal attack to imply that target is untrustworthy and dysfunctional.

Gossip shuns actual proof. It is the reason the press devours gossip, but when it comes to actual research that requires facts, that same press runs away from the hard work.

This is a vicious hatchet piece that targets someone who, if the press had done its job properly, is not actually news. The focus should be on the one who does have clout.

Many world leaders had less than stellar marriages. Bill Clinton was not a model husband by anyone's standards. Pierre Trudeau's marriage dissolved while he was in office.

Canada has a lot of real problems right now. We have homeless people, and more of them. We have a serious domestic violence problem. We have a huge problem with human trafficking and child porn. We also have children with special needs who cannot get adequate educational supports.

We are not addressing problems head on because we always have a press that sunny spins rot. The press always pulls their punches when it comes to Canadian affairs, but then kick people in foreign countries with their gossiping because it's "safe."

It's not. It's a bigoted and sexist thing to do.

Enough is enough. There are some real problems festering right now.

Go cover that.

Canadian#MeToo media meltdown madness continues: Rick Dykstra is out.

Maclean's had the piece that should have been published in 2014 when it happened. Canadian politics, like its journalism, has always been a Good Old Boys network, but now the rigs that once worked in their favour, have for the moment, at least, been compromised and are working against them:

Senior Conservative campaign operatives discussed dropping MP Rick Dykstra as a candidate in the 2015 federal election when they became aware of allegations that he sexually assaulted a young staffer the previous year.

The campaign decided to allow him to continue to run. He lost his St. Catharines riding and subsequently became president of the Ontario Progressive Conservatives, a position he resigned on Sunday night, two hours after he received an email from Maclean’s outlining the allegations contained in this story.

Dykstra should have been kicked to the curb back then, but he not only got the blessing to run, but when he lost, he still got a cushy job with the Ontario Tories who knew all along:

A young Conservative staffer filed a report with Ottawa police in 2014 complaining that Dykstra sexually assaulted her after a party.

The woman, who was then in her early 20s, worked for another Conservative MP at the time, a friend of Dykstra’s. She spoke about the incident to her boss, several friends, an official in the party whip’s office, and finally hired a lawyer but the Conservative government did not take action against Dykstra.

The Patrick Brown Conservatives were throwing their weight around in the party, particularly with regards to the nomination process, parachuting hand-picked candidates, and the "head's I win; tails you lose" method showed.

For many men in politics and journalism in tis country, this is a very scary time: they honestly believed they were so cunning, all they had to do was stick together, intimidate the "competition", and create rigs that always ensured they got everything while shutting everyone else out of their seized little clubhouses.

They maligned anyone who spoke out at being abused, and kept their little cheerleaders hopping.

Then the tidal wave called #MeToo roared from the US, and proved those little boys weren't as brilliant as they thought they were.

Dykstra was a man who failed upward, and now he has managed to lose his position as his past has come back to haunt him.

Those in power in Canada are now in knots: they are like the smug and cocky kid who didn't study, and now has to sit in his own sweat, hoping the teacher doesn't call on him for the answers.

When one falls, all of his cronies and minors are out of a job and lose their protection, and in a country that has few media outlets and places to get a fat pay check with a lofty title, but actually have little to do, the prospects are terrifying.

Brown and Dykstra both got thrown under a bus, and now face a reality women who have been abused by men in power have faced for decades.

And those who supported these kind of players are left in shock.

We don't have to go much further than the US, where Woody Allen's sister has provided the latest conspiracy theory:

“I do feel that it’s an escalation,” Letty Aronson, Mr. Allen’s sister and longtime producer, said in an interview, calling #MeToo a tool that has been used for “ulterior motives.”

And propelling a mediocre and misogynistic propagandist such as Allen into mainstream acceptable had no ulterior motive, such keeping women in an unnatural place of subservience?

Right now, the sycophants are working overtime, trying to use their old tricks of terrorizing, slandering, maligning, distorting, bullying, and rigging to force a genie back into the bottle.

And this time, it is not working.

North America has a serious problem understanding that it is not normal or healthy to abuse women. It does not show how brilliant or strong you are.

It just shows that you are a stupid pig who needs constant supervision.

If you always have to manipulate and control your surroundings, you have a problem.

And now that the world has realized that they do not have to endure it, things are changing.

And it's about time.

Why the Great Man Theory destroyed North American journalism.

That journalism has always been a gynophobic hotbed of illiterate and illogical lunacy is an understatement. I have been accused of being anti-media, but that is not true.

I am anti this media. You need people to be informed, but realistically. You do not build up hope or egos. You do not incite panic or despair.

You give facts.

But North American journalism has an absolute aversion to giving just facts: there always has to be a spin or narrative because, as one big city newspaper editor once haughtily told me, "mere reportage" is boring.

Vice magazine is oh, so sorry that their sexist pig-ism was exposed.

How did junk media like Vice ever get enabled in the first place?

Thank Disney, the most misogynistic place on Earth.


Home of testosterone-overdrive Marvel superheroes, and the hunter-centric Star Wars series, and good little Stepford Princesses.

They do not go for things like this. Not like I'd give it to them, either.

But Vice isn't the only offender -- just the bottom feeder version of it.

Maclean's magazine is also vile, but seemingly in a more palatable way.


It wasn't always so bad. Former editor Peter C. Newman, once upon a time, had a map of Canada in his office, and he always had pins from coast to coast, to remind him that it was about the whole, not just a few pockets.

How times have changed.

When you have a national newsmagazine get government grant money to survive, they are not going to do any hard-hitting reporting, but they will tell you all about the Prime Minister's ugly socks.

Gee, how clever. I certainly got informed about the state of my country today.

Wearing something inconsequential, but loud, is an old misdirection to get people focussed on something trivial while ignoring the real weaknesses you have. It is the reason why magician's use scantily clad female assistants -- everyone looks at the pretty lady, and not the magician who fumbles with his optical illusion.

Or a robber wearing a clown nose so you don't look at his face.

It is the oldest trick in the book, and the media should have ignored the socks from Day One. Socks don't make policy.

It really is not hard or newsworthy to do one better than ugly socks.


But the media cannot help themselves, as they are stuck on a single patriarchal narrative: The Great Man Theory.

It is all about finding narcissists and grifters and elevating them at the expense of everyone else, particularly women.

We do not have Great Women in media logic. You have movie stars and rock stars, and even porn stars, but no Great Women.

Because they will never get that grit of traction that men get with ease.

Maclean's is wasting taxpayer money on writing about Justin Trudeau's socks -- if that is the very best they can do -- the government should cut off all that funding, and use that money to, I don't know, feed some hungry children in CAS's care.

But Great Men have the prime narrative of being Visionaries and Titans of Industry.

They never are any of those because the press looks for funny socks.

Just now, the Canadian media remembered to take a good look at murdered billionaire Barry Sherman and realize he was far from being a Great Man.

He made his fortune as a tyrant.

He liberally clogged up the courts with his lawsuits -- well over a thousand at last count.

Had he been an average citizen, a judge would have deemed him a nuisance, and prevented him from doing it again and again and again.

But because the tyrant had money, he got to terrorize anyone he didn't like.

And while he was allowed to sue to his heart's content as the prices of Apotex's generic drugs were inflated, other, poorer people -- and middle class people who became poorer as a result of being in litigation -- were dealt with a clogged court system.

And with his funds, he lavished on politicians, who all came drooling over his casket. He feted Ugly Socks as a guest of honour at one of his lobbying junkets, and was trying to quash that investigation against him.

Sherman cost this country a pretty penny, altering the lives of thousands -- from those people who had to pay more for medication than they should have, to people whose problems were delegated to the Nothing Pile by their politicians, to people who had to use the court system -- and could not afford to wait due to their own frail health caused by tragedy (Disclosure: many of whom died without ever seeing their day in court, such as my own grandmother, as you can read in a highly inaccurate, biased, not researched, and skewed article here. My grandmother's prediction was right, as she died with no resolution) -- because some vile tyrant decided to become a billionaire by misusing the courts, and being allowed to do so.

Only when he was dead, did the Canadian press let people know that, oh yeah, he was a bully...but it was all okay because he let his wife throw somebody else's money around at charities.

In 1999, American newsmagazine 60 Minutes had "The Secrecy Clause", painting Sherman in a very different light. Canadian media, for the most part, have given him the kid glove treatment. Even Canadian Business, in its February 1994 issue, had still, despite his methods, spun him as a Great Man:

Sherman is unrepentant. He's always been the smartest student, the fiercest critic, the renegade who doesn't care what others think. For him, there are no shades of gray. "We end up having to fight the multinational drug companies, our generic competitors, the federal government and often the provincial bureaucracies in order to do what is clearly in the best interests of Canadians," he says. "It sometimes feels like the whole world ends up being our adversary." Sherman against the world--you get the feeling those are the kinds of odds he likes.

So brave, so fearless!

And so never questioning the rigs: he sues, he manipulates, he gains wealth, he throws money at politicians to ensure the cycle spins in his favour.

It should have never gotten that far, and had Canadian journalists not keep looking for the next Great Man, he would have learned a humble lesson in what "shades of gray" mean: that you do not always get what you want, and you cannot keep waging war against anyone whose life requirements differ from yours.

Sherman lost his never-ending war against the very world that indulged him, and he no longer exists. The media lost its clout thanks to their never-ending boosterism, and are mere zombies.

Both had the same incurable addiction to the romantic ideal of a Great Man: the fantasy world of a hero who does whatever he wishes as he creates his empire -- no matter who he pummels or drags through the streets on his quest to oblivion.