When will we get the press we deserve? When we walk away from journalism and begin the alternative model.

Conrad Black has an interesting column in the National Post about the divide between the press and governments -- and the press and citizens. Journalism has become so partisan and out of touch with reality that they have zero connect with people, meaning whatever they report is so tainted that it is unusable.

But Black asks a simple question:

When will we get the press we deserve?

There is a two-part answer to it:

  1. On the opinion side, we already have it. We call it social media. The world has a say now. We can easily get a feel for both the zeitgeist and the ortgeist.
  2. On the fact side, we can get it up and running tomorrow, if we walk away from traditional journalism entirely.

We can develop an alternative that is empirical by design, that focuses on facts, verification, and walks away from narrative and opinion. It can be innovative and completely different, taking account that our world has evolved. It can be based in peace, be matriarchal by design, and experimental, using the world as a laboratory. It can be done by Method Research and be unlike the old model in every way.

It is there on the table right now. It just depends on much people want a better press than the dead version they have now...

Puritanical titillations: Why the press can't keep it up.

Stormy Daniels does 60 Minutes, and 22 million people watched, hoping for some sexy stuff from a porn drudge. She failed to deliver the kind of gossip the puritanicals drool over. 60 Minutes got the best ratings they had in a decade, which was very sad, not just because of the collapse of journalism, there was no pointers for bored couples looking to spice up their dreary sex lives. (Although there wasn't much to the interview, the National Post felt compelled to tell the little people who to process it as it whipped it up to more than it actually was.) James Comey fared even worse than he should have, with less than half of those ratings. 9.7 million people, which in a nation of over 300 million, means bad news for journalists hitching their ride on Trump's alleged frolics. 

Comey tried to plant seeds with the narrative of those loosy goosey Russian hookers and their golden showers. He appealed to the puritanicals, trying to strike back at Trump. 

Note that Comey never confirmed the rumours. He just rehashed old gossip, making the value of the interview nonexistent, and those bored and unimaginative middle class people in loveless marriages couldn't make use of the old dirt.

No 50 Shades of Grey, kids!

But the drop spells disaster for the press. The ratings should have been stronger. Bill Clinton's antics brought strong ratings and had staying power. The Comey interview came right on the heels of the Daniels interview -- the drop means the hook is a dud.

Super stories have been a trusty staple for the press, but while this one has all the elements of a tent pole movie, it's not saving the press from an apathetic audience who isn't game for the freak show as they once were...

The National Post's Woman Problem

Nothing is perfect, including #MeToo, but #MeToo forcefully addressed the issue of what happens to women when they are sexually harassed and abused in such a way that it is difficult to prove it. Predators have practice and prey are ambushed. The United States was always Canada's bolder and braver counterpart. The Americans fight for what they believe in. Canadians try to maneuver and appease to steal away what they can. When Donald Trump called Canadians "smooth", he was letting them know he sees the gambit, and isn't impressed by it.

#MeToo is an un-Canadian movement, and that is unfortunate. Canadians do not like confrontation. They do not like to admit there is a problem. If everyone just shuts up and endures, then the façade is good enough.

#MeToo was the admission in the United States that all was not well. You have highly educated women in positions of real power who were cornered the same way the high school drop-out waitress was cornered by a superior. The women who who spoke out did not want to do so. They did not want people who wished them ill to get any pleasure knowing they were down because those same people are going to gleefully make jabs that the story is either a lie, or the woman did something to earn her abuse.

No civilized society can tolerate that.

#MeToo used social media in a novel way, and it did so because the courts are rigged in such a way that victims and accusers are not even afterthoughts. Most of the measures of guilt or innocence are not even scientific or empirical. There are a lot of assumptions based on folksy logic, nothing more, and there is also the assumption that the only way to determine guilt or innocence is for an accused to be innocent until proven guilty.

If you object, then, of course, people jump down your throat, and assume you want people to be assumed guilty until proven innocent, and that isn't the case.

We need a system that makes no assumptions one way or the other. We have never quite gotten out of our binary reflexes.

#MeToo's longevity is thanks in part to the fact women are not served in the justice system, and nothing has changed.

But to the National Post, the women who dare challenge an Establishment is a horrible, terrible thing.

As soon as there was a tiny lull, they pounced again, trying to reclaim the narrative that the status quo is glorious because women cannot be trusted to tell the truth, using the UK as an example.

Who cares what another country does? We are dealing with our country. Canadian women do not file reports or press charges over there.

It is an attempt at misdirection: let's look everywhere else but our own nation. We have a justice system that has no understanding of the dynamics of abuse.

For starters, there is a base assumption that if a woman goes back to an abuser, there was no abuse. There was no crime.

If that is the case, then husbands who murder the wives they have beaten shouldn't get charged because, hey, she lived with the guy; ergo there was no abuse or crime.

Of course there was abuse and crime. I don't care if someone goes back. We need to establish why people go back, and we do have clues. We see it with cults. We know there are economic factors. We know about grooming and priming. We know about cultural expectations. We know about habit formation.

We have to stop focussing on irrelevant details and start asking simple questions: did you hit her at this point in time? 

And then start asking more questions from there.

We cannot have a functional justice system unless we have a better understanding of human behaviour, and we don't.

Because we have journalists who aren't schooled in psychology. You cannot proclaim to study people and then be utterly clueless to how people actually think and behave.

The National Post is a depressing read: there is no connect to humanity in its pages. It is pure seething sophistry trying to prop up things that need to be questioned.

You do not have a static system and then expect progress or improvement. Women are dealing with the same basic justice system that was around when they were still considered properties of their husbands.

And that's a serious problem.

But the Post has decided to be apologists for rot and ignorance. They have a serious women issue because of it.

If you are going to proclaim to be a chronicler of reality, then you have to start dealing with the whole of reality.

And the reality is you have too many people who are being abused with no true recourse to correct it...

Memo to the National Post: Of course you were colluding. You always walked lockstep with each other, starting with news pegs.

This column is very typical of the constant justification Canadian journalism always had:

We're not colluding, Competition Bureau. We're fighting for our lives

They are never wrong. They are always right. They are always justified. They never need to improve. They never need to change. They have an excuse for everything.

Right off the bat, the author of the piece doesn't seem to get it:

It’s not often Canadian newspaper offices are searched by government agents; it’s the kind of event one reads about in reports from the world’s trouble spots.

Memo to Terence Corcoran: yes, you are living in one of the world's trouble spots. You are living in a nation that has a very high rate of citizens with university degrees who have abandoned you. You do not have the luxury of Hillary Clinton and the Democrats who can blame the deplorables for not supporting you. If you cannot comprehend that you are living in a country of educated people who have one of the highest literacy rates and Internet access rates in the world and are not supporting local media, you have a country in silent peril.

It only gets sillier from there, with the requisite indignant accusations of the Competition Bureau being absurd and silly because newspapers have lost lots of money; so creating a near monopoly is okay.

No, it's not.

It wasn't okay to not dig deep and make fundamental changes the industry need to thrive, not just survive.

But reporters were always brainless little followers, running after blowhard players who pretended to be Great Men as you all cribbed press releases and copied each other with "news pegs". It was always a rote profession, and it should have never been one.

I doubt the Competition Bureau can do anything to address the rot that destroyed newspapers in Canada. Journalists, editors, and media owners cannot do it anymore, either.

But they can continue to be in denial, thinking that everything they do is justified as they pounce on Facebook's every sin, as if legacy media never had a warehouse or two of their own they have yet to acknowledge, let alone atone for...

Deconstructing Propaganda, Part Four: sycophantic narrative dishonesty.

Two seemingly unrelated propaganda pieces: one from Canada. One from the US. Both about multiple deaths. And both so badly mangled that they are truly propagandistic in nature.

I have always maintained that narrative has no place in journalism. None. I have had grand old fights with editors over the years over it. I dug and found facts that were not just important -- but almost impossible to find, and believe me, it took more than just finesse and doggedness to find them. Those facts told the story more than my spinning ever could, and that was the reason I didn't spin.

Then I had editors want that spin instead, saying what I was presenting was "mere reportage."

They wanted colour. They wanted filler. Never mind I had found something that others missed that was extremely important to the public discourse. In every case, I pulled my story because if it was a case of getting published with junk, or not getting published at all, I would rather hold back then tell a fairytale that didn't exist.

It was a pathology I noticed time and again. I had pitched to one Toronto editor a story about that city's increasing gang problem, and how it was inevitable that civilians would be gunned down in the streets. I was accused of being some sort of hysterical female...and then came one Boxing Day where civilians were getting gunned down in the streets, with a teenaged corpse in the aftermath.

I had facts and troubling ones. The graffiti on the walls, for instance, hinted that things were coming to a head. That alone should have gotten attention -- you had someone fluent in it, and could decipher it, but editors did not want to hear it because it clashed with their sycophantic narrative that Toronto was a "world-class city" filled with well-to-do sophisticates who held dinner parties and had their Botoxed mugs plastered in the society pages of government-funded magazines.

That narrative may have flattered the denizens of Hogtown, but it wasn't the truth.

A few years later, some of those same gang members were revealed to hang around Toronto mayor Rob Ford -- showing a link between a politician and a street gang -- everyone was so obsessed with a mayor doing crack that the fact that you had politicians familiar with these urban soldiers seemed to slip everyone's notice. Journalists were so bent on destroying the mayor that they failed to ask how many other politicians could have also had ties to violent elements and groups.

Gangs are unsanctioned armies fighting a war in peacetime (and often, during times of war, those same gang members become war lords). They don't just attack without a financial reason. Graffiti is their coded communication...

And yet, the Toronto media refuses to open their eyes to it.

Because it spoils the narrative that Toronto is the centre of the universe.

Which means narrative drives the news. Facts do not play into the product.

The propaganda model is a simple one: Us Versus Them. Them may be Devils, but Us are the Angels, and possibly even Gods. You do not question Us on any account.

The trouble is Us Versus Them rarely actually exists. Not all of Them are evil, and not all of Us can be trusted.

The National Post is using such a ruse in their article about Toronto serial killer Bruce McArthur.

In this piece, it is a real Us Versus Him narrative with McArthur being falsely portrayed as some evil genius who covered all of his tracks...

Which implies the default Good Guys -- the police -- were stymied, and of course, they couldn't have known...

The big kissy to the police is interesting as they have been criticized for not acting on finding a serial killer sooner -- so now the Post has spun a pleasing narrative to authority by making the case that the Evil Genius took all sorts of precautions to avoid detection.

Except he was not all that good at it. He had a criminal record and was questioned by police multiple times over the years. That means the narrative itself is a fraud. You are imposing a story to drown out what the facts truly mean.

It's propaganda because the narrative does not align with reality.

But when you rely on narratives, you are faced with a problem: you designate a hero and a villain -- and it is not enough that the hero has some good qualities, and the villain some bad -- somehow, in each retelling, the hero has no faults, while the villain has no redeeming qualities. It becomes a farce.

For example, I have talked at length about #MeToo -- and while I have said it was necessary and has done good in many cases, I still have issues with it. Nothing is perfect. No one is perfect...

But sometimes you see problems and you outline them not to dismiss, but to correct -- or at least be mindful of it when you are planning your next steps.

#MeToo does have its faults, and one of the biggest ones is that it is not exactly an inclusive issue. It's not about all women. It is about upper middle class to wealthy white women, and there have been numerous commentators who have pointed this out -- quite rightly -- as in, I will not defend or justify the omission.

Journalism only knows Big Issues as being suburban white. It is Eurocentric, and pathologically so -- even if there is a token Person of Colour, it is insincere, and the representation will not reflect that subset of the demographic as a whole.

When a serial killer or wife killer target Caucasian females, it is plastered all over the news as being America's problem. If the race is anything other than white, it gets buried and ignored.

#MeToo has not faced the same scrutiny and disdain as, say Black Lives Matter.

It is not just a US problem -- in Canada, we have had a subtle genocide of First Nations women in this country -- but it is never personalized. Have a bunch of white women vanish into the abyss, and the reaction would be completely different.

Because that is an attack on Us.

I am not comfortable with the racism of omission from #MeToo for many reasons, and one of those reasons is that I do not want to be discriminated against just because I am female -- but I am not so self-absorbed that I don't think everyone else in the same boat should be included. Of course they should.

It is not supposed to be getting attention for people, but a systemic problem.

At first, it didn't matter how inclusive #MeToo was for one reason: one group reached the spotlight first and that was fine, but it should become more inclusive immediately after that as other groups reached the same spot and had a light to see where to come to expose their realities. It never quite happened that way.

Journalism was in a bind as a disportioncate number of men on the Hitlist came from their own profession. There was a lot of naysaying about it, but the consensus was that this issue was about women in general...when it really wasn't.

It was about some women. The problem was the first who reached the spotlight set the terms of the narrative right off the bat, and made no effort to go beyond the scope that was being rewarded with attention and the firings of men who made the dubious list.

In many ways, #MeToo coverage become propaganda itself. Not the cause per se, but how it was treated in the news media.

But not as bad propaganda as #NeverAgain.

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Time magazine's story is probably one of the most deceptive propaganda pieces I have seen in a long time.

Gun Control is one of those empty causes that cannot solve the problem. Countries such as China, have strict gun control laws, and yet, it is those smuggled weapons that end up in many a murderer's hands globally. Canada, for all its smugness, has a serious violence problem, despite having very strict gun control.

In the UK, you have had numerous terrorist attacks and vitriol-throwing. There is gun control there, and yet there is plenty of violence. Most of Europe does as well, from France to Germany. Let's not pretend.

And now you have a group of teenagers waste their time voguing (yes, voguing) on a cover of a magazine demanding gun control...

It is a sycophantic narrative deception. We have decided the teenagers are Us, and...the guns are the Them.

Which says a lot about the emotional disconnection a new generation has to humanity -- they have chosen an inanimate object for an enemy, and it is not a step up from having people as one instead.

It was a fellow teenager who slaughtered students, just as you had a young adult male in Texas set off bombs. It is not Us Versus Them. It is Us versus Us. The end.

The United States has a very serious violence problem, and it isn't triggered by holding a gun.

But the narrative does not offend parents who may be raising a future homicidal maniac and do not have the courage to face that reality, nor the teenagers who are the ones snapping and slaughtering fellow students with chilling ease.

It is the reason why the narrative is propaganda.

Because it does not align with reality.

A more helpful and accurate approach is to find facts.

For instance, we know very little about most of these killers. They are not personalized, and they have to be personalized. Not to excuse them or make people feel sorry for them, but to see the ugly truth that these are not monsters -- these are normal-looking teenagers who look no different than the teens they are murdering.

When the Austin bomber's picture was released, an anchor on Newstalk 1010 in Toronto kept mentioning how the killer looked average and normal -- as if killers all looked like the devil complete with horns, a disfigured face, and a maniacal laugh.

That is narrative.

The true horror of school shootings isn't the guns because if you leave the gun alone, no one gets killed.

If you leave the killer alone, he may very well murder you anyway.

What makes school shootings terrifying is you are in a building filled with teenagers.

And some of them will be murdered.

And at least one will be their murderer.

Now walk in and guess who will fall in one camp and who will end up in the other.

The terrifying thing is you cannot tell on first glance, but journalism is nothing but about first glances and ruses.

Kiss up to one side of an issue, and then demonize the side who cannot fight back. People will hold on to that narrative structure and will not let go because arrogance prevents people from ever admitting that they were wrong.

Except for social media, where divergent voices can interject, as I am interjecting right now.

Gun control is a waste of time and resources.

Violence control will save lives.

So why do we pick the one that will not produce results?

Is it because we are that stupid and unteachable as a species?

Or perhaps we don't really want to solve the problem?

It is precisely because people do not actually want to solve the problem: they may be required to alter something major in their routine, be held partially accountable, or lose a job that hinges on a problem continuing to plague their world.

I find it funny that the latest whitebread social issue's hashtag is #NeverAgain.

And then another school shooting happened right after that unkeepable promise was made.

So the name is a lie right from the start.

If we had real journalism, we wouldn't be making decrees or deciding who we should cheer like empty heads.

We would be finding facts. We would be finding facts without narrative. We wouldn't be having teens posing like they are from a Gap ad on Time -- but the dead bodies of those teens killed in Florida.

But journalism was always insincere about who they were, what they did, how they did it, and why they were doing it.

They want an easy narrative instead of facts...and that is why we are still groping in the dark in 2018 the same way our earliest ancestors did before they discovered fire...

Memo to the National Post: #MeToo was a positive development in the workplace. But thinking there are instant solutions is childish.

There is a column in the Financial Post that walks lockstep with the Post's narrative that #MeToo is a bad thing. #MeToo opened up a crypt of horrors: it exposed that even female CEOs faced abuse from their male colleagues in the workplace.

It was a movement that is flawed, but long overdue.

Why?

Because women endured, and it didn't make it go away. They broke glass ceilings, but it didn't go away. They filed complaints with HR, it didn't go away. They sued in court, it didn't go away.

So, for the first time, women decided to air this problem and then they decided they, too just weren't going to go away.

That is not a minor victory. That is a major key breakthrough victory of a major battle in the war against workplace terrorism.

But it wasn't the end of the war, and the columnist -- who is a workplace lawyer who is usually more sensible -- treats the next battle as proof that #MeToo was a bad thing for the workplace.

No, women couldn't get to this stage unless they won a key battle of exposing the serious problem out in public, the place where the workplace terrorists were revealed to be as such, and didn't have lawyers who could make the problem go away or, have the boor in question pay anyone off.

Now, it is a new battle, which is part of that victory.

A war is fought in battles. You do not fight once, and then everything works out perfectly as everyone Learns A Valuable Lesson and stops being a predator.

So now there is a new battle, and this is one that women can win -- and win far easier than the one before it.

First, it is illegal to discriminate against gender in the workplace -- so if a corporation doesn't mentor its female employees and doesn't groom and promote them to be CEOs, there are resources to penalize their illegal and oppressive behavior. They cannot use fear as an excuse for withholding what an employee has earned.

We can expose these companies, and demand that they make public the percentage and proportion of women who get trained, groomed, and promoted -- if it is anything less than 50%, we can take them to court, and as women are the driving force in the economy, they can boycott those businesses.

We can demand that women be trained and mentored effectively -- so the excuse that men are too afraid is hogwash.

What you have is a passive aggressive retaliation tactic to prevent women from giving them what they have earned -- with interest.

And unlike #MeToo, this battle is easier to win.

So if the executives and board of directors are too male and too white, I have the recourse of not doing business with them -- and making my reasons for my boycott public.

Women have and can buy stocks for the specific purpose of demanding that executive bonuses be directly tied in to the number of women (minorities, what have you) that are mentored and promoted.

So far from this being a bad thing, it is a great thing to happen to workforces. We can hold HR accountable for methods of dealing with workplace terrorism. We can strategically spend our money to favour those whose power structure reflects the real world.

You don't retreat after you won a battle -- you move forward ready to win the next one.

And if there is a setback, you regroup, learn from your mistakes, and fight again and again until you win.

You do not earn a major victory and then surrender to the forces you humbled. That is patently ridiculous, and there is no time for being afraid when there is a legitimate chance of turning bad workplaces into good ones that progress and thrive...

The Unteachable: Polls don't reveal the truth about reality, but it doesn't stop the press from using them.

This National Post column is funny. The headline is quite telling:

With Doug Ford, Ontario's Tories take a big risk

Polls showed Christine Elliott would attract a lot of potential PC supporters, and that Ford would drive them away. Nevertheless, here we are

Polls also suggested Elliott would take the leadership mantle. She didn't.

The news media makes the same two perpetual assumptions: (1) That the majority of citizens are Left-leaning, and (2) polls mean something.

And neither is the case.

In Canada, you do not need a majority of the vote to get a governmental majority, You can get it by capturing a little over a third of the vote. That PC voter turn out broke records, should be some indicator that something is happening. That the unknown fourth leadership candidate did far better in the race than anyone anticipated should also say something.

Elections are not popularity contests. They are a form of bloodless war. It is strategy and cunning, not merely getting votes that bring a contender a victory.

What separated Ford from Elliott, Mulroney, and even Patrick Brown is simple: he is not a Red Tory. Elliott and Mulroney, in a way, cancelled each other out -- and in an election where you have three left-of-centre candidates, you are fighting for the same votes.

Bring in Ford, and you bring in people who wouldn't vote for someone left-of-centre.

And it can be enough to bring a crushing Blue Wave to Queen's Park.

He doesn't need 51% of the popular vote. He needs a little more than what the other two parties can muster.

And because he is different enough from the Liberals and NDP, he can capture new voters and organize enough voters to get into power.

But the press in Ontario are making the same mistake as they did in thinking Rob Ford was never going to be mayor of Toronto, Brexit was going to be rejected, and the Donald Trump was never going to become president.

Polls mean nothing for many reasons. You think you will vote one way until you actually see the names of the ballot. Sometimes people lie because they don't think their vote is anyone's business -- including their family members, let alone a pollster. And sometimes pollsters aren't asking the right people, getting a skewed result because of their own inherent biases or flawed techniques.

Elections aren't about reaching everyone and being inclusive -- it is about getting just enough. That's all. You do not overwork it. You hit strategically. Hillary Clinton never learned that lesson: that she overdid it and wasted too many resources as she lost focus to the actual goal of getting just enough, and not too much. 

In politics, it is about just enough. You win when you do not have the majority vote for you, particularly in Canada where you have three parties. Both Trump and George W. Bush won without getting the popular vote -- just winning enough electoral votes to snag the brass ring. There is a very good reason for this rig: it shows a candidate is smart enough and shrewd enough to eke out a victory, even when everything seems against them.

But for whatever reason, journalists are absolutely blind to this fact: they think you must be all things to all people, and that's a recipe for failure.

Polls tell you nothing because they do not measure strategy. They cannot, for instance, detect which of those people they polled will be strategic votes. On the surface, everyone's vote is equal, but it never is -- it all depends on how those votes are covertly bundled by a certain campaign.

Polls are there to tell middle class people what to say at the water cooler or at dinner parties without looking too stupid and weird. They are not actually useful to determining the stealth cunning of a particular politician.

Journalists are not teachable. After decades of having polls fool them, they still rely on them as if the mean something.

And yet they continue to use them as filler for articles at the expense of their own credibility.

#MeToo was never native to Canadian sensibilities, and it shows with the very different fates of two journalists on the Hitlist.

The National Post may have their whiners lamenting in columns that CTV's Paul Bliss was doomed because #MeToo is just a big old mean witch hunt ("There was no other way this story could end but in Paul Bliss being 'disappeared'", didn't you know?), but that's just a confirmation bias speaking. Steve Paikin was also accused, but he is still not "disappeared". He hosted the PC leadership debate. He is still on his show and still has his blog, with the latest entry begin on March 8. Journalists all enthusiastically marched lockstep in support of Paikin, but those same apologists stayed deafeningly silent when it came to Bliss.

So the notion that getting on that list means a foregone conclusion is highly inaccurate.

The impact of #MeToo -- a strictly Made in the USA movement has been profound in the US far more than it has in Canada. The impact on Canadian politicians has been more significant than it has on US politicians. Patrick Brown got shown to the door at lightening speed, and no one was happier than his own party. They weren't hanging their heads down in shame. They weren't condoning his alleged behaviour. They were relieved and marched on in uncharted territory moving ahead in that ensuing chaos quite cheerily.

But when it came to some other men on the list, journalists got pouty and indignant. How dare anyone accuse journalists of being less than perfect?

While the US #MeToo also enthusiastically got rid of some swamp insects in their communications, Canadian has been much slower to act, even though sexual harassment is just as prevalent here as it is over there.

Bliss was turfed, but so far, it looks like Paikin will have no trouble weathering this one out. #MeToo is not a witch hunt here, no matter what the fear-mongers decree. The US had its shock with Trump's obvious victory that they didn't see coming or had the cunning or clout to stop. Canada had no such overt reckoning to face. It is a difference in ortgeist, not zeitgeist, and why two neighbouring countries are having very different outcomes with an identical movement.

But, as usual, the National Post does not have the savvy or the sensitivity to see it.

Canadian journalism's wasteland: A well-organized mob comes out to make damage. The police did nothing, but the Canadian media giggle and pat citizens on the head. How is living anarchy suit you, Hamilton?

Businesses in Hamilton warned police numerous times over the last few months that trouble was coming. They, of course, were ignored.

The rampage was well-organized, and yet the police were completely blindsided; retreating and arresting no one. Politicians and police are now babbling nonsense as they pat themselves on the back for a job not done.

Hamilton is one of the largest cities in Canada, with over a half million people, and yet, when there is big trouble, nothing got done. No one saw it coming, no chatter was caught, nothing.

Canadians are in sleepwalking mode these days, cheerily making no demands and being proud that they take abuse with a smile on their faces.

In the US, for instance, when it was discovered that four sheriff's deputies hid while gunman Nikolas Cruz killed students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS in Florida, there was national outrage. In Hamilton, people shrugged it off.

And the press took the opportunity to poke fun at the mob that caused tens of thousands of dollars in damage as their violence has now escalated.

The National Post thought a mob storming a street was hilarious, treating a cabal of organized thugs as silly because they didn't storm Wal-Marts but local businesses. Why would they storm Wal-Mart? The point of the exercise was to let local people know that they can destroy their livelihoods with impunity.

And when 30 people can do that and the police cannot arrest a single one, you are not living under the law. You are living in anarchy.

This rampage isn't something that has anything positive going for it. It doesn't matter if people go shopping on Locke Street to show their support because that area was targeted before, and now insurance companies will jack up the rates, and will see Hamilton in a negative light because it has now come to light that this city is unresponsive and irresponsible to keeping businesses safe from vandals. So buying an extra donut is not going to cover the difference.

And it will happen again, only what is going to be done for an encore?

As usual, no journalist has asked a single hard question. None seems capable of an independent thought that goes against the narrative that it will All Work Out In The End.

It won't if you do not take trouble seriously.

Hamilton, despite every false assurance that there is "rejuvenation" taking place, is in a bad place. The roads are literal garbage. The real estate market has crashed. People here are precariously employed. For all the chirpy cheerleading, the only new businesses here are antiques, meaning no new manufacturing jobs to go along with it, and restaurants, where the profit margins are razor thin and even that market is over-saturated, and when things get tough, the first indulgence people cut is eating out.

There are lots of tattoo parlours and pot shops cropping up, and the latter have been targeted for some very violent robberies. Neither one of those kinds of businesses are going to generate any sort of rejuvenation for the city. If it weren't for public sector jobs in education, post-secondary, and health care, this town would be dead and buried.

This used to be a steel town where factory jobs drove the economy. It produced tangible goods, and people had disposable income. Those days are done. We have unresponsive leadership, and a few maroons posing as journalists chirping how everything is fantastic.

Stop ignoring the dangers and the rot. Stop looking for the positive side of horror. We have serious crime. We have abused children and women -- and a shortage of foster care spaces and shelter spaces.

And now we have thugs who are breaking what little is left in this city.

At what point do we say, "This is bad. This is a crisis. The blessings have gone and all that is left are the curses"?

Don't expect the dead profession of journalism to ask the hard questions. They are too busy amusing themselves with their own ignorant stupidity to do it.

Hoodwinked: How Canadian newspapers got suckered by the Federal Government who just suckered themselves. Yes, you were played by someone very smooth. Now deal with it.

The upside to President Donald Trump's decree of imposing a 25% tariff on steel is that the normally cocky politicians, union and business leaders, and journalists in Ontario finally have their perpetually cocky smirks wiped off their smug faces. Journalists in Canada really are that clueless because they think there is some sort of safety net if they screw things up. They do not have to think, work, or put actual effort into what they do because somehow, it all works out in the end. Why? Because the mysterious and benevolent organization known as They will rescue them. I keep hearing a lot about the They patrons, and have yet to meet them, or be a recipient of their altruistic largess and doting. "They" are apparently big enablers who reward the arrogant and lazy so that they never have to be made accountable or suffer the consequences of their stupidity.

Now that "They" did not stop Donald Trump from delivering what he promised during his election campaign to do, it is Reality Time, not quite Truth Time because Canadians still think they can charm their way into getting an exception, even though Trump has made several subtle, but solid preemptive strikes that culminated into calling this entire nation "smooth."

This is absolute serious business, but Canada, per usual, is unprepared. Charm offensive only goes so far. Narrative manipulation only works if your audience is unaware of your ruse, and with both Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi calling the Canadian regime untrustworthy in different ways in the same week, that gambit can no longer be counted on to work. It is one thing for Trump to be disliked -- his power comes from the chaos of antagonism, but Justin Trudeau is an intellectual lightweight who has too many handlers and not enough instinct. He comes off as the nerdy little boy who was made fun of as a kid, and now is too blinded by trying to pretend to be cool so that the entire world will love him. He will be lucky if he isn't the most reviled prime minister this country ever had.

Canada has some hard truths to face, but, as usual, the news media here never seems to be able to deal with bad news: there always has to be a positive spin and an assurance that hey, everything is just peachy keen, we have it all under control, and They will fix things even if we stay inert and never learn to face reality. We can quibble over using words such as "master" and "chief" while having a federal government spend more than we have, watch a housing market begin to collapse, and keep quiet about our country's precarious employment situation.

Until Trump seemed to have sucker punched everyone with tariffs.

How anyone could have construed what happened as a sucker punch is beyond me: I knew it was coming. He said as much during his campaign. He set the scene with the "smooth" commentary the same week as Trudeau's disastrous Indian trip where he tried to pin the most notorious turn of it on another country who would have none of it. It was a perfect storm and Trump, true to form, made the most of it.

I used to box, and I could see the boxing match. Trudeau once pretended to box, but it was not a real match: it was one where two people who didn't know what to do made crude guesses, and wildly missed the mark.

But Trump boxes in his affairs for real. It was the same boxing match where Trump knocked out Hillary Clinton -- everyone thought Clinton would win, and I, who knew the rhythms and methods of one-on-one fighting, saw the moves and the hits, and could easily call it for Trump.

The same thing is happening again, this time, with Canada getting pummelled like nobody's business.

And the pummelling has only begun.

But the Canadian news media did not get the memo.

The Toronto Star is too busy getting offended by the "smooth" remark with Jim Coyle's uppity tit-for-tat column babbling about how a "smooth" Brian Mulroney outfoxed the Liberals and the U.S. with Free Trade.

No, he served Canada up to the US on a silver platter, and Canada's manufacturing sector got decimated. Canada never recovered; we just made do and covered it up. Free Trade was never in Canada's interests. We got played then; we're just getting screwed now.

Canada has always behaved liked the battered wife who thinks she stood her ground by spitting in her husband's beer, and thinks everything is good enough because she isn't completely destitute, making her cunning for it, and believes the neighbours don't know of her tortured existence. So used to abuse this nation has become that we don't even see the extent of our wounds. Pat us on our heads with an Olympic medal or a Grammy award, and we'll eat whatever dirt anyone throws us. It is a nation terrified of any criticism because perhaps it means not everything is swell, and we're getting abused for no good reason -- and that things will never get better.

So long as we have tattoos. Timmie's coffee, some weed, beer, and a smartphone to watch Netflix and hockey, we think it's all going to work out. We can crow about the Raptors and get cocky and lippy at whoever we wish because They is looking out for us; so we're free to shut down our critics and smirk at how they keep pointing at all the rot around us, having the nerve to demand that we acknowledge that rot and help them do something about it.

That is, until someone who is more cunning than we are decides to decimate the little we have with tariffs. Deep down, we know we can't take many more hits because we are that close to the edge.

Which brings us to how badly the Canadian newspaper industry got played by its own government.

Just like Trump's war cry with tariffs, Canadian governments are not as generous with money as the myth goes. They certainly love to tax their citizens.

But should any of those citizens try to retrieve some of those funds, they hit a million roadblocks, regardless of what level of government they make their pleas.

Some local and provincial programs, such as Ontario Renovates, do not give grants for desperately needed housing repairs, for instance. You borrow the money by means of a second mortgage, and many insurance companies won't insure you if you have a second mortgage. You have to submit to a city inspection, and chances are, you will not qualify, and if you do, you cannot sell your home for years after.

There are countless other examples of special programs where people who should qualify never do, and of those who reach that ridiculously high standards, find out there are strings, far less money than is promised, and there are so many obstacles and conditions that you are better off doing without. It is not as if the government doesn't give generous funds, but those will be to their friends in exchange for other things. Big corporations get them. Companies that do not actually need them get them.

The methods of which the government oversees these penny tosses is cumbersome and deliberately so. For all the money earmarked to First Nations, you'd think a direct one-time deposit of a decent sum to every First Nations person would set them for life, but it is doled out in such a way that those who need it the most never see a penny, and there is no end of the bureaucracy with well-paid wonks who reap the benefits.

It is, to be blunt, a sham.

Had Canadian journalists been bothered to cover those stories by researching and not reading whatever the government press release said, they would have already known this fact. I know this fact because I have done my homework over the years. I have paid visits and asked questions. To me, this is no surprise.

But when the going got tough, media owners naively went to the federal government begging to get $350 million dollars directly deposited to their bank accounts so they could do what they always did: nothing but strut around with a smirk and produce nothing of value.

What happened next was no surprise; it gave the government ideas: throw a few pennies, set up yet another layer of government, set up a grant system where no one can actually benefit from save the government because there will be too many strings attached, and the knots will prevent anyone from benefitting.

The government looks like it is doing something, and those who need the funds are shut out, but cannot gripe because they made a deal with the devil, getting what they asked, but not in the way they asked for it.

And now the Canadian media has been sucker punched by the inevitable outcome, whining aloud.

Suckers, you can keep whining. It is not going to save your hides.

Even Andrew Coyne, who gets it more than the rest of that clueless cabal called Canadian journalism, doesn't see the whole. The "good news, bad news" spin of his column does suggest a wry understanding of the issue. And he gets that the government played his industry.

But even Coyne doesn't see how badly the industry got burned: they had been enslaved by a federal government that is about to get the humbling of its life by a bigger shark.

The Liberal Party has always been uncontrollably arrogant: the "Government Party" makes them Marvel Comics to the Conservatives DC Comics. They know how to pander and set narratives, reassuring people they will take care of everything, and it will all work out in the end.

Except the fresh young face they used has no substance inside of him. Trudeau is not his father; he is his mother's son: all about optics, not about legacy or survival. He knows how to generate attention: he does not think of the consequences of getting the world's attention just as someone more cunning and powerful uses that moment to strike from the shadows so everyone see just how weak he is. Trump owned the media spotlight for decades; Trudeau got a free pass because of his daddy.

Pierre Trudeau was a cunning magician as was Jean Chretien who was the scrappier version of it. Stephen Harper was low key, but he was a survivor and a strategist; smart enough to know how to operate under the radar as he had an uncanny sense for policy as he actually worked his way up. Mulroney was as narcissistic as Trudeau Junior, but he had the cunning to pull himself out of any scrape of his own making, all while having a fall guy or gal take the hits while he comes out a little richer and more powerful than he was before. No one can fail upwards better than the Silver Fox.

Justin Trudeau is none of those things. He is transparent.

The newspaper industry thought they could read him, and found the right prime minister to make their outrageous request for money. That they were outmaneuvered by the current government shows you just how clueless the news media in this country was all along.

Had they done their jobs, they would have known Canada was going to be in the eye of a perfect storm: you have an anarchistic master of chaos in the White House who turns over every rule to break them, and one of the big rules had been to let Canada feel as if it is seen as the nice guys. They would have known how their own government operated when it came to doling out cash.

It would have also known how the world was changing, and how to keep up with those chaotic times.

It didn't. It was too busy voguing and smirking to see the dark clouds floating over them.

Now they have to deal with it just as the chaos is has taken root and is growing.

And They are helpless to stop it.

Canadian journalism was hoodwinked by their own government who was just hoodwinked by Trump.

There are ways of dealing with both, but the first step is not looking to They with a smirk on your face, all while being the most gullible entity in the equation.

Memo to the National Post: Beggars cannot be choosers. A dead profession doesn't deserve to be saved. You made the mess. You clean it up.

The National Post is misusing its product to throw a temper tantrum. National-Post-3

That is not news, but the Post has a history of printing non-news things, such as canards like this one:

nationalpost_34

But the sheer unrealistic expectations is mond-boggling:

“That’s a bit of a Band-Aid solution,” said John Hinds, the CEO of News Media Canada, who fears it may be too little, too late.

“It’s not what we would have hoped for,” Hinds said. “Ten million dollars over five years really isn’t going to address the problem. That’s really the cost of running one newsroom of a mid-size daily newspaper in Canada.”

How much were the beggars asking for?

Hinds said his organization had proposed a $350 million annual journalism fund that would allow the government to subsidize individual journalists at publications providing civic or local news.

And, the article had been selectively deceptive with this passage:

Critics of the various rescue plans say the government would only be supporting broken business models, as print journalism continues to grapple with plummeting revenues.

No, it is not just a broken "business model." Journalism itself is broken beyond repair. It is not the business model that is the problem. If you have a product people want and need, your subscription base remains the same, even grows.

People are running away from it. They do not like the content that journalism produces. It goes way beyond incompetence of business. It is a incompetence of journalism, a profession that did not keep up with the times or tried to improve their profession.

Yet again, journalists are in denial that what they are churning out is flawed.

And to misuse their space to complain is a perfect example of a broken mindset.

That's why journalism alternatives are desperately needed. You cannot find truth. You cannot find facts. You cannot find reality.

Just yet another whiny diatribe of why a dysfunctional profession needs a government to support them.

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.

National Post: Stop begging for government money. Stop misusing your newspaper to have the government save you so you can continue to do the same thing that got you in this mess to begin with. You made this mess. You clean it up. Or just get out a business you never understood in the first place.

This condescending plea to the government is not journalism. mv9ErfX-_400x400

This is advertising.

Begging the government to save you is shameful.

We have homeless people.

We have mentally ill people who cannot get treatment.

We have sick and terminally ill people.

We have refugees.

We have battered wives.

We have abused children.

We have disposed First Nations citizens who do not even have running water.

They are too sick and too weak to lobby the government.

But you, fellas, are arrogant spoiled brats who were too full of yourselves to make changes to keep up with the times.

It was always rearranging the window dressing with you. You never did anything to improve your product.

You ran to your focus groups who did nothing for your fortunes.

You curried favour with elites, and why not? How many of you are related to those elites by marriage or by blood.

So please, stop begging the government to save your hides.

Because you are supposed to be keeping government accountable, not openly pleading for a handout.

If you get one, the federal government proves to be an immoral enabler.

And you all incompetent frauds.

You do not know what it means to be a journalist. You know how to pontificate. You know how to knock the vulnerable when they are down.

But journalism -- and the business of journalism, you know nothing about.

I remember the day you were born. I covered it for Presstime.

Clueless then, clueless now.

I could see the writing on the wall that what you really were: a vanity newspaper.

You were jockeying for a spot at the cocktail party circuit in Toronto. That's all.

How embarrassing it must be for you all to be on your knees, having to plea for mercy.

You have been defending Great Men. You should have been a guardian to all citizens.

You ignored youth. I was a Language Studies professor dragging your free papers into my classes, and watching my students -- who weren't idiots -- ignore your rag.

I asked them why.

There are no stories speaking to us, they told me time and again.

They were right. Boy, did they have your number.

You ignored that demographic completely, as if they were beneath you.

You saw too many people beneath you. You were a little club and built a little fortress out of the newspaper nobody was reading.

Now, you want to force taxpayers who have already told you they are not buying your newspaper, to fund your dysfunction.

If the federal government understands the concept of democracy, they should tell your lot to fix your problems all on your own.

You made this mess.

You clean it up.

Stop misusing your paper to lobby the government. Stop using your paper as a propaganda tool to save yourselves.

You had a chance. It has been almost 20 years of your dreadful, shallow existence. If you cannot change, then get out of the business.

Now.

 

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.

Dear National Post: Please do not write another word about #MeToo. You have no clue about truth or reality. Just tell the people of Toronto what movies, shows, causes, and restaurants to support that won't make them too nerdy. With cartoony diagrams. And drop the "Investigation" schtick. That's nerdy.

National Post should get out of the news business entirely. 20180207_203005-1858645323.jpg

Yes, I covered them as a journalist from the day they were born.

They could be a publication focussed on telling people in Toronto how not to look like total nerds in four main categories: where to dine, what movies to watch, what causes to say you support, and what to watch on Netflix.

That they could handle.

They could be, like, the Canadian Details magazine for the bored househusbands. They cater to sheltered men, anyway.

They totally get shallow men who panic and hyperventilate when they discover they don't know a nugget band like The Hives, and a woman at the cocktail party raves about them. (Sadly, this is a true story).

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysGtBZX32I0?rel=0]

Hard news stories, on the other hand, the National Post can never do, let alone give actual sensible commentary.

They do not get #MeToo. This phenomenon is hard for them to understand because it comes with the built-in perspective that some in men power are bad.

And to the Post, there is no such thing as a bad man in power, unless he is Donald Trump, and as Trump's hair is just not cool, that is the reason he is the lone exception to their rule.

But even sometimes, their founder Conrad Black will defend Trump in a column...so even then, a man in power can never be seen as universally bad.

But women with or without power are always bad in the eyes of the Post. If a woman says she was raped by a man in power, by golly, she must be lying! How dare she say a man in power did something bad?

This is the childish ideology that drives the Post. In all the years they've been a wobbly, money-losing thing, there has been one column that actually had a positive view of women (and yes, I mentioned it here when it came out way back in February 2017).

This latest column is shoddy logic at its worst: it is all talk and lecture, but one that comes from an ivory tower of sorts.

The discussion os over Steve Paikin's recent troubles, and the manipulations of this article are quite breath-taking. Paikin cannot be wrong because he is the columnist's friend...and, psst!, didn't you hear that the woman making accusations is a little bit crazy?

It is this patronizing drivel that created the atmosphere for #MeToo.

Well, people won't change their minds, so don't bother with those Great Unwashed is this article's central thesis. People who support #MeToo are hypocrites.

This is not someone used to digging and doing genuine research, and it shows. It is a vexed accusation that the angry people are being an annoying inconvenience, and there is no talking to them.

Canada has always been a place behind the times.

For all the claims that #MeToo is a "witch hunt", I find it very telling that those who are critics do not actually do the research to show these accusations to be false.

When your argument is "he is such a nice guy" and "she is a nutty slut", your credibility flies right out the window.

I have said from the beginning that real journalism is about facts. It is about research.

That means rooting through garbage. That means going into dark alleys in the middle of the night to talk to a skittish source. That means talking to nannies and maids to find out just how nice someone is...and driving hours to a small town library to go through microfilm to find a single newspaper article that proves a source is lying -- or digging through archives to find a single court transcript that somehow never made it to a database. It means scouring yearbooks to establish a timeline to confirm how honest someone has been with you -- and then discovering they haven't. It means muddling in a foreign language conducting an interview with someone who can confirm a small, but critical fact of a story. It means sitting and listening to disturbing stories that cannot possibly be true, and then you go digging and digging until you find out that the story is absolutely true.

I have been there. I have done all of those things. Every single one.

That's what you are supposed to do when you claim to be a journalist. You respect truth. You respect reality.

You understand that the person sitting in a jail cell may be innocent. You understand that the person with a mental disorder may be telling the truth. You understand the guilty people have been cleared, and innocent people have been convicted.

You do not guesstimate based on looks. You do not appeal to authority. You go back and back and back, and you dig, dig, dig.

This is not the way of the National Post.

They sit there with their noses in the air and think they know everything by mere look alone.

The National Post is an absolute disgrace and shame on the dead industry of journalism. I saw it from day one, and it has only gotten worse over time.

They ought to stick to writing for the shallow and competitive househusbands of Toronto; the ones whose mommy and daddy come from prominent positions and spoiled their progeny senseless, and created fake positions and jobs for them as they are too inept to do it themselves -- and even then, their wives have to financially support them.

Tell them what they should serve at their cocktail parties. Tell them how to respond if someone asked them if they liked a new movie. Tell them how not to come off as too nerdy.

But leave the real news to people who get the rough and tumble ways of liberating truth form lies. You offensive posers are just getting in the way.

The sad state of the National Post. Was the Prime Minister joking? Is the Post joking? Journalism so funny that we all forget to laugh. Except it is supposed to be serious.

The nudge and wink of the "A National Post Investigation" is never actually funny. Why the cheese curds in Toronto don’t squeak? Why Canadians on the Prairies may be the world’s biggest Garth Brooks fans?  Has Lindsay Lohan converted to Islam? This is their attempt at humour.

And now it comes to this latest snore:

What's behind the Justin Trudeau 'peoplekind' controversy? A National Post investigation

Except what is the real funny part is that the National Post never actually investigates anything; so ha ha, the joke's on you if you thought they'd actually do something resembling work.

This series isn't funny for that reason: here is a newspaper that finds the idea of investigative journalism funny; so they deliberately put-down the concept with trivial nonsense.

If they took their jobs seriously, they'd forego the humorous take, and actually do investigative journalism, not unfunny jokes.

This series is akin to a priest performing a fake marriage with two confederates...but not letting the guests in on the joke, but still expecting the guests to pony up for gifts, and go out of the way to see the ceremony.

But since it is a newspaper, and since the advertising on the label is "investigation", I hold them to it, knowing what jokers they really are.

If you are going to make fun of news consumers for using your product to get informed, I suggest you stop making jokes because you are really very inept at it.

You are also inept for finding facts, or doing anything that resembles research.

You beg the government for money, but put out patronizing drivel like this?

You really must be joking.

Stupid media stunts, Part Two: Give one example, strawman style.

Journalists are not well-trained in general. They are not trained to be thinkers, and their shallow, dirty tricks blare loudly. Many do think they are cunning street fighters, but they are not. They have been trained in a single little trick, and then advertise their ignorance to the world. For example, the National Post ran this joke of a column, which probably commits every logical error ever created, with a headline so stupid, that it is honestly difficult to believe this paper is not put together by a bunch a teenaged trolls smoking in their parent's basement:

Anonymous letter shows #MeToo has spread to ranks of ordinary workplaces too

This sounds like the movie Reefer Madness: fear-mongering propaganda that is actually trying to be sneaky. 

Ooo! Flawless predatory men, watch out! The #MeToo outbreak is going to get you, too! Hide under the bed, children, before the bogeywomen get you!

Someone really ought to be testing the drinking water over there for high levels of mercury.

Can you imagine if the headline read:

Hijab-wearing immigrants have spread to ranks of ordinary Canadians, too.

We'd have hate speech.

And the article is pure fear-based propaganda.

And, as someone who has chronicled propaganda in a book or two or three, I am fully aware of propaganda when I see it.

So let's take a second to take apart this absolute knee-slapping sophistry of a column here:

In North America, how many workplaces are there? I am certain there is a lot. Thousands? Tens of thousands? Millions?

If one percent of these workplaces have sexual harassers, you have a problem.

So let's not pretend workplaces are perfect little places of paradise.

Amazon's workplaces have been under scrutiny for a reason. In Hamilton alone, we've had two workplace deaths in the immediate past. We have had labour violations. We have had employers punish minimum-wage employees after they were mandated to give them a raise.

These instances are all on the record.

There is a pattern of behaviour. There is a profile of the kinds of people who misuse their power. It has been there for a long time for the simple reason rules are rigged by those in power to maintain their power.

But now the Post wants people to play make pretend and believe that sexual harassment isn't a thing.

And what if #MeToo comes to everyday workplaces? It's about time. I have known women in all sorts of jobs who have been sexually harassed over the years. Some were fortunate enough to have parents with more clout than the harasser who picked the wrong target, and the harasser was removed from that position. Others physically fought back.

Others endured.

I have known women who have had multiple jobs and employers over the years -- just like me and everyone else -- and had no problems with the majority of employers.

But all it takes is one employer.

Just as all it takes is one serial rapist or murderer or even robber to make something as mundane as walking home from work a trauma.

Are we now painting all people as potential harmers?

Mature adults do not. People with undeveloped minds do.

So I am not certain what is the point of the Post's hypothesis: that it is a bad thing to make men in positions of power be responsible for their unsanctioned war strategies that are not relevant or required to do their jobs, but are destructive influences to those around them?

A few years ago in Ontario, a few print outlets were tagged by the Ministry of Labour for misusing unpaid interns.

As in, having people work 80 hours a week for free, while their employers took home a very nice pay check.

And so did other non-media sectors.

They should all be held accountable equally.

But then the article babbles about a particular case of harassment, which I am not going to go into the details here as it is not the forum for it.

Because it doesn't matter.

You cannot take a single example, impose a narrative that suits your own purposes, and then use that as proof of something bigger.

One case doesn't make or break an entire movement.

I have covered this sort of thing in my book Don't Believe It!: How lies become news: you have a spate of real hate crimes...but one turns out to be a fraud.

Does that mean the other ones are also lies?

No.

Does it mean the problem is being blown out of proportion?

No.

It means everything is case by case, and in the examples I cited in my book, the others were all legitimate abuses, but then someone sees an opportunity, and slips their hoax in, hoping people won't notice.

And it backfires on the person.

The one case proves nothing in relation to the legitimate ones because they are not like the others.

For a reason.

You still have a serious problem of a hate crime, and sexual harassment is a hate crime that society merely tolerates because for whatever reason, men are seen as little barbaric boys who are unteachable and are in some sort of need of protection and sheltering from the consequences of their actions.

Western society has functioned on infantilizing men and indulging their childish narratives with some idea if they are exposed to reality, their fragile little psyches will be shattered forever.

After all, boys will be boys. Old Boys Club.

You see the problem: males are Peter Pans never allowed to grow up, let alone be allowed to grow up as thriving and emotionally literate human beings.

It still doesn't let you off the hook or give any credence to your hypothesis that hate crimes don't actually exist.

They do.

But that's assuming a person making the accusation is lying.

Often, people have peculiar Victorian notions of what a victim should be.

Usually, a frumpy, staid virgin who has never sworn, smoked, had a taste of alcohol, or had a life.

She is in bed by 7 o'clock, wears a habit-like outfit, and would faint at the notion of a kiss. She also has to have a perfect memory and have never been upset or angry in her entire cloistered existence.

Anything that deviates means she cannot be trusted.

And this is the National Post's standard for acceptable victim.

The rest are those who had it coming.

The Post is a toxic newspaper. It does not know what news is. It has no idea what human nature is about. It does not understand what facts are, let alone logic.

It spews trash day in, and day out.

It has no pulse on people, let alone truth and reality.

It has lost money since day one, and there is a good reason for that.

It's trash.

It does not understand the extent of societal rage, or why. It does not understand why various visible minorities are frustrated. It does not understand why educated women have exploded in North America. It does not understand a single thing about the nation it is supposed to be covering.

It understands how to appease and console rich white men.

But the world isn't just about them.

If you are going to call a newspaper the National Post, start learning what the word "national" means.

If your mental capacity cannot stretch to encompass the "national", then rename your product to reflect your range: Elite Post. A Few Rich White Men Post. Politicians and CEOs Post. Nepotism Post. Good Old Boys From Toronto and Ottawa Post. Old Relics From A Bygone Era Post.

You're not national. Delusional, yes. Sycophantic, definitely. Clueless to reality, you're not kidding. Kissing up to those with diminishing power, you betcha.

But not national.

If your thesis hinges on a single example to be twisted to fit a narrative via the strawman, then you don't have a thesis.

You just have self-serving vitriol that demonizes women and holds the whole of society back.

No wonder journalism is dead.

It got the fate it so richly earned.

Memo to the National Post: For women whose careers were derailed by the men on the #MeToo hit list, there was no recovery. Why the Post is propaganda for predators.

This is a newspaper that has a genuine hatred for women. Their latest temper tantrum makes the assumption that the men on #MeToo are lost little boys who have been falsely accused.

There's no recovery, their resident propagandists whine.

For all those women who were terrorized at work and had their careers derailed and stymied, there was no recovery.

Funny whose side you choose to protect.

But Canada is a nation that is averse to both punishment and consequences. It has no sympathy for victims who disprove the narrative of a perfect place.

To the Post, all women are deluded liars. They make things up and are out to "get" these powerful men, who are all choir boys.

Which is ridiculous. The board is skewed, and men have every advantage -- and you still have those who that isn't enough: they put down women every chance they get because they feel threatened.

Journalism in Canada is in shambles precisely because of its inherent misogyny, and now it is trying to protect the last grain of a shell it has.

It is the reason the Canadian government should mind its own business and the that industry collapse.

We need another form of "journalism" -- one that is built from the very first step with true diversity -- from the inside and out, from the bottom to the top.

Because this article is not news. It's the reason we no longer have news.

Ever wondered why atrocities happen? Because journalism always thinks exposing rot goes "too far." National Post, shame on you.

Ever wondered how genocides happen? Or why First Nations people were thrown in concentration camps called "residential schools" and had thousands of children die?

Ever wonder how mass abuse happens in concentration or in accepted individual abuses?

Look no further than the National Post.

They cannot stomach #MeToo, and that should send a red flag about the abuses going on in a newsroom that pouts that women are snapping and revolting.

Again, the newspaper huffs and puffs, using sophistry.

#MeToo is chaotic. Yes, because you are dealing with people who do not come from wealth and cannot prepackage a message through a public relations firm for you.

Chaos is reality. This is story about how ingrained abuse is in various systems. You want a unified message?

You are then a lazy journalist wanting a press release to do your thinking for you.

It is not a sign of anything else but exposing an entire culture where abuse of power is the norm -- not normal, but a norm.

Imagine how National Post would have covered the Holocaust as we mark Holocaust Memorial Day.

Well, the reports of abuse are too chaotic and mixed up, and the Jewish complaints of abuse by Nazis have gone too far!

Or how they would have covered the abuse of Aboriginal children in Canada.

Well, the reports of abuse or too chaotic and mixed up, and the First Nations complaints of abuse have gone too far!

This isn't reportage. This is insensitive and oblivious observations that someone with a severe Anti-Social personality disorder would find acceptable to print in a public forum.

What about domestic violence? Do those need to be orderly reports? Should battered wives send you a press release from their publicist, you lazy oafs?

Or victims of incest? Do they need to hire a spokesperson and a crisis management team to make thinking easier for you, your ditzy and obtuse majesty?

This is beyond bad journalism: it is the justification to keep a status quo because the thinking on this issue is hard.

Just because a movement is not organized, doesn't mean it is wrong. It means the problem is too big because journalists -- who never learned to do the job -- never exposed abuses when they should have done it.

The National Post should be ashamed of itself -- and if there is any proof that the federal government shouldn't fund newspapers, this article is it.

Instead of wondering how bad is abuse of power, it chooses to blame the victims -- victims who are now gaining more power than an inept press.

Jealousy rears its ugly head, and this article is an attempt to twist logic.

But not everyone is beguile by stupid and self-serving logic.

Sloppy journalism terms, part one: Fact Check

The National Post has a Bloomberg News wire story about whether or not certain grossly misreported stories from the press singled out by American Spoiler Donald J. Trump were "fake news," and decreed that is article was a "fact check." The stories in question were retracted by those who reported them; so let's end a silly discussion. Journalists, to this day, harp on every real and perceived peccadillo of the president, no matter how petty and minute...but when their own gross negligence is exposed, boy, do they come up with a laundry list of twisted excuses why their sins are virtues, and why even banal things others do are just bad.

The press has now been reduced to weaselly and jealous older sibling tattling on their younger brother every chance they get. It has been truly pathetic.

But they are trying to bolster their credibility after being caught in numerous blunders all while framing it in clinical terms, the press has used the phrase "fact check."

Fine, what does that mean?

What is your process of "fact-checking"?

Minimum number of sources? Standardized methods? Balances in place to prevent a confirmation bias? Appeal to authority, and the like?

No to all of the above.

It is just a word used to sound smart.

But let's take it one step further: how good have journalists been at checking facts?

This week, a child fooled the press, who never bothered to "fact check" her statements.

It is a sloppy term that doesn't actually mean anything. It just sounds as if someone did something "official" without having any standardized and empirically-tested protocols.

It really is that bad.

Let's take a very recent example: a report that the "NYPD" raided the offices of Newsweek magazine.

Articles here, here, here, here, and here.

With contradictory accounts. Yes, it was the NYPD, no it wasn't.

Where is the fact-checking? Why don't reporters know what is going on with another media outlet?

Various media outlets sort of cribbing from each other with all sorts of "we don't really know" narratives.

There are all sorts of reasons for a police to raid a media outlet. We cannot assume the outlet is good, bad, or neutral. Sometimes the reasons may be justified; other times, it is an outrage.

There are no facts to check here. Just gossip.

So when children can play the press, and when people in the profession cannot tell you anything definitive about a possible major happening in the newsrooms of a national publication, the notion of "fact-checking" becomes absurd.

It's the reason the term is meaningless. 

The scientific method places all sorts of checks and balances when conducting studies, from double blinds to placebos.

Journalism has no such equivalent in its gathering -- or in its fact-checking.

This has always been a serious void in the profession, and one I have discussed at length in all three of my books: that the absolutely essentials of the profession have no set standards and basic terms have never been truly defined.

Do not ever wonder how journalism failed: it failed because it never had the discipline to have gold standards and then know what needs to be done to improve their product.

And yet they have the audacity to say they know something about facts, when they do not even see the owns that did them in.