Category Archives: media

Fake News vs Traditional Media

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This article by the CBC is excellent. It walks through a number of scenarios, definitions and instructions on how to spot ‘fake news’.

Just one problem: they forgot to point the spotlight at themselves and friends in traditional media.

It’s a good article, but of course, doesn’t mention how traditional media may place ‘news reports’ that are PR or how they may censor certain aspects of a story in order to protect ad dollars. Even the CBC reprints a lot of stories from the for-profit American company (Visionknown as Canada Newswire here).

It also doesn’t point the finger at ‘traditional’ pundits and other so-called objective advisors that are either paid or supported indirectly by third-parties, including international influencers. They hint at this somewhat in the article, but there is a very clear opportunity to deconstruct the influence that can be attributed to foreigners and conservative think tanks.

An example would be the Fraser Institute. While the aforementioned article by the CBC is excellent, this one by Canadian Dimension is even better, as they strip back the layers created by the Koch Brothers and their paid influence over Canadian media.

Fortifying the big lies in think-tank gown is the Fraser Institute, forever cited by the media and bullying public policy formation in the guise of an independent professional source of economic knowledge and information. None points out that according to Canada’s tax records the Fraser Institute has received over $750,000 from just one of the Koch foundations.

When Canadian Dimension speaks of media citation, they need to directly remind the public that the CBC reports from the Fraser Institute OFTEN.

As we enter the federal election – possibly the most important one that Canada is facing in its short history as a nation – we ALL need to know how to smell out the rats. Unfortunately, most of the rats are in plain site, being treated as reliable sources and pundits.

Category: media

Which ‘news’ is ‘real’ and which is ‘fake’?

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I came across this article about how it’s unlikely that the Washington Post – supposed 1960s bastion of investigative reporting – will ever report on Jeff Bezos and his relationship with the CIA.

That’s because that would take money off the table.

In a market economy, there’s no doubt in my mind that the profit motive is important, but how does it affect ‘news’ and more importantly, the credibility of that news source?

We’ve endured decades of garbage from the likes of PostMedia, Rebel Media and many traditional outlets (who hasn’t yelled at their radio while some moron throws thought grenades out across his microphone) and others that simply want to fan the flames.  And when the flames go out, they light them up again.

Let’s pivot to England and see that the Guardian is reporting on Bill Gates’ statement that ‘Tens of millions could be killed by eco-terrorism’.  This is a shocking and alarmist article, but doesn’t seem to be getting much press, well, anywhere.

Unfortunately, a Google search only yields Business Insider and Breitbart (but only on an unrelated topic).

When someone I would consider to be a world leader makes a pretty shocking statement like that, why is no one covering it?

We get more press about McDonald’s going to all day breakfast sandwiches (which in my view is the extreme version of fake news being spewed by the likes of ‘credible’ institutions like the CBC) than we do about something like this.

I know so many people are wrestling with this, especially when the ‘Leader of the Free World’ declares that everyone is fake news, but only because they’re questioning his sanity.

In an interesting twist, I too was accused of basically being a Kellyanne Conway clone because I don’t trust the media, but I bring it back to how things got twisted by the Canadian Conservatives when talking about the census.  I refused to do the census because it was being managed and handled by Lockheed-Martin.  My words were spun in a way that I was now a frothing at the mouth libertarian that didn’t want government in my life.

This was a lie at my expense.  More importantly, my belief system was manipulated into this awful and disgusting Frankenstein-like abortion of intent that I was permanently pushed away from the Conservative Party of Canada.

(Likewise now for the Liberals who have pushed me away from voting for them ever again because they stole my vote under the promise of electoral reform).

I see this today with the media and don’t have a solution for understanding how badly our information is being manipulated against us in order to create a story that suits a handful of old white men determined to f*ck the world royally for their own gain.

All I can do is try to summarize and see if that helps us at least set the stage for creating or stimulating ‘real’ conversation about critically important issues:

  1. News is vital to a functioning democracy.   Without it, we have some kind of ‘ism’ (Fascism, Socialism, Communism, take your pick).
  2. The vast majority of news is suspect because it’s driven by the profit-motive.  Full disclosure might solve that problem.
  3. The vast majority of ‘public’ news is susceptible to interference by third-parties and propaganda. Again, full disclosure might help, but it’s unlikely.
  4. People need motivation (usually financial, but fear is another good reason) to properly research stories.
  5. Stories need an audience.
  6. Audience exists for at least two reasons:  desire for truth and desire for entertainment.
  7. People are dropping paid subscriptions – and the life-blood of news investigation – in favour of secondary and alternative sources.  Advertisers are disappearing. For-profit companies are losing money hand over fist.

When you piece together the central issues, it’s easy to see how people can easily be herded towards what they want to hear, which is what is happening in all camps, including the Trump base.

What’s the solution? Here are some basic ideas:

In Canada, we spend about a billion per year on the CBC.  A lot of it goes into garbage like Schitt’s Creek and dozens of other Cancon projects.

  1. Let’s start by properly allocating public funds for proper public investigation and stop with the entertainment side of the business.
  2. Let’s create a free source of news that all Canadians – including for-profit news companies – can access, read, report on and interpret for the benefit of all Canadians.
  3. Let’s stop the CBC from posting stories that have been paid for by private companies and PR experts.
  4. Let’s instead put some of the funds that are spent on companies like Canada News Wire and give out investigative research grants to people that successfully pitch and win the money.
  5. And let’s make sure that we continue to work in a transparent environment so that we can understand who’s behind the story.

Let’s own the news.  It’s our right.  It’s our obligation.

Last Night’s Debate Winner: Mainstream Media & Corporate Canada

This will be a short rant, but I’d like to throw in my $0.02 about the debate last night.

The focus was the ‘economy’, with Stephen Harper’s pants clearly in a flame (not just a smolder) as he lied about creating 1.3 million full time jobs over the last 10 years.

And how many good paying full time jobs have been lost, Herr Harper?


He was also lying about good financial management, failing to remind Canadians that he and his Cons engage in routine ‘bait and switch’ planning, wasting valuable resources over 10 years simply so they can say they are running a surplus right now.

But let’s not get distracted by the actual debate.

Let’s zero in on the winners:  mainstream media and corporate Canada.

The Globe and Mail, with the host editor in chief David Walmsley, got to frame the structure of the debate and control the content.  They claim that the questions were unique and were not shared with any party leader.

That I would actually believe because Stephen Harper doesn’t need the questions because he always has the same ‘learn by rote’ bullshit answers of ‘stable, steady as she goes economy, safety and security, blah blah blah …’  Honestly, Mulcair was really no different with his ‘national day care this, pay civil servants more that …’

It was tired and dull.

Only Trudeau stood out by answering the question with questions, pushing Canadians to think about Canada under Stephen Harper.

Are we better or worse off than 10 years ago?  Definitely worse.

But I’m getting distracted.  The Globe was the clear winner because they were handed a complete monopoly on the delivery of the debate. I’d be curious to know if they got a spike in subscriptions.

Also, on a whole, corporate Canada was a clear winner because we didn’t talk about (at least in any great detail):

  • Electoral reform that will keep the likes of Stephen Harper out of power in Canada FOREVER
  • Scandal after scandal after freakin’ scandal that Stephen Harper wants Canadian to think are not important
  • The slaughter of First Nations women across the country or disproportionately high suicide rates
  • Funding for the Tar Sands compared to funding for things that matter more to ALL Canadians on a day-to-day basis
  • Stephen Harper turning the mess in the Middle East into a campaign of racism and anti-Muslim interests
  • Women and children
  • Infrastructure, education and the environment (I know, I’ve mentioned that twice)
  • Etc etc etc

Framing the debate about the economy and ignoring the kagillion other issues that affect Canadians on a day-to-day marginalizes the interests of Canadians and therefore marginalizes their interest in the election.

So … on October 20 when Stephen Harper has won yet another landslide election because progressive voters in Canada choose to attack each other instead of their common enemy, mainstream media and corporate Canada will be the greatest beneficiaries of a Harper government to 2019.

Category: media, Steve, Uncategorized

Harper: Worst PM in Canadian History

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Stephen Harper Worst PM in Canadian History.  Thank you National Observer.

As an aside, National Observer and Canadaland (Jesse Brown) are pretty much the only two sources of content that I trust these days.  The CBC just vomits back junk from Canadian Press (a privately held news engine) and the PMO.

What’s not listed is the ongoing media war that the Harper regime imposes on the average Canadian.  They are oblivious, of course, but Harper perpetuates an important cycle that keeps him in power:

  • Get endorsements from media ‘pundits’ for being the only one capable of ‘leading’ and ‘managing’ the economy and protecting us from terrorism
  • Fund media pundits indirectly by tapping an unlimited base of public funds for advertising boondoggles like the Canadian Economic (Distr)action Plan, National Defence, RCMP, Parks Canada, etc etc etc
  • Keeping this otherwise bloated, inefficient and failing monopolies alive using these public funds (remember that in 2008 several of them went to the Harper government with hands out looking for hundreds of millions of dollars.  No car companies = no advertising revenue).
  • Feeding these useless media companies with endless piles of tripe from the Harper-created, taxpayer-funded ’24/7′ news network
  • Never giving any content except for advertising
  • Keeping the attack ads alive by carefully switching out public ads with Conservative political campaigns (ie. ensuring that they have negotiated and booked media long before anyone else can, strategically nudging other parties into the most expensive ad slots and pricing categories)
  • Starving the CBC of quality management, personnel or funding
  • Getting endorsements because they’ve helped create an elite class of journalist / public officials alive and well

The media war will continue and we’ll lose Canada as a result.

Mark my words.

Category: media, Politics, Steve

Aaron Sorkin Saves Failing Institutions, Part Deux

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Waaay back in the 1990s, there was a little show called ‘West Wing’ that made the world want to wrap itself in a great, big collective American flag.

The writers were very effective at making people believe that some good in the world while Georgie Jr. pissed all over the democratic institutions of the US, the UN and chopped at the rest of the tender threads that held us all together.

‘West Wing’ made us think that something good was happening while wars were being declared left, right and centre and while the US went into the most rapid and ridiculous decline; faster than any other country or organization in the history of humankind.

We were duped into believing that there was something worth believing in.

Aaron Sorkin and the rest of the crew of writers that put together ‘The West Wing’ fooled us into believing that democracy in America was alive and well.

Or was it a well-crafted effort to try to fight back against the criminality of the Bush administration?  You decide.

Need reminders?

After Bush stole the US election in 2000, the planned and now obvious plot concerning 9/11 designed to rope Americans into a tight pen of security and scrutiny; and after the sad failure of Bush vs Gore in 2004, we see the wreckage today surrounding us with words like ‘credit debt swaps’, ‘lower income taxes’, ‘tea party’, ‘austerity’, ‘bank bailouts’, ‘99% vs 1%’, ‘budget cuts’, ‘libertarian’, ‘if you’re not with us, you’re against us’ … and so on.

Today, Aaron Sorkin and crew take us on another fantasy ride to show that the magical world of media is real, it hasn’t changed and it’s no longer honest.

But don’t let that get in the way of spinning a good tale …

Well, all of this is a load of crap designed to lull us once again into complacency.

Today’s media is owned by a small cabal of investors planning on controlling humanity for their own profit.  Today’s media is rife with corruption.  Today’s media knows nothing about truth because the dollar has bought everyone out.  Today’s media is bankrupt.

Thankfully, we still have the ability to call bullshit on these people, but that plug is about to be pulled as well when laws like ACTA, TPP, Bill C-11 and a myriad other ropes cinch a noose around our collective necks and we all find ourselves in public funded private prisons.

It’ll be interesting to see how we’re shaped into feeling good about the institutions crashing down around us.

What’s next?  A show about marriages that pretends divorce doesn’t exist?

Category: media, propaganda | Tags: ,