Author Archives: Denyse O'Leary

Camilla Paglia on the collapse of journalism

An American colleague wonders if Paglia is being too kind:

Camille Paglia Blames Dems for Destroying Journalism — ‘It Is Going to Take Decades to Recover’

“It’s obscene,” she said. “It’s outrageous, OK? It shows that the Democrats are nothing now but words and fantasy and hallucination and Hollywood. There’s no journalism left. What’s happened to The New York Times? What’s happened to the major networks? It’s an outrage.”

“I’m a professor of media studies, in addition to a professor of humanities, OK?” she continued. “And I think it’s absolutely grotesque the way my party has destroyed journalism. Right now, it is going to take decades to recover from this atrocity that’s going on where the news media have turned themselves over to the most childish fraternity, kind of buffoonish behavior.” More.

My response: Oh, shut up, Paglia. Unlike the thugs who “fight hate” on your party’s behalf, I do not mean to harm a weed in your back yard – even if you gabbled all summer within earshot here in Ottawa.

I would, of course, prefer a more honest and serious conversation with whomever I can find.

Hey, maybe that’s just me…

But first, Hillary Clinton’s team lost the US election because they decided to sneer at  reliable voters. Anyone who doubts that is mucking about in a conspirazoid swamp. Yes, the muckers include the glitzies who want to become official instead of unofficial state media on tax dollars. That does not make their arcane theories more believable.

Maybe we should be thrilled to support legacy media to sneer at us and deprive us of our historic liberties. But then again, maybe not.

In any event, I wrote back to my colleague to say,

Based on my recent experience, yes, Paglia is far too kind. I Hounded back down to TO last w/e and this is what I found:

New York Times Sent Three Reporters To The Rebel Media’s Live 2017 Celebration

Canadian Journalists For Free Expression Campaigns Against Free Expression – Of Course

and get THIS:

Canadian Journalists For Free Expression Partners With National Council Of Canadian Muslims, Essentially Against Free Speech

It’s not so much that CJFE are bad journalists as that they are not journalists at all. No actual journalists would be doing this stuff!

For one thing – there is no easy way to say this – we actual journalists don’t need to.

CJFE, by contrast, are people who cannot compete with the upheld handheld of the internet age.

They are looking for sugar daddies to whom they can market the subtext of “fighting hate,” while behaving like an angry pressure group themselves.

At least they and their current sugar daddies deserve each other. The rest of us, not so much.

See also: Are polls scientific? Well, what happens when human complexity foils electoral predictions?

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Canadian Journalists for Free Expression partners with National Council of Canadian Muslims, essentially against free speech

From Newswire:

CJFE and NCCM have partnered in this campaign to raise awareness about the rise in prominence of anti-democratic hate groups in Canada and the increased use of ‘free expression’ as a shield for overtly Islamophobic sentiment. In a recent and notable example, Motion 103, the anti-Islamophobia motion that passed the House of Commons in March, has been condemned across the right as a ‘threat to free speech,’ and right-wing hate groups have held rallies against it in Toronto and Ottawa. CJFE and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association have published statements that the motion does not pose a threat to free expression. At a rally on May 6 in Toronto, a CJFE staff member was assaulted by far-right demonstrators while filming the event.

“Free expression isn’t just a platform for a bad opinion. In fact, the idea that it is, is placing the pluralistic and open nature of democracy itself at risk. Counterspeech is free expression too,” said CJFE Executive Director Tom Henheffer. “Your right to speak freely doesn’t mean freedom from consequences for that speech. In this case, we’re using our voice to show leadership on using free expression to challenge hateful ideas.”

“Human rights belong to all of us,” says Ihsaan Gardee, Executive Director of the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM). “This campaign is an important way to reinforce our cherished fundamental rights and freedoms and to show that everyone in Canada is protected by them.” More.

The release above provides some context for the drive for Muslim prayers in public schools:

“CJFE indicates a desire to use funds raised through the advertising campaign to expand it to other locations and transit systems, including the Peel Region, where far right groups have announced plans to conduct weekly protests outside of public high-schools. These groups are opposed to accommodations the Peel School Board has made for Muslim prayers in public schools.” But Why should a public school board accommodate religious prayers? And the prayers of only one religion at that?  Wasn’t the answer to that decided to be no! a long time ago?

Isn’t it curious how little we hear against the prayer-in-the-schools proposal from the people who would once have opposed prayer in the schools…

Once upon a time, the concept of journalists for free expression had integrity: Back when I was helping fight for the right to cover (vs. police) twenty years ago, I doubt any journalists’ group would have accepted such a collaboration. No matter how pristine our intentions, there was the spectre of being bought. When some of us raised money from among ourselves for one beleaguered journalist in the ’90s, an informal group paid off her legal bill ourselves and gave all the remaining proceeds to a food bank.

But in those days, there was real work for us covering real news in mainstream media… More, as I recall, than one could handle. Now, in the age of the upheld handheld (citizen journalist), there is work for current journalism school graduates only in creating propaganda, increasingly funnelled through moribund mainstream media. And heaven knows, progressives are happy creating propaganda.

Let’s enjoy not having to pay for most of it while we can.

See also: Canadian Journalists For Free Expression Campaigns *Against* Free Expression – Of Course

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Canadian Journalists for Free Expression campaigns against free expression – of course

PR just received: (Toronto, ON – June 19, 2017)  On June 17, 2017, Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) attended a rally by far-right media group The Rebel. At the event, dubbed ‘The Rebel Live’, CJFE contracted a video billboard truck owned by outdoor marketing company Wild On Media and displayed a video advertisement in support of CJFE’s latest campaign. This campaign seeks to challenge public assumptions about human rights in Canada.  The ad campaign is part of a crowdfunding and public awareness initiative run by CJFE to defend democracy and challenge hate, based at cjfe.org/democracy.

The advertisements feature section 2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in Arabic accompanied by the English-language message, “These Rights Belong to All of Us.” Section 2 enshrines the rights to freedom of expression, press, religion and association.  The concept for the advertisement is borrowed from a high-profile billboard campaign by the American Civil Liberties Union designed by New York-based agency Emergence Creative.

CJFE is striving to raise awareness about the rise in prominence of anti-democratic hate groups in Canada and the increased use of ‘free expression’ as a shield for overtly Islamophobic sentiment, as well as the need for civil society to challenge extreme rhetoric.  The Rebel Media has played a prominent role in the resurgence of far-right movements in Canada and around the world.

At the ‘Rebel Live’ event, there were several notable speakers from the political right, including  University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson, who  argued that the recently passed transgender-rights Bill C-16 represented a threat to free expression, despite this interpretation being rejected by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, the Canadian Bar Assocation, and others. Also featured was Rebel Media employee Gavin McInnes, the founder of far-right “fight club” the ‘Proud Boys’. In his address McInnes addressed suggestions for increased dialogue with the political left by calling on supporters of The Rebel to “stop talking to satanic retards.”

CJFE has learned that two journalists from media watchdog site Canadaland were prevented from attending by organizers. Organizers attributed this decision to past critical tweets that had fact-checked statements by The Rebel. CJFE previously published letters of support for The Rebel after the Alberta Legislature moved to bar their accreditation and after the UNFCCC barred the outlet access to the Conference of Parties climate summit in Marrakesh.

“Obviously barring media outlets because of critical coverage appears to be arbitrary and hypocritical.” said CJFE campaigner Duncan Pike, “Our activity is about improving civil discourse, challenging hateful narratives, and standing up for universal values. While The Rebel certainly has the right to use provocative or inflammatory language, we also have a responsibility to challenge bad ideas that dehumanize marginalized groups. Our democratic rights belong to everyone.”

The CJFE campaign is running on billboards in Toronto’s transit system for the next five weeks.  CJFE indicates a desire to use funds raised through the advertising campaign to expand it to other locations and transit systems, including the Peel Region, where far right groups have announced plans to conduct weekly protests outside of public high-schools. These groups are opposed to accommodations the Peel School Board has made for Muslim prayers in public schools.

This should come as no surprise. I noticed the van in the parking lot but there was just too much going on inside the building to bother with it. As noted earlier, dying mainstream media have no stake in freedom of expression, but rather in getting progressive governments to adopt them as PR and then suppressing alternative points of view.

A couple of notes: “the increased use of ‘free expression’ as a shield for overtly Islamophobic sentiment” Does that mean negative feedback about changing the term “female genital mutilation” to “female genital beautification”? Yes, the crowd WAS negative about that.

“University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson, who  argued that the recently passed transgender-rights Bill C-16 represented a threat to free expression, despite this interpretation being rejected by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, the Canadian Bar Assocation, and others.”  Governments attempting to reshape language to suit themselves are always a threat to liberty by definition. The groups mentioned are cruising for business in a society that needs them less than ever before for the substantive issues. So if they could just get a chance to police language, they would have fat jobs forever.

“Obviously barring media outlets because of critical coverage appears to be arbitrary and hypocritical.” said CJFE campaigner Duncan Pike, “Our activity is about improving civil discourse, challenging hateful narratives, and standing up for universal values.” Unfortunately, people have been assaulted, pepper-sprayed, and shot recently by persons who would claim to be “challenging hateful narratives.” The Rebel conference gladly let in three New York Time reporters because those people probably still believe in civil society. At least for now.

“CJFE indicates a desire to use funds raised through the advertising campaign to expand it to other locations and transit systems, including the Peel Region, where far right groups have announced plans to conduct weekly protests outside of public high-schools. These groups are opposed to accommodations the Peel School Board has made for Muslim prayers in public schools.” Why should a public school board accommodate religious prayers? And the prayers of only one religion at that?  Wasn’t the answer to that decided to be no! a long time ago?

These  CJFE people probably do not know how badly they stink, how far they have strayed from any semblance of their former integrity. Shame. Shame. Shame.  And, it must be said, now sham!

See also: New York Times Sent Three Reporters To The Rebel Media’s Live 2017 Celebration

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New York Times sent three reporters to the Rebel Media’s Live 2017 celebration

Saturday’s meet of Rebel Media Live 2917, held at Canada Christian College in Toronto, felt like something of a celebration. An outfit that started two years ago in Ezra Levant’s living room turned out well over 600 people.

Possibly anticipating a rich feast of fake news about the “growing menace” of the Canadian alt right*, the New York Times sent three reporters. They’ll have plenty of reasons to go home sharpening their devil-wears-Prada stilettos.

Early on, Ez Levant asked them how their Benghazi story and, oh, the one about Hill Clinton’s e-mails were going…

Many other speakers aimed at the Timesies through the day. At one point, Sheila Gunn Reid asked everyone to take out their handheld and hold it up. That, she told the crowd (but especially the cocktails-with-people-who-Matter journalists) is the future of journalism – citizen journalism.

Perhaps we should make the upheld handheld an icon of sorts?

Still, I couldn’t help wondering if the constant denigration was fair. The Cool media are dying. Are we kicking a dying cripple?

But Levant offered a sobering comment: The moribund media are not elected. When Hillary Clinton lost the election, she lost it. After that, she had to, eventually, shut up. The dying cripples of gatekeeper media can melt down in public indefinitely, with increasingly diminished responsibility.

Much is at stake. The New York Times is not going to survive unless it becomes a state medium. It must help elect progressive governments inclined to make that happen. And it must suppress the flow of real news among the taxpayers who are forced to fund it. That is a terrible fate but at least the Timesies deserve it. The rest of us don’t.

I will offer some thoughts on individual speakers later. It’s too much for one post.

Note: Subscribers can view the Live 2017 event here.

* There is in fact an alt right but there is no evidence that it plays much of a role in popular traditional culture or that it influenced the US 2016 election significantly.

See also: New York Times kills public editor slot Let Twitter decide.

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Dennis Prager: You may be fighting a culture war but the Left is deadly serious

As always. From Dennis Prager at Townhall,

After reading the responses [to his pro-Trump comments], I feel confident in saying that they confirmed my primary thesis: Anti-Trump conservatives do not believe that Americans are fighting what I call the Second Civil War, while pro-Trump conservatives do.

My response is that “culture war” is much too tepid a term for what is going on now. Maybe anti-Trump conservatives are fighting a “culture war,” but the left is not. The left is working to undo the American Revolution. It’s very close to doing so. More.

Reality check: It’s hard to imagine how an honest person could fail to see that progressives are waging an all-out war on civil liberties. Actually, it is a war on reality, which is why it can never end.

So it seems so obvious to some of us: Returning progressives to power will always mean, at this point, less freedom, less safety, and less prosperity. No more Trump? Fine, is the zoo gorilla free for four years? Just a thought.

If Canada unseats progressive government, we too will have a few years to take back liberty, safety, and prosperity. Let’s not waste them.

See also: Anti-Trump comedians’ really bad, no-good moment They are getting what they deserve. The one thing we can be sure of is that they mean all the harm they would do.

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Progressive editor to Dems: Get help for your obsession about Russia

From Matt Vespa at Townhall:

Progressive Editor: Democrats Making Huge Error Obsessing About Russia

No kidding. Trump Derangement Syndrome and its associated conspirazoid thinking are probably the main reason so many people have stood by Trump, despite his gaffes and genuine errors.

The Nation’s editor and publisher Katrina Vanden Huevel warned that Democrats’ obsession about Russia was a mistake and could torpedo efforts to effectively combat the Trump agenda. Granted, the latter part is typical run-of-the-mill progressive talk, The Nation is a left wing magazine, but in March, Vanden Huevel ripped into Democrats for the Neo-McCarthyite furor that has engulfed the party over Russia. She noted that Russian interference during the 2016 election needs to be investigated, but the political Left has devolved into thinking that mere meetings with Russian officials are akin to treason. Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL) seems to think that any meeting with the Russians is not appropriate. This is nonsense. Democrats lost, they need some crutch to lean on because they all thought Hillary was going to win. And there’s no way any person could lose to Trump, unless some sort of covert collusion occurred. One big problem: there is zero evidence of any collusion. Even Hillary is starting to peddle conspiracy theories about the collusion allegations, for which she has zero evidence to back up. More.

Reality check: Exactly. Of course the Russians tried to influence the U.S. election. So did Canada, probably. And the U.S. is hardly shy about interfering in foreign elections itself!

There is no evidence that the Russians made any difference. The real story is simple and devastating: The Dems abandoned their historic blue-collar constituency in favour of Cool urban identity groups who did not deliver the goods. And they are they paying for it now. But because they openly despise that older constituency and love the new one, they cannot simply acknowledge their choice as a mistake. Hence the meltdown goes on and on, and on.

See also: The alt right, Donald Trump, and – oddly enough – Darwin.

Does fake news make a difference in politics?

and

What can we do about fake news that would not diminish real news?

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Bernard Goldberg on “cowardly academics”

From Bernard Goldberg at Townhall:

And what should we make of Ulrich Baer, the vice provost for faculty, arts, humanities, and diversity, and professor of German and comparative literature at New York University, who apparently doesn’t believe in free speech — at least not for people with opinions that might offend groups that have been targets of discrimination.

When certain “views invalidate the humanity of some people, they restrict speech as a public good” and in “such cases there is no inherent value to be gained from debating them in public,” he wrote in The New York Times.

This is quite remarkable. A professor and administrator at a major American university who isn’t ashamed to admit that unpopular speech is not worthy of debate. The real heroes, according to Baer, are the students who disrupt speech they don’t like. More.

Reality check: Unfortunately, Baer is not just a coward. He is making a legitimate calculation: People will continue to vote to publicly fund Thug U and its students. And live with the consequences.

The looming threat to fat crat funding will surely force a rethink. Not among the Stalinists in mortarboards, of course, but among cowardly colleagues who do not see why they should take the heat.

They had, after all, simply been mooing along with the herd.

See also: Anti-Semitic complaint against Ryerson University goes viral Cowards, cower. The real world is descending on you.

and

Move to privatize Thug U (Evergreen edition)

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Why Bruce Bawer refuses to lie about Islam

From Bruce Bawer at PJ Media,

Quick answer: It’s a matter of living with the truth. For some of us, that’s important. People who have lived under totalitarian regimes but who now enjoy freedom understand this in a way that suburban American twenty-somethings may not. No, none of us can ever know the whole truth about any subject. But if we live in a free country, we are free to inquire, to study, to struggle for knowledge of the truth, and that is a freedom to be cherished.

Equally precious is our right to articulate the truth and act responsibly upon it. There are whole lives based on lies, whole marriages based on lies, and whole societies based on lies. To study Communist history is to see what kind of society takes shape when people feel compelled to assent to the truth of a proposition that they know to be false. I’ve just begun reading Orlando Figes’s 2007 book The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin’s Russia, described on its back cover as “the story of ordinary people in Stalin’s Russia, a world where everyone was afraid to talk and a society spoke in whispers.” A society, in short, of necessary lies and forbidden truths. More.

Reality check: We are already far down the path if our politicians feel that they can inform us that a mass murderer does not really represent the religious tradition he claims he does. And we are supposed to just accept that and strew flowers and teddy bears at the scene of tragedies. And never, never to ask, what evidence is there that he doesn’t represent that tradition? Is he almost universally reviled among Muslims?

If you know people who find the “necessary lies and forbidden truths” acceptable, stop knowing them – or at best know them distantly. (I speak to people who, like me, hate confrontations with Virtuous (but deadly) Signallers, people who would sacrifice their own children for their public Correctness. And yet I want to live.

Make a point of not offering flowers and teddy bears, just short, sharp condolences. There will be plenty more victims, the way we are going.

See also: If you love your kid, don’t choose Katy Perry True love is inseparable from reality-based thinking. Paying any further attention to people like Katie Perry is bad for anyone’s longevity.

and

How can we defend the right to think for ourselves? You need true grit and a thick skin

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MILO is back

]

With a new book, Dangerous:

The liberal media machine did everything they could to keep this book out of your hands. Now, finally, Dangerous, the most controversial book of the decade, is tearing down safe spaces everywhere. More.

Reality check: There is also an anti-MILO book out there now, which suggests he is at least getting somewhere.

See also: The war on freedom is rotting our intellectual life In a world governed by naturalism, power is its own justification. That is the single hardest thing for opponents of rampant political correctness to grasp.

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Myth of kindly General Robert E. Lee

From Adam Serwer at the Atlantic:

Lee’s cruelty as a slavemaster was not confined to physical punishment. In Reading the Man, the historian Elizabeth Brown Pryor’s portrait of Lee through his writings, Pryor writes that “Lee ruptured the Washington and Custis tradition of respecting slave families,” by hiring them off to other plantations, and that “by 1860 he had broken up every family but one on the estate, some of whom had been together since Mount Vernon days.” The separation of slave families was one of the most unfathomably devastating aspects of slavery, and Pryor wrote that Lee’s slaves regarded him as “the worst man I ever see.”

When two of his slaves escaped and were recaptured, Lee either beat them himself or ordered the overseer to “lay it on well.” Wesley Norris, one of the slaves who was whipped, recalled that “not satisfied with simply lacerating our naked flesh, Gen. Lee then ordered the overseer to thoroughly wash our backs with brine, which was done.”More.

Reality check: It’s fascinating how some people get picked as heroes and others as villains. I still don’t think statues should be removed. Rather, use them as a teaching tool. If we would not remove a statue of Caligula, why should we remove one of Lee?

See also: What is fake news? Do we believe it?

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Dems tire of consoling Clinton for her loss

While dodging the whirling blades of blame. At Townhall, Mike Vespa interprets:

Maybe ignoring white working class voters in the Rust Belt was a bad idea. Maybe not having an economic message and being focused on everything BUT job creation was a bad idea. Maybe ignoring Bill Clinton’s advice about reaching out to the white working class, who number in the tens of millions, was a bad idea. All of this leads to a large slice of Obama voters, who flipped for Trump, thinking that the Hillary agenda favored the wealthy, along with not being able to stand her. It wasn’t the data, Hillary. It was you. Again, your loss boils down to you. More.

Reality check: But no genuine post-modern progressive can accept that it ever was or ever could have been her fault. She is wronged, and therefore entitled.

See also: Griffin had vowed to go for Barron Trump in December 2016  She is entitled to beat up on a kid.

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If you love your kid, don’t choose Katy Perry

From Jennifer Van Laar at Townhall,

During Ariana Grande’s “One Love Manchester” benefit concert, Katy Perry offered her [Choose Love] advice to the grieving people.

“I encourage you to choose love, even when it’s difficult. Let no one take that away from you.”

Katy, are you saying the people of Manchester didn’t choose love before? It didn’t conquer the hate of the savage who blew himself up at Ariana’s concert, maiming and killing children. It didn’t conquer the hate of the beasts who rammed into a crowd and then stabbed people and slit throats less than 24 hours ago in London. More.

Reality check: True love is inseparable from reality-based thinking. Paying any further attention to people like Katie Perry is bad for  longevity.

See also: The Islamists don’t need to uproot Christianity in Europe

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Investigation demanded against Evergreen biology prof

From Bradford Richardson at Washington Times:

More than 50 faculty members at Evergreen State College are calling on the administration to punish a professor who refused to participate in a no-whites day on campus.

In a public letter released June 2, the faculty accused biology professor Bret Weinstein of endangering members of the Evergreen community by speaking out against student protesters who have taken over the Olympia, Washington, campus. More.

Reality check: It’s hard for science types to fully convert to post-modernism because putting their brains in a blender and turning it on high seems scary at first. Weinstein wasn’t able to manage it.

See also: Post-modernism: Smug science prof, you are next What made you think you were immune? Post-modernism is a universal acid.

Move to privatize Thug U (Evergreen)

and

Journal Nature: Stuck with a battle it dare not fight, even for the soul of science

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Why Japan lost the Battle of Midway

From James Holmes at Real Clear Defense:

A devil’s advocate is a precious commodity. That has to be one of the takeaways from revisiting the Battle of Midway seventy-five years on, and it should be etched on the internal workings of any martial institution that wants to survive and thrive amid the rigors, danger, and sheer orneriness of combat. Despite Japanese mariners’ tactical brilliance and élan, the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) leadership was prone to such ills as groupthink and strategic doublethink. Worse, the IJN fleet was cursed to be led by Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto—a leader of such stature and mystique that subordinates deferred to him out of habit. Never mind whether his ideas concerning operations and strategy made sense.

As they sometimes didn’t. More.

Reality check: Precisely what our progressive betters want for us for our own good.

See also: Poseur Macron wrings handshake triumph out of Paris accord collapse
If that’s all the French have got, who cares what they think? Isn’t it over already?

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Poseur Macron wrings handshake triumph out of Paris accord collapse

From Mollie Hemingway at Federalist,

You knew President Donald Trump’s trip abroad went well because the American media focused on hand-holding and handshakes instead of the dramatic changes in foreign policy toward American interests. Did Melania brush away her husband’s hand? Did you notice the power and strength of French President Emmanuel Macron’s handshake with Trump?

It was Macron’s handshake that enraptured the American media. They covered it from every angle, happy that someone on the global stage was standing up to Trump. The Washington Post, as of last count, has 41 articles mentioning “Macron” and “handshake,” dissecting it from every angle. More.

Reality check: If that’s all the French have got, who cares what they think? Isn’t it over already?

See also: Did you know why the Paris climate agreement was voluntary?

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