Sunday, September 20, 2015



When I survey the racist crap, political lies and evil exaggerations in the unsocial media, I yearn for more of the cocky flamethrowers to be burned alive by their own rhetoric.
Whenever some vile commentary from the past takes down another candidate or self-appointed leader, I cheer.
It's just more proof, as if it were needed, that the world will rue the decline of conventional media.
We have descended into a bloggers'  swamp where any chucklehead who has learned to type thinks they can say whatever they want about anything, or photoshop the crudest deception, or lurk in anonymous ambush, and they are safe from criticism or even legal action.
I just don't pay attention to anyone who hides their name (or their face for that matter.)
 Now readers will know there are exceptions to my rule. When I had a police or political source who had to be protected - or an experienced journalist explained the cloaking of identity in the story - I would accept that, especially since people have been fired for what they told me and the bosses  guessed they were my source.
But if some clown down the street, with a flimsy grasp on real life, wants to conceal their name, then I just don't listen.
That sniggering Twitter twits and farcical Facebook flimflammery are considered clever by so many  is just more proof that screaming has replaced cleverness in debate, and many no longer know what to say about anything if separated from their brain now located in their smart phone.
No need to learn the background about anything when you can Google opinions, stir with some dim misconceptions, and produce the mangled result as if you really knew what you were talking about.
I read many blogs with interest. Obviously the writers have something to say, and have the background and brains to make their observations interesting. Not for them the trolls in their sick search for any target who will feed their desire to seem important. They're not the cowboys of comment's  Wild West with no laws and a gunslinger's contempt for decency.
I write the same way as a blogger as I did in newspapers or in appearances on TV and radio. I know the laws of libel and slander and have been sued often but never successfully, mainly because I believe as a commentator and editor that I had a responsibility to be fair no matter how much I dislike my target. Yet there isn't a day that I don't see or hear savage hurtful nonsense that is not fair and dangerously actionable.
I have a friend who has a major government appointment. He often emails me racist crap and political lies. The mildest stuff has Obama as a corrupt Muslim monkey born in Hell.
I have told him several times that he better be careful to whom he sends this malevolent garbage because if someone were to send a copy to the government, he would be asked to resign within minutes.
His defence is that he is just forwarding stuff he received from other people. I then reminded him that he can't hide behind that. Can you imagine me arguing in court when I was the Sun Editor that a columnist was allowed to say that the premier stole some money because he heard it from some source?
When you write an email or a letter that can be read by a third person, then you are responsible legally for the contents, whether you dreamed it up or are just repeating. I can assure you as someone who supervised letters-to-the-editor sections that we used the same legal rules on readers' comments as we did for our columnists or stories.
Why do you think phone-in shows have a five second delay before the caller is really on the air? It is to try to catch the jerks who just want to say that Harper is a crook.
So my friend may be a decent man who has been a community leader but he has this huge blind spot that may well in the end bring him. down.  He just hasn't thought it through. You are responsible for the garbage you spread, as well as the insight.
I hate Muslim terrorists too but the contrived humour against the entire religion that is so common these days on the Internet often doesn't have even the excuse of a giggle.  It is so easy to ridicule what Muslim extremists say that there is no need tor justification to cheat by smearing all of them.
Since I have a lot of friends who winter in Florida, I often receive emails which are produced by the Republican propaganda zealots and the southern nuts and then have been Canadianized. Except some of the language and examples are still stuck in the U.S. And too much of it reeks.
 I am a compassionate conservative who is as mad at those who rip off the system in welfare and unemployment insurance and grants and immigration as any Canadian. Yet what bugs me is that so many of the rants against the frauds that I am sent are filled with inaccuracies and exaggerations when the bull's-eyes of the issues are gigantic. You don't have to hunt to find the flaws. Yet the inaccurate rants circulate for years.
I have phoned StatsCan and government ministries to get what the real figures are and find that often the blogosphere isn't even close.
I worry and wonder about all the inventions in rhetoric because it is so easy to live within the rules of decency and make your points. I realize most people in North American are fedup, if not sickened, by their politicians at all levels, and that the anti-politicians, like Donald Trump and Rob Ford, have prospered no matter what nonsense they utter.
But the way to cleanse the system is not by throwing more bloggers' muck on it. Just because you can type better than a chimp doesn't mean you have to act like one when you inflict your anonymous opinions on us.


Fakeologist said...

I've always liked your stuff. Keep blogging John!

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