Congenital liars defend the truth

Hypocrisy personified: Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau celebrates World Press Freedom Day.

He’s gone so far as to issue a statement, quoted here verbatim:

“Today, on World Press Freedom Day, we honour the many journalists here in Canada and around the world who work tirelessly to seek out and report on the truth. We also reaffirm our longstanding commitment to the freedom of the press – a foundational pillar of our democracy – and recognize those who have been injured or lost their lives defending freedom of the press.

“While Canada enjoys a strong and free press, we know that this is not the case everywhere – many journalists face censorship, intimidation, violence, imprisonment, and false arrests. This year alone, many journalists were killed and hundreds imprisoned in the line of duty around the world. This serves as reminder that we must continue to advocate for journalists and for a strong and free press.

“As Russia continues its illegal and unjustifiable invasion of Ukraine, we thank the reporters on the front lines who are risking their lives to deliver accurate information to the world. In the age of disinformation and misinformation, independent, fact-based reporting is vital. We must all come together to support the work of journalists and double down in the fight against disinformation.

“The Government of Canada is supporting media freedom at home and abroad. As co-chair of the Media Freedom Coalition and as 2022 Chair of the Freedom Online Coalition, Canada is working with international partners to defend media freedom. We are also addressing the challenges and the spread of disinformation online by giving people the tools to recognize disinformation and working to build a healthy information ecosystem, including through the Digital Citizen Initiative and new investments in Budget 2022 to fight disinformation. Canada is also providing $13.4 million over five years to bolster the G7 Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM), which strengthens coordination between countries in identifying, and responding to, foreign threats to democracy, including state-sponsored disinformation.

“On this World Press Freedom Day, we pay tribute to the many journalists who have been injured, or lost their lives defending freedom of the press. We recognize the journalists risking their lives every day in treacherous environments – including on the frontlines of wars – to report freely on matters of public interest. I encourage all Canadians to recognize the important work of journalists and media workers, and I thank them for their relentless pursuit of the truth and their commitment to share those truths with us.”

End of drivel, better described as a set of bloody lies.

On a personal note

I have spent all of my adult life, since age 15, and I am now 79, as a professional journalist. I was working in the trade throughout high school and university and, even though retired, I am still continuing. The briefer part of my career happened under communism, until I was banned there for my writing, and the rest here, in Canada.

Meaning: I know journalism in shackles when I see it. That’s why I think (I know) that I can compare.

Let’s have a closer look:

Canada’s media (it’s no longer limited to press only, Prime Minister) hasn’t been free for quite some time.

Yes, it used to be that advertisers would tell publishers they didn’t like a news story dealing with an aspect of their industry. Not all publishers had the courage to tell them there exists a wall between the advertising and news sides of the paper (firewall in today’s computerised lingo), and if they didn’t like it, tough.

A good newspaper attracts readers, the more readers, the more attractive for advertisers, and if one or two advertisers leave because they didn’t like what they read, there would be others to take their place.

But: political correctness began creeping in in the early 1960s, and reporting rules began changing, accordingly. A typical example: a suspect’s (or culprit’s) gender or skin colour in a crime story could be only used when relevant to the story. Logical, indeed, but still, a mother of judgement calls.

That wasn’t all: the inertia held (still does) that some major publications (the Grey Lady, a.k.a. the New York Times, for example) are the torch bearers of truth. For whatever reason, it would remain so even after those papers had to return their Pulitzer Prizes for using fraudulent stories to win.

History would establish that those publications (some call them papers of record) had been abusing their position to spread sheer propaganda. Still, their reputation would remain unvarnished.

Still, most news outlets tried to cover (at least) both sides of issues. Yes, there exists no such thing like a complete lack of bias, but the effort used to be there, and governments would do their utmost not to be caught meddling in the trade.

The times, they are a-changin’

Canada’s Prime Minister proudly announced, as part of his outburst on World Press Freedom Day, that his government have introduced a new initiative (your typical bureaucratic word) Digital Citizen Initiative.

Canada is not alone in this travesty: the U.S., the European Union, plus another 32 nations have announced something they call Declaration for the Future of the Internet.

Just as Canada does in her Digital Citizen Initiative, so do the rest of the world claim they’re defending the poor masses of the unwashed from disinformation and alien propaganda.

Read this, from the international document: “Over the last two decades, however, we have witnessed serious challenges to this vision emerge. Access to the open Internet is limited by some authoritarian governments and online platforms and digital tools are increasingly used to repress freedom of expression and deny other human rights and fundamental freedoms. State-sponsored or condoned malicious behaviour is on the rise, including the spread of disinformation and cybercrimes such as ransomware, affecting the security and the resilience of critical infrastructure while holding at risk vital public and private assets.”

Who decides what is truth and what a damnable lie?

Why, the governments, of course.

And no, you, the citizen is not allowed to question their wisdom (or, more often than not) the lack thereof.

Look at these beautiful words: “interconnected communications.” Or, better still, “democracy, peace, the rule of law, sustainable development, and the enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms.”

Except: if you care to read the document carefully, who’s going to make sure everything is as it should be?

Again: governments.

When the expression “fake news” lost its sheen of novelty, government censors found a new expression: disinformation. They lumped misinformation into the mix, hoping not many would realise it’s two different animals. Disinformation means publishing untruths on purpose, with a goal to mislead. Misinformation means publishing wrong information because of the publisher’s laziness or pure stupidity, just by mistake.

To make it sound more dramatic, U.S. Administration made their new censorship authority part of the Department of Homeland Security. For those of short attention span: that department was born after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001.

The Wall Street Journal has come up with a neat explanation of the newest attack on our freedoms, including the freedom to be stupid and uninformed.

Stupid is a stupid gets

Basically, the newest fad is part of the so-called Great Reset. Its aim: dumb down the populations so it would volunteer to be culled to numbers the organisers feel would be enough to let them live happily ever after.

Interestingly, governments that censor speech and expression quite openly (China and Russia, anyone?) didn’t feel the need to join the international declaration.

Canada’s Prime Minister didn’t miss the opportunity to again blast Russia for her current attack against Ukraine. Whether he himself believes his own propaganda is irrelevant. What is relevant is that he keeps forgetting Ukraine’s history of blatant Nazism. Of course, his own Papa used to be personal friends with some notorious World War II war criminals. So, perhaps, it runs in the family.

Justin Trudeau has bribed several major Canadian news outlets, using taxpayers’ money, to the tune of tens of millions of dollars. Why? So they toe his line and make sure to hide the truth whenever it differs from his preconceived notions of reality.

And this is the guy who would be preaching about freedom of the press.

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