A tale of two parties

Before I get started on the media again, what would you say to crashing a party?

I noted in a recent letter to the suppliers to our industry that a new energy seems to be evolving with your vendors. It has been growing over the past few years in Utah Februaries, based upon snow sports and Salt Lake City. The event is WINS (WoodIndustryNetworking&Snowsportstrip), and, spans February 26 – 29 at the Little America Hotel in Salt Lake City, and is designated as a networking event.

Kerry Knudsen

Kerry Knudsen

I’ll go out on a limb and suggest the event could as easily be called brainstorming. There is a difference, in my mind, between networking and brainstorming. I see networking as creating a loose association of people that can support or advance you or your company. Brainstorming builds on a network, and it addresses ways to advance an idea.

At Wood Industry, we are interested in the value question. Therefore, we have elected to get behind the new idea and participate, and I suggested some of our readers in Canada might want to join in. After all, it’s a business expense, you will certainly see people you know, and it just might lead toward breaking the logjam of regulation, communication and obfuscation currently affecting manufacturing in North American.

You can get information at the WMMA website, contact John Schulz at Superthin Saws (Direct:  (802) 882-8200; Mobile: (802) 279-9344; e-mail jschultz@superthinsaws.com) or you can contact me directly and I will pass your questions along. For our money, though, the benefit is in the brainstorming.

 

For a current example of brainstorming, if you want to see a photo of Donald Trump giving a Nazi, stiff-arm, salute, you can see it here, where we have posted it on our website, or you have to find a copy of page A22 of last Saturday’s (Dec. 5) National Post. You cannot find it on the National Post’s website. It has been replaced with a less threatening image.Trump sized

Trying to hide what you have done as a journalist is much the same as a cat trying to use a litter box overdue for cleaning. No matter where you paw, you just dig up the same old stuff. In this case, the photo was either selected or approved by a photo editor. In principle, photo editors don’t get to make mistakes. Their job is to protect the publication from unintended ambiguity and the consequences that can carry. So either this photo editor is complicit in portraying Trump as Hitler, or cannot understand the effects of images. Both are firing offences.

The Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) professes a set of standards, by which it expects everybody to abide. In this case, the CAJ Code of Ethics says: “So long as the content is accurate, we generally do not ‘unpublish;’ or remove digital content, despite public requests to do so, including cases of ‘source remorse.’ Rare exceptions generally involve matters of public safety, an egregious error or ethical violation, or legal restrictions such as publication bans.”

Of course, absolutely NOBODY does a better job than journalists of ordering people to, “do as I say, not as I do.”

Essentially, I think journalists have lost all intellectual discipline. The Hitler image of Trump was deliberate, and had to be approved by several levels of management.

I am going to suggest that journalists (small j), as a collective noun, see such terms as Hitler and Stalin, liberal and conservative, right and left, as objective concepts, set in stone and not subject to ambiguity.

But are they objective and diametric? People cast Hitler as right-wing and Stalin as left. However, both were self-pronounced socialists. Nazi, after all, stands for National Socialist. Both relied on compelling neighbours to report on each other. Both relied on union support and muscle. Both were mass murderers of the highest order. Both fell short of their promised utopian visions, ending up in each case with a totalitarian welfare state in which the favoured few reaped the rewards of the working class, often employed as slaves. Therefore, one is intellectually forced to ask, “in what ways are they different?” From one perspective, they simply hated each other as rivals. Hitler and Stalin have more in common with Mao Tse-tung, Pol Pot, Idi Amin and Baby Doc Duvalier than they do with Donald Trump. Remind me one day to tell the story of my confrontation with Baby Doc’s Communications Minister.

 

I am not stumping for Trump, but I read the above-noted editorial (coincidentally headlined, “Donald the Proto-Fascist”) and cannot see how Trump is a fascist. What I do see is a journalist setting up a definition and then forcing his target to meet its tenets.

Journalism has turned out to be nothing more than a bag of character assassins with a day job. Look at any politician, businessman or clergy in any country. If you see the press assailing him or her, check the victim’s credentials. It is almost universal that the target has positions that fit a label marked by journalists for assassination. If you recall Mitt Romney’s bid for president, he was ticking along in good shape until Clinton understudy George Stephanopoulos, during the January 2012 presidential debate, asked Romney whether the 1965 Supreme Court ruling regarding contraception should be overturned.

Rather than return to the ins and outs of having reporters think up questions with which to destroy candidates, look at the tactic. When you look, you will see that journalists love to ask distracted questions, then, no matter what side the candidate answers on, deliberately misconstrue what the candidate meant, make it into something foolish or loathsome, and then hammer on it like a cheap Christmas drum. The candidate will never be afforded the dignity of clarification.

You see, ambiguity is a function of language. It must exist. Therefore, if a candidate says watermelon, all the journalists can declare him or her a racist and hammer them out of a job. Ambiguity is the mother lode of character assassination by journalists, because there is no way to avoid being deliberately misconstrued, and there is no way a candidate can get the last word.

This is the reason kings, dictators and despots have demanded control of the press since time began. As has been attributed to Josef Stalin, “Ideas are far more powerful than guns. We don’t let our people have guns. Why should we let them have ideas?”

Journalists (small j) really hate ideas. In the mould of their predecessor mind police, they have adopted tools of personal destruction to enforce any deviation.

Kings and despots have hated free media since time began, but I can’t imagine that John Milton, Jonathan Swift, Alexander Pope, Tom Paine and others ever imagined that a free press would lead to unionized employees disguising themselves as editors and suppressing the very freedom they portend to protect. Or, in my own case, I could never have imagined that one day I would see journalists as the greatest threat to free speech in the West.

I don’t see Trump as a Nazi. Populist, controversial, loose cannon or megalomaniac, maybe, but he is not organizing gangs of brownshirts to attack and kill the existing social protocol. Journalists are.

So much for that………

 

Amid all this strife and confusion, December is the month we celebrate Christmas and all that it means, hopes and promises. As another year comes imperfectly to a close and another with promise reveals, please accept from the staff at W.I. Media Inc. a joyous and heartfelt Merry Christmas.

 

 

 

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