You know you’re in for some fair and balanced analysis when an editorialist in a major newspaper begins his column with this:
“In less than a week the free world might be ruled by an orange-skinned Bond villain. If that happens, voters will have only themselves to blame. But it’s also as good an excuse as any to lash out at the media and the role it’s played in this tunnel-of-terrors election campaign we’ve all been forced to endure.”
Scott Reid is about as mainstream media establishment as you can get in Canada. Besides running a big league PR company called Feschuk Reid, he was Senior Advisor and Director of Communications to Liberal Prime Minister Paul Martin and has served in senior communication capacities on national, provincial and municipal election campaigns. He is the co-anchor of National Affairs on the CTV News Channel in Canada. Reid is also a regular contributor on politics, current affairs and communications to several Canadian print publications including The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, National Post, and Maclean’s magazine.
If anyone should have ‘Mainstream Media Dude’ as a vanity licence plate, it’s this guy.
And guess what? Reid isn’t so keen on the alternative media. In fact, he’s feeling a bit underappreciated.
And it’s YOUR fault!
Why? Well, isn’t it obvious? It’s because you’re too thick to understand that only people in the mainstream media are worth paying attention to!
In his recent column for the Ottawa Citizen, Reid has offered an exceptional example of a mainstream media insider whining about how the population is too stupid to appreciate what a fantastic job the MSM is doing.
It’s a Canadian example that is indicative of the hubris of mainstream media elites throughout the Western world. And it is precisely why their industry is dying.
Reid opines: “If people are threatened for doing their job — especially when their job is to provide challenge to those who seek power — then that represents a real attack on institutions and norms that we rely upon to help order our democracies”.
Reid conveniently bypasses the obvious issue that applies to any industry: If people perceive that you are not providing the service you claim to provide, they are entitled to reject you.
Clearly, many people have discerned that the mainstream media is conspicuously selective in the degree to which they “provide challenge to those who seek power”. But rather than recognising their own failure to convince the electorate of their objectivity, the MSM has increasingly adopted the attitude of an enlightened class that the masses are obliged to appreciate for their superior insight and wisdom.
I suppose the sheer ignorance of everyone not dependant on traditional media for their living could be one explanation for why people are abandoning those sources of information in droves. The other possibility is that the MSN has become just another institution that has calcified into a culture constricted by very conventional thinking and which therefore only hires people who are capable of generating content that reflects very conventional thinking. This means that when smart people turn to mainstream media, they find themselves confronted with insights that strike them as mediocre and predictable at best.
The dreaded alternative media may be something of a Wild West of ideas and viewpoints…. but unlike Reid and others wedded to convention, thinking people find this intellectual environment stimulating, challenging and refreshing. Reid and his colleagues apparently find it distasteful and threatening.
Can you say sell outs?
I have been inspired to present my response (below) to the premise that ‘denying’ a pronoun should have “legal ramifications” in cartoon form. It seems fitting somehow.
Like part 1 of this edition of Rebuttals of the Week! – the subject of debate was the reaction of the tolerant, non-judgemental, morally superior champions of diversity at the University of Toronto to psychology professor Jordan Peterson‘s public stance against political correctness… and his principled rejection of the premise that he is obligated to affirm the subjective self-conception of people who identify as transgendered by adopting their preferred use of pronouns.
OtD took issue with this statement of mine: “You can ask me to use whatever pronoun you wish. But I am not obliged to indulge that request.”
To which OtD replied: “Unless you are in a situation where you denying that pronoun is a denial of service or identity or harassment. In those cases, there are legal ramifications.
A situation where ‘denying’ a pronoun should have “legal ramifications”? Yes folks, we are living in a Monty Python sketch on a societal scale.
There was a rare sighting last week of what had long been thought to be merely a creature of myth and fantasy. No… it wasn’t bigfoot, a unicorn or a women’s studies graduate with a useful job. It was a prominent academic from a major university with the guts and integrity to publicly oppose the tyranny of politically correct, SJW-style, “progressive”, Left-wing ideology.
Honest to God. I saw it with my own eyes.
Globe and Mail: U of T professor’s stand against genderless pronouns draws fire
Jordan Peterson is a popular and prominent psychology professor at the University of Toronto who has found himself on the receiving end of some intense hostility from the tolerant, non-judgemental, morally superior champions of diversity at his esteemed institution of higher learning.
His offence was to use a series of video lectures to present a detailed and reasoned critique of how anti-rational, politically correct ideology has infiltrated the legal and education systems and how it poses a real threat to the values of freedom of thought and speech. But what really drove the PC crowd nuts was his rejection of the premise that he is obligated to affirm the subjective self-conception of people who identify as transgendered by adopting their preferred use of pronouns. Peterson went to great lengths to justify his refusal to submit to this expectation on the basis of logic, principle and the right to intellectual autonomy.
The self-anointed enlightened class responded to all this logic and carefully reasoned argument by chucking the label ‘bigot’ at him, attacking his character and generally calling for his head on a platter.
As is evident from the sample of comments below and in the next Rebuttals of the Week!, the catalyst for their outrage was not the quality of Peterson’s argument, but his unwillingness to conform to concepts they deem to be supreme and sacrosanct.
As I have pointed out in other Rebuttals of the Week!, it is this intolerance of nonconformity that drives the aggressive emotionalism that is so characteristic of the progressive’s response to dissenting points of view. And it is the privileging of the pre-rational urge to attain social affirmation above all other considerations – including objectivity, reason and the pursuit of truth – that determines the progressive’s opinion and makes him immune to interventions of reason.
Here is the first sample of my interactions with Professor Peterson’s critics….
freedom of speech is still fully intact. you still have the complete right to say things that are blatantly ignorant (like the idea of this event…) and not risk persecution from your government.
what free speech DOESNT let you do is literally DENY someone’s gender identity because its you dont believe in it and have no one call you out for it.
you people are a goddamn joke.
Going to Getugly Freedom let’s people do all kinds of things other people dislike. Your apparent inability to tolerate that represents the real problem here.
no the real problem here is that people like you want a world where you can say whatever you want without any thought to the harm it will do to already marginalized people without. that, i have an inability to tolerate.
Okay. Now the next comment from WR is a perfect example of how NOT to confront the assertions of ‘progressives’. It isn’t that the point he is trying to make is incorrect. It’s that simply presenting an alternative opinion to the one being expressed by a ‘progressive’ doesn’t accomplish anything. Remember, they’ve already decided that not sharing their opinion is the same thing as being wrong and stupid. They don’t assess the veracity of your opinion in contrast to their own… they just react to the insolence of not submitting to the absolute perfection of their position.
Except that this is about a law that turns ANY statement against trans people a hatecrime… that’s not equality.
Compare that response to the one I present below. Notice that I don’t offer a contradictory set of subjective assertions about the topic. Instead, I address the specifics of MCW‘s reasoning process. I highlight objective inconsistencies in his logic. How he takes for granted his own entitlement to indulge in the very freedoms that he advocates should be denied to others. How his lack of hesitation to insult, generalize and dismiss the validity of other people’s perspective and experience demonstrates not only a profound hypocrisy, but a crude and genuine nastiness that reflect the very character flaws he claims to revile.
Nope. The problem is that you don’t recognise that insisting that principles apply only in certain circumstances according to your personal preferences and biases is irrational, unethical and only appealing to hypocrites.
For instance… you have expressed your contempt for ‘people like me’ who you characterise as expecting the freedom to “say whatever you want” without regard for the negative feelings it may inspire in other people. You have even written: “you people are a goddamn joke”.
But it is perfectly obvious that you grant YOURSELF the freedom to make sweeping negative generalisations; to issue insulting, unproven condemnations of character; to be deliberately antagonistic and insulting …. and essentially say “whatever you want” with no regard for the feelings of the people to whom you’ve directed those harsh comments. You’ve even expressed the sentiment that ‘people like me’ don’t deserve to be recognised as existing…. since we are nothing but a “goddamn joke”.
Now either it is wrong and worthy of contempt to “want a world where you can say whatever you want without any thought to the harm” it may cause other people…. or it’s only wrong when people other than YOU do it in whatever context you’ve personally decided makes it okay. Clearly, you take for granted it is the latter. Which makes you unprincipled and a hypocrite.
And as is so often the case when you challenge the absolute certainty of a progressive’s sense of moral and intellectual superiority by applying his own judgements back at him… MCW spewed a couple weak insults and ran away.
M CW yup play victim
M CW get your sympathy likes fam
The fact that the only response to my argument you feel you can offer is this transparently weak ad hominem should inspire some serious reevaluation of your position.
Stay tuned. We’re just getting started and there is a lot more to come on this issue in the next Rebuttals of the Week!
Man-made climate change ‘science’ seems to be unique among scientific disciplines in that it doesn’t matter how consistently it generates predictions that turn out to be wrong when compared to real world observations…. it never justifies re-assessing the validity of the theory.
Instead, we get the argument from the very people who kept getting it wrong for 10 to 20 years that we are obliged to consider this track record irrelevant and to accept that all the claims, predictions and policies they are promoting today are beyond questioning.
Shockingly, there are still adults out there who believe their absolute refusal to recognise any justification for any degree of scepticism about the claim is the most rational position to hold on the issue.
Andrew Coyne’s article: Liberals’ carbon price hardly a drastic measure
I’m astonished that Andrew Coyne would present such an atrociously anti-rational argument as this:
” But if you accept, even as a probability, that global warming is real and that it imposes costs of its own, potentially catastrophic, then the costs of action need to be reckoned against the costs of inaction. Put simply, the world cannot do nothing — nor can Canada, if it wishes to maintain its position as a member of the world community, avoid doing its part.”
This is exactly the problem we should expect from blurring the boundaries between what is supposed to be factual, ‘hard’ science… and the vague, subjective supposition, personal opinion realm of politics and social policy.
Coyne is actually making the argument that the implausible subjective belief that carbon taxes will have the effect of altering the temperature of the entire planet by exactly 2 degrees, 50 years from now and thus avert a future catastrophe that exists only as a conjecture… amounts to an obligation upon the sovereign nation of Canada to impose upon itself an onerous, extra layer of taxation to demonstrate our subordination to the preferences of an undemocratic, supra-national governing class.
What is going on here? Has everybody lost their minds?