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Journalism: What it is and How to Fight It: Part One

Sep 12th, 2020
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  1. Journalism: What It Is And How To Fight It
  2. Part One of Three
  3.  
  4. "The lowest depth to which people can sink before God is defined by the word journo."
  5. —Søren Kierkegaard
  6.  
  7. Dissidents against the Washington Consensus hating journos is a natural and obvious stance. But in many cases their hatred is diluted by reformism. "This isn't REAL journalism! This is propaganda!" is cliche to the point of nausea. I have explained many times that what the checkmark does IS what journalism is, ALSO to the point of nausea. Finally, it became too much and I decided to set down a definitive definition of journalism so that I shall no longer have to waste time correcting well-meaning people who believe that these freaks can be corrected by abolishing capitalism or establishing an integralist state or literally anything else. Even journos themselves believe this; I’ve lost track of the number of times a journo has interacted with me presuming my sympathy for their stances against “corrupt” journalism, NGOs, etc. Enough! It's time to remind everyone why Sam Hyde told us to kill reporters.
  8. So, what exactly is journalism and why do so many people have the wrong idea about it? The latter can be answered easily: journos are the ones who tell people what journalism means and dictionaries are complicit in their lies. Even the closest definitions (e.g. Dictionary.com's #4: "writing that reflects superficial thought and research, a popular slant, and hurried composition, conceived of as exemplifying topical newspaper or popular magazine writing as distinguished from scholarly writing") do not even come close to the full magnitude of the issue. First, because the problematic is twofold, and second because it is even worse than this dictionary supposes.
  9. To return to our epigraph, Kiekegaard's hatred of journos is well known through a different and more popular quote we’ve all seen wherein he compares a slutty daughter favourably to a journo son. Why this comparison, specifically? What features does a slut possess that a journo exemplifies? A slut fornicates, and this entails the sexual corruption of at least one other person. At most, a thousand or so, as our charming professional athletes have boasted of. A journo, however, has no limit to the number of minds it can pervert. Millions of otherwise decent people were seduced into anti-Nixon barbarism by Walter Cronkite, after all.
  10. But what does this perversion consist of? 'We just tell you what happened,' is the journo's defence. "We report, you decide," as Fox News put it. But this is what a historian does, not a journo. What is the difference between them? Fortunately, I do not have to answer that as Socrates, the first opponent of journalism (called sophism at the time) in western history, managed to coax an answer from Gorgias, one of history's most notorious journos:
  11.  
  12. "Socrates
  13. So he who does not know will be more convincing to those who do not know than he who knows, supposing the orator to be more convincing than the doctor. Is that, or something else, the consequence?
  14. Gorgias
  15. In this case it does follow.
  16. Socrates
  17. Then the case is the same in all the other arts for the orator and his rhetoric: there is no need to know [459c] the truth of the actual matters, but one merely needs to have discovered some device of persuasion which will make one appear to those who do not know to know better than those who know.
  18. Gorgias
  19. Well, and is it not a great convenience, Socrates, to make oneself a match for the professionals by learning just this single art and omitting all the others?"
  20.  
  21. Then, as now, journos were a class of professional rhetoricians. Not only is knowledge of the subject of their rhetoric unnecessary, it is hazardous to their professional health, as we see now with such persons as Michael Tracey. A historian's work, by definition, is improved by research and mastery of the subject; a journo's work is harmed because journalism is the enemy of truth. Then, as now, the journo squeals and protests that his skill at manipulation of helpless minds (for, as Socrates observes, someone who does have knowledge of the subject neither believes nor has the inclination to listen to a journo on the subject of his knowledge) may be used for good as well as evil but, as our greatest living philosopher of ethics, Alasdair MacIntyre, explained:
  22.  
  23. "The idea that techniques of persuasion are morally neutral is a recurrent one in human
  24. society. But in order to hold that such techniques are neutral, it is necessary also to hold
  25. that it is morally irrelevant whether a man comes to a given belief by reasoning or in
  26. some nonrational way. And in order to hold that this is morally irrelevant, one would
  27. have to hold also that a man’s exercise of his rationality is irrelevant to his standing as a
  28. moral agent, irrelevant, that is, to deciding whether he is entitled to be called
  29. “responsible” and his actions “voluntary.” Thus different elucidations of the concepts of
  30. responsibility and voluntary actions are presupposed by different moral attitudes to the
  31. standing of the techniques of persuasion. The philosophical task of elucidation cannot
  32. therefore be morally irrelevant. And one of the more obscurantist features of a sophist
  33. like Gorgias–and indeed of his later successors among the electioneering politicians of
  34. liberal democracy, the advertising executives, and other open and hidden persuaders–is
  35. the willingness to assume a whole philosophical psychology. It is this which leads
  36. Socrates to develop an argument to show that rhetoric is not a genuine art at all but a
  37. mere spurious imitation of an art."
  38.  
  39. What all this means, in brief, is that the practice of journalism is one that degrades both the criminal and his audience. Its very nature conspires to reduce the human mind to the state of animals. “Couldn’t a journo use reason and knowledge in their work?” Only to the extent that they fall short of fully being a journo. One might call someone who e.g. publishes work that contributes to physics a “physics journo,” but one might also call an egg a duck. In normal terms, such a person is called a scientist and their work a scientific paper, not a journo article. The converse is true as well; many so-called social scientists contribute no knowledge to their field (cf. “Replication crisis”) and exist only to provide rhetorical clubs for people who fucking love science to explain how men raping boys has nothing to do with homosexuality; such “scientists” are functionally journos.
  40. So no, one cannot use journalism to pursue good in any definitive way. The purpose of journalism is evil, the practice of it is evil, and the regular habit of committing furthers the maleficence of the culprit's soul. This is why I have rejected invitations to speak with journos nominally sympathetic to my causes. Journalism is the meth of media. But even this is a limited view of the wickedness of journalism, for we have yet to approach the second great evil of this profession.
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