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Bruce Dowbiggin

No News Is Good News: When Facts Don’t Matter

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The facts are crystal clear. The man travelled across state lines with an unregistered gun to take part in a political demonstration in Kenosha, Wisconsin. When the demonstration turned into a riot he found himself confronted by another person wielding a weapon. He pointed his gun first at the person.

But Kyle Rittenhouse shot him in the arm before he could pull the trigger. The person in question is People’s Revolution member Gaige Grosskreutz. Grosskreutz,, who has arrests for domestic abuse, prowling, trespass, two DUIs, felony burglary and two charges of carrying a firearm while intoxicated, travelled from Illinois with an illegal handgun and later was a key witness in Rittenhouse’s trial, inadvertently sinking the prosecution by admitting he pointed his gun first.

If the news about crossing state lines with an unregistered gun etc sounds familiar, it’s because that was the much-repeated media allegation against then-17-year-old Rittenhouse. The charge was a lie about Rittenhouse (he obtained his registered AR-15 in Wisconsin) but true of Grosskreutz who had no permit for his gun. Yet Rittenhouse was, predictably, the person Wisconsin state attorneys charged, not Grosskreutz.

Another lie receiving considerable international media play was that Rittenhouse shot and killed three black men. (All victims were white men with criminal records. One survived.) Or the MSNBC Joe Scarborough claim that Rittenhouse sprayed bullets widely. Or that Rittenhouse was a known white supremacist and the episode was an assault on BLM supporters.

Or that Jacob Blake, whose shooting by police inspired the spasm of violence in Kenosha, was an innocent father killed by cops. Blake, who is alive,  was not, as media portrayed him, another urban black saint like George Floyd, but a sexual-assault perp who attacked police then tried to escape in a stolen car with three kids. As we wrote in August 2020, “To celebrate this creep downtown Kenosha was burned, businesses destroyed, at least two people killed and $2 million raised.”

For these reasons consumers of liberal media outlets watching the Rittenhouse trial were bewildered by discrepancies between the evidence and what they’d been continually fed by their favourite talking heads on TV.However you feel about the case— and feelings are very strong— the least the media could do is get the facts right to condemn Rittenhouse. But when the U.S. president pre-judges those facts there’s more safety in the company of online liars and dissemblers. (Canadian media gleefully picked up on all the Rittenhouse lies and spread them gratuitously.)

The taking-sides pattern continues in nearby Waukesha, Wisconsin, where a career criminal names Darrel Brooks drove his SUV through a Christmas parade of kids, families and grannies, killing six and injuring dozens more. Because Brooks is black and has said clever stuff like “KNOCK WHITE PEOPLE DA FUC- OUT”, this mass murder is receiving something less than Rittenhouse blanket coverage from your legacy media. Page 22 in the NY Times. The Washington Post call is it a “tragedy caused by a SUV”. Go figure.

We have entered a time where narratives supersede facts in reporting. Newspapers refuse contrary stories or do only white-on-black crime, not the 94 percent of blacks who murder other blacks. Twitter bans inconvenient research or videos that upset the Covid establishment. Donald Trump is the most prominent example of Big Tech making a non-person for his questioning the 2020 presidential election results. There are dozens more.

In a typical Canadian example of censoring the news, a recent CBC PEI story on a handful of positive Covid cases (none of them hospitalized) drew comments on its website comparing PEI’s stringent efforts to stop the virus with those of Florida where the state has been open for some time. The comments were taken down. So was an inquiry to CBC about why the comments were nuked. Standards and practices, don’t you know. But Biden’s libels on Rittenhouse remain on CBC media.

The difference from a decade ago is that media has succumbed to the mission creep of self worship. Where once stories were assembled to create a picture of the day’s news, stories are now assembled to support a preordained picture. One that flatters the cult of journalists with their moral superiority.

And so what is that narrative? Is it racial? Gender fluidity? Binary? All of the above? The new reality is class— a generation of educated whites, many in the knowledge, government or media industries. Their Woke opinions are like the electric cars, private schools, summer cottages, pink pussy hats and other trappings they accumulate to cement their superior status. Talismans of their significance.

Probably the distinctive feature of the new journalism— entrenched by the Trump tenure— is to flatter these people by punching down on lesser educated whites for their gullibility and lack of class consciousness. Witness Stephen Colbert, Samantha Bee, SNL.

As Barack Obama so wittily observed, they are the people who “cling to their guns and religion”, making them perfect targets for wags such as Howard Stern who is, apparently, now tired of liberalism. “I used to be into freedom, but I’m not anymore.” Stern said. “I don’t feel good about what’s going on in my country. I might have to run just to clean this f**king mess up.”.

Kyle Rittenhouse, whose tears were labelled white privilege, was the perfect embodiment of the 75 million “guns and religion” crowd who voted for Donald Trump in 2020. So Rittenhouse, not black sexual-assault guy Jacob Blake, served as  the show-trial for people looking out for the latest hot take.

Biden’s plummeting polling seems to say that, in America at least, the media’s means of dividing cultures is not working. But the 12 months till the 2022 midterms is a long time in politics. And the media has its ways. With facts a fungible commodity, we wouldn’t bet against the culture war getting hotter before it ever cools down.

Bruce Dowbiggin @dowbboy is the editor of Not The Public Broadcaster (http://www.notthepublicbroadcaster.com). The best-selling author of Cap In Hand was nominated for the BBN Business Book award of 2020 for Personal Account with Tony Comper. A two-time winner of the Gemini Award as Canada’s top television sports broadcaster, he’s also a regular contributor to Sirius XM Canada Talks Ch. 167. His new book with his son Evan Inexact Science: The Six Most Compelling Draft Years In NHL History is now available on http://brucedowbigginbooks.ca/book-personalaccount.aspx

BRUCE DOWBIGGIN Award-winning Author and Broadcaster Bruce Dowbiggin's career is unmatched in Canada for its diversity and breadth of experience . He is currently the editor and publisher of Not The Public Broadcaster website and is also a contributor to SiriusXM Canada Talks. His new book Cap In Hand was released in the fall of 2018. Bruce's career has included successful stints in television, radio and print. A two-time winner of the Gemini Award as Canada's top television sports broadcaster for his work with CBC-TV, Mr. Dowbiggin is also the best-selling author of "Money Players" (finalist for the 2004 National Business Book Award) and two new books-- Ice Storm: The Rise and Fall of the Greatest Vancouver Canucks Team Ever for Greystone Press and Grant Fuhr: Portrait of a Champion for Random House. His ground-breaking investigations into the life and times of Alan Eagleson led to his selection as the winner of the Gemini for Canada's top sportscaster in 1993 and again in 1996. This work earned him the reputation as one of Canada's top investigative journalists in any field. He was a featured columnist for the Calgary Herald (1998-2009) and the Globe & Mail (2009-2013) where his incisive style and wit on sports media and business won him many readers.

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Bruce Dowbiggin

Pop Quiz: You Know You’re A Woke Punchline When…

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“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” They can be powerful words to live by. Live-and-let-live has underpinned much of the Judeo/Christian tradition. It also informs many of the world’s other religions. For secular people the sentiment works just as well.

If you want to be loved and respected then you must extend love and respect in equal measures to those of whom you’re not all that fond. It is both a brake on hubris and an inspiration to our “better angels”. While that balance has been observed more in the breach than in the commission at times, live-and-let-live nonetheless still provides a path to mutual co-existence.

There was a time when that balance guided society. Or, as they like to say, the Good Old Days. Now, the needle monitoring live-and-let-live swings like a Hillary Clinton polygraph. If you’re with safe-space generation, no micro aggression is too small, no affront to LGBTQ-2 too slight to put off national calamity, no enemy too small to squash.

Woke causes replace empathy in the daily conversation. Why? Journalist Michael Shellenberger says apocalyptic behaviour “provides psychological comfort to secular Western people who have gradually abandoned traditional religions. For over a century, sociologists and psychologists have documented rising rates of depression and anxiety… Is it a coincidence that the people who said Western civilization was unsustainable are making it so?”

Not everyone has succumbed. How can you tell? In the spirit of comedian Jeff Foxworthy’s “You might be as redneck if…” here is your guide to discovering if you have become a Woke punchline.

If you’ve forgiven Japan and Germany for the atrocities they inflicted on the world in the 1940s but you can’t get past Sir John A. Macdonald putting the railway through the land of the Sioux, Blackfoot and Lakota… you might be a Woke punchline.

If you are concerned about world over-population but you’re nagging your kids about when they will make you grandparents… you might be a Woke punchline.

If you’re so sensitive about killing animals for food that you go extreme vegan but then attend a Pro-Choice rally in a T-shirt bragging about how many abortions you’ve had…you might be a Woke punchline.

If you’re in favour of Trudeau’s aggressive immigration policy but then your kids say they can’t afford to buy a home in a large Canadian centre… you might be a Woke punchline.

If you try to convince friends at a dinner party that Trudeau’s Carbon Tax really does fight global warming but your monthly hydro bill triples… you might be a Woke punchline.

If you think Trudeau family friends are the best people to investigate him ignoring CSIS warnings about China but you think Pierre Polievre is a little too cozy with the international forces of Qanon… you might be a Woke punchline.

If you believe Doug Ford is trying to dismantle free healthcare but then act indignant with the boys at beer-league hockey that you can’t get your knee fixed for over two years… you might be a Woke punchline.

If you think Stephen Colbert is still funny, but think that Bill Maher is now sounding like a January 6 insurrectionist… you might be a Woke punchline.

If you think banning Muslim and Sikh symbols is racist but Quebec doing the same is their cultural right… you might be a Woke punchline.

If you think the B.C. government will cure drug addiction by giving addicts a cozy place to shoot up but you tell people at work that you can’t go downtown anymore for all the junkies blocking the Starbucks entrance… you might be a Woke punchline.

If you firmly believe the prime minister is trying to keep a lid on inflation but you protest that Galen Weston is gouging you on food prices… you might be a Woke punchline.

If you donate to Save The Children but then buy a $350 pair of running shoes made by children in Asian sweatshops… … you might be a Woke punchline.

If you think career criminal George Floyd is a martyr but Egerton Ryerson is a genocidal racist… you might be a Woke punchline.

If you think today’s academic standards aren’t what they once were but then you go to school to berate the teacher for not communicating the curriculum properly to your indulged child… you might be a Woke punchline.

If you get to the bottom of this column without recognizing yourself in any of these contradictions… you might be a Woke punchline.

Sign up today for Not The Public Broadcaster newsletters. Hot takes/ cool slants on sports and current affairs. Have the latest columns delivered to your mail box. Tell your friends to join, too. Always provocative, always independent.  https://share.hsforms.com/16edbhhC3TTKg6jAaRyP7rActsj5

Bruce Dowbiggin @dowbboy is the editor of Not The Public Broadcaster  A two-time winner of the Gemini Award as Canada’s top television sports broadcaster, he’s a regular contributor to Sirius XM Canada Talks Ch. 167. Inexact Science: The Six Most Compelling Draft Years In NHL History, his new book with his son Evan, was voted the seventh-best professional hockey book of all time by bookauthority.org . His 2004 book Money Players was voted sixth best on the same list, and is available via http://brucedowbigginbooks.ca/book-personalaccount.aspx

 

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Bruce Dowbiggin

NHL: Everyone Wears The Ribbon Part Deux

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In the classic 1987 Seinfeld episode The Sponge, Kramer is harassed by AIDS Walk organizers for refusing to wear a ribbon as he walks in the event

VOLUNTEER: But you have to wear an AIDS ribbon.

KRAMER: I have to?

VOLUNTEER: Yes.

KRAMER: Yeah, see, that’s why I don’t want to.

VOLUNTEER: But everyone wears the ribbon. You must wear the ribbon!

KRAMER: You know what you are? You’re a ribbon bully (walks away).

Kramer supports AIDS research, but he doesn’t support meaningless symbols. So some aggressive AIDS walkers eventually track him down and beat him in an alley for not going along with the mob. Comedian and curmudgeon George Carlin summed up Kramer’s resistance: “Religion is like a pair of shoes…..Find one that fits for you, but don’t make me wear your shoes.” But these days you must wear the shoes of the cool kids or suffer the consequences.

Naturally, progressives pushing their myriad causes fail to see the irony— even as they laugh at the skit. Since when was it a cultural crime that 100 percent of people don’t agree on any position? You don’t demand everyone eat meat, worship God or write with your left hand. Why do we demand unanimity on Woke catechism? But white- guilt liberals now look for any excuse for indignation.

The last group you’d have expected to adopt the You Must Wear A Ribbon tactic is the NHL. But no, the league that forgot Don Cherry is once again forcing its sanctity on players who dare to say “No, thanks” to wearing LGBTQ+2 sweaters as part of inclusivity promotions. This time San Jose goalie James Reimer said his Christian religious beliefs preclude him from taking part in their costume drama.

Needless to say the cascade of “homophobia” and “intolerance” cries from the AIDS walkers… er, the LGBTQ+2 media lobby… came down on Reimer’s head. His team and the league huffed and puffed about their virtue, but, thankfully,  declined the calls for Reimer to be perp-walked to centre ice. Social media was another story, insisting he wear the ribbon.

Here’s what we wrote in January, the last time the NHL virtue soldiers jammed their holiness down other people’s throats over a Philadelphia Flyer who said, “Nyet”.  “As Canada’s Justice Minister in the 1960s, Pierre Trudeau articulated the essence of liberal tolerance with his “government has no place in the bedrooms of the nation”. Sixty years later, PET’s son Justin would like to amend that to “the government has no place in the bedrooms of the nation— unless those people are saying nasty things about me.”

What once was a proud definition of liberty has transformed into a confidence game run for the Woke elite and its friends in the Media Party. Example this week: The Philadelphia Flyers— in keeping with their conversion to ESG colossus— staged a Gay Pride night. As part of the promotion they wore rainbow-coloured jerseys in warmup. 

All except Ivan Provorov, who is Russian Orthodox. His religion is not slack-jawed with Progressive awe at same-sex marriage. So (while he wished no one ill), he refused to join the parade. Cue the Church ladies of the sporting press. “Adam Proteau: Ivan Provorov has the right to any opinion he chooses. And we have the right to have any opinion on Ivan Provorov that we choose. Like this: he’s a shameful human being whose homophobia is only going to get more shameful over the years.”

Fine. Then answer this: If an NHL team held a Christian night, and players were forced to wear jerseys with a crucifix, would you defend a player who opted out because of his conscience? Or would you go full Proteau and say he’s a “shameful human being whose religious intolerance is only going to get more shameful over the years”?

No one in the chattering class wants to take that on, of course. They don’t  see that rights that work for them also must work for people they consider heretics… Meanwhile, the unwashed mass… responded with their wallets. Provorov jerseys sold out on the NHL Shop and Fanatic.” 

But your elites want everyone to wear the ribbon. Or take a vaccine. Or wear a mask. Or, in the case of this December column, the NHL announcing it’s now a non-binary league. “… the NHL’s sudden conversion to trans orthodoxy is also highly instructive on how deep the tentacles of this ideology have attached themselves in ordinary culture. The NHL? Men-as-women playing against biological women? Until this radical chic agitprop thrust itself to the fore the last few years this was unthinkable for the NHL or its fans. Laughable. Fantastical.

But now you have a league HQ embedded in the heart of Manhattan— where the global media, business and arts community have already succumbed to the intimidation of cultural blackmail. The NHL’s sponsors, suppliers, broadcast partners and just plain neighbours have also taken the Trans Kool Aid. At some point the NHL’s surrender must have seemed inevitable— even for a league that asks its employees to never back down to bullies.

Seeing Bettman— who has epitomized stubborn resistance in his denial of the science of CTE brain trauma— crumble before the forces of approved speech is instructive to those who think this leaky scow can still be turned around quickly. Or that the forces of objective media might raise a whimper about being.”

Media so embedded in its own vanity it hurts. “Sticks and stones may hurt journalists’ bones but names are first-degree murder. So save a prayer for poor Mr. Bettman. He held out longer than some before accepting the white guilt hemlock. Having known his desire to be the longest-serving commissioner in history he’s probably now wishing he’d quit his job three seasons ago. Because he’ll never wash away his cisgender privilege now.”

It’s telling that the thought police have made organized religion an underdog. James Reimer wanted nothing more than to be left alone with his Christian beliefs. In 2023 that is enough to get you cancelled.

Sign up today for Not The Public Broadcaster newsletters. Hot takes/ cool slants on sports and current affairs. Have the latest columns delivered to your mail box. Tell your friends to join, too. Always provocative, always independent.  https://share.hsforms.com/16edbhhC3TTKg6jAaRyP7rActsj5

Bruce Dowbiggin @dowbboy is the editor of Not The Public Broadcaster  A two-time winner of the Gemini Award as Canada’s top television sports broadcaster, he’s a regular contributor to Sirius XM Canada Talks Ch. 167. Inexact Science: The Six Most Compelling Draft Years In NHL History, his new book with his son Evan, was voted the fifth-best professional hockey book of all time by bookauthority.org. His 2004 book Money Players was voted sixth best on the same list, and is available via http://brucedowbigginbooks.ca/book-personalaccount.aspx

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