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Friday, December 1, 2023

Crybullies – Keith Porteous

Crybullies.                                                            Keith Porteous  

crybully: noun, plural cry·bul·lies.

a person who self-righteously harasses or intimidates others while playing the victim, especially of a perceived social injustice: “It’s just another group of crybullies who can’t cope with anyone’s views but their own.”

Like most publications, The Islands Grapevine (TIG) has an editorial policy that supports the censorship of hate-speech, incitements to violence, and the use of pejorative language to smear or denigrate a private citizen. This policy mostly mirrors Canadian speech, slander, and libel laws, where there are limits to freedom of speech. TIG does not “print just about anything”, nor does it accept letters to the editor or opinion pieces without editorial review, and sometimes asks contributors to revise their submissions based on its publicly defined editorial policies, and these views are independent of the personal views of TIG’s editor.

More than 90% of TIG’s public health content has been contributed without controversy, and is sourced from government advisories. Some of that information turned out to be false, but TIG’s editor assumes that these errors and false claims were made in good faith. In other words, the public health experts and advocates making these false claims did so in their belief that they were true, even in the absence of later correcting themselves. But now that the available mainstream scientific and documented evidence has evolved, not all of TIG’s critics have accepted these facts, even falsely smearing the paper and making threats to boycott or pull advertising as a form of protest. I’ll be writing about this in more detail at a later date.

The biggest insult carried in the smears and threats, is the assumption that they will have an effect on TIG’s editorial policy. Apparently, those who have not revised their beliefs, based on the current mainstream documented scientific evidence relating to public health policy, think that TIG’s publisher is so lacking in his convictions that the editorial policy will be changed if an ad is withdrawn, or when someone claims they will no longer read the paper or contribute content. And these threats are also made in relation to other letters and opinions TIG has published. TIG has even received emails from people accessing taxpayer supported funds for public benefit, threatening to withdraw it from TIG advertising and redirect it elsewhere, based on their personal views. This is a clear form of corruption, and a conflict of interest.

It should also be said that TIG receives an enormous amount of support from its readership and advertisers, often quietly and privately, noting the social cost of speaking up against the crybullies. So what is all this really about? It’s not an issue of what is true, but an issue of who controls the messaging, and a mirror of the corporate media model that has been employed over the last 20 plus years. The corporate business model is now one that picks a lane and sticks to it, by telling its audience what it wants to hear, and nothing of what it doesn’t want to hear. This is true of both FOXNews and CBCNews. There is an expectation under this corporate model that you will rarely hear a perspective that you don’t like and don’t agree with. In independent media, there is a much wider inclusion of different perspectives, and less exclusion of perspectives that don’t mirror the dominant narratives as presented by government and corporate media. TIG is an independent and democratic free press that holds firmly to the principles of its editorial policies.

When yesterday’s “misinformation” becomes today’s accepted fact, we should take pause to ask the simple question, “who gets to determine what is true?” Apparently governments and corporate media believe that they do, while public trust in these institutions is at a historical low point. Legacy media is literally dying, while the political leadership’s favourability ratings are at an all time low. Most recently, based on the documented evidence and testimony of whistleblowers and independent journalists, a U.S. Federal Court judge ordered the Executive Branch of the U.S. government, including all of its law enforcement and security apparatus, to stop making contact with social media companies in order to suppress and censor information they don’t like, the so-called “malinformation” that carries inconvenient truths. Most widespread “disinformation” isn’t coming from “conspiracy theorists” and Russia, it’s coming from Western governments and their corporate media allies.

The Islands Grapevine is a community newspaper in the traditional sense, in that it mostly publishes information relating to community events, uncontroversial issues that reflect local culture and activities, advertising local businesses and independent services, with classifieds and crosswords and cartoons, and with a few letters to the editor and a couple of opinion pieces. It’s a locally owned small business that employs a few people, seeking to grow its engagement with the island communities it serves. TIG also prints The Flagstone monthly, at a below market cost. The readers and writers who publicly criticize TIG are often carried in its weekly issues, as a reflection of its commitment to a free press philosophy. Those who make empty threats and foolish accusations are merely the crybullies. If what you are looking for is the single lane idea of corporate media, or the echo chambered silos of your social media, you are still invited to read The Islands Grapevine free of charge, and turn the page if you see something you don’t like.

Author: TIG

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