“Warren Kinsella's book, ‘Fight the Right: A Manual for Surviving the Coming Conservative Apocalypse,’ is of vital importance for American conservatives and other right-leaning individuals to read, learn and understand.”

- The Washington Times

“One of the best books of the year.”

- The Hill Times

“Justin Trudeau’s speech followed Mr. Kinsella’s playbook on beating conservatives chapter and verse...[He followed] the central theme of the Kinsella narrative: “Take back values. That’s what progressives need to do.”

- National Post

“[Kinsella] is a master when it comes to spinning and political planning...”

- George Stroumboulopoulos, CBC TV

“Kinsella pulls no punches in Fight The Right...Fight the Right accomplishes what it sets out to do – provide readers with a glimpse into the kinds of strategies that have made Conservatives successful and lay out a credible roadmap for progressive forces to regain power.”

- Elizabeth Thompson, iPolitics

“[Kinsella] deserves credit for writing this book, period... he is absolutely on the money...[Fight The Right] is well worth picking up.”

- Huffington Post

“Run, don't walk, to get this amazing book.”

- Mike Duncan, Classical 96 radio

“Fight the Right is very interesting and - for conservatives - very provocative.”

- Former Ontario Conservative leader John Tory

“His new book is great! All of his books are great!”

- Tommy Schnurmacher, CJAD

“I absolutely recommend this book.”

- Paul Wells, Maclean’s

“Kinsella puts the Left on the right track with new book!”

- Calgary Herald



Have you seen this woman?

14333208_10154643348883945_4906424348473777785_n

LISA KINSELLA
d.o.b. October 1969
Last known address: Toronto

Kinsella – a regular on ‘21 Jump Street‘ – was a “close friend” of Brad Pitt in Hollywood in the 1980s, attended “parties” with him often, and even drove Pitt to the audition for his breakout role on ‘Growing Pains.’  (We are not making this up, as much as we’d like to.)

As news of Pitts’ separation from Angelina Jolie spread today, Kinsella was seen hurriedly boarding a plane at Pearson Airport and heading West.

There is a reward for credible information about Kinsella’s present whereabouts. If you spot her in Hollywood, do not mention Juliette Lewis or ‘Kalifornia,’ both of which are a really long story and may enrage Pitt.

– 30 –


(I knew that headline would catch your eye, even if you don’t know who Brown is.)

It’s a pretty fair report by Benzie. And here’s who will like it and who won’t:

  • Voters like it when politicians admit they were wrong and make changes. 
  • Ontarians like anyone who is criticized by McVety and his knuckle-dragging troglodyte crew. 
  • Ontario Grits and Dippers won’t like that Brown is taking out the social conservative trash well before the next election. 

On a related topic: Benzie’s colleague Cohn is writing Kathleen Wynne’s obituary way, way too soon.

Three points about that:

  • She could wallpaper her nice house (and I’ve been there many times – it’s a very nice house) with political obituaries. 
  • She is always underestimated by pundits and politicos – and then she wins big, as she did in 2003, 2007, 2011, 2013 and 2014. Only a fool would count her out. 
  • A guy named Mulroney had similar disapproval numbers in 1987 – and went on to win a second huge majority in 1988. The skill lies in being unpopular at the right time. Wynne knows it. 

[Obligatory Full Diclosure Statement: Daisy Group staff are involved, variously and at various times, in Ontario Liberal, PC and NDP campaign work. And are encouraged to do so.]


A lot of jazz, to me, is a lot like Paul Wells: formless, self-indulgent, lacking a centre. Snobby and cloistered.

Listening to Shankar on the way in, I reckoned that this isn’t jazz at all. It’s quite disciplined and, to me, a bit of godlike genius. It’s perfect, even.

What can I say? I’m Irish, but I much prefer tumbak and tabla to bodhran. Always have.


“All media exist,” Marshall McLuhan said, and if anyone knew, it’d be him, “to invest our lives with artificial perceptions and arbitrary values.”

Hmm.

When the most revered media theorist of all time leaves behind a show-stopper quote like that, it’s pretty hard to discount it.  McLuhan didn’t attempt to dilute his dictum, either: no “I think” or “possibly” or “probably” or other weasel-like circumlocutions are to be found, in that one.  All media, he essentially said, are liars and bullies.  No apology.

McLuhan – a Canadian, no less, a son of a nation renowned for apologies! – was saying that all media are preoccupied with propagating falsehoods and distortions. Conspiracy theorists, on the Left and the Right, will naturally agree.  But was McLuhan right?

No.  Three reasons.

One, anyone has ever laboured in the graveyard of broken dreams (i.e., a newsroom) knows that the media lack all of the essential skills needed to mount an effective conspiracy. When you observe the disorganized journalistic genus up close, it is frankly a miracle that we are able to get a paper out every day.

Two, the media cherish conflict, not consensus.  Disaster, division, disunity: these are the things that make our bells go off. Eyeball any news story, and you will see this to be an immutable truth: we in the media will always seek out one side’s point of view, and then the other side’s – even when there isn’t another side.  We can hardly be accused of pushing a particular “value,” as McLuhan claims we do, when we ceaselessly promote the notion that there is never, ever a consensus on “values.”

Three – and this key, in the Era of Trump and Leitch – to affect public opinion, the mainstream media needs to have an understanding of public opinion. But, increasingly, we don’t.

The reasons for this are myriad. Polling – to which we are hopelessly addicted, like fentanyl – is flawed, and makes many more mistakes than it once did. Also: social media has distorted the aforementioned social consensus that used to exist about was “important.” And, finally, technology has enabled citizens to become their own editors, rendering the likes of Peter Mansbridge completely irrelevant, like totemic relics from a forgotten epoch.

Up here in McLuhan’s homeland, we saw the truth of all these things recently.  Kellie Leitch, a Conservative MP desperate for both attention and her party’s leadership, declared that she would screen immigrants and refugees for “anti-Canadian values” (whatever those are).  On cue, and as Leitch clearly hoped, lots of politicians and media folks were apoplectic.  They condemned her and wrote stirring editorials about values (whatever those are).

And then, the Toronto Star – that paragon of all progressive values and Atkinsonian principles, no less – sheepishly released a poll showing that, um, two-thirds of Canadians agreed with Leitch.  Oops!  So much for manufacturing consent.  So much for an omnipotent, all-seeing media, per McLuhan, “investing our lives with artificial perceptions and arbitrary values.”

Personally, I don’t give a sweet shit about whether two-thirds, or three-thirds, agree with Leitch or not.  Her questionnaire stunt was a naked appeal to latent bigotry, one designed to draw out the very worst in people.  It worked.  Good for her, shame on us.

And anyway: Leitch isn’t alone.  Donald Trump, daily, shatters the notion that there is a popular consensus about anything – or that a media conspiracy is at work.

Because, in the main, we in the media are at work for Donald Trump.  We are.  Every day for a year, without fail, we have meticulously documented every one of Trump’s racist statements – we have reported every one of his many lies, and shown how they are lies – and, every day for a year, Trump has persevered.  He has survived.  He has grown minutely more popular, even.

That is because Trump – like his willing student, Kellie Leitch – understands the media better than the media does.  He understands that, if two guys are onstage, and one says he has the solution to the Middle East, and the other one falls into the orchestra pit, who do you think is going to be on the news that night?  You know the answer. (And the author of that pithy little parable? Roger Ailes, the sex harasser now preparing Trump for the presidential debates.)

The irrelevance of those of us in those media is seen, over and over, in the Trump phenomenon. Our impotence is made clear with every one of his foul utterances – that Mexicans are rapists and murderers, that immigrants should be rounded up and shipped out, that Muslims should be barred from the United States, that women who get abortions should receive jail time, that a wall should be built, that he’d promote the use of torture and that he’d kill the children of his enemies, that soldiers aren’t heroes when they are captured and tortured or killed, that rape on military bases is defensible.

In every one of those instances – and in respect of many, many more – we in the media were astonished, and outraged, and we rained down opprobrium on the Republican presidential nominee.  And, every time, Trump shrugged and carried on.  In some cases, he got even more popular.

Thus, the moral of this media tale: we in the media don’t run anything, as much as we’d like to. We don’t affect public opinion, as much as hope to.  We don’t have the power Marshall McLuhan said we do.

You do – you, the citizen.  And is up to you to banish the likes of Trump and Leitch to the rock-bottoms from which they crawled.

So, go do it. You, not the media, are the real boss.

 

 

 


Watch this. 






The why of Trump’s birther lie is easy: it was a perfect vehicle for an insidious racist appeal – it was Trump extending a greasy tentacle to old white bigots, the ones who could not believe, still, that a black man was President of the United States. 

The how Trump did it is more elusive. I think the key is one short paragraph, in a longer New York Times piece from this morning. 

What he could do — and what he did do — was talk about it, uninhibitedly, on social media, where dark rumors flourish in 140-character bursts and, inevitably, find a home with those who have no need for facts and whose suspicions can never be allayed. 

And he mused about it on television, where bright lights and sparse editing ensure that millions can hear falsehoods unchallenged by fact-checking. 

Why doesn’t he show his birth certificate?” Mr. Trump asked on ABC’s “The View.” “I want to see his birth certificate,” he told Fox News’s “On the Record.”  

And so it went. 

Andrew Coyne tries to assign blame for Trump’s rise in an important column this morning, seen here. He’s right about all of it, pretty much. 

But Andrew’s a moralist, in his essence, and he therefore doesn’t want to give credit where credit is due – and Donald Trump deserves most of the credit. Trump understands TV better than most journalists (and certainly his opponents) do. He understands, as I say all the time, that TV is about pictures. TV is about emotion and not information. 

Does this mean I’m worried (and, PS, I’m not dead either)? Yes, a bit. I’ve always felt the TV debates were all upside for Trump, and all downside for Clinton. She needed to be going into them with a healthy lead. 

The healthy lead is gone. And she is about to face off with a loathsome liar and a racist, true – but he is a liar and a racist who understands TV better than she ever will. 

Start praying. The entire world will be engulfed in an end-times war within a year of this piece of shit winning. And that’s the truth, too. 



Now that Trump has admitted the truth about Obama – and given the reaction I’m getting to his whiplash-inducing flip flop – it’s time to sing along with your favourite tune about the sausage-fingered, sphincter-mouthed combover!




Three – and this key, in the Era of Trump and Leitch – to affect public opinion, the mainstream media needs to have an understanding of public opinion. But, increasingly, we don’t.

The reasons for this are myriad. Polling – to which we are hopelessly addicted, like fentanyl – is flawed, and makes many more mistakes than it once did. Also: social media has distorted the aforementioned social consensus that used to exist about was “important.” And, finally, technology has enabled citizens to become their own editors, rendering the likes of Peter Mansbridge completely irrelevant, like totemic relics from a forgotten epoch.

Up here in McLuhan’s homeland, we saw the truth of all these things recently. Kellie Leitch, a Conservative MP desperate for both attention and her party’s leadership, declared that she would screen immigrants and refugees for “anti-Canadian values” (whatever those are). On cue, and as Leitch clearly hoped, lots of politicians and media folks were apoplectic. They condemned her and wrote stirring editorials about values (whatever those are).

And then, the Toronto Star – the paragon of all progressive values and Atkinsonian principles, no less – sheepishly released a poll showing that, um, two-thirds of Canadians agreed with Leitch. Oops! So much for manufacturing consent. So much for an omnipotent, all-seeing media, per McLuhan, “investing our lives with artificial perceptions and arbitrary values.”

Personally, I don’t give a sweet shit about whether two-thirds, or three-thirds, agree with Leitch or not. Her questionnaire stunt was a naked appeal to latent bigotry, one designed to draw out the very worst in people. It worked. 

 Good for her, shame on us.