EPSTEIN, WEINSTEIN, KAVANAUGH: Conspiracy, cover-up, and catastrophe
There is not a clear media standard for how allegations of sexual misconduct are handled, even within the same broadcast network or media outlet. This has been made plainly clear by the way Ronan Farrow’s reporting of Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein was covered (or not covered) by NBC, and the way that same network then pounced on the accusations against Brett Kavanaugh, which were unsubstantiated at best. Further corroboration of this problem is most evident with the lack of any mainstream reporting on Jeffrey Epstein’s underage sex ring.
Now, Weinstein nor Epstein were not nominated for Supreme Court Justice, neither were appearing before Congress to testify as to their worth to be seated on the highest bench in America. But they were influential men, whose power and reach were felt throughout media, entertainment, politics, and philanthropy.
As outlined in Mollie Hemingway and Carrie Severino’s Justice on Trial, when the letter that detailed Christine Blasey-Ford’s allegations against Kavanaugh was released, it was jumped at by multiple media outlets almost instantly. The Intercept, Buzzfeed, The New Yorker (Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer), Politico, the Washington Post (which released the name of the accuser), The Atlantic (in which Caitlin Flanagan wrote about how she believed Blasey-Ford), and HuffPo, all ran with the story before any corroborating evidence came to light. And it’s fair to note that none ever did.
This all while Kavanaugh’s defenders, friends, family members, people who knew him in high school, came forward on his behalf. CNN’s Brian Stelter famously referred to accurate reporting on the allegations as a “right-wing smear campaign [that] has been lying about Christine Blasey-Ford” also without any evidence to back up his claim.
The actual smear campaign was from the outlets that took up these accusations as fact, ran with them, backed them up with their own feelings and personal experiences that had nothing to do with Kavanaugh the man, but were about the bogey-man asshole white frat boy who is so popular and fun for the left to hate.
Meanwhile, disgraced and deceased billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein was given a decade-long pass by the entire media establishment for his child sex predation. Project Veritas released a “hot mic” moment where Good Morning America co-anchor Amy Robach rants about being silenced over Jeffrey Epstein.
ABC refused to air an interview with one of Epstein’s victims, though Robach had spent three years of diligent, investigative reporting researching and verifying the story. The reasons they refused to air these allegations when other ones seemed perfectly acceptable, is open for speculation. Robach pointed to pressure from the Clintons and heat from the British Royals, who are implicated in the Epstein scandal.
Powerful people didn’t want the story of Epstein’s abuses to come to light because they feared for their own reputations. When Kavanaugh’s reputation was on the line, we ended up with the #BelieveAllWomen hashtag, which drowned out the truth and dragged those who wouldn’t blindly believe uncorroborated assertions of criminal behaviour.
When it comes to mainstream media coverage, there is one set of rules for Republicans like Kavanaugh, and another for Democrats like Epstein and Weinstein. We’ve seen it over and over again. Conservatives are presumed to be bad; Liberals are presumed to be good. A group of boys in MAGA hats, like the Covington kids, must be racist, meanwhile how dare you criticize the canonization of a 16-year-old autistic Swedish climate change activist?
Kavanaugh was labelled a rapist in the final moments of his confirmation hearing in a last-ditch effort by stalwart Democrats to upset his appointment to the bench. Their motivations could not have been clearer, the letter was in their hands months before and Democrats declined to reveal it until it could do the most damage and waste the most time.
All this, despite the fact that there was exonerating evidence in support of Kavanaugh’s innocence, and clear evidence that Epstein and Weinstein were monsters was swept under the rug by the same elite, establishment media, that appears to care more about protecting the powerful than telling the truth. A recent tweet from Federalist editor Sean Davis sums it up perfectly:
There is a righteous certainty that pervaded the coverage of the Kavanaugh allegations. It was treated like the outcome of his guilt was already decided. Due to his influence and reach into media, Weinstein was able to manipulate the press to obfuscate stories against him or discredit those who spoke out. Epstein was so beloved by the establishment elite that he never even came close to exposure until Mike Cernovich filed a lawsuit to get Epstein’s case files unsealed and The Miami Herald began publishing about it. As Robach’s “hot mic” clip shows, the story was around for way longer than that.
Conspiracies, cover-ups, and catastrophes are not what we used to imagine when we thought of mainstream media. We used to correlate the big news outlets with truth, rigorous reporting standards, and honesty. But they just kept letting us down. The time is now to turn to alternative outlets that are willing to speak truth to power.
Hazel McCallion has expressed her support for Don Cherry stating that “I want Don back on Hockey Night in Canada.” McCallion has also encouraged a rally to support Cherry outside Sportsnet’s studio, according to the Toronto Sun.
McCallion, who is 98-years-old, became a Canadian icon after being the much-loved mayor of Mississauga from 1978 until 1997. Despite McCallion supporting the rally and encouraging Canadians to attend, she will not be attending herself as she has a board meeting.
Over 200 people were expected to turn up to the rally already, however, McCallion’s encouragement may spur a greater turn-out.
Speaking to Newstalk 1010, McCallion said that “I hope many people go … Don Cherry deserves a chance to explain himself.”
McCallion went on to say that “I feel I have to say something because all of this has been blown way out of proportion over the interpretation of what he said.”
Cherry’s firing has created an outrage across Canada. A petition that was created immediately after Cherry’s firing has reached close to 200 thousand signatures.
South of the border, Tucker Carlson also expressed his support for Don Cherry, calling those who went after him “fascists who have no feelings.”
This past Saturday marked the 30th anniversary of the full-scale demolition of the infamous Berlin Wall. It is a fall that the world has been celebrating since the first brick fell to the ground. It is the Kodak moment that will never go away.
We all know that the wall meant so much more than just its physical structure. It was the wall between light and dark, between democracy and communism.
The tense political conflict of the Cold War bore its symbolism in the wall. One side reminded us of the good democracy offered, the other side reminded us of the atrocity of communism.
Radical communism was the catalyst for the emigration of East Germans. East Germans knew its consequences. According to a report by the University of California, Davis, between the end of World War II (1945) and the erection of the Berlin Wall (1951), there were approximately 2.6 million emigrants of East Germany.
Communism ruined countless lives and destroyed the once stable democracies of Europe. When the wall came down, the world knew that the light at the end of the tunnel had finally been reached.
It was a signal that for once, that current communist-ruled countries in Europe would not be under tyrannical socialist regimes, and instead have basic human rights restored.
This moment, etched into history is a “remember-where-you-were” feeling. It brought feelings of hope, knowing that the end of socialism is near. The hope of Europe being a continent of liberal democracies was that hope.
The barrier of 12 feet, with elaborate security measures, stood as what the world knew as the true “iron curtain.” Figuratively and physically, it blocked the passage of freedom for East Germans and a dead end to democracy for West Germans.
It was virtually impossible to climb over the wall on the East German side, the use of firearms shot any individual attempting to climb into freedom in West Germany. The city of Berlin lists that there are 140 documented deaths during the wall’s existence of East Germans trying to escape.
Every year on August 23, the world remembers Black Ribbon Day, the Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism. The attempted escapees of East Germany who perished are remembered on this day. It is a day to serve as a reminder to remember the dire consequences both communism and Nazism have had on German society, European society, and humanity as a whole.
The world remembers that there were multiple well-known crossings during the time of the wall’s presence, such as Checkpoint Charlie and Checkpoint Bravo, however, less emphasis is given on the Glienicke Bridge.
The Glienicke Bridge, also known as the “Bridge of Spies” was another, lesser-known crossing that played the host to multiple prisoner exchanges, most notably the exchange for Natan Sharansky in 1986.
The exchanges were what history remembers. The bridge is what history forgets. The bridge was one of the few methods known that prisoners were exchanged while the 12-foot barricade stood still. Upon the fall of the wall, it was one of the first crossings to open, reunifying Germany in the process as well.
There was always optimism that one day, Germany would undergo reunification, both politically and geographically. The demise of the Berlin Wall played a big part in what would become the reunified Federal Republic of Germany. It leaves a legacy that is unparalleled to any other.
Germany, as we know it today, is the result of the fall of communism. It is because the European continent finally came to agree that socialism does not work. Democracy based on capitalism is how the world should run.
The pain and hardships caused by communism do not bring growth or prosperity. Europe saw that the far-left run on communism and the far-right run on national socialism (Nazism) does not work.
The end of the Berlin Wall serves as a continued reminder to humanity that democracy can be restored, and that it can withstand communist regimes. The evils of socialism are now long gone, and liberal democracies rank supreme in Europe.
This fall will likely be the most revered fall of any entity known to mankind. It marks the near end of the horrors of collectivism and the new beginnings of the political order in a continent that was thought to be upside down for more than just the Cold War.
The capitulation of the Berlin Wall will be in history books as the single moment that defined what democracy would be, not just in Germany, not just in Europe, but for the world at large, from generation to generation.
Toronto Police have confirmed that a two-and-a-half-year-old has died after she was struck by a falling air conditioner.
Const. Caroline de Kloet of the Toronto Police said the young girl died in hospital following the strike on Monday outside an east-end apartment building, after the A.C. unit fell eight stories onto her.
De Kloet told media the toddler was with others when she was struck, but information surrounding who they were has yet to be released, or whether or not the family of the girl live within the same area.
De Kloet also said a stroller was at the site of the crime, but it’s not known if the girl was in it.
The spokeswoman said the air conditioner was in a window before it fell.
Neighbours told the Toronto Sun that they were distraught over the horrible incident.
“I was back there twice yesterday doing my recycling,” said one resident named Nicole.
“It could have been me.”
“It could have been anyone,” said another tenant.
“Someone out walking their dog or bringing in groceries.”
“It’s a terrible tragedy,” said De Kloet. “From the interviews that investigators have done, they’ve come to the conclusion that there won’t be any criminal charges.”
Don Cherry’s role as national hockey oracle is over. After a three-decade-plus run as host of Coach’s Corner, a beloved 1st intermission segment on Canada’s most watched TV show, Sportsnet and the former NHL head coach are parting ways. This comes on the heels of Cherry’s impassioned Saturday night rant chastising Canadians, new and old, for not honoring Canada’s veterans by wearing symbolic poppies. It’s fair to say that Cherry’s choice of words, specifically “you people,” were bluntly delivered and any chance to clear up the confusion went by the wayside with Cherry doubling down on his intention and meaning.
Unlike the 2019 Canadian Federal election, Canadians are actually fired up about this. Those on all sides of the issue have flooded social media, radio call-in shows, and newspaper and web pages, covering all sides of the issue. If you don’t think hockey has a valuable role in dictating and projecting Canadian national identity, this is your lesson. You cannot find anybody in the country not discussing Cherry in one way or another. But what you haven’t seen is a historical understanding of why hockey matters so much, and specifically it’s relation to Canadian identity. It’s that story that I want to share, as I think it will help illuminate why Canadians of all stripes are burning up over Cherry once again.
Ice hockey emerged in Canada as a codified sport in 1875 and by 1892 it was already hailed as Canada’s national winter game. In my PhD dissertation (soon to be a book) I explored how a physical symbol, the Stanley Cup, represented a partial political solution to Canadian disunity, specifically its aid in promoting a unified Canadian national culture. Basically, sport provided a way for the disparate Canadian population to imagine themselves as belonging to the same national community. Ice hockey represented to many early Canadian nationalists the presentation of the values and virtues attendant the new and aspiring nation.
Parliamentarian and hockey player R.T McKenzie wrote in 1893 that “[Ice hockey’s] whole tendency is to encourage and develop in boys that love of fair play and manly sport so characteristic of the British gentleman. With so many advantages, both intrinsic and extrinsic, one of the most potent influences in building up a race of men, hardy and self-reliant, will, throughout the future, be by Canada’s national winter game.” This quote holds the key into understanding the current controversy embroiling Canada.
On one hand, it testifies to the endurance of hockey as a tool to teach Canadian values. Ice Hockey became grafted onto Canadian identity because it spoke to the experience of being Canadian during the formative years of the Dominion. As British colonists, Canadians laid claim to the inheritance of immense political and cultural capital but needed to break free of their British progenitors to form a new nationality.
The British themselves used sport, mainly Cricket, to explain their national character that emerged in the aftermath of the English Civil War and Glorious Revolution. In the famous 19th century novel Tom Brown’s Schooldays author Thomas Hughes uses a scene between Tom and the Master to highlight this valuable connection.
“Come, none of your irony, Brown,” answers the master. “I’m beginning to understand the game [cricket] scientifically. What a noble game it is too!”
“Isn’t it? But it’s more than a game, It’s an institution,” said Tom.
“Yes,” said Arthur, “the birthright of British boys old and young, as habeas corpus and trial by jury are of British men.”
“The discipline and reliance on one another which it teaches is so valuable, I think,” went on the master, “it ought to be such an unselfish game. It merges the individual in the eleven; he doesn’t play that he may win, but that his side may.”
Ice hockey, with its connection to the wilderness best represented the Canadian permutation on British sporting nationalism. Canadians were British, but cleansed of the sins of the old world, namely hereditary aristocracy, lived a more egalitarian and more rugged lifestyle. Ice hockey perfectly captured that blend. For over 125 years, hockey has represented an image of Canadians that has endured longer than any other indigenous (originating within Canada) cultural association.
But ice hockey has also been a place to define difference and exclude. It began with Canada’s indigenous peoples and the working classes through the stringent Amateur code, upheld by White middle-class sportsmen. In Nova Scotia, Black hockey players created the Coloured Hockey League in 1895 because White players would not allow them to compete in their leagues. Once freed from the biological shackles used to restrict women’s athletic participation, female hockey players won over crowds but eventually could not sustain their momentum and after the 1940s the game remained closed to them for decades. Over time the game, in addition to Canadian society, evolved and welcomed many that could now claim to be integrated both into hockey and also Canadian culture.
Don Cherry represents both of these historical currents. His Canadian chauvinism materialized in pleas for Canadian’s to play a Canadian style, to honour our past British lineage through a reverence of the military and nods to Canada’s rural communities, but also could turn off those historically disconnected to those roots. His admonishment of European players as “soft” harkens back to a Canadian distaste for effete British games like Cricket.
Often, it’s the historical roots that provide justification for why a seemingly minor incident turns into a full-blown cultural crisis. Don Cherry was Canada’s only truly nationally condoned irreverent broadcaster. It’s not that he makes controversial comments, it’s the fact that this comment touched a nerve that stretches back to Canada’s founding. Hockey traditionally carries Canadian’s ideals about themselves. It’s clear they still do. No matter what side you fall on, Don has sparked a national conversation about what it means to be a Canadian today.
Just as the gameplay of hockey evolves, its meaning to the country does as well. If you think that Cherry’s remarks are only about racism and bigotry, you’re missing the issue. If you think that the reaction and firing are instances of cancel culture run amok, you’re also missing the issue. At its core, this is a battle over how a multicultural country reconciles glorification of a past that many in the country want to villainize.
Both sides have valid points. It’s an important conversation, one we need to have. We should thank Don Cherry. But such a complex issue demands nuance, attention to detail, accurate assessment of diverse viewpoints, and the ability to speak freely regarding one’s opinion. Cherry sparked the conversation by abstaining from the first three but nailing the final one.