While I cannot see the Natted States from here — only the Niagara Escarpment in Canada from my balconata, when looking across the Lake — I can go up onto the roof of my building. And from there, on a clear day, I can indeed see it. It wasn’t that clear, this morning; what I would describe as high overcast; but the Natted States was nevertheless in view. It was not in flames. I was squinting my eyes, to be sure.

This is why I don’t trust the media. By Messrs Fox News, I had just been told that it was in flames. This is not the first time they have lied to me.

Now, Fox News is less reliable than other media outlets. If I see something on Canada’s CBC, for instance, or in the Toronto Scar, I can be absolutely sure it is rubbish. But while this is normally the case with Fox, they create unnecessary confusion. About one item in twenty may be substantially true. It will, almost certainly, be the story they found most difficult to fit into their “narrative line.” Other networks never run stories like that.

Getting news from the original sources does not improve the odds on accuracy. Example: I have watched several press conferences, recently, from the White House. (Apparently not in flames.) But this is because the new press secretary is a very pretty blonde, from Florida. Too, I like to watch her humiliate the reporters. In these grim times, when most sporting events have been cancelled, it is something to cheer on.

As one of nature’s sceptics, however, I don’t accept her presentation, uncritically. Always, I want to know more. For instance: Is she really blonde?

And I have caught her in at least one lie. She said journalism is a noble profession.

Some years ago, when we yet had no “Internet” — I’m still not convinced it exists; I think it might be a myth, like California — we had to get our lies from the newspapers. I used to write for them, and noticed that I would only get in trouble if I tried to tell the truth. An editor once said I was a sucker for punishment. If I got lucky, I might be misinformed, and the letters would be flattering for a change. Outwardly, nothing has changed; inwardly, there has been a decline in aesthetics.

My principal source of expertise was a Czech gentleman, who lives today, although he is older. One day, I was telling him about a ripe, juicy scandal. I was reading directly from the Times of India.

He looked bored.

“Warren,” he explained. “Always, there is something going on. For this I do not need a newspaper.”


MORE SERIOUSLY. I regret that an email correspondent (who used to work with me on the same newspaper) has not followed through on his promise to deliver a three-hour lecture on the metaphysics of journalism as a species of sola scriptura. But everything today must be reduced to seven inches; he’s probably still making cuts.

They (the filthy rags) reflect the universal anti-Church. It interests me that there is NO competition among them whatsoever, and thus no variety. We saw this when, almost instantaneously, ALL dailies switched to the narrow page format. It was the latest fashion, masquerading as an economic imperative (they could as easily have retained full broadsheet, and in the absence of advertising, reduced the number of pages to four). The replacement of the pretence of news reporting with random patches of copytext from Virgil also happened simultaneously, across the board. (Necessary because they’d laid off staff.) That they ALL exchanged their politics, from left, or right, to left-lunatic bafflegab, was among the other giveaways.

I attribute the format revision to the sudden discovery that parrot cages had shrunk by one-third of a cubit in each dimension, and were now square in plan. I would hold the designers of parrot cages entirely responsible, except that, they were responding to the redesign of parrots by the Apple Corporation. All of this complicated by the invention of “Green New Deal” toilets, so you can’t flush newsprint any more.