For whom the pell tolls

There is an active press suppression order in Australia, courtesy of the Victorian courts.

A prominent Australian has been convicted of a serious crime but the press are restricted from reporting on which (in)famous Australian in staring at some time in the big house.

Australian twitter is all over this like a cheap suit, bleating on about freedom of the press and the lunacy of a court order that can be sidestepped with about 10 seconds of work on Google.

However, before all the brave Australian journalists give themselves the Woodward and Bernstien Award for bravery under fire, let’s just remind them of their previous finest hour;

First up, the Sydney Morning Herald, tagline (without a hint of irony); “Independent. Always“.

To be balanced, here’s the News Corp version of the same headline;

Once you’ve Googled the name of the Victorian kiddy-fiddler, go back and search for how your most trusted news source reported this previous case. The ABC, the commercial TV news channels, all papers, etc. were similarly taciturn on precisely which ex-pat Australian was helping British police with their enquiries.

For those of you who don’t recall this episode in the long and painful death of Australian journalism, the “entertainer” wasn’t Barry Humphries or Clive James, but Rolf Harris. There wasn’t a court order preventing the press from naming him, they were just scared.

In fact, it was only when the British tabloid, The Sun (a newspaper that the other newspapers sneer at snobbishly), broke ranks and named him that the other organisations followed suit. Even then, several of our brave members of the Fourth Estate ended up reporting on The Sun reporting his name, in a pathetic attempt to head off a court case in the event they’d screwed up in a legal way.

Bill’s Opinion

Maybe there was a time when journalists deserved our respect, trust and, in times of repression by courts and governments, sympathy.

This would not be that time.

 

 

Oh Canada

For decades, Canadians were the butt of many cruel jokes about how pathetic and effeminate their nation was, with a vague notion that they were the indolent, slightly retarded younger sibling of the successful USA, smoking weed in their underwear and playing video games whilst the older brother was pulling double shifts at work.

In 2015, Canadians thought long and hard about how to deal with this unfair criticism and came to the collective conclusion that the best plan of attack would be to elect a former ski instructor, gap year backpacker and professional trustafarian, Justin Trudeau, as their leader.

As a consequence, they’ve deservedly got legislation such as this gem;

Canadian government nationalises journalism.

Actually, that should probably read “Canadian government further nationalises journalism” as they already annually spunk half a billion Canadian dollars (about $75.43 US and a couple of Tim Horton donuts) on the CBC. One supposes an addition $120m a year isn’t going to be that noticeable, therefore.

Anyone with the mildest knowledge of history and just the slightest tendency toward cynicism will find the language used to announce this “innovation” (yes, that’s how one likely recipient of taxpayer largesse described it) has creepy echoes from a previous time;

An independent panel comprised of members of the news and journalism industry will flesh out the application of the moves announced in Wednesday’s fall economic statement. In particular, the group will decide which journalism jobs and which news organizations are eligible for the new funding.

Independently deciding who amongst them will receive free money? Yes, that sounds fine, I’m sure.

Oh, and it’s not an across the board subsidy then? Not every news outlet and journalist will benefit?

The government said the package will aim to help “trusted” news organizations, but will leave it to the media industry to define the application of the new initiatives.

Trust is a difficult thing to define, isn’t it? It’s almost easier to define the conditions where one doesn’t have it. After all, as the man said, “there’s only two men I trust in this world; I’m one and you ain’t the other one“.

Bill’s Opinion

As with so many issues facing us on a daily basis, it is a dangerous mistake to assume a single cause. The legislation has an underlying assumption that there is only one major cause to the economic decline of the traditional media sector; that digital media has broken the business model.

That may well be a major contributing factor but what hasn’t been considered is that there may be another cause of similar importance. Amusingly, there’s a clue in the press release; Canadians are no longer prepared to pay for traditional media because the speed of delivery and far wider choice of digital sources has opened their eyes to quite how biased and limited the traditional media has been. They’ve lost trust, in other words.

So now they have the worst of both worlds; Canadians are going to pay for journalism they don’t want to read……forever.

Forever?

Yes; ask yourself, under what circumstances will a Canadian government ever be able to announce a closing of this funding source once it has been embedded for a couple of years?

The independent media will wail and moan from the highest steeples and undermine any political party that so much as hints that the time has come to stop subsidising journalism that nobody reads.

Career advice for your children

In the future, there will be a great deal of money to be made as a lawyer, psychologist or gender re-re-assignment surgeon (yes, the double “re” was deliberate).

Why?

I had my bits chopped off to become a lady and now I’m not so sure it was a good idea. Who do I sue?

Which, as regrets go, is somewhat more material than, “I wish I’d bought tickets to see Roxette before they stopped touring”.

For the past 17 years, Jeremy Bate has lived as a woman.

But now, after hormone therapy and sex reassignment surgery, he believes it has all been a mistake.

At the age of 52, Mr Bate now says he was never anything other than a man and has called for more support for people questioning their gender.

Oh, that’s awkward.

What caused this awful mistake?

At the age of 35, Mr Bate transitioned from his biological sex after a devastating relationship breakdown exacerbated a gender confusion he says was originally caused by an anti-miscarriage drug his mother took when he was in utero.

One supposes the “pro” of the anti-miscarriage drug was that he was born and not stillborn.

We’re not offered any medical opinion on the likelihood that anti-miscarriage drugs cause or even correlate with gender dismorphia but this is the Sydney Morning Herald. If you want journalism, you need to go elsewhere.

Nathan Hondros might want to consider the possibility that a pregnant mother reading this today ceases her anti-miscarriage drugs and her baby dies as a consequence of his mental and professional sloth, but hey….

About four months ago Mr Bate started reading deeply about the science and ideology of gender and he began to question what had happened to him.

Apologies if this seems insensitive but wasn’t the time to question the dogma at least 17.5 years ago?

He said he raised questions in online transgender support groups, but was blocked almost immediately because he was “challenging the accepted wisdom” and was accused of being “transphobic”.

Then he became angry.

Only then?

After a decade and a half of walking with a limp and maintaining a surgical wound between his legs it was only after someone was rude to him on the internet that he became a little vexed? This is a man woman man with the patience of a saint.

He was angry at the system for letting him down, he was angry at those he believes have an ideological agenda and he was angry there was no support.

There seems to be a name missing from that list of people to be angry at though. Give me a moment, it’ll come to me eventually.

Mr Bate said he was shocked when transgender support groups to which he belonged “turned on him”.

“It sends alarm bells to me, because they don’t want to tolerate anyone moving away from it,” he said.

“They’d rather think I was never a proper trans in the first place, because they just can’t stand the idea.

“Their basic ideology is that you have to have been born that way, and if you can turn away from it, then that cancels their argument.”

Well, quite. Isn’t the entire point of the transgender movement is that this is an inherent natural condition, like homosexuality, and therefore the best way to care for individuals presenting themselves as transgender is to agree and provide them with support and free “treatment”?

To suggest that it’s something you can be and then, after further contemplation suddenly not be kind of destroys that whole “it’s definitely not a mental illness, you horrid transphobe” narrative.

Bill’s Opinion

It’s a serious suggestion; encourage your children to study and train in professions poised to benefit from what I am copyrighting as the “Transgender Regret Industry” which will likely see peak revenue around the 2030 decade. There’s gold in them there knockers hills.

One of the biggest payouts will be to the child that Emma Sakild is currently publicly abusing in Sydney as a result of her obvious Munchausen Syndrome By Proxy condition.

Hoping that Master Bate would recognise that he was in any way culpable for the decision at age 35 to chop off his gonads is clearly a revelation too far. However, we think it’s best to end with his own words on the matter;

Mr Bate said he would have been better off if he had counselling to help him become more comfortable with the body he was born in.

Ya don’t fucking say, Sherlock, ya don’t fucking say?

Embassies in Jerusalem? Sometimes it’s enough just to observe who it upsets

We aren’t a fan of fallacious arguments round here, we prefer to start with a hypothesis and then observe empirical evidence before refining our views. Sometimes though, a fallacy is a good enough touchstone for a more robust investigation.

What’s the correct name for the fallacy of dismissing an argument because a large number of people who are almost always wrong about most things are upset by a particular argument? It’s not quite ad hominem, perhaps poisoning the well?

Regardless, this is of interest;

This Month’s Australian Prime Minister (c) has announced he will be following Trump’s lead and relocating the Australian Israeli embassy to Jerusalem.

It’s a highly political move, not least because there is a critical election currently underway in a constituency with a large Jewish population.

Why this political move surprises anyone is perhaps the great mystery. After all, as Thomas Sowell said;

No one will really understand politics until they understand that politicians are not trying to solve our problems.  They are trying to solve their own problems — of which getting elected and re-elected are No. 1 and No. 2.  Whatever is No. 3 is far behind.

The list of people apoplectic with rage about this announcement is instructive. The entire mainstream media, the government media, academia, celebrities and even bandana-wearing househusbands are united in their view that it is a bad thing.

The Sydney Morning Herald has no fewer than 5 different articles on the decision today. If nothing else, the decision has brought some positives to the lives of those journalists who are paid by the word;

Have you got that, readers; it’s a bad thing.

Out of curiosity, do we think there could be any room in a newspaper with the tagline, “Independent. Always” for just one article with a headline such as, “This was clumsy by the PM but of course the embassy should be in the country’s capital“?

Nah, didn’t think so.

Bill’s Opinion

Is Australia’s decision to relocate her embassy to Jerusalem a bad thing?

Let’s list the reasons offered by the critics;

1. It’s an obscenely politically move in an attempt to win an election.

Well yeah, duh. We refer you back to the Sowell quote; everything politicians do is political. Does that make it the wrong thing to do though?

2. It might upset Indonesia.

The correct response to this is to point out it is a decision by a sovereign nation with regards to its relationship to another sovereign nation. If a third sovereign nation feels it can offer an opinion on this, they should be prepared for similar advice and guidance to be offered on their domestic policies. Mind your own damn business, Indonesia, it’s not as if you are the moral beacon of the world.

3. We are not anti-Semitic, but we are against the state of Israel’s policies and actions with regards to the Palestinians.

Everything before the word “but” is always bullshit. The Palestinians keep electing groups who openly call for the destruction of Israel and the murder of Jews. If you can draw moral equivalence between the Palestinians and the Israelis, you are simply not debating in good faith are you?

Scott Morrison is a politician, which means he is grubby, self-interested and venal. Sometimes, however, even the grubby, self-interested and venal will make a correct decision for incorrect reasons.

Bravo.

Stockholm Syndrome

Stockholm syndrome

noun

Feelings of trust or affection felt in many cases of kidnapping or hostage-taking by a victim towards a captor.

Fair warning; if you are allergic to the accent demonstrated in the song Valley Girl, this is going to hurt. You may consider soaking a box of Q-tips in bleach in preparation for repairing the aural damage.

This week, as part of my regular reconnaissance of enemy territory, I have subjected myself to the Ezra Klein podcast.
Ezra writes for Vox. On balance, it’s fair to say that Ezra has a great voice for print media. If you didn’t know otherwise, you might be forgiven for thinking Ezra was a 16 year old girl living in the San Fernando Valley.
Ad hominen fun aside, his podcasts are a great insight to a particular media mindset; this one is a doozy.

In it, Ezra interviews Amy Chozik, author of the book “Chasing Hillary: Ten Years, Two Presidential Campaigns, and One Intact Glass Ceiling“.

Before you set off with us on the journey of discovery, perhaps have a pencil and paper handy to count the number of redundant times the words “like” and “so” are used. The podcast might have been 15 minutes shorter if precision of language was a concept the pair understood.

In the podcast, our protagonists discuss the reporting of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. The overwhelming emotion expressed by these two objective journalists is one of regret and, dare we suggest it, shame.

The pair talk about “bias” a lot but not in terms of any suggestion they were biased towards wishing for a Clinton presidency but that they weren’t biased enough in their reporting.

For example, at 17 minutes in, they discuss the “tragedy” of the result. This is not the language employed by unbiased professional reporters. However, any semblance or artifice that they would describe themselves in those professional terms is shed as the conversation develops.

Ok, so we have two partisan writers discussing an election that didn’t go their way. At least the form of the conversation should be easy listening? They’re paid to write for a living, at least.

Nah. Wince as the English language is mangled under our brutal wrestling tag team; “lightning rod-ness” was a particular stand out, as were “stories we pre-wrote” and “pre-writing” whilst discussing the articles they hoped to file after Clinton’s victory. Presumably “pre-writing” is the writing one does before one writes?

See also, “pre-planning“, the planning one does before one plans, and “pre-warning“, the warning one gives before a warning, (to be clear, they don’t use these terms, they’re just two of my pet peeves).

Wonder also at how “gendered” the media coverage of the election was. Other people’s coverage, of course, our two heroes never once made any capital out of the biological differences between Hillary and Bernie or Donald. Oh no sir-ee (or madam/gender fluid person).

Enjoy also the exquisite irony of the use of the phrase, “abdicating our responsibility to think it through“. Spoiler alert; they aren’t talking about why the public didn’t trust Hillary or their reporting of Hillary.

An almost a throwaway line; “Trump’s bashing of the first amendment” was instructive. The fact that there’s no explanation of what is meant by that assertion speaks volumes; Ezra accepts it unquestionably as an axiom we all understand (or should be forced to?). It’s still not clear what he’s done to stop free speech.

Perhaps the best amusement is to had towards the end of the interview where we discover that the abuse directed at journalists was worse from Bernie Sanders’ supporters than anything Trump’s redneck, white-supremacist, misogynist, homophobe, transphobe, Islamaphobes could throw. Really? The left can be more brutal and threatening? Who knew?

Bill’s Opinion

Theres a significant problem with much of what passes as contemporary political discourse; people have lost the ability or desire to understand the opposing view. It is fashionable to write off one’s opponent as acting in bad faith and therefore deserving of whatever sanction we see fit, ranging from “no platforming” to impeachment and prosecution.

Subjecting ourselves to interviews such as this one help us understand how the other side are thinking. The expression “to steel man an argument” is something worth exploring if this is of interest.

A secondary advantage of listening to interviews like this is it is unintentionally fucking hilarious and a wonderful example of the meaning of the word schadenfreude.

Lastly, among his many verbal tics, Ezra frequently uses the expression “I’m curious” to commence a question that could simply have started with “who”, “what”, “where”, “when”, “why” or “how”.

Ironically, it is apparent to the most casual observer that the one characteristic Klein doesn’t posses is curiosity;

The unexamined life is not worth living.

Socrates

Independent. Always.

“Hedging” in gambling parlance is the mathematics around minimising the potential loss once the bookie has accepted a bet by placing a bet with a competitor for an opposite result.

It’s a useful strategy if the odds have changed against your position since accepting the bet.

The Sydney Morning Herald must be quite adept at it as it has been frontrunning a campaign against a recent State Government decision to project adverts for a horse race on the “sails” of the Sydney Opera House.

Which horse race?

The “Everest”, i.e. the very one they are showing an advert for on the front page of their website.

Bill’s Opinion

Well, we can’t accuse them of bias on this news item, which makes a nice change. Stopped clocks being correct twice a day, an’ all that.

Oh, in other news, hands up who knows how a significant portion of the funding to build the iconic concert hall was raised?

Awkward.

You sir, yes you! You are a murdering rapist!

Six women have been murdered in Australia in the last five days.

Apparently, the Australian men who aren’t currently held in custody on suspicion of committing these violent crimes are also responsible and need to engage with some uncomfortable truths.

Wait, what?

That’s right, you heard correctly; the men who don’t beat up their female partners and relatives, the ones who believe violence and murder is morally-reprehensible, share the blame.

Because…..

All these murders were reported against the backdrop of Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Supreme Court, following historic sexual assault allegations, as the most powerful men in the world men thunder about men’s lives being ruined by women speaking about the violence men have allegedly subjected them to.

For the purposes of journalistic integrity, something writers at the Sydney Morning Herald aren’t concerned with, we’ve added the word “allegedly” in the paragraph above.

When moral equivalence can be found across a violent murder in 2018 and a 36 year old uncorroborated, evidence-free allegation of attempted sexual assault, I suppose mere details such as relativity, assessments of credibility and objective reasoning are optional and, frankly, hindering the cause.

Imagine the pain and suffering Jane Gilmore must feel when she realised the following word salad can be described with the sexist noun, “strawman“;

Imagine this: Six women are murdered by men in five days. Men all over the nation are filled with rage. They organise rapidly on social media, amplified by mainstream media reporting of their activism. Protest marches spring up in every major city in the country. Tens of thousands of men rally. They stay up for hours the night before, painting signs and placards, calling all their male friends and family so they can meet and go to the rallies together. No man is left behind. Men uncomfortable in crowds are supported by gentle friends.

Men feeling triggered and shaky are held in loving male arms, told to cry and hold on to the men who feel their pain and carry their grief. Men with a long history of activism against male violence are chosen to speak at the rallies. They share their stories. They cry for the lost women. Rage against the cruelty of lives ripped apart. Comfort each other and vow to never stop fighting until women are safe.

As the rallies end and the crowds of men slowly disperse, they separate off into small groups. Men sit together in bars, cafes and parks because they cannot bear to be alone after collectively draining all that pain and knowing there’s still so much more under the surface. Men sit with each other unable to stop their tears because they’ve been to so many rallies before and know they will have to do it again.

It probably doesn’t occur to Jane that the 99.9995% of Australian men who don’t murder anyone each year likely have other more pressing things on their minds such as caring for and loving their wives, girlfriends, children, etc. than to waste time virtue signalling to the murderers.

By the way, that percentage quoted above is based on government published statistics showing the murder rate per 100,000 people is currently around 2.2 victims per year (which is a 9% fall over the previous 20 years).

Let’s face it, Jane’s rather passive aggressive suggestion that anyone with a penis should be organising community marches to prevent murders of women somewhat misses the point that, if someone is prepared to break the most serious societal taboo of taking another person’s life, a bunch of placard-waving beardy beta males singing out of tune John Lennon songs in the town centre is going to be about as an effective form of persuasion as holding a Linda McCartney quorn burger in front of a hungry Great White Shark.

Bill’s Opinion

This is the ultimate in identity politics. This is where it leads when we attempt to treat individuals as members of a group for the purpose of effecting meaningful change.

Let’s flip the argument around somewhat and see how it sounds for other versions of the idea; a study in Arizona found that “American Indians” (is that the correct term these days?) were statistically more likely to cause fatal car crashes. Is Jane Gilmore calling for the various indigenous tribes of rural Arizona to hold candlelit vigils urging their brothers and sisters to hand in their car keys and commit to taking public transport?

Individuals are responsible for their own actions. Western civilisation works better than all previously-tried versions because it has a societal contract that group punishment based on immutable natural characteristics such as race, gender, sexuality, etc. is morally-bankrupt and, more importantly, not pragmatic or effective.

If Jane Gilmore finds this contemporary legal principle unacceptable, perhaps she might consider reverting to the more ancient “Code of Hammurabi“, where group punishments and varying levels of punishments relative to social status were mandated?

Lastly, Jane might be advised to read Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention before writing any more of this bollocks.

Peter Hannam is either mendacious or stupid

Peter “weather equals climate” Hannam has been fighting the good fight with more intensity recently, with many words written bemoaning Trump’s disdain for the Paris Agreement, despite it making no logical sense to anyone who cares to examine the facts.

One of his recent pieces of work is interesting;

Australia’s driest September on record“?

That’s quite a claim and it would certainly indicate a major problem with the environment if true.

Firstly, let’s just mention that nature doesn’t really have a concept of what a “September” is. No, really it doesn’t; think about it for a moment.

Let’s have a look at Peter’s opinion piece kwality jernalism and see if we can find the factual basis for that headline;

Australia has notched its driest September on record, with less than a third of the usual rainfall for the month, extending the dry spell that has farmers and firefighters increasingly desperate for rain.

Yes, you’ve said that in the headline already (but thanks for confirming it wasn’t an editorial decision to make up a headline). What’s the data source?

Victoria posted its second driest September, also collecting just a third of its typical September rain.

Ok, so a large portion of the country was dry but not as dry as it has been before. That’s not supporting the headline though, is it?

Also, as with a “September“, Mother Nature doesn’t really understand the concept of “the Australian State of Victoria“.

NSW also had another dry month, with less than half the normal rain, bringing the state’s year-to-date tally lower than any year but 1902 and 1965, according to Blair Trewin, senior climatologist at the Bureau of Meteorology.

Nope, still not hearing any data supporting the “driest ever” claim.

“Below average rainfall covered almost the entire country” last month, Dr Trewin said, adding that it pipped 1957 as the driest September, and trailed only April 1902 as the driest for any month.

Still not “driest ever” though, is it?

Melbourne posted its fifth-driest September on record, with no days recording more than 5 millimetres of rain – only the second time that’s happened for that month in records going back to 1855.

Yawn. There’s a pattern emerging here, dry but not “driest ever“.

Sydney’s rainfall was less extreme, coming in about one-quarter below average.

Snore.

A lack of rain has been a standout feature of much of eastern Australia this year, drying out soils and forests. All of NSW has been declared in drought, while the fire season has started early and is forecast to be an active one.

For the rest of the year, the bureau’s outlook suggests odds particularly favour drier than average conditions in Victoria, southern South Australia and Tasmania.

Still not “driest ever” though?

“The signal in the outlook [for October to December] that’s really strong is warmth,” Dr Trewin said, noting that almost all of the country has an 80 per cent chance of warmer than usual maximum and minimum temperatures.

For September, daytime temperatures were 1.41 degrees above the average for the 1961-90 period.

The Murray-Darling Basin, Australia’s food bowl, had its driest January-September since 1902 – the end of the Federation Drought – Dr Trewin said.

Warm but not “driest ever“?

And then, almost as if these things are driven by some kind of natural cycle, the dry weather is replaced by, erm, wet weather;

Note the tagline for Cassandra’s article; “Weather“.

Peter, however, is the real Cassandra in the Greek sense with his default; “Extreme Weather“.

Bill’s Opinion

In addition to Occam’s Razor, there is another shaving device that is useful when analysing people’s public statements and acts; Hanlon’s Razor.

Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

As much as we would like to use this principle with Peter Hannam, he makes it bloody hard to not draw the conclusion that he is acting in bad faith.

He is a veteran journalist who will have been taught the wisdom of concise, factual writing, critical thinking and use of source data.

So why, therefore, does the headline and opening paragraph make a claim that is not substantiated anywhere within the body of the article?

We suggest one of the following explanations for this discrepancy;

  1. After all these years to hone his craft, Peter made a genuine mistake, forgetting to add the all-important sentence or paragraph that would have corroborated his claim.
  2. Peter is incompetent and has been languishing in the role of serious journalist for several years without being in possession of the requisite skills and experience to perform the role.
  3. He knew that there was no supporting evidence for the claim of “driest ever” but went ahead with the assertion, both as a headline and in the body of the article.

Our suggestion is that, based on his extensive public record of writing, (3) is the most likely explanation.

If you accept this explanation that Peter is deliberately trying to deceive the reader, we perhaps should ask ourselves, why?

Actually, perhaps we should ask Peter that?

Hi Peter Hannam, are you a fool or a knave and, if the latter, to what purpose?

If someone on Twitter could ask him, we would be most grateful – @p_hannam
In the meantime, let’s just remind ourselves of Mencken’s quote;

The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.

Didn’t Darwin have something to say about catfish?

Or perhaps it was finches…..

Those of us who spend most of our lives in a reality, not fantasy existence, might not be aware that “catfishing” is a thing.

Apparently it’s a form of social engineering when someone is fooled into a relationship with another person who doesn’t actually exist or many aspects of their supposed life is a fabrication. A situation one imagines is a bit like the experience of being Christopher Pyne’s wife.

It would seem some of these relationships are very intense and, to the victim, quite real.

Here’s an example;

The article then goes on to explain a situation where a woman spent six years believing she was in a relationship with a man and then had a revelation and realised it was a hoax.

What was the cause of revelation, the “cruel way” as the headline suggests?

Erm, she told someone that she’d never actually met the person she called “boyfriend”.

No, really. Six years of being girlfriend and boyfriend and they’d never been in the same room at the same time.

Six years. Not days or even weeks. Years.

The unfortunate woman is an F-list celebrity, apparently, called Casey Donovan.

In addition to the couple of hundred words published in the Sunday supplements, she’s got a book for sale which presumably devotes a significant proportion of the chapters to this episode, given that it lasted for about half her adult life.

Here’s a picture of Casey;

Casey’s 15 minutes of fame came after she won a TV singing talent show.

Without wishing to be overly-harsh in our judgement of Casey, perhaps the fairest thing we could say is that, before and during her period of fame she had some not insignificant unresolved personal issues.

Question; if you have responsibility for a reality TV show or a newspaper Sunday supplement, what duty of care do you have when providing brittle personalities with a public platform?

Bill’s Opinion

Much of what passes for entertainment on TV is a direct descendent of the Victorian-era freak shows, putting those on the mental and physical margins of the population on our screens nightly for our voyeuristic curiosity.

When their time in the sun is over, if they are lucky they can return to the task of overcoming whatever challenges they had previously but with the additional burden of any new issues as a consequence of their brief fame.

Such as an imaginary boyfriend.

Apparently Casey is currently driving for Uber, which is a more productive use of her time with the added bonus that she will actually get to meet real humans.