Sun News Network, where facts take a back-seat to convenience…

I guess I’m first to catch the glaring flaw here. Yay for history majors!

To begin, I watched the interview and I agree in principle that men can sometimes get the shit end of the legal stick when it comes to custody issues following a divorce. This is partially a reaction to having a justice system which at one point in the past uniquely served the interests of caucasian heterosexual adult males. Times have changed and we’re better off for it.

But theres a huge problem here.

Ms. Titus’ argument is in part based on the idea that the media doesn’t report the male victims of crimes or injustices of a psycho-sexual nature, that the victims, from a mainstream media perspective, seem to tend towards almost exclusively being women. As for the aggressors, they almost always seem to be men. Ms. Titus, in an effort to bring her point home refers to the four un-named male victims of the Montreal Massacre (aka Polytechnique Shooting) on Dec. 6th 1989. Her credibility then nose-dives because…

It never happened.

There were no men killed at the Polytechnique, save for the lone gunman. The four men she refers to were killed, wait for it:

a) three years later
b) at a different university
c) with a different weapon
d) for a fundamentally different reason
e) from a different person (also a man, now in jail, likely not to be paroled)

Ms. Titus used a tactic which has been well-used by Sun TV, Sun News, CNN, Fox News etc etc etc for years. It’s called ‘conflation’. Since most people can’t remember what happened last week, most people simply smush events together for their own convenience. Ask a history prof how maddening this is.

There’s absolutely no debate when it comes to the victims list from the Polytech Shooting – they were all women killed for being women by a man who claimed feminists had ruined his life. He stated as such in his suicide note. He only shot at women, he only killed women.

I cannot stress this enough. But because the Polytechnique Massacre and Concordia Massacre happened relatively close together, Ms. Titus has decided to apply four senseless male deaths at Concordia University to a crime committed three years earlier in hopes of bolstering her weak position and lack of credible evidence.

*** Author’s Note – October 10th 2011***

I’ve been corresponding with Ms. Titus and she alleges that she had received the incorrect information from students she interviewed. There was a linguistic barrier, as Ms. Titus cannot speak French, and she further alleges that the students led her to believe several men had been killed in the incident, though they could not pinpoint precisely where they had heard this. Ms. Titus insists that she corrected these statements, though I’ve yet to ascertain where such a retraction would have been posted.

That said, I don’t have much too say, I think she’s already done a number on her own credibility by admitting to using less than satisfactory research methods. While I can understand there is a pressure of sorts while appearing on unscripted live television, there is no excuse to use such flawed ‘information’ to form a core component of your argument. Frankly, if more people working in the 24-hr cable news industry made more of an effort to censor themselves and try, sincerely, to only speak the truth, or, to ensure that points are based on demonstrable facts, our society would be considerably less polarized. Instead, such infotainment organizations (like Sun News Network) are driven by spurious scandals and invented controversies. Facts take a back seat because pundits have no interest in finding the truth. This is a distinction between ‘media personality’ and ‘journalist/reporter’ our society must recognize, but unfortunately we are still functionally illiterate when it comes to most media and communications issues. Too many of us still only trust the town crier, and we need to evolve past this. Ms. Titus should have refrained from using this example to build her argument, but ultimately my objection lies not chiefly with her, but rather with Sun News for their selective omission, selective fact-checking, and custom-fit misinformation they traffic in.

But to ensure the record is clear, she does acknowledge the mistake and has apologized for making the assertion, incorrect as it is.

***

It’s not like Fox News North is going to do a god damn thing to help her get her facts straight and this in turn weakens us. We can’t have random, opportunistic people like this being supported by equally opportunistic assholes like Michael Coren, Sun News, Quebecor etc.

This is hardly great stuff, but I suppose I wouldn’t nearly be as disappointed if it weren’t for the fact that men’s rights forums and other commentators are falling-in step behind this, calling it good stuff, a decent argument etc. No one has noticed this crucial fabrication.

As a proud man, I choose to honour my pride by ensuring I know the facts before I open my mouth, and certainly before I go on TV in front of the 20 or 30 people who may or may not be watching Sun News.

2 thoughts on “Sun News Network, where facts take a back-seat to convenience…”

  1. Ms. Titus –

    What you heard is irrelevant. What you know, can prove with absolute certainty is really all I care about and all that matters.

    Did you issue a retraction? Did Mr. Coren issue a retraction on-air?

    Misinformation is typically something only the American defence establishment has to apologize for. Do you actually characterize what you said as misinformation? That would mean you did it on purpose, that you were inclined to dupe your public into believing something you already knew to be false.

    Semantics matter Ms. Titus, as does a fundamental understanding of what words mean and how they’re perceived publicly.

    As to the men who were injured – protecting women, children, the old (whatever) from a dangerous lunatic comes with the territory of being a man. It’s how I was raised, it’s how all self-respecting men are raised, and its how my friends were raised. The genders may be equal in terms of law, rights and financial compensation (nearly), but men will generally have a physical advantage over women, often to an excessive degree of disparity. What can I say, it’s biological, and for this reason, I believe it is the job and duty of the strong to protect the weak, and this means that the actions of those men (that is to say defending women from their aggressor) is not something that needs to be lauded – it’s what we’re expected to do.

    What would be significant is that young people, students, instead of panicking and fleeing (as many did, men and women), instead opted to stay behind and defend those who may not have been able to defend themselves. In other words, laud the bravery of young people who were legitimately terrified and fearing for their lives. It’s not a gender thing. By your thinking, why aren’t we also celebrating all the women who acted courageously and bravely that day?

    There is no injustice in using Marc Lepine as the raison-d’etre for gun control, however. The man purchased a Mini-14 assault rifle from a hunting goods store. You can’t do that today, and we’re all better off for it. Yes, as far as I’m concerned, use Lepine as an example, use his case to raise awareness. I don’t feel persecuted, it’s a thoroughly ludicrous assertion. I don’t pay for Lepine’s crimes, but I feel safer because of what came in after that.

    Men have been given unfair advantages by a Western phalocentrism for generations and generations, and so if a few men have in turn been treated harshly by the justice system, so be it. Equilibrium between the sexes has yet to occur, and until it does across the board, men generally have unfair advantages, even in a country such as ours.

    Perhaps you didn’t conflate two separate incidents as I suggest, but who cares? You fucked up royally on the basics of the case you use as an example, and Coren eats it up. This is not a small detail, it serves as your chief argument!

    I’ve been on national TV several times, and was involved in an hour-and-a-half long debate with four other people, in addition to four former prime ministers. I was nervous, but I knew what I came to say, and I certainly knew my facts and figures.

    Avid fact-checker?

    Prove it. Issuing a half-assed apology to me won’t do you much good. Your poor fact-checking and the way you framed your argument played right into the hands of Coren and the whole SNN philosophy. You stick your neck out and he manipulates, expertly I might add.

    It wasn’t professional, it was amateur hour. If you get an opportunity like this again, be prepared. Remember, are you not trying to change public opinion in favour of your agenda? Well your agenda was co-opted by SNN and Michael Coren to serve their interests. You were docile and let him get away with rhetorical and journalistic crimes-against-humanity. It was shocking and lends you almost 0 credibility.

    Sincerely, Taylor C. Noakes

    *** Sent to Ms. Titus via electro-post ***

  2. Dear Mr. Noakes

    Please know that I said it was the story ‘As I heard’

    I posted the following within 1 1/2 of the show airing.

    “I did make an honest error in a story I relayed about Mark Lepine. I
    met several young women at a meeting in Montreal who relayed to me
    that 3 or 4 men had been ‘shot’ during the massacre but it was never
    mentioned when they learned about it in school. I do not speak french
    and must have misunderstood their broken english.

    The fact is that 4 men were merely ‘injured’ not ‘killed’. As the
    story I was told goes, they were injured trying to protect the women.

    I apologize for the misinformation.

    What I will not apologize for is highlighting the injuries of these
    men, and if it were in an act of chivalrous bravery, honoring them.

    I mean no disrespect to the female victims, I mean only to raise
    awareness of the men victims.

    It is a terrible injustice that the final crazed acts of a mentally
    and emotionally disturbed young man should be used for years to
    persecute men, young and old, in this country and make them pay for
    one man’s crimes.”

    It was not in any way my intention to ‘conflate’ as you put it.

    I am an avid fact checker, but these shows are not rehearsed and occasionally mistakes happen.

    I do hope this serves as some clarification.

    Kindly;
    Kris Titus

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