HomeArticleOMG This This This This!

OMG This This This This!

That’s right, I’m writing an entire goddamn article about a single tweet made by another political commentator. It probably won’t even be a long article, because the excellent Tim Black said it all. Call me lazy, I don’t care, this is the most interesting thing I’ve seen all day:

“Last night, one of my callers said we needed journalists and commentators willing to die for the truth,” Black tweeted. “I disagreed. We need journalists and commentators willing to give up their status, quit their jobs and make less money telling truth and sadly to most that’s the same as dying.”

There’s so much truth in that I just want to unpack it a bit and riff on its implications from my own perspective. What would happen if a significant percentage of journalists got fed up with spoon feeding lies to a trusting populace and decided to place truth and authenticity before income and prestige? Or, perhaps more realistically, what if people who are interested in reporting and political analysis ceased pursuing positions in the plutocrat-owned mass media and pursued alternate paths to getting the word out instead?

I contend that if enough people did either of the above, it would save the world. The omnicidal, ecocidal Orwellian power establishment that is oppressing us into heartlessness and driving our species towards extinction depends on deception and manipulation to manufacture support for depraved plutocratic agendas, so truth is poison to those agendas. The plutocrat-controlled media outlets advance that deception and manipulation, and honest alternative media outlets disrupt it. If enough talent began flooding into the latter instead of the former, it would become impossible to manufacture the consent of the governed for the deranged agendas which imperil our whole world.

We have already seen that in the new media environment, talented voices are uplifted by the crowd regardless of whether the mass media gatekeeping mechanism has authorized those voices or not. If you are authentic, truthful and interesting, you will gain an audience fairly quickly. People will want to hear what you have to say, and they will support you in all manner of ways, including financially, to make that happen.

I can already see looking around from where I’m at that there are so many niches to be filled still in crowd-funded media. Not just in doing opinion and analysis like I focus on, but in gathering information, in synthesizing information, and presenting it in an attractive, shareable way that gets that information into mainstream consciousness. There’s still so much room for people who can go through all the information being presented by independent journalists reporting on Syria, just to name one example, and then summarize that information simply and concisely for broad public consumption. Every morning I wake up and think about what to write that day, and for every story I choose there are dozens of others I don’t have time for. There’s so much more space for talent in alternative news media than is currently being utilized, largely I am sure because young people are told to pursue their journalistic ambitions through traditional paths.

And as Tim Black said, once you’ve set your sights on climbing to the top of the establishment media ladder, abandoning it can feel like death. And indeed, it is a kind of death: a death of the identity one builds up around the possession and pursuit of the power, prestige and wealth that comes with the realization of that goal. It’s a death of an egoic structure, one that a whole lot of energy has gone into upholding. Serving power has been both financially and socially rewarding for as long as there have been governments.

But look at what comes in with that. Look at Wolf Blitzer’s soulless, vacuous face when he’s reporting. That man is either some kind of sociopath or he’s self-medicating to tolerate the cognitive dissonance which necessarily comes with living a life that sits squarely in opposition to truth and authenticity, and either way he’s pointed straight at death. Not ego death, real death.

Then watch Tim Black’s heartfelt, thoughtful, frequently hilarious presentations, and ask yourself who’s more alive? Who’s living an authentic and present life?

Which would you rather be, young journalists and commentators? Do you want to be a Wolf Blitzer, or do you want to be a Tim Black? Do you want a life that is in service of the pursuit of truth and justice, or do you want a life that is in service of deception and death?

One of the criticisms I often see leveled at dissident media voices is that they aren’t real journalists because they “have an agenda”. It’s one of the most frequent attacks you’ll see made against Julian Assange; “He’s not a journalist because has an agenda.” Like Wolf Blitzer doesn’t have an agenda. Blitzer’s agenda is to maintain his wealth and prestige and hopefully get through one more day without throwing himself off a fucking bridge, whereas Assange has the agenda of exposing the secrets of the powerful to the public. All journalists have an agenda; the only difference is whether your agenda is self-serving or world-serving.

Anyway, I’m just putting this out there for anyone who’s thought about getting into this alternative news media gig that there is plenty of room here. I don’t care if you’re just out of university and looking for fulfilling career possibilities or if you’ve been mopping floors for thirty years; if you feel like you’ve got something to say and you’re honest and interesting, there is an audience for you. Something to think about.

And for any journalists who might be reading this, to paraphrase my friend Roger Waters (one of the many angels who has appeared out of nowhere to support me in this gig), ask yourself, are you exchanging a walk-on part in the war, for a lead role in a cage? Make the jump. Your soul is dying for you to do it.


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Latest comments

  • Thank you Caitlin for the inspiration. Thought you might like to see a beautiful example of the sort of journalism you’re talking about.


    The author, Dilyana Gaytandzhieva, is most courageous and doing the work that the MSM refuses to do. We need many more like her.

  • Just a comment to note that blogger Shane Dowling from Kangaroo Court of Australia has been jailed for 18 months for contempt of court – haven’t seen any mention of this in the MSM. I’m not exactly sure where Dowling sits on the spectrum between fearless warrior for truth and total nutter but in any case 18 months seems totally disproportionate and I would encourage anyone interested to look into his case.

  • Excellent shout out to the Awake masses. Many are afraid to speak the truth or even post it. As the corporately owned MSM try to paint journalist like you into a corner, as fake news, we the truth seekers will support you. I do appreciate you and your work. Reading your articles makes me feel as if I’m not crazy and the Truth is out there! Thank you Thank you Thank you!

  • Can thank Clinton’s, Congress, and the “Bill and Melinda” trust for that. Please note that Bill also runs MSNBC, NBC, MSN, and some biotech labs in Africa around where ebola keeps breaking out. How did bill make all the money stripping UNIX of its networking capabilities and copying Apple’s look and feel? Ohhhh. The government.

  • This morning I decided that I was finally pulling my support from NPR. The final straw (of thousands) was hearing a sponsorship message from the Department of Homeland Security. That’ll free up another $15 per month for real journalism.

    • I drive for a living, local scrap hauler. I listen to NPR pretty much 5 days a week. They have some good interviews with some dam good people sometimes. But the amount of compliance to the establishment overwhelmingly over rides them. The 2016 primary cycle on On Point with Tom Ashbrook was profoundly sick with establishment propaganda geared towards Clinton, while at the same time giving free exposure to Trump. And after the election cycle I heard Russia so many times it’s forged in my mind. I almost want to move there. There are a handful of great independent sites I’d rather donate to. Johnstone, Consortium, The Ghion Journal, and Empire Files, would be on the top.

    • Can thank Clinton’s, Congress, and the “Bill and Melinda” trust for that. Please note that Bill also runs MSNBC, NBC, MSN, and some biotech labs in Africa around where ebola keeps breaking out. How did bill make all the money stripping UNIX of its networking capabilities and copying Apple’s look and feel? Ohhhh. The government.

  • Cait-
    I can write well. My family thinks that writing is my calling.
    For a long time, I wouldn’t write anything and put it out there because I felt that I had nothing to say. Now I have things to say, but I am afraid that no one will want to hear it.
    Could you please give me some encouragement? Please write an article about how you got started in publishing, and what you did to have people print your work and read it.

    • Sorry not to be Cait, but I can provide a few tips. The first is to write all sorts of insightful commentary at a wide variety of sites which will help build confidence and expertise while educating yourself. This will also help you define what milieus you enjoy exploring. Second is to create your own blog focusing on those milieus. To support your blog, open a social media account or several so you can promote your presence. Not last or least, find a mentor or someone you trust to act as a sounding board and editor for your ideas.

      Doing this is a lot like diving into a pond you’ve never swam in before, where you’ll be cautious at first and gain more confidence as you learn your local geography. Yes, it’s scary and rather off-putting to write and write with little to no feedback at first, but you must persevere if you want to succeed. Corresponding with other like-minded bloggers is a must, too. Comfort can be found in the fact that there’re many young, and not-so-young, women doing what Cait’s doing–Vanessa Beeley, Eva Bartlett, and Sharmine Narwani are some I follow. Network with them and others you’ll encounter, and enjoy your craft!

  • I just “found” you and your web site. You had been mentioned in a comment thread on an article by Edward Curtin. Got curious and came here to check you out. Thought you and others might be interested in this exchange and the article it is connected to: http://edwardcurtin.com/the-sexual-passion-of-winston-smith/

    Gary Weglarz says:
    July 20, 2018 at 10:02 am

    Another beautiful piece Ed. Though I read and appreciate a number of progressive writers, I find your work and Caitlin Johnstone’s work the most emotionally moving, compelling and intellectually stimulating. I think it must have something to do with the fact that you both write poetry as well as essays, and that you are both unafraid and unashamed to express your own passion for and love of the world. Thanks for that.

    ejcurtin says:
    July 20, 2018 at 1:18 pm

    Thanks, Gary. I see the connection between Caitlin and me – you’re right. I really like her work also. Ed

  • Problem: The media, not the journalist, is the message. Can journalists quit their jobs at CNN or Fox and start their own TV stations? Can they quite the NYT and start a more influential newspaper? This is Capitalism, and the Clinton’s sold out our media to corporations for the Bush’s, and my liberal friends still think NPR is run independently based on their donations. I think anti-trust is the only way with the MSM and Social media. Make Social media a utility, and sell the NYT to a Cooperative. Love ya and maybe you have thousands of followers, but the MSM has millions and they like war. Break them up. Or, want to start a TV network with me. Words reinforced by videos tell a great story.

  • I have a vision that people who are inclined towards journalism, form news-cooperatives, with a subscription-basis for funding.

  • Even Slackers spread the Truth…”Free Assange” and others. Off to Slack, plant seeds and put a “Cog in the Wheel”. Sorry to quote so much. peas….

  • Good stuff. But to “just leave the system” is much easier said than done. For many, this would not be the difference between “fame and fortune” and “an adequate living” but rather between survival and starvation.

    Every person needs to pay the bills, and that is ultimately where those who decide they want to free ourselves are most vulnerable. As independent media becomes more of a threat to the dominant narrative of the powers-that-be, we will see its access to methods of funding shut down. You can already content being demonetized, bans from on-line platforms, rejection by payment processors, etc. You can’t even crowdfund some things now.

  • Thank you again, Caitlin for your always inspiring words.

  • Excellent thoughts.

  • You and Tim are heros. Wealth is a feeling. My bank account is filled & depleated by bills every month but I feel so rich. I have a meaningful job where I get to affect people’s health, mind & spirit. I have just enough “money” to support artists on Etsy, pay my rent, buy essentials, donate to journalists and charities I believe in. Since my 911 awakening i have searched independent media and turned off my TV after the 2016 election. The universe is abundant when living a life of service that never makes you betray your integrity.

  • Yea, there’s a name for that. It came about in the mid 90’s. And it’s call>>>>>>>Robert Parry>>>>> The birth of Consortium News.

    Robert Parry’s Legacy and the Future of Consortiumnews


  • I think you are definitely heading in the right direction. You are awakening so many people to the soul and life destroying lies of the ruling capitalist classes. People are increasingly questioning the messages put out by their corporate media, and are ripe for a real truth about what is happening in the world. You, Caitlin, are laying the groundwork for a revolutionary movement that is so vitally needed to save us humans and many other species.

    Some think it’s too late, but in the absence of conclusive evidence, we simply must devote our lives to smashing their world built upon so many layers of lies. You are alerting the people to this sort of action. The rest of us must be willing to support people (like you) who are committed to telling the truth and exposing the lies of corporate media. I personally think that nothing less than a committed revolutionary worldwide movement based on truth-telling can do this.

  • “I contend that if enough people did either of the above, it would save the world. The omnicidal, ecocidal Orwellian power establishment that is oppressing us into heartlessness and driving our species towards extinction depends on deception and manipulation to manufacture support for depraved plutocratic agendas, so truth is poison to those agendas.” Yes Yes Yes

  • Here we go again…you are saying things that are so relevant to me!

    My kid is going into second year university in journalism. She’s quite brilliant but sensitive, so wonders if this is her niche (I ask what she’s learning and not to forget there’s plenty of propaganda out there).

    I am skeptical on whether to keep her focused since I worry the establishment will destroy her sensitive side and her brilliance will fade.

    I’ll pass this on to her to give her something to think about…hopefully she’ll stay the course, I would be ecstatic (but it’s her choice, of course)!

    Oh and I’m so envious you are friends with Waters! I almost…almost 🙁 met him in Montreal, but things didn’t work out as it’s a 5 hour drive from Toronto.

    You see, I’m a huge Palestinian supporter and he met one of our comrades there…but I did demonstrate in Toronto at his concerts (all 3 then of course went inside to see my hero). He was slandered all over Canada by Zionists and their BS movie ‘Wish You Weren’t Here’.

    Enough rambling…just excited to hear your advice for the kid and the Waters connection on top of that, just blew me away!

    Thanks again and again!

  • Has Tim Black been censored from youtube? I was subbed to his channel but have not received an update in weeks!

  • I love this, Caitlin, and I love your work. As a long-disillusioned ex-journalist, I’d love to start doing this. But how? What are the practical steps to get a walk-on part in a war? Is it just, ‘start blogging’?

  • As ever, I can truly breathe when I read your words.

  • “Do you want a life that is in service of the pursuit of truth and justice, or do you want a life that is in service of deception and death?” I think that is the spiritual crossroad question of the century, where manevil currently resides. And it’s better than Hamlet’s contemplation of whether to off himself or not. I think what we witness with horror (or fake horror) is the manifestation of the collective unconscious. We gasp at the notion of addicts deciding our future, but what would Tim Black (or any of the other honest people out there) do, if the god of money made them the right offer? When more than fewer of us can honestly SHOW that we want truth and justice over money, things will change.

  • In many respects it’s a lot like Hollywood. You can be an incredibly talented actor, but you won’t get your foot in the door if you don’t parrot the leftist storyline. Conservative and Libertarian actors first starting out have to keep their true feelings in check so as not to anger the leftist writers, producers and directors that make up the vast majority of Hollywood. Anyone that doesn’t is never given a chance at stardom.

  • This is yet another of your exemplary essays which should be put in front of every senior high school student (in their English classes – all students study that language) and in other disciplines – economics, history – for example – and if Communications tertiary degrees are still being offered – there, too – from the start!

  • Love that phrase, “lead role in a cage.” Not enough are secure, confident, and aggressive enough to shout “fire me, fire me” at their middle manager butt-kisser. If and when they do they’ll find, as I did, comfort, freedom, and fulfillment if they do (as I did five times): fire their bully boss right back.
    Fictionalized facts are in Dismissed:

  • Great!

    And there’s a crucial way non-journalists can play a part in bringing down the rotten corrupt system:

    stop listening to and watching and reading the MSM. They can’t survive without an audience. Don’t be part of it.

    • Yes, and if you can, give your financial support to the journalists working in alternative media who have chosen to shun that corrupt system. The sharing of their work is equally important for the survival of these vital voices.

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