Blog by John Miller

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The Desmond Cole rule

April 22nd, 2017

Shortly after his most controversial public appearance yet, Desmond Cole tweeted: “Have y'all noticed that when I speak my truth, I'm often described as an activist, but no longer as a journalist or author or radio host?”

Toronto media reports told how Cole, who writes for Torontoist online and the Toronto Star in print, disrupted a meeting of the Toronto Police Service Board this week by ra ...

Don't be objective

March 24th, 2017

In his fine new documentary All Governments Lie, Canadian producer Peter Raymont presents an indictment of mainstream journalism, which proved to be too complicit with government and power to warn us of calamities like the Vietnam war, the wars against Iraq, the banking collapse of 2008, and the ongoing war on terror, including weekly U.S.-directed drone strikes.

The documentary noted that, on ...

Dumb and dumber

January 16th, 2017

Scientist Carl Sagan once wrote: "There are naive questions, tedious questions, ill-phrased questions, questions put after inadequate self-criticism. But every question is a cry to understand the world. There is no such thing as a dumb question"

Unfortunately, journalists covering Donald Trump's first press conference as president-elect proved Sagan wrong. They asked a ton of dumb questions ...

Ezra in extremis

January 6th, 2017

Ezra Levant is to Canadian political dialogue what The Iron Sheik and Abdullah the Butcher once were to big-time wrestling.

A cartoon figure.

A hateful blowhard.

At least with big-time wrestling, you got the entertainment.

With Ezra, what you get are hate, lies, manipulated arguments, ill-advised stunts and his unshackled ego, none of which are entertaining, and much of which is just ...

Media culpa

November 9th, 2016

By one count, only 19 newspapers in the United States supported Donald Trump for the presidency.

The only one you ever heard of was the National Enquirer. All the rest were small papers with questionable influence, including The Crusader, official newspaper of the Ku Klux Klan.

So what did they know that the New York Times, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times missed? Hillary Clinton w ...

Cure for "too white"

November 6th, 2016

Shree Paradkar sure knows how to launch a column.

The Toronto Star has chosen her to write a new weekly column on race and gender, and she courageously focused very close to home for her first one – on the unbearable whiteness of newsrooms, including her own. She even criticized her editor-in-chief for being wrong about how accurate such newsrooms can be when they write about other cultures. ...

Unwarranted power

November 4th, 2016

Until this week, Josée De Carufel was an obscure Quebec justice of the peace, one of 10 toiling at the Montreal courthouse at 1, Rue Notre-Dame Est.

Appointed for life, JPs in Quebec handle a range of lower-level judicial proceedings, including bail hearings and applications for search warrants.

Now, because of her repeated and outrageous authorizations of police surveillance of a journa ...

Bail out yourself

October 2nd, 2016

Let's say your great-grandfather once made a wonderful living selling expensive fountain pens.

The man made a fortune because that's all people had to write with in the 1920s. He enjoyed his monopoly for years. Then along came a guy named Laszlo Biro with a better idea: a pen with a tiny ball in its tip that was free to turn in a socket.

The ballpoint pen was cheap, simple to use and less ...

RIP newsroom diversity

June 16th, 2016

If you Google "diversity in Canadian newsrooms," you will find that seven out of the first 10 results still cite my research prominently -- something that both surprises and concerns me. You see, the last research I did on that subject is now more than 10 years old.

Isn't that proof enough that diversity at news organizations has fallen off the radar?

No news organization seems to be openl ...

An affair at work

June 9th, 2016

Office affairs. They happen. Many are consensual, stay private and hurt no one. Some endure and can lead to marriage; of course, they can also break marriages up. Some simmer for a while and die out without affecting anyone else. Others can turn toxic and infect the entire workplace.
On balance, you can't call them good or bad. When so many of us spend as much time at work as we do at home, ...
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