Making sense of world events is always a challenge. Corporate media reports are usually superficial and misleading, lack historical perspective and are hobbled by ideological blinkers that prevent alternative, critical analyses from surfacing. While alternative voices exist, you won’t find them in the corporate-owned mainstream media because, as the late A.J. Liebling wryly observed in a 1960 article in the New Yorker, “Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one.”

Liebling died before the Internet was a thing and hence can’t be blamed for not anticipating the explosion of low-cost publishing platforms that enable people of all persuasions to challenge official narratives. This. of course, introduces other challenges – who to listen to and where to find them, to name two. I don’t have a satisfying answer to these questions and propose only to add to the confusion. To paraphrase Orson Wells, “I don’t know anything about politics, but I know what I like.”

With that in mind, allow me to introduce a new. bi-weekly program I have been editing since very recently, entitled “The Geopolitical Economy Hour” that appears as a regular feature on Ben Norton’s YouTube Channel, the Geopolitical Economy Report.

The GEH features two of my favourite thinkers, Professor Radhika Desai, a co-founder of the Geopolitical Economy Research Group at the University of Manitoba and Professor Michael Hudson, President of The Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trends.

To date, we’ve produced five episodes and you can look forward to many more that promise to go beyond the headlines and reveal the root causes of the political, economic and social upheavals we are witnessing and experiencing.

I recommend that you add this program to your list of reputable sources of information and analysis.

Stop the War!

Posted: February 25, 2023 in Nibbling on The Empire, Peace, War

Joining with peace groups across Canada and around the world, Peace Alliance Winnipeg marked the first anniversary of the war in Ukraine with an information picket in Winnipeg’s Osborne Village. Here’s a bit of video I shot at that less-than-toasty-warm action.

Justice for Hassan Diab

Posted: February 18, 2023 in Human Rights

Professor Hassan Diab is a Canadian citizen and academic who is facing extradition to France to stand trial in connection with the 1980 bombing of a Paris synagogue.  This even though Diab was in Beirut, Lebanon at the time of the attack, writing university exams.

This is the second time France has tried to hang this crime on Professor Diab. In 2014, he was extradited to France and held for three years, mainly in solitary confinement, before a French judge ruled that there was not sufficient evidence to put him on trial. Professor Diab’s case is explored in detail at Among other things, it reveals serious flaws in Canada’s extradition system and France’s judicial system.

Roger Clark and Candice Bodnaruk discuss the case, Canada’s role in Mr. Diab’s extradition, and actions people can take now to prevent further injustices against Professor Diab.

Roger Clark is a former national Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada and has been active in Hassan Diab’s support group for the past seven years. He has led several human rights investigations, including research missions to Cambodia, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Nepal, Guatemala and Algeria. In 2001 he was awarded the Order of Canada for his human rights work, both in Canada and internationally.

Candice Bodnaruk is an executive member of Peace Alliance Winnipeg. She has been active in Palestinian Solidarity work for many years and is the Canadian Columnist for the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs magazine.

Winnipeg, January 21, 2023: Members of Peace Alliance Winnipeg distributed literature in Winnipeg’s Osborne Village calling for an immediate ceasefire and negotiated peace agreement to end the Ukraine War. Following is the statement they distributed. Please share widely.

More war and weapons are not the way to peace!

Statement of Peace Alliance Winnipeg, January 21, 2023

On January 18 NATO’s secretary general said “Weapons are the way to peace” in Ukraine and this was echoed by Canadian Defence Minister Anita Anand as she announced Canada will send more weapons to Ukraine.

The world has been gripped by the dangers and repercussions of the war in Ukraine for almost one year. There have been disruptions to food and energy supplies and soaring inflation as a result of the war.

The cost of the war is mounting as Canada and NATO countries spend billions of dollars to fuel the war. Canada alone has spent $5 billion on this war, $1 billion of which has been for weapons. With NATO weapons and support for Ukraine there is the ever-present danger the war will escalate into a direct confrontation between NATO and Russia.

As the war has progressed various facts have emerged and none of them support this war or pouring more Canadian supplied weapons into Ukraine.

First, a peaceful, united Ukraine is not the goal of Zelensky and the reactionary Ukrainian nationalist ideology that predominates in the Kyiv government. One year ago, the Kyiv government was engaged in an eight-year civil war with its population in the Donbas that killed 14,000 and forced one million to flee the region. That conflict stemmed from the 2014 Maidan coup organized by the US to ensure Ukraine would be in its sphere of influence.

Second, as recently revealed by Merkel, Poroshenko and Macron, the Minsk Agreements, signed in 2014 to end the civil war in eastern Ukraine were but a diplomatic ruse to prepare Ukraine for war with Russia. This war, though maybe not to the timing of NATO and the West, was long in the works.

Third, the Canadian government is not interested in peace in Ukraine. One year ago, Deputy PM Chrystia Freeland described the lead up to the war as a battle between ‘democracy and autocracy.’ Clearly, this war is motivated by the ideology of the Cold War. Ukraine is the proxy to wage that war. Thus, Canada continues to pour weapons into Ukraine with recent announcements of $400 million for a US missile defence system and $90 million for 200 armoured vehicles.

This war could have been averted. Time to say enough is enough, drop the cold war ideology and end the use of Ukraine as a US/NATO proxy. The urgent need is for a de-escalation of the conflict, a ceasefire and negotiations for peace.

Canadian MPs need to hear this message. We urge you to contact your MP and urge them to support a ceasefire and peace negotiations.

Winnipeg peace activists joined with their counterparts in several cities in Canada this weekend to reject the federal government’s plan to spend billions on new F-35 fighter jets at a time when citizens are struggling to afford food and shelter.

They distributed the following statement to passers-by.

No Fighter Jets Coalition calls on Trudeau Government to Drop the F35 Deal

While Canadians struggle with rising energy and food costs, extreme weather events, and economic strife this winter, the Trudeau government is trying to push through a $7 billion deal for 16 F-35 stealth fighter jets with American weapons giant Lockheed Martin. On December 22, Global News and La Presse reported that the Canadian government is planning on signing a contract with Lockheed Martin early in the new year. According to a leak by federal government officials, the Department of National Defence has received approval to buy the F-35s despite years of widespread opposition from Canadian citizens, celebrities and parliamentarians. The government is advertising the cost as $7 billion; however, that is only the cost of the initial buy-in for 16 F-35’s. Further, while the government is advertising the cost as $19 billion for the full order of 88 fighter jets, according to the No Fighter Jets campaign 2020 report, From Acquisition to Disposal: Uncovering the true cost of 88 new fighter jets, the lifecycle cost of buying 88 fighter jets is estimated to be at least $76.8 billion over 30 years.

Experts, including former procurement chief at National Defence Alan Williams, have denounced this procurement, because the total cost of this purchase has not been fully disclosed by the federal government. Williams said: “It is distressing to read information being made public regarding billion-dollar procurements that is so opaque and piecemeal rather than being transparent and comprehensive…(It) makes it appear the government is hiding the truth from Canadians.”

Our report Soaring: The Harms and Risks of Fighter Jets and Why Canada Must Not Buy a New Fleet details the many adverse financial, social and environmental impacts of fighter jets. Excessive operational and maintenance costs, air pollution, extreme noise and damaging air weapons training in and around Indigenous communities are some of the many harms of fighter jets. As the U.S. Government Accountability Office explains, the F-35 continues to be plagued with cost overruns and technical flaws. In its April 2022 study, the GAO found that the F-35 has over 900 open deficiencies.

A new fleet of fossil fuel-powered F-35s will lock Canada into decades of carbon intensive militarism and prevent us from decarbonizing. One F-35 releases more carbon emissions in one long-range flight than a car does in a year.

Moreover, the F-35 is a stealth fighter jet designed for first strike attack, meaning it is only effective as an offensive warplane used against other countries. It has also been designed to carry the B61-12 tactical nuclear weapon and will put Canada in violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Fighter Jets are weapons of war and exacerbate global warming.

As winter sets in and Canadians struggle to make ends meet, it is irresponsible and unjust for the Trudeau government to spend public money on American warplanes. Instead, the federal government should invest in affordable housing, health care, education, economic assistance, and climate action. Canada’s planned F-35 procurement is unacceptable and immoral and must be canceled.

For more information on the campaign, visit the “No Fighter Jets” website. In Winnipeg, contact Peace Alliance Winnipeg.

Winnipeg, Oct. 28, 2022: Members of Peace Alliance Winnipeg picketed outside Winnipeg’s Delta Inn, site of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress conference, attended by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Defence Minister Anita Anand.

Robert-Falcon Ouellette at an October 5, 2022 news conference in Winnipeg. Photo: Paul S. Graham

I voted for Robert-Falcon Ouellette when he ran for mayor of Winnipeg in 2014. At the time, I wrote that Robert “offers the best combination of progressive ideas and personal characteristics of all the candidates. Having voted in every Winnipeg civic, provincial and federal election since the 1970s I’ll go even further – Robert is the most promising candidate for mayor (or any other office) we have seen in a generation.”

I remain convinced he is the best candidate for the job and that his election would mark a generational change for the better.

Winnipeg faces many serious challenges, including growing numbers of homeless citizens living along our river banks and in our bus shelters, drug addiction and violent crime, crumbling infrastructure, insufficient revenues, unsustainable urban sprawl and a decaying core — to name a few.

Of all the candidates I believe Robert is the best equipped to meet these challenges. His program is progressive and innovative and focussed on addressing root causes. I invite you to read it. If reading isn’t your thing, here’s some video I shot this morning outside of City Hall in which he presents his vision for Winnipeg.

If you are in Winnipeg tomorrow, I encourage you to help elect Robert-Falcon Ouellette as our next Mayor.

On June 29, 2022, members of Peace Alliance Winnipeg joined peace activists in a dozen cities who demonstrated their opposition to NATO and Canada’s membership in it. You can find a good overview of this week-long national campaign here.

Winnipeg, April 8, 2022: Glenn Michalchuk (r) delivers a statement criticizing federal government military spending plans to the office of Jim Carr, MP (Winnipeg South Centre). Photo: Paul S. Graham

On April 8th, 2022, Winnipeg peace activists held an information picket in front of the office of Jim Carr, Liberal Member of Parliament for Winnipeg Centre and delivered their message to his office. The purpose of this action was to object to the Canadian government’s recently announced plans to spend 19 billion dollars on 88 new F-35 fighter jets and increase military spending by $6.1 billion over the next 5 years. Glenn Michalchuk spoke on behalf of Peace Alliance Winnipeg and Darrel Rankin spoke on behalf of the Manitoba Peace Council. Here is some of what they had to say.

Below is a copy of their press statement:


The prevailing view that enormous military alliances and budgets guarantee peace and stability is disproved by the Ukraine war.

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute ranked Canada as the 13th highest military spender in 2020, easily among the top ten per cent of countries globally.

Today’s budget boosts military spending 6.1 billion over 5 years, an average of $1.22 billion or 3.7% per year, well above recent annual inflation rates.

This will only reinforce existing global economic policies of rivalry that led to the present war, a war which is creating danger, hardship and uncertainty for all people.

Peace groups in Winnipeg oppose the hike in military spending.

The Liberal budget grows Canada’s military spending from 1.36 per cent of GDP in 2021 to about 1.5 per cent, or to $34.2 billion.*

High military spending dampens long-term economic growth and worsens the cost of living.

It robs resources from more important social needs like equal and democratic relations with Indigenous Nations, housing, creating a sustainable economy, wage increases, and education and health.

One of the key beneficiaries of the Liberal budget is the military industry, largely based in the United States.

For example, the purchase of 88 F35 fighter jets from Lockheed Martin is unnecessary, economically harmful and dangerous. The Liberal government says the purchase price is $19 billion, but neglect to say the cost over a 30-year life cycle may reach an estimated $76.7 billion.**

These warplanes are not compatible with a defensive military doctrine protecting Canada’s territorial sovereignty.

Using past behaviour as an indicator, the Liberal government will use fighter jets in illegal wars of aggression, occupation and regime change.

It is time to reorient Canada’s foreign policies to respect for state sovereignty, mutually beneficial trade and respect for the right of national self-determination, which Canada violated in Ukraine’s coup d’etat and civil war since 2014, in Yugoslavia, Syria, Iraq and other countries.

This means Canada must not be a part of a military alliance like NATO that imposes arbitrary military budget commitments and whose member states practice regime change.

NATO’s original Cold War purpose to roll back and contain socialism disappeared more than thirty years ago. NATO and leading NATO member states, including Canada, have committed serious crimes of aggression in recent decades, from Yugoslavia and Afghanistan to Libya and Iraq – with impunity.

For all these reasons Canada must get out of NATO.

The Dead Candidate’s Report, a Memoir tells the story of a celebrated journalist who decided she wanted to be a member of Canada’s Parliament only to have her candidacy canceled by her leader without notice, as she was preparing to launch her campaign. In fact, her political obituary was written and distributed to the news media even before the candidate herself was informed. The decision to remove her from the Liberal Party roster in the 2008 federal election was prompted by a complaint from an anonymous blogger who claimed that an article she had written years before was anti-Semitic.

The candidate is Lesley Hughes for decades, a journalist at CBC radio, and one whose voice and views were familiar to the legions that tuned into her popular Information Radio morning program. She’s a broadcaster and a columnist whom I have long admired and who has become a friend and occasional colleague in recent years. What follows is a transcript of our conversation, lightly edited for clarity.

Paul S. Graham: So maybe we can set the scene, or you can set the scene by beginning to describe that fateful morning when you learn that the Liberal leader, Stéphane Dion, had revoked your candidacy.

Lesley Hughes: I deal with this in my book in the chapter called “your execution may be televised” because that’s how I felt. My crew and I were just filming a little video for my website, showing the various places in Winnipeg that had helped to form my values as a candidate. And we were just setting up outside the CBC building because a national public broadcaster was very important to me. And, as we were setting up a group of my former colleagues came thrashing out, lugging all their awkward equipment in one tearing hurry, kind of like they were afraid the story might vanish, you know. And so I was very surprised. And then they wanted me to react to the fact that I had been dismissed as a candidate, which was something that I didn’t know. They were waving a press release at me, which claimed that Mr. Dion had done this. Well, he hadn’t done it. Nobody had done it, but it didn’t matter because the television footage really did it, if you can follow me. So that’s how I found out that I was dismissed. And I was, I was shocked. I felt betrayed and confused. And it was the beginning of a long ordeal. It was a life-changing event. That’s how I found out.

Paul S. Graham: That whole story says so much about the way in which politics or politicians and the media and the news cycle interact that they couldn’t take the time to say, Lesley you’re about to be disappeared. There was no apparent courtesy.

Lesley Hughes: No.

Paul S. Graham: You were alleged to be anti-Semitic, and this was based as far as I can see on one sentence in an article that you wrote in 2002 that challenged the official narratives around the 911 attacks and argued that Canadian soldiers should not be sent to fight in Afghanistan. Can you tell us a bit about the article and why you think your critics chose to call it anti-Semitic?

Lesley Hughes: It was called “Get the Truth.” It was published in May, following the attacks in New York. And yes, the point, the focus of the column was that Canadians should know and should agree if our country was going to support the Americans in the invasion of Afghanistan. And of course there were rumbles of the coming invasion of Iraq as well. I think the problem wasn’t so much one sentence as the whole idea of challenging the official story. I had never seen the media behave in quite the way they did after 9 11. Media everywhere became kind of a Greek chorus, basically repeating what George Bush had to say — in spite of the fact that all journalists are taught that the last thing you believe is the official story — the last thing you believe and the first thing you challenge. So, I was angry and, and I was embarrassed and I had reported the claim that Mossad had made that they had informed the Americans well before the attack that such a thing might be coming, and this was interpreted, certainly by the blogger who initiated the whole ordeal, as meaning that the Israelis knew and didn’t tell the other tenants in the building. And so this was considered to be a very offensive, basically anti-Semitically motivated idea. So that was a big part of the problem.

The other part of the problem was that the Conservatives were arguing aggressively for my dismissal. And Steven Harper had got out in front of the story before I even knew about it, saying that I had said that Israel was behind the attacks in New York, and that I refused to apologize and that he thought was a very serious thing — at the same time admitting he hadn’t read what I wrote. But of course, you know, once that happened, it didn’t matter what I wrote. What mattered was the theme that had been established.
So, I think basically that was the problem. The very idea of raising the topic is like, you know, there’s a target on your forehead, but it, it had to be done. It had to be done, you know. You just know when something needs to be done.

Paul S. Graham: And so, the fact that you had not said that Israel was behind the attack wasn’t a problem for people who just kept parroting that line.

Lesley Hughes: It was great copy. Absolutely great copy. It was everywhere by the elite media who claimed to serve politically astute Canadians. It all went out the window. Right. And I was left for dead, which explains the title of my book, The Dead Candidate’s Report.

Paul S. Graham: So, this affair not only cost you your Liberal candidacy, but more generally it cost you your reputation and your ability to work as a journalist. Do you want to elaborate on that?

Lesley Hughes: Well, the thing is that basically all a journalist has to offer is credibility and these charges destroyed mine. It made me look as if I had been pretending to be one person, you know, progressive and interested in human rights. And I had fooled everybody up until this point. That was the breaking news, according to the blogger. And then of course you have to remember that nobody wants to hang with an anti-Semite. It is rightfully a loathsome ideology. And so of course people would naturally just take their distance from me. And I understood that a lot of people who could have spoken up for me didn’t actually do that because they felt compromised. And of course, my sources dried up because who wants to appear in a story written by the now famous anti-Semite and by the way, a 911 conspiracy nut — that was an additional focus of the claims. So I think that apart entirely from the internal trauma that you feel that people could believe this about you after a career in which it was unthinkable. Apart from that, the end was nigh. It was there, as I say, left for dead. And now what to do?

Paul S. Graham: Despite all of that, though, you did have quite a number of supporters. I was one of them, actually, this was even before I had met you, but I’d been listening to your program for years and I thought, if this woman’s an anti-Semite I’m Adolf Hitler. And I remember blogging about this particular issue on a couple of occasions and in one blog that I posted, and unfortunately the original link to the Winnipeg Free Press story no longer exists, but it was September 27th, 2008. And there was an online readers’ poll that asked the question, “Do you think Liberal leader, Stephane Dion was right to turf Lesley Hughes over 911 conspiracy writings?” And, at that point, 2,469 readers had responded and 73 percent of them said “No.” So, you know, clearly, amongst readers of the Winnipeg Free Press, there were a vast majority that weren’t willing to accept the official narrative of the Liberal Party, that you were some dastardly anti-Semite. What about other people that would have given you support back in those days? Can you talk a bit about that?

Lesley Hughes: Well, you know, I was very touched by that poll. That was a huge number of respondents for that kind of poll. And it, as you say, it was very supportive, and I appreciated it. And however helpful it was, it’s comparatively easy to express your support in that kind of forum. You don’t have to answer for it. It’s an entirely different thing to identify yourself and take some kind of action and make some kind of connection with whoever it is that needs that support. Much more difficult to do in person.
And of course, most people, when they don’t know what to do, or they don’t know what to say, quite reasonably, don’t say anything, don’t do anything. And that was the case for me, some friends in the Jewish community who knew that it was nonsense were not able to speak up. And some friends that were very, I would say, close friends didn’t know how to respond. So that balance was very, very difficult, but where it ended was that it was a very, very, very lonely time, ultimately a lonely time, something I would never want to revisit.

Paul S. Graham: However, you decided to take action at some point. After reflecting on your situation for some time you decided to take legal action to clear your name and to reclaim your reputation. Can you tell us about this?

Lesley Hughes: Well, believe me, Paul, I did not want to do it. I had friends in the legal community who told me many, many times that, essentially, if you look for a legal remedy, it’s like volunteering to appear in front of a firing squad after you’ve already been killed, right. This is not an appealing idea. I understood it – expensive, lengthy, heartbreaking, no guarantees, but I just couldn’t live with the idea of me apparently lending my support to anti-Semitism or anything related to it. I just couldn’t do it. I really didn’t think I had any choice and there wasn’t any other way to approach a solution. So I had a hard time finding a lawyer who wanted to represent me, but I did. I had no money, but I mortgaged my house for a retainer, twice. And, you know what, I don’t regret it for all that it was kind of a heartbreaking journey, the legal thing in court — I didn’t get my day in court ultimately, because the charges were retracted and I was cleared — and I felt differently because initially I felt that I had been used to give antisemitism a new energy, and used to induce fear in a community that didn’t need any more fear of this kind. So I bit that bullet, that firing squad, I went through with it and eventually I won. At least legally I won.

Paul S. Graham: So, do you feel that you obtained all of the objectives you set for yourself when you reached this out of court settlement? And remind us again, who you were settling with. Who were the objects of the lawsuit?

Lesley Hughes: Well, my lawyers had informed me that defamation laws in Canada had become significantly less powerful in the last few years. And so alas, they eliminated the idea of holding the media responsible for their, you know, wholesale slaughter [of] my reputation and my character and what they decided to do was, in their words, pursue the most extreme defamers, I guess, is the correct word. And so the lawsuit was against B’Nai Brith National, against what was then called the Canadian Jewish Congress and against the honorable Peter Kent, who was a candidate in the same election, in a heavily Jewish writing. And really, you know, was able to use this much to his advantage. So those, those were the objects of the lawsuit. People said, are you insane? People said, are you nuts? What makes you think, you know, that you’re going to do anything but bounce, like a pebble off these really powerful well-resourced experienced people, but oh, no, I had to do it.

Paul S. Graham: And in the end they settled out of court. Can you provide any details about the nature of that settlement?

Lesley Hughes: No. Legally I cannot discuss that. They withdrew the charges; they offered a retraction. An apology was out of the question. It’s interesting to note that in all of this, from the beginning, until this very conversation, nobody ever apologized. No one ever apologized for what happened. When I think about that, I can scarcely believe it. But in any case, my lawyer said, “Hey, the public. They forget everything, but they will remember that you went to court and that you won, and that’s what you want.” My legal team was very happy, very happy. They felt this was a good outcome. And I think, you know, realistically, practically speaking, they were, they were correct.

Paul S. Graham: I’ve long thought that the attack on you was motivated by two objectives. One, and I think you mentioned this earlier, to weaken the Liberal campaign by removing a candidate when it was too late to replace her. But, but also more fundamentally, I think there was a desire to squelch mainstream journalistic dissent around the origins of the invasion of Afghanistan and Canada’s participation in that. And you were one of the very few established journalists who chose to take a critical approach. And as we’ve discussed, you’ve paid quite a high price for thinking independently. Would you agree? Have I encapsulated it or is there more to be said about that?

Lesley Hughes: No, I think you nailed it Paul. I think you nailed it. I remember — you may remember as well — one of the, celebrated stories in the wake of 911 was a column that went — it might’ve been Margaret Wente, I’m not sure – “we are all Americans now.” Right. And when I saw that, I said, no, we’re not, no, we are not. And we should not be aspiring to be Americans. We should be aspiring to find out as the title of my troublesome column was — we should be trying to “get the truth,” get the truth before we make judgements and before we plan retaliation.

And we know what the results of the decisions to go into Afghanistan [were]. I mean, the results are just unfolding in front of us right now, but at the time I think what was revealed about media was the underlying and ever present fear of authority and by authority I mean the usual, the traditional – a fear maybe of the military, a fear of government, our own government’s response, and a fear also, of course, among corporate media owners, right, that the status quo could be disturbed. So, in my view, the whole thing did expose something that desperately needs repair. We need a new attitude, which doesn’t focus on fear, but actually does focus on the truth. Does that make sense to you?

Paul S. Graham: I think so. I’ve heard people in the alternative media, so called, refer to the established media as stenographers for government, and, less cheerfully as “press-titutes.”

Lesley Hughes: Awesome!

Paul S. Graham: And I’ve often thought that the official media does spend a lot of time cheer-leading for whatever comes out of Ottawa or Washington. And I’m reminded, and I think you alluded to this earlier that, journalists have forgotten the first rule is that “don’t believe something until it’s been officially denied.”
Anyway, I imagine the last 13 years, since this all went down, have been extremely challenging and reading your book, I had some sense of the ups and downs and the turbulence and the emotions, and the heartbreak and the fear and everything that must have been going on. How are you doing now?

Lesley Hughes: Well, I’m doing much better now that my book is in print. You know, this was a series of disappearances over this, more than a decade, right. Disappeared by the blogger, then disappeared by my party and then disappeared by the media. Then I went to court, I won and that victory was also disappeared because the media declined to print how the story had turned out, which was a great disappointment to me. So, my victory could be described as a thud. Boom! Right.

And now what, how do I live with that? And it dawned on me very slowly that I really had to write a book about it, even though it was going to be a book in which nobody looked good. And probably for that reason, a lot of people wouldn’t want to read. I knew that, okay, if I, if I practice my belief that the best journalism is preventive and liberating at the same time, then I had to write the book.

And I had to tell it, you know, exactly the way it was, with an understanding, you know, of human nature, human behavior, how it all came about. And so, I feel so much lighter now, now that this book is out because it was very hard; it was like defying the entire crowd all over again, you know, and again, the trepidation that comes with that, but I feel relieved. I feel as if I’ve practiced what I preach. And, I’m not responsible for the outcome now because I have done my part. And that feels really good, really good.

Paul S. Graham: I think you deserve to feel good. I think your book should be read by every journalism student and everyone who calls himself or herself, a journalist and every anonymous blogger out there who thinks that they can pile on without having done any research of their own. And perhaps every consumer of media, to understand how lies can circulate at the speed of light and, and how reputations can be destroyed, maliciously, and in some cases, I suppose, innocently as well.

Lesley Hughes: You’re just reminding me of what happened at one point in the story where somebody reported my victory in court, but they said that I had settled with B’nai B’rith. Somehow they missed the rest of that story, which of course meant it was not a big story. Right. It was just a little story, part of a little story. And the people lost interest. And then, Yahoo picked up the wrong story. And in the blink of an eye, the small part of a big story was everywhere. And then it was over. And of course, people look to Yahoo News, you know, as a moderately responsible organization. And that’s how this kind of thing happens. And it has implications for real human beings.

Paul S. Graham: I think the word “Yahoo” says it all.

Lesley Hughes: I’ve heard that.

Paul S. Graham: I very much enjoyed your book. It’s very readable. It’s compelling. It sounds like you. It’s a page turner, as they say. I got my copy from Amazon. Are there other sources?

Lesley Hughes: There may be books in bookstores before Christmas, if things go well. The easiest way at the moment is to go to Amazon, or you can go to, our page, and then it will give you the options.

But thank you, Paul. Thank you for reading it. Thank you for understanding it and thank you for this time.

Paul S. Graham: And thank you for taking a bit of time to talk with me.