CNN, Lies and the Ghost of #Gamergate – Polecat Cast 117



Join us on the Polecat Cast as we discuss the news of the week, like CNN’s misinformation on Gamergate, losing young men to video games, South Park getting away from Trump bashing, and more!

Show notes:

Telling Lies With Engadget

By Mike J.

Gaming snot rag Engadget has thrown themselves between CNN and the hail of criticism they’ve faced in response to threatening to release the private information of a redditor who created a GIF mocking CNN, which was later tweeted out by President Donald Trump. Engadget writer Jessica Conditt dredged up the tired harassment narrative falsely linked with #GamerGate whilst attempting to exonerate CNN of all wrongdoing. Conditt states that ‘doxing’, defined as the search for and publishing of private or identifying information about a particular individual on the Internet, typically with malicious intent, was the main weapon of #GamerGate.

This is untrue as most of the doxxing that surrounded #GamerGate was perpetrated by third party trolls, particularly the users of 8chan’s /baphomet/ board. Conditt continues, calling #GamerGate “a loosely organized movement that led to the widespread harassment of women in the video game community around 2014”.

However despite this claim gaming website Techraptor, citing a peer reviewed report from Women, Action, & the Media, states that less than 1% of Twitter accounts that were blocked using the ggautoblocker were ever flagged for harassment. Conditt also claims that #GamerGate exclusively targeted female game developers such as Zoe Quinn, Brianna Wu, and Anita Sarkeesian. Again the data doesn’t seems to back this up in the slightest. If anything it was unwittingly debunked by Newsweek’s smear piece on #GamerGate where it was revealed by Brandwatch that the overwhelming majority of tweets sent to Quinn, Wu, and Sarkeesian were neutral in nature.

Conditt also brings up the one hundred and seventy-three page FBI report on #GamerGate, but can only cite the example of two teenage boys calling Brianna Wu forty to fifty times a day as the worst of it. Conditt wraps things up by recalling the doxxing of Felicia Day after the actress wrote a blog post discussing #GamerGate. While it true that the address of Felicia Day’s talent agency was posted online after the blog went live, the doxxing was the result of a third party troll attempt to frame #GamerGate figurehead Internet Aristocrat. In the end, Conditt has nothing to show in the way of proof. The claims she makes are the ones we’ve been hearing about for the last three years, and they’re as false now as they were back in 2014.

Are We Losing men to Video games?

By L Kemlo

An opinion article titled “We’re losing a whole generation of young men to video games” was published in the New York Post last week. The author, Kyle Smith, claims that video games are becoming a substitute for living.

He starts off reflecting on his own obsession with the game Civilization that made him waste a regretful amount of time managing his fake world. While he acknowledges that fear of real life violence inspired by video games has been debunked and that surveys show men who play video games are happy, he argues that this is a fleeting happiness that doesn’t consider the time sink factor.

Quote from the article:
“Men aged 21 to 30 worked 12 percent fewer hours in 2015 than in 2000. The percent of young men who worked zero weeks over the course of a year doubled in that period, to an alarming 15 percent. Those working hours were largely replaced by gaming, and fully 35 percent of young men now live with their parents or other close relatives, up from 23 percent in 2000. Their unemployment rate jumped by 10 percent.”

Smith strengthens his case pointing out that mastering videogames takes away the ability to gain mastery in a career and that many will be at a disadvantage later in life, rippling out beyond career, but into relationships as women desire to marry up.

Although Smith claims men are dropping out of the workforce to play videogames, it seems like a stretch to assume video games are the cause when they are more likely a result, or a symptom of a greater opting out event. There is some validity to video games leading to less mastery in the real world and more leveling up in the gaming world, however, there are more reasons why a man might focus on video games than just being addicted.


Male Bus Drivers Wearing Skirts to Deal with Heat Waves
By Andrew G.

Is it hot in here or is it just me? For Bus Drivers in French city of Nantes, they have been dealing with extremely hot buses; temperatures have been reaching 100℉ (38℃) and up to 120℉ (50℃) behind the windshields. According to, “High environmental temperatures can be dangerous to your body. In the range of 90˚ and 105˚F (32˚ and 40˚C), you can experience heat cramps and exhaustion. Between 105˚ and 130˚F (40˚ and 54˚C), heat exhaustion is more likely. You should limit your activities at this range. An environmental temperature over 130˚F (54˚C) often leads to heatstroke.”

The dress code for the bus company forbids the wearing of shorts. However, skirts are allowed to be worn. The previous year, the company changed its uniform to include “summer trousers,” however that did not include the addition of shorts to the list of approved attire. Needless to say, those changes did little to help the men’s working conditions.

So, what did the men do? They showed up to their bus shifts in skirts. One of the drivers said after wearing a skirt for the day: “I can tell you that with today’s temperatures, it was rather agreeable.” This isn’t the first-time men, or for that fact boys, have resorted to wearing skirts to combat heat waves. In 2013, male bus drivers in Sweden also wore skirts during their shifts. In June of 2017, a group of British School-Boys wore skirts in defiance of a no-shorts dress code.

Are we on the track for entities to relax dress codes in cases of extreme heat? Or will more and more men resort to wearing skirts to handle the heat?


New South Park Goes Back to Formula

By L Kemlo

Co-creator of South Park, Trey Parker, says he the show will avoid bashing Trump and get back to its roots.

He told the Washington Post:

“We fell into the same trap that ‘Saturday Night Live’ fell into, where it was like, ‘Dude, we’re just becoming CNN now. We’re becoming: Tune in to see what we’re going to say about Trump.’ Matt and I hated it but we got stuck in it somehow.”

Although he thinks that by satirizing current events, especially Trump, they could get higher ratings, he doesn’t care for it and wants to get back to “kids being kids and being ridiculous and outrageous”.

On Trump he said:

“He’s not intentionally funny but he is intentionally using comedic art to propel himself,” he said. “The things that we do — being outrageous and taking things to the extreme to get a reaction out of people — he’s using those tools. At his rallies he gets people laughing and whooping. I don’t think he’s good at it. But it obviously sells — it made him president.”


Bonus Story:

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Brian Martinez

Part time student, part time concierge and full time illustrator all wrapped up in one creative package. Looking for opportunities to use my aptitudes, talents and competence to serve a worthy company, or start my own. Dude. Roots in Chicago. Thinker and go-getter.

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  • Is there any way to get a link to the video? Since it’s unlisted, youtube search doesn’t work, Patreon has nothing but the aftershow, and Google+ is equally unhelpful. Unless it’s the Razorfist interview, of course.

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