Democracy Talk, Episode 2

In this episode Patrick Chalmers and Yoram Gat talk about Patrick’s inside view of establishment journalism. Patrick presents his analysis of the roots of the problems with journalism and their connection to the problems of our systems of government.

Patrick’s book – Fraudcast News – How Bad Journalism Supports Our Bogus Democracies – can be found online here:

9 Responses

  1. Unfortunately I don’t have 31 minutes and 45 seconds to spare on what appears to be a tangential topic, so would ask Yoram to provide a short written justification for his decision to include a post on “bad” journalism on an internet forum dedicated to the study of equality by lot. At the moment it would appear more like a case of mutual back-scratching by the blog convenor and a political ally — Patrick provided Yoram with a vehicle by which to conflate his own agenda with the subject matter of the blog and he is now returning the favour.


  2. Hi Keith – I’m sorry that’s how you feel.

    You can find a very brief synopsis of Fraudcast News on the link introducing the piece, I won’t reproduce it here again as I fear that might annoy you further.

    It explains what I surmise to be the direct link that exists between the systemic problems in our governance systems and those of our conventional media, based on direct and sustained personal experience of the media element of that equation. You may, of course, disagree with that linkage – that is absolutely your right – though it would be interesting to hear your arguments as to why that would be, if you do disagree.

    If you were to accept the legitimacy of this possible linkage, even if you disagree with it, you might then acknowledge the possibility of those same points being relevant to a blog on sortition questions, just as your recent post was also doing, as I read it.

    From there, you might further imagine that to discuss this in video format as a conversation between two people rather than as single-author, written blog post might constitute an evolution in our means of animating wider discussions and prompting responses that might enlighten us all in the process.

    I’m sure there are some posts, and comments, on this blog that you find more or less irrelevant to your world view. If these Democracy Talk posts are among those – why not just ignore them?

    If you have substantial points to make about the arguments raised, rather than a beef about the existence of a post you don’t like or see the relevance of, let’s here them! I’m all ears.

    As for having the time or not to watch or listen to the interview – I know that for myself, I often listen to audio while doing something else – that way you can zone in or out depending on whether it grabs your attention.

    One final point, these first two episodes were intended to lay the ground for subsequent ones, giving interested viewers an idea as to how we got to the point where we thought Democracy Talk was a worthwhile experiment to bring more people into contact with governance innovations. Our intention is to move on from this “mutual back-scratching” as you call it to examine and discuss governance experiments past, present and imagined for the future. We’d welcome your suggestions.

    As for Yoram being a political ally of mine, or not, I’m even really sure what that would mean.

    Thanks for your comments though – it’s useful to get a sense of real responses.


  3. Patrick,

    It has nothing to do with my world view or preferences, merely the topic of this forum (equality by lot). My own post reported some of the problems of citizen assemblies selected by lot, so was clearly relevant. The burden of proof is on those who introduce other topics (journalism or whatever) to indicate the relevance of their topic to the subject matter of this blog, without requiring everyone to sit through a half hour video interview. Perhaps either Yoram or yourself would oblige? I’m spending most of my time writing a thesis on sortition and this doesn’t lend itself to half-listening to background audio.


  4. Hi again Keith

    “Proof” is a slippery ideal, not least in social and political sciences, but here goes.

    Sortition is a tool of governance, admittedly marginal among modern systems, albeit one with ancient roots.

    Sortition is suggested by some governance reformers as a potential improver of our current governance systems. (I personally think it is an idea worth exploring with more real-world experiments, along with others, as an attempt to remedy the problems of our existing systems of government).

    Part of the process of examining sortition as a potential improver of our governance systems should involve an examination of the context in which sortition, or any other potential improver of our governance systems, might have a chance to take root.

    Part of that context concerns both the dominant governance systems already in place and also, and this is where my own main area of experience comes in, the dominant media systems that inform the citizenry about those government systems.

    That seems pretty straightforward logic to me.

    If, as I suspect will be the case, you aren’t satisfied by the above then maybe we should just beg to differ on this – though I haven’t actually any idea of what your position is other than that you think this is not a relevant post for a blog on sortition.

    If it’s so problematic – and your time is pressured – maybe just ignore the Democracy Talk posts and focus on your thesis.

    I think that’s about all I have to say on this.

    Kind regards and good luck with your thesis.



  5. My point is that general posts on democratic innovation and/or journalism studies are not part of the remit of this website and this post confirm my suspicion that it is being hijacked by the site administrator for his own purposes. You should use your own site for this sort of material, particularly as, in addition to all elected politicians, we are now accusing journalists as being the source of all our problems. Given that the sortition community has so few friends, we should not go out of our way to alienate people. Anyone who has studied the reaction by politicians, political scientists and media pundits to sortition since the publication of (say) Barnett and Carty’s original version of the Athenian Option (Demos, 1998) can only be impressed by the growing sympathy for the topic, so why go out of your way to write journalists off as scumbags and capitalist lickspittles?


  6. Hi Keith

    You spectacularly misrepresent the points I make.

    Given that is the case, I’ll refrain from further comment in relation to your future comments or posts on this or other threads – it would save us both time.

    Good luck with your work.

    Kind regards


    Liked by 1 person

  7. Patrick,

    I’ve re-read your last comment several times and, although my language may be a tad hyperbolic, I can’t see any mis-representation. If the best you can say about sortition is that “it is an idea worth exploring”, this confirms my suspicion that we have a cuckoo in the nest. If anyone has the extended time needed to read your interview then no doubt this will lead to a well-informed debate but, if part 1 is anything to go by, nobody (apart from Simon) is interested in off-topic subjects such as media studies.


  8. Reblogged this on Fraudcast News and commented:
    A second video episode of Democracy Talk to add to the audio series hosted here ( – this one featuring Yoram Gat as the questioner and me, Patrick Chalmers, as the interview subject.


  9. The fact that I have been the only commentator to date lends support to my suggestion that EbL is not an appropriate platform for a post on media studies.


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