I had no idea how bad Vice Media was until they tried to hire me. What started as a blog post for my friends mutated into full-blown investigation into their contradictory, non-linear (Satan-inspired?*) history.
A company that went from interviewing a potato to interviewing the president.
This book is a portrait – a critical look – at an incredibly confusing, secretive and dishonest "content company" (a meaningless term invented by lawyers). Think of this book as a funhouse mirror version of a Vice Magazine:
INSIDE: UNOFFICIAL GUIDE TO VICE MEDIA
- Origins as a hate, anger and spite fuelled punk magazine to dreams of being the next CNN.
- CEO Shane Smith's transition(?) from media manipulator to public figure.
- Comic: "Boy with a Dragon Tattoo"
- Political Cartoon: "The Editorial Pimp"
- Vice Guide to: Lying, Employee Servitude & Control Fraud.
- Do's and Don'ts of Media Management.
Can fire be fought with a controlled fire?** Pledge and find out.
ALSO BY AUTHOR
- Part 1: Everyone is Laughing at VICE
- Part 2: Fact Checking Vice: A Fiction
- Part 3: Shane Smith: ‘Billionaire’ and ‘Regular Guy’
OTHER VICE POSTS
- I’m Writing a Book on Vice Media and Police Came to My Door
- Vice Media Kit — WARNING for Advertisers
- Ten Critical Views on Vice
- VICE on HBO Season 22: Tower of Terror (Parody) -The catalyst for FORK VICE
PREVIOUS BOOK ABOUT BIPEDAL CATS
Half-Cat: A Partial History was launched on Kickstarter and 350+ people welcomed it into their homes. It was championed by several Kickstarter employees and purchased by both founders. The co-authors and I were invited to speak at their Brooklyn HQ to opine the benefits of two-legged cat ownership. It was a moderate success.
NEW BOOK: FORK VICE
THE ONE RING TO RULE NOBODY
The Vice ring -in theory- is a coveted status symbol among employees. This gold-plated NICE ring might breed some healthy contempt. Available in all sizes.
EARLY BIRD "BILLIONAIRE"
Shane Smith, the CEO of Vice Media, claimed to buy and sell money illegally in eastern Europe during the early 90s. Details are hazy but it might have been during Yugoslavia's hyperinflation (caused by war) which made exchange rates unpredictable.
The first 99 books will be shipped with a "1993 Tesla" collectible bill.
Because of fancy print-on-demand services: I can order a single book and have it shipped for the stated goal.
- $3,000 - Mystery ad campaign on Vice.com.
- $15,000 - Premium printing (Unlock same printing process as Vice)
- $100,000 - Buy an editorial on Vice.com (Yes, the editorial department can be corrupted for about $30,000) OR If that doesn't jive I will make some kind of documentary about Vice.
- $10,000,000,000 - Buy Shane Smith***
The aim is to tickle your amygdala without leaving you psychologically disturbed.
Peer reviewed and lawyer discouraged by my best friends and harshest critics.
Sub 15k Print-on-demand costs look like the following. A $27 CAD BOOK, $50 CAD RING.
- *I'm an Athiest.
- **A metaphor (for the lawyers and other less-harmful people in DSM-5).
- ***Probably less.
BENIGN OR MALIGNANT?
On first sight Shane appears to be a goof. Longer study he appears highly contradictory, hypocritical and gross. But after cross-referencing and fact-checking 500+ articles, 24 hours of panel discussions, radio appearances and video narrations I must conclude that Shane Smith is a pernicious liar. I also share in the assessment that he is a serial con artist who lied about being a wartime correspondent. At Vice he controls 95% of the board (with remaining 5% to James Murdoch).
SHORT HISTORY OF VICE
- NY PRESS Why Corporate Media Is Sniffing the Butt Of the Magazine World Interview with the Vice founders before they learned how to control the narrative. This article haunted the company until the newspaper went out of business and the website went offline. (2002)
- WIRED The Snarky Vice Squad Is Ready to Be Taken Seriously. Seriously. "…[Shane Smith] never raises his voice or his eyebrows, never sits forward in his chair. He has the unflappable confidence of a natural huckster." "...Vice was built on lies" (2007)
- SIMON & SHUSTER How to Piss in Public Gavin McInnes’ sordid biography has three chapters dedicated to Vice Media. Valuable insights into the current CEO of Vice Media “Bullshitter Shane” Smith. “Shane’s work ethic was inspiring too and his marketing talents were peerless. He’d call me at a payphone late at night and say, ‘We’re going to be rich,’ into the receiver again and again like a financial pervert with OCD.” (2012)
- NEW YORK TIMES Panel in Hacking Case Finds Murdoch Unfit as News Titan "It said the News Corporation had tried to blame lower-ranking executives while 'striving to protect more senior figures, most notably James Murdoch.'"(2012) -- James joins Vice in 2013.
- DAILY CALLER Vice Founder Famous for Truth-telling has a History of Lies. Chuck C. Johnson (aka Digital Darth Vader) has a knack for finding skeletons in people’s closet and raising a little hell in the process. Politically conservative, autistic with “high IQ and low empathy” disregards just about every rule of journalism except reporting truth. Ruthless in that pursuit; Chuck has made enough enemies on twitter to be get banned. (2013)
- CANADALAND Vice: an oral history. "Deceit has been a big part of their story from the very beginning... There were no concerns about lying to get the money - right." (2014)
- REUTERS The timeless appeal of Vice Media "The kings of capitalism keep rewarding the imps at Vice..." (2014)
- BBC Shane Smith's BBC Radio 4 Profile Does a pretty good job making sense of Shane’s formative years. (2014)
- JOHNNY KNOXVILLE Shane Smith's Private Roast "Shane’s the only Canadian Rob Ford can call a slob," and "Shane is to journalism what Jared from Subway is to Save the Children." (2015)
- CANADALAND VICE. "...it is weird for a news organization to have such a problematic relationship with facts." (2015)
SIGNAL BOOST / SHARE
- http://forkvice.com links to this Kickstarter page
- http://notvice.com links to the Medium articles on Vice Media
- Twitter: @dvoshart
Vice is trying to define youth culture. But their work -by and large- is defined by: shallowness, deception, laziness and plagiarism. Great concepts if you're committed to being dumber.
Maybe there is a redeeming factor to all this madness. Shane has personified everything that's wrong with "New media". Simultaneously he is the L.Ron Hubbard of news, the Jim Jones of advertising and the Temple Grandin of Journalists, writers and meta-magical thinkers. A micro-agression supercomputer. Basically, Shane is a predator. He sucks.
Symptomatically, Vice is becoming my generation's Fox News --just another empire of illusion-- media without a conscience.
The solution to Vice's mess is a robust fact-checking department and ethics code but that would make the CEO, negligent on both counts, totally obsolete. Bango.
Shipping is included in all pledges. Thanks for reading! Contact me for any questions or corrections.
Risks and challenges
Because my dad agreed to buy at least one copy; I know funding will be reached. The book is written and is currently being edited. Still, there could be some obstacles.
Vice, like Scientology, is incredibly litigious. A frivolous lawsuit that defies numerous laws --local and universal-- that protect freedom of expression could delay things a bit.
Legal notice: In addition to writing I am a litigation consultant and budding expert witness. Future legal threats will be considered bullying. Vice lawyers are encouraged to re-read their barristers oath.
Ontario Oath of Barrister:
"I shall not refuse causes of complaint reasonably founded, nor shall I promote suits upon frivolous pretences.
I shall not pervert the law to favor or prejudice any one, but in all things I shall conduct myself honestly and with integrity and civility."
- (30 days)