The Quebec City journalist, author and social activist likes to take hold of a subject and explore it with every tool at her disposal, and beginning in March 2020 the perfect opportunity presented itself. The result is her second book, Spin Doctors: How Media and Politicians Misdiagnosed the COVID-19 Pandemic (Fernwood Publishing, 368 pages, $35), a comprehensive, impassioned and highly readable work that itemizes how a confluence of factors created a perfect storm of denial and unpreparedness.
What Loreto describes in her book is a multi-system failure. Canadian media is in system failure. Long-term care is in system failure. Capitalism is in system failure at the expense of the working class. Industry takes advantage of the failure by refusing to increase wages on pace with inflation, by eroding worker’s rights and providing care to society’s most vulnerable as cheaply as possible. As neoliberalism is wont to do, individuals are blamed for the spiral.
Spin Doctors relies not on one-off tragedies or impersonal statistics but rather a rhythmic and consistent approach to writing that couldn’t make the author’s argument any clearer: Canadian media failed to write stories that connected the country’s pandemic response to its own capitalistic impulses. And we are now paying the price.
As someone who suffers from pandemic fatigue as much as any news junkie, I was surprised to feel a sense of relief as I read Spin Doctors. It is a much-needed reminder that confusion, rage, distrust, and nausea are not inevitable outcomes of a pandemic. If you are suffering from any of those symptoms, it is certainly worth reading.
Visit breachmedia.ca to read an excerpt from Nora Loreto’s book Spin Doctors: How Media and Politicians Misdiagnosed the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Take Back the Fight is an excellent analysis of the rise and decline of second-wave feminism in Canada and in particular of the extraordinary National Action Committee on the Status of Women. Nora Loreto shows both the strengths and the weaknesses of Canada’s largest feminist organization, giving readers an anti-racist feminist view of that history and persuasively argues that we need a cross-country organization to unite feminist activists today. Thank you to Nora for making this important part of activist history come alive for readers and now be documented for history.
As an online activist myself, those chapters echoed what I’ve been feeling for years with eerie accuracy — and, honestly, I’m overjoyed at the idea of other young activists being able to read those insights in a book instead of having to experience Twitter for themselves.
How we did get to a place where feminism is ubiquitous and yet women’s lives don’t seem to be getting any better? Nora Loreto’s new book Take Back the Fight (a play on the name of the annual Take Back The Night march against sexual and domestic violence) examines this apparent contradiction and points out ideas to build a feminist movement that can once again pose a serious challenge to the forces arrayed against women.
Keenly attuned to our current moment’s ethical timbre, Loreto is unflinchingly committed to presenting feminism’s anti-capitalist, anti-colonial, and anti-racist imperative. She makes the connection between societal struggles and the possibilities of a truly emancipatory feminist movement that gathers all people under its cover in solidarity.
In Take Back the Fight, Quebec City writer and podcaster Nora Loreto has crafted a meticulous look at how we can address barriers in contemporary Canadian feminist organizing.
Charting a tumultuous history of mainstream feminism, Nora Loreto’s Take Back the Fight is a clarion call for a large-scale, intersectional and radical feminist movement in Canada.
You can also listen to Nora’s interviews with Dahlia Katz from CFRA 580 in Ottawa and Allison Brunet from CBC Quebec’s Quebec AM.