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Women's Bodies

Pickton says “Hogwash:” Is He Admitting the Charges or Denying Them?

Pigs Feeding on Garbage

Today’s reporting of the Robert Pickton murder trial includes hundreds of newspaper articles with headlines like these:

Pickton to Cops:  “Hogwash”
Pig Farmer Serial Murderer Claims Hogwash
Canadian Murder Suspect Calls Charges “Hogwash”
Accused Killer Calls Charges “Hogwash”

According to these reports,  videotaped interviews show Pickton telling police the allegations against him are “hogwash.”

 This is the dictionary definition of “hogwash”:

hog·wash  [hawg-wosh, -wawsh, hog]

–noun 
1. refuse given to hogs; swill.
2. any worthless stuff.
3. meaningless or insincere talk, writing, etc.; nonsense; bunk.

Robert Pickton is a pig farmer.  A hog farmer.  We all know this– this is how these murders have been reported from the beginning.  We’ve heard about the remains found on the “pig farm,” and about murder charges against Pickton, the “pig farmer,” and about parties at the “piggy palace.”  We’ve read now about the remains found in the pig pens and near the slaughterhouses.

Pickton, pig farmer that he is, knows what “hogwash” is.  It is “swill”:

swill  

1.  liquid or partly liquid food for animals, esp. kitchen refuse given to swine; hogwash.
2.   kitchen refuse in general; garbage.
3.   any liquid mess, waste, or refuse; slop.
4.   a deep draught of liquor
5.   contemptibly worthless utterance or writing; drivel.

It is “refuse.”  It is garbage.  Refuse, garbage, swill that is fed to hogs.  Which by all the evidence described so far is unavoidably what Pickton reduced women’s bodies to, after he’d raped them, tortured them and murdered them.

Pickton describing the charges as “hogwash” makes sense.  He also told the undercover cop in the cell where he was being held that he didn’t get caught sooner because of shoddy police work, which is the kind of statement serial killers often make.  They pride themselves on being smarter than the police, being able to outwit them.  In using that word, he’s outwitting them again, denying the charges with language which, in fact, admits them, in a manner that is virtually a signature of the way abusers fuck with the minds of their victims.

What is horrible is that the news media either: (1) never thought of this, in which case why wouldn’t they?  We are talking about, wordsmiths, people who make their living writing articles and headlines; or (2) thought of it and kind of liked participating in the mind fuck themselves. Kind of liked calling these women garbage and refuse and swill, and getting away with it, the way they got away with calling them “drug addicts” and “prostitutes” only this is even better; (3) thought of it and used the language anyway, to titillate, to enrage, to provoke.  Absent acknowledging Pickton’s possible intentions in using that word, reporters participate in Pickton’s  mind fucking.  Nobody can say for sure what they mean in using the word.  They can deny any accusation that comes their way.

Well, I’m calling it out.  Imagine what the news might look like, honest to god, if women’s sensibilities were taken into account, if women had real power to influence the way it is reported.  Imagine what police work might look like, for that matter.  Imagine what justice might look like.

Heart

Discussion

14 thoughts on “Pickton says “Hogwash:” Is He Admitting the Charges or Denying Them?

  1. “Pickton ’s own words were put before jurors Tuesday as the Crown played taped conversations with police about the remains of women found on his pig farm.”

    They are reporting, factually, what he said. Those words were what the jury heard.

    Posted by Miranda | January 24, 2007, 7:08 pm
  2. Right, Miranda, but I think you are missing my point.

    If I reported factually what Pickton said — and I *am* a writer, and I *do* write news which is published in a radical feminist news magazine, Off Our Backs (which is getting an article about this), I would write it the way I’ve written it. I would say something like, “What was in Robert Pickton’s mind when he, a pig farmer, whose farm as it turned out contained the remains of missing women, called the charges against him “hogwash.” Was he denying the charges? Or admitting them.”

    I don’t see anybody doing that. They’re just reporting, “He said the charges are hogwash.” Full stop. As though.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | January 24, 2007, 7:13 pm
  3. These are the actual words from the video:

    “You are being investigated for upwards of 50 other disappearances and or murders,” Fordy said. “In your own words, Rob, can you explain to me what that means to you?”

    “What it means to me. Hogwash,” Pickton answered.

    Like I said.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | January 24, 2007, 7:35 pm
  4. Oh well I’ll be the unredeemable cynic: he’s playing to the audience. He knows this is what the media is looking for. He is, like many sociopathic psychopaths, revelling in his notoriety, fame, show stopping aura. This is his last hurrah before the hammer comes down on him, and it won’t last for long. Sometime soon he will get really ugly as he sees he is done, and the exileration of this last little game runs down on him.

    Posted by Pony | January 24, 2007, 7:45 pm
  5. What bothers me is media picking up on that out of all he said. We all know he pled not quilty. They’re giving him just what he wants.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | January 24, 2007, 8:08 pm
  6. Absolutely. The news stories about the trial proudly announcing how media from all over the world are coming to Vancouver, like it was some gd olympics, and behaving like this is really putting us on the map.

    Posted by Pony | January 24, 2007, 8:34 pm
  7. My voice rose to a screech there, at the end. God I hate journalists.

    Posted by Pony | January 24, 2007, 8:35 pm
  8. “, but I think you are missing my point.”

    No, not really. You’re objecting to the way the material is being reported, however, I don’t agree with your belief that

    Absent acknowledging Pickton’s possible intentions in using that word, reporters participate in Pickton’s mind fucking.

    The reporters are stating what happened instead of speculating or asking leading questions, which I prefer. When the reporting is accurate, the facts speak for themselves.

    Posted by Miranda | January 24, 2007, 9:03 pm
  9. No, not really. You’re objecting to the way the material is being reported, however, I don’t agree with your belief that

    Absent acknowledging Pickton’s possible intentions in using that word, reporters participate in Pickton’s mind fucking.

    This was only one of three possible reasons I listed for the way this has been reported.

    When the reporting is accurate, the facts speak for themselves.

    Not necessarily. Reporters always decide what they will or will not report, what they will highlight, what they will headline, what they will foreground. They always decide which facts are important enough to report in the first place. An article can be completely “accurate,” but the facts won’t speak for themselves because of what has not been reported at all.

    In this instance, the word “Hogwash” — out of what I understand is a lengthy interview” — was made part of headlines in hundreds and hundreds of newspapers. Why that word? Another headline that is common is Pickton saying, “I’m just a pig man,” with the same connotations as “hogwash.” Why those words?

    Why not other words from the interview with Pickton, for example:

    “I’m just a working guy,”
    or
    “a plain working guy is all I am.”
    or
    “I’m a bad dude.”

    Of course, I’d have chosen the last one. I’d have been completely “accurate” in reporting that that is what he said. But that wouldn’t mean all the “facts speak for themselves” because I wouldn’t be reporting all the facts. Reporters choose what facts, what accuracies *to* report in the first place in a way that can never be totally objective.

    I realize that writers don’t choose their own headlines; nevertheless, this “hogwash” headline shows up everywhere, after presumably going through final editing procedures.

    I haven’t seen “I’m a bad dude,” once in a headline.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | January 24, 2007, 9:20 pm
  10. Actually, I just checked and found three Canada papers that did use that headline: “I’m a bad dude,” says Pickton.

    Heart

    Posted by Heart | January 24, 2007, 9:24 pm
  11. More possible headlines from the video:

    “Do I look like a murderer?”
    “I’m nailed to the cross.”
    “I’m just a plain little farm boy.”

    Posted by Heart | January 24, 2007, 9:25 pm
  12. Reporters report the facts and let them speak for themselves. Hahahahahaha.

    Posted by Pony | January 24, 2007, 11:01 pm
  13. sammy james mcloughlin ne505944b plymouth uk devonshire csos torture me here in canada vancouver bc ,vast ,dera,

    Posted by stan | April 30, 2007, 1:59 am

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pingback: UPDATE on Vancouver’s 69 Missing Women: Murdered by Men, Remembered by Women — Pickton Found Guilty of Second Degree Murder « Women's Space - February 13, 2012

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