Zorg Report: Zorg Report 2014-11-04 04:31:00

In Full Damage-Control Mode, CBC Urges: It’s Not Jian Ghomeshi’s Problem—it’s Yours

One of the most shameful things about the Ghomeshi situation is that the CBC, in full damage-control mode, is trying to pretend the story is not really about one of its pampered and lucubrated longtime employees, but rather that Jian, poor Jian, is just a symptom of a much wider societal crisis.  In other words—no-one at CBC is or was responsible for Ghomeshi—he’s just a guy who represents 10s of thousands across the country today.

All this may be.  #beenraped/neverreported is worthwhile looking at—when would it not be?  But conflating it with Ghomeshi to get CBC off the hook for not dealing with a known predator in its midst for years and years is, if anything, reflective of Ghomeshi himself, who conflated in his Facebook post his healthy kink life with vengeful prudes out to get him.


To distance itself from Ghomeshi, and to shield its managers and executives from being associated with him, the CBC is now going all-out on radio and TV and every platform to panelize to death the issue of sexual violence and “why women won’t come forward.”   It is citing whopping statistics and fairly hauling people off the streets to sit under the bright lights and furrow their brows and express grim chagrin over how the problem that Ghomeshi merely represents (but isn’t, in and of himself, an especially notable example) just seems so persistent.  Some of the CBC’s expert panelists include talk-show hosts (yes, talk-show hosts) or just everyday journalists.  The CBC thinks that a media “insider” has more knowledge and insight to bring to bear than actual experts—this is yet one more example of self-satisfying hubristic conflation:  have a talk show?  Good.  You must be qualified to discuss the issues around non-reporting of sexual assaults. All this panelization, presumably, is to show that the CBC really, really cares about this terrible issue that, sure, did affect some guy it hired and kept promoting for a long time, but that really affects THE WHOLE COUNTRY much more than just that one guy.

This is craven in the extreme.  If the CBC really wanted to address issues of sexual violence, or non-reporting of assaults, or how the legal and judicial systems prevent abused women from coming forward, then it has tremendous resources at its disposal to do just that.  It could get The Passionate Eyeonto it.  It could hire a documentarian/commission a documentary.  It could put together an Ideasseries.  If CBC hasn’t done such things already, yet is now treating the Ghomeshi story as simply one troubling little symptom of a massive mud-spectred (I draw on Jian’s Facebook page for that one) national malaise, then it obviously wasn’t doing much at all in the past to fulfill its journalistic mandates.

Canadahas a fairly robust history of egregious sex criminals—Paul Bernado, Russell Williams, Luca Magnotta.  How many people in B.C. are more than one or two acquaintances away from a woman who was victimized?  Now, I’m not saying that Ghomeshi killed anyone, but where was the CBC on drawing massive social extrapolations from all these earlier cases?  I don’t think it would be difficult for any sentient person not to look at any of these horrific examples and not instantly come up with ways in which to generalize the problem and suggest that the Bernado’s, say, were just symptoms of a much, much more widespread problem.  Karla Homolka, an abused woman, only “came forward” when she got a deal from the justice system.  Perhaps the easiest thing we do, as human beings, is see one example of something and draw a sweeping generalization from it (the legal system is supposed to be about gathering numerous examples, but that doesn’t seem to be working out so well, either).  The CBC, calculatingly, clearly decided: “we’ve gotta make this Ghomeshi thing go away; we’ve gotta make it look like it’s everyone’s problem, not ours.” 

For shame. 

I can’t speak for Mansbridge or Mesley or Tremonti or whoever at the CBC, but as they all dutifully led their panels about non-reporting, I really kind of felt that their hearts weren’t in it and that they’d been ordered by their bosses to do  this  panel   now!  I just said I could be wrong.  Maybe Mesley wrote all her own questions.  Who knows? But there was no urgency in any of the panelistic/CBC interviewing responses—this was Operation Ghomeshi Coverup in full flight.

This story isn’tabout the broader story of violence towards women in society.  It is about Ghomeshi.  As I have already said, any statistics aside, if an average guy serially lured women to his home so as to assault them and secretly videotape them, then that guy woulddo time.  If he wouldn’t, then perhaps any lawyer or judge or cop or academic or actual offender or, fine, talk-show host, could write in to say just how and why not.  This story is about over 9 women who have now come forward about *1* guy, and to pretend there aren’t more is Pollyannaish.  Further, to pretend that this egregious case can simply be blended into some sort of general “violence against women” theme can only militate against ameliorating situations for the general populace.  Ghomeshi won’t do time.  But his story, and the way CBC has handled it, will make it seem like “oh, yeah, that violence against women stuff–I hear Ghomeshi was into it; worked for him.  His bosses protected him.  No probs.” The Pollyannaish theory ought to be that not 1 case of assault is ok, but the CBC is saying that, since it’s at least 9 so far, we might as well call it general and not specific and blame “society” instead of an offender.  In this way, the CBC is working against women coming forward.

And yes, I know, any and everything is just “alleged.”  Nothing is proven.  Just alleged.  Got it.  That’s all it is—alleged.

Very, very, very few people go through life and can look back on it and say that they never experienced any unpleasant sexual or sexually exploitative situations.  But Ghomeshi’s case isn’t everyone’s case—it’s a serial case that was enabled and enabled by the CBC; as the Qexecutive producer who fielded a harassment complaint from a young female member of Ghomeshi’s “team” aptly said, there was no way to pursue anything against Ghomeshi because Ghomeshi’s show was “a f—-ing juggernaut” (http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/10/30/q-journalist-who-alleges-ghomeshi-threatened-to-hate-f-her-says-she-complained-to-boss-in-2010/).  In other words, Ghomeshi was too big to fire, and that gave him carte blanche with young women and made him untouchable by CBC brass.  He knew it, they knew it, and now he’s trying to say he did nothing wrong, and CBC is trying to say it’s everyone’s problem, not theirs.  For shame.

Take the case of Reva Seth, one of Ghomeshi’s late accusers.  She is, or became, a lawyer.  Not a talk-show host, a lawyer.  You might think that someone such as her, a member in good standing in the legal profession, would have a very clear and active desire to support her profession and try to prevent or prosecute the kinds of behaviours of which Ghomeshi now stands accused, and of which she now accuses him.  But she didn’t.  Ghomeshi was too much of a celebrity, one that CBC carefully groomed and nurtured.  If a female lawyer was unwilling to pursue action against him, then who would?  No, this story isn’t about some general societal problem, though if it makes us think about and confront one, good.  If Reva Seth were assaulted by any old Joe Who, I suspect Joe Who wouldn’t have kept seeing his star rise, as Jian’s did.

An awful lot of CBC people must have held their noses around Jian, and one understands that the public broadcaster was desperate to have a popular show of any kind, even if that never really was its chief mandate.  But an awful lot of people at CBC have an awful lot to answer for, and as a supporter of public broadcasting, I am disgusted and ashamed by CBC’s attempts to pretend the Ghomeshi story was a national societal one, and not one that involved one of its most attentively preened employees.

Or, put another way, if the CBC really wants to get to the bottom of why women don’t report assaults, then the first place it could start interviewing would be in its own boardrooms and executive suites.  Then it could “Go Public” or “Go (and talk to the) Public” and do the kind of journalism for which it has historically been honoured.


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Zorg Report: Zorg Report 2014-10-28 05:55:00

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50 Shades of Jian Ghomeshi: Parsing Jian’s Infinite Self-Regard


(The first five paragraphs are basically about this blog and the provenance of this post/blog, so scroll right down to the sixth paragraph if you don’t really care to read about me and so on but rather about Jian’s self defense.  Jian’s words, naturally, are in BOLD.)


Well, today Jian seems to have made me do something I said I’d never do again, write a post about his show.  Or used-to-be show, I guess.  I wrote a post about Q in late 2011, and then another in 2012.  At that time, I said I was done with commenting on the show, and I was, except that, eventually, in late 2013, I did write a post in which I responded to a few of the most common criticisms I received over my two posts.  If you look at my blog, you see that, essentially, I just let people comment and generally don’t answer back.  If people want to say something, they can, and unless the content is outright unacceptable (e.g. “lemon meringue causes blindness”), I let it stand, expletives and all.  I think I’ve only ever deleted one comment, after a pause and for a reason similar to that suggested by the example just given above.

I probably wrote that 2013 response because, yes, my posts about Qsurely caused more clicks to my blog than anything else I’ve ever written.  I guess Jian is about the only “celebrity” I’ve ever written about, and I guess if I wanted more clicks, I’d surely write about a few more.  Something that surprised me about the responses I got was just how many I got that agreed with me.  I mean, when I google, I’m generally googling for something or someone that I *like*.  Maybe I’m weird that way.  I’ve sure never googled “Rush Limbaugh,” say, or even “Jian Ghomeshi.” Further, when you want to comment, I don’t think you always want to comment when you see something you agree with; rather, you jump in to comment on something you’re against or want to talk back to.   Therefore, I’m struck that so many people wrote in to *support* what I was saying—or, perhaps, as time went on, and more accurately, to posts others, not me, had made and that I had not moderated or responded to.  However one looks at it, it is heartening to see that, yes, so many people do care so passionately about the CBC.

When my dad told me on Sunday afternoon that Jian had been shown the door, I must say I was very surprised.  I was so surprised that I did something I’ve never done before, visit Jian’s Facebook page–to see his self-defense, like the one he mounted each day on his show when he read letters and got back at people who criticized him (but who couldn’t, obviously, respond in turn themselves.  And no, no, I have not ever written in to or phoned into his show).   Even such a tiny nano-instant of my visiting his Facebook page (or clearly this post itself), constitute micro-indications that Jian’s fame and fortune will only grow as a result of his firing.  I doubt he would have posted his “I’m not guilty” plea if he didn’t intuitively grasp as much.

In my two critical posts, I gestured towards issues of Jian’s sexuality, but if you read the posts, I think you’ll see that I didn’t make a big deal of it (whatever you think, you’re free to comment and I won’t take down negative or attacking posts, as is the custom of this blog).  Public figures must deal with private issues, such as those involving sexuality, in a way that most of us don’t have to.  I don’t say “ways,” because that would be to suggest that every single person, regardless of celebrity, does not have to address issues of sexuality.  Maybe I’m just thinking back to Rick Mercer’s comments on how public figures have an obligation to be candid about their orientations (e.g. http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2011/10/27/rick_mercer_comes_out_again_after_his_rant_goes_viral.html).  I did not, or do not feel that I made a big deal of Jian’s sexuality, because I very much do agree with him, that private sexual lives, even in the cases of celebrities, should be, essentially, private.  Everyone is entitled (or condemned) to that.  But you can’t also say that Jian hasn’t made sexuality a big topic of his show.  I’m not saying that he shouldn’t have; I am simply saying that, if I talk about macrame all the time, then I can expect others to talk about macrame in relation to me, and I’m a hypocrite if I suddenly become outraged by the association.

At all events, true to his self-regard, Jian opted to declare his sense of injustice in the most public way he possibly could, so let’s look at it.  I thought I’d only reflect on a few things, but on reading his statement, I don’t see how anyone—who wasn’t even involved in his private life—could fail to want to discuss much of it, even interlinearly.

Jian states (BTW, where was one of Jian’s many “teams,” the legal one, on this??):


Dear everyone,

I am writing today because I want you to be the first to know some news.

This has been the hardest time of my life. I am reeling from the loss of my father.

(This is a very unfortunate collision of events.  I feel for Ghomeshi’s family, and I am truly happy to think that his father went to his rest thinking only that his son was a successful media personality.) I am in deep personal pain and worried about my mom. And now my world has been rocked by so much more.

Today, I was fired from the CBC.

For almost 8 years I have been the host of a show I co-created on CBC called Q. (“I co-created”—well, it’s nice to know he had a hand in his own show.  I suppose he didn’t “co-create” Play.) It has been my pride and joy. My fantastic team on Q are super-talented and have helped build something beautiful.

I have always operated on the principle of doing my best to maintain a dignity and a commitment to openness and truth, both on and off the air.  (Uh, no, my friend, or you wouldn’t be here right now.  In today’s world, it isn’t even six degrees of separation; it’s more like three.  I’ve never met Jian in person, and as I think I said in an earlier post, I’d probably enjoy meeting and talking with him.  But his celebrity enabled him; it made him bask and act as if he were untouchable.  I heard his earlier band’s songs. I have a friend—yes, a young-ish novelist who lives near Toronto who freely noted Jian’s sparrowlike qualities when we were talking one night.  I doubt that she has anything but the remotest regard for this chapter in Jian’s life, but she did note his advances.  Or there’s the friend of mine who noted Jian basking on a visit to my fair city at a very popular bar with a couple of young women with whom, it’s probably quite safe to say, he was not on a last-name basis.  They may have shared many things, that threesome, beyond their cab, but again, it is not too much to doubt that a “mutual” plane ride back to Torontowas one of them.

I don’t begrudge Jian anything about his sex life—you do what you want to do.  But there is no question that his public, taxpayer-supported profile enabled his sex life.  If Jian were the exact same guy with the exact same looks but he was waitering while he worked on the Great Canadian Novel, I’m sorry, but he would not have been able to lasso girls half his age and tie ‘em up back at the ranch.  His “celebrity” gave him opportunities, and, rather than being grateful for them, he flaunted himself.  I remember when I was in a hiring situation for a large public institution.  I looked at the applicants, and one, very out, looked like easily the best one.  But only a couple of clicks on the internet brought him up to me, clubbing in his leather n’ studs man lingerie.  I didn’t care about the guy’s private life, but he applied to work at a large public institution, where he’d be paid by the public, and would come into contact with countless people, many of whom might not share his sense of “off-air dignity,” as Jian puts it.  I guess you might say I’m a prude or a homophobe or a discriminator, but I think of it the other way around—I think he was guilty of very poor and self-indulgent judgment.  This isn’t a case of a double standard for gays vs. straights holding hands in public; this is a case of just not thinking about the consequences of your actions—or, thinking that you are above them. 

Jian’s self-admitted BDSM relationships with girls half his age aretroubling to me.  His celebrity did enable him, and he’s as smart as he looks if he didn’t think his “private” indulgences, generated by his public profile, wouldn’t come back to bite him.  He used the CBC and Canadian taxpayers to fund his “private” life, and he seems oblivious to as much.  Maybe he should join a band on the folk circuit and then see how much outrage (“pain,” “shock”) he could generate about his “jilted” ex-girlfriends.


Not many people reading this post would say that they had never been in a position of sexual dominance—physical, financial, maturity-wise, whatever—many are daily.  I’m willing to buy Jian’s argument that his hookups knew what they were doing, but for him to pretend that there wasn’t a power imbalance based on his celebrity, and that he’s being unfairly maligned *because* he’s a celebrity just won’t wash.  In his public pronouncements, he seems to conflate “desire” and “morality,” and that’s a conflation most people, even celebrities—and contrary to cliché—just don’t make.)

I have conducted major interviews, supported Canadian talent, and spoken out loudly in my audio essays about ideas, issues, and my love for this country.

(Yes, the vaunted “feature chats,” which Jian so self-lovingly and really rather embarrassingly always touted.  The fact is, most of his guests are on standard press junkets, and if you want to know what his “major interviewees” have to say, just watch a show from New Yorkor Boston or Chicago, or read a magazine, a couple days earlier.  It is a mark of Jian’s signature self-regard that he actually thinks that celebrities seek him out and wouldn’t talk to anyone if it weren’t him.  As for “supported Canadian talent,” mostly I’d be willing to buy this, but since Jian put it out there, I have to reflect and honestly say that he was much more craven and fame-seeking when it came to foreignguests, not Canadian ones.  I don’t know.  I’d have to hear the show.


 All of that is available for anyone to hear or watch (table of “feature chats” by nationality, anyone?). I have known, of course, that not everyone always agrees with my opinions or my style, but I’ve never been anything but honest. I have doggedly defended the CBC and embraced public broadcasting. This is a brand I’ve been honoured to help grow.  (Again, I haven’t got much of a problem with this, but Jian had to imply that he was the one who revived a dead organization—one that has only been around for about, oh, twice as long as he has.)

All this has now changed.

Today I was fired from the company where I’ve been working for almost 14 years – stripped from my show, barred from the building and separated from my colleagues. I was given the choice to walk away quietly and to publicly suggest that this was my decision. But I am not going to do that. Because that would be untrue. Because I’ve been fired. And because I’ve done nothing wrong.  (Not “sure, I’ve made a few mistakes,” but “I’ve done NOTHING wrong.”)

I’ve been fired from the CBC because of the risk of my private sex life being made public as a result of a campaign of false allegations pursued by a jilted ex girlfriend and a freelance writer. (If this is really true, then I do feel bad for him; it can happen to anyone, and, yes, celebrities or people in positions of power and authority can be especially vulnerable.  Still, little malignity is entirely motiveless.  If his tormentors are self-interested, venal people, that should come out, as he says it will.  I could be wrong, but I have a funny feeling he has more legal representation than they do.)

As friends and family of mine, you are owed the truth.

I have commenced legal proceedings against the CBC, what’s important to me is that you know what happened and why.

Forgive me if what follows may be shocking to some.

I have always been interested in a variety of activities in the bedroom but I only participate in sexual practices that are mutually agreed upon, consensual, and exciting for both partners.  (Jian’s use of absolute language is again striking here.  Who has ever always and only participated in sexual acts that are consensual and “exciting” for everyone?  This only reveals a stunted, selfish, and dangerously self-exculpatory attitude towards sexual relationships.)

About two years ago I started seeing a woman in her late 20s. Our relationship was affectionate, casual and passionate. We saw each other on and off over the period of a year and began engaging in adventurous forms of sex that included role-play, dominance and submission. We discussed our interests at length before engaging in rough sex (forms of BDSM). We talked about using safe words and regularly checked in with each other about our comfort levels.

(I think if you asked Jian if he was one mean wordsmith, a man of infinite sensitivity to language and adroitness with its deployment, you know, despite the grammatical infelicities of his own post, what he would say.  Ok, now put yourself in Jian’s position.  He says “we talked about using safe words.”  Now I defy you, I absolutely defy you, to put yourself in Jian’s shoes and, if what he says about himself is not true, not write “we used safe words.”  “Talked about safe words?”  What can that mean, when the first thing that would come to anyone’s mind, especially an accused’s, would be “used”?  Maybe I am making a mountain out of a molehill, but I ask you again, if you were Jian and feeling as unjustly wronged as he says he feels, wouldn’t you automatically write “we used safe words,” instead of “we talked about using safe words”?  Again, where is his legal team on this one?  This is like saying “I told her one day I’d rock her world, and then another day I hit her with a rock and she got mad—what a ^&%&^%!”)

 She encouraged our role-play and often was the initiator. We joked about our relations being like a mild form of Fifty Shades of Grey or a story from Lynn Coady’s Giller-Prize winning book last year.

(He doesn’t remember the name of the book?  Well, he remembered Coady’s name, and this micro-instance again, for me, demonstrates Jian’s soaring self-regard.  In his self-regard, he probably just thinks he’s once again drawing attention to himself as a great supporter of the Canadian arts and some so-so author who will be glad to be mentioned alongside him.  Yet he chose, knowingly, no matter how fast he dashed off his Facebook statement, to draw Coady into his private affairs.  Maybe Coady is his BFF; maybe she loves and supports him still and can never think ill of him.  She is probably at least secretly pleased to be mentioned in his bondage post because she can only sell more books as a result—“hey, here’s that author Ghomeshi talked about—it’s like 50 Shades of Gray!”).  Whatever Coady thinks, though, I once again ask you to put yourself in Ghomeshi’s shoes; if you were in his situation, would you name-drop and draw in others?  He says his private life is his own; ok.  So if his problems are his and his accusers’ and theirs alone, then making reference to the public art of others as if to justify his private behaviours constitutes narcissism in the extreme.

 I don’t wish to get into any more detail because it is truly not anyone’s business what two consenting adults do. I have never discussed my private life before. Sexual preferences are a human right.

(Sure, I’ll buy that sexual preferences are a human right, but we’re talking about sexual activities, and those aren’t.  Once again, Jian seems to be conflating his desires and practices with the petticoated morality he scorns and ascribes to others.)

Despite a strong connection between us it became clear to me that our on-and-off dating was unlikely to grow into a larger relationship and I ended things in the beginning of this year. She was upset by this and sent me messages indicating her disappointment that I would not commit to more, and her anger that I was seeing others.

After this, in the early spring there began a campaign of harassment, vengeance and demonization against me that would lead to months of anxiety.  (If what Jian says is true, I agree that this is awful.  “Campaign” makes it sounds as if the whole world knew, which it obviously didn’t, but whatever.)

It came to light that a woman had begun anonymously reaching out to people that I had dated (via Facebook people I’d dated via Facebook?  Jian, you gotta quit dating so many people via Facebook ;). Just another example of this great literary avatar kind of, just, like, not paying attention to what he was writing) to tell them she had been a victim of abusive relations with me. In other words, someone was reframing what had been an ongoing consensual relationship as something nefarious. I learned – through one of my friends who got in contact with this person – that someone had rifled through my phone on one occasion and taken down the names of any woman I had seemed to have been dating in recent years. This person had begun methodically contacting them to try to build a story against me. Increasingly, female friends and ex-girlfriends of mine told me about these attempts to smear me.

Someone also began colluding with a freelance writer who was known not to be a fan of mine and, together, they set out to try to find corroborators to build a case to defame me. She found some sympathetic ears by painting herself as a victim and turned this into a campaign. The writer boldly started contacting my friends, acquaintances and even work colleagues – all of whom came to me to tell me this was happening and all of whom recognized it as a trumped up way to attack me and undermine my reputation. Everyone contacted would ask the same question, if I had engaged in non-consensual behavior why was the place to address this the media?

(All, all, everyone, campaign—again the extreme language.  Why was the media the place to address it?  Uh, duh, maybe because, like, uh, duh, you’re in the media, AND MUCH OF YOUR ENTIRE SHOW is based on precisely such ‘content’?  And why did you, duh, choose to address this ON SOCIAL MEDIA?)

The writer tried to peddle the story and, at one point, a major Canadian media publication did due diligence but never printed a story. One assumes (if they “assumed,” then how do you know they did “due diligence”?) they recognized these attempts to recast my sexual behaviour were fabrications. Still, the spectre of mud being flung onto the Internet where online outrage can demonize someone before facts can refute false allegations has been what I’ve had to live with.  (It’s true that the internet is a nasty place—look at the swearing comments I’ve gotten from Jian’s supporters—but that’s one more reason, as a publicly-paid person, to be extra-vigilant about your public and private behaviour.  Besides, as Jian would know if he’d hosted a radio show lately, the balance has been tipping against the internet trolls for a long time; if I get 20 hits on this blog post, 18 will be from Jian’s lawyers. Think I’m imagining things?  Read Jian, below, about “piling on.”

Oh and, Jian, if you call your next book Spectre of Mud, I promise to pre-order.

And this leads us to today and this moment. I’ve lived with the threat that this stuff would be thrown out there to defame me. And I would sue. But it would do the reputational damage to me it was intended to do (the ex has even tried to contact me to say that she now wishes to refute any of these categorically untrue allegations
(then get her to call the CBC and get your job back). But with me bringing it to light, in the coming days you will prospectively hear about how I engage in all kinds of unsavoury aggressive acts in the bedroom. And the implication may be made that this happens non-consensually. And that will be a lie. But it will be salacious gossip (the gossip monger, mongered?) in a world driven by a hunger for “scandal”. And there will be those who choose to believe it and to hate me or to laugh at me. And there will be an attempt to pile on. And there will be the claim that there are a few women involved (those who colluded with my ex) in an attempt to show a “pattern of behaviour”. And it will be based in lies but damage will be done. But I am telling you this story in the hopes that the truth will, finally, conquer all.   (Jeesh Jian, if you are already envisioning and speaking of “pattern of behaviour” accusations, I think you’re cooked.  Just sayin.’)

I have been open with the CBC about this since these categorically untrue allegations ramped up. I have never believed it was anyone’s business what I do in my private affairs but I wanted my bosses to be aware that this attempt to smear me was out there. CBC has been part of the team of friends and lawyers assembled to deal with this for months. On Thursday I voluntarily showed evidence (you taped every session?!  Studio QRSTUV?) that everything I have done has been consensual. I did this in good faith and because I know, as I have always known, that I have nothing to hide. This when the CBC decided to fire me.

(Yes, so, as you state, it was a cumulative thing.  The CBC just finally decided, after all the TV shows and radio spots, the boutique studio and massive staff, the concert junkets, and so forth, that, no, they just couldn’t back you anymore.  You’re into taxpayers for millions and millions of dollars, with an employer who has given you opportunities almost nobody would ever get, and yet you want to bankrupt them by suing for 50-55 million.  Maybe call your next show “Chutzpah,” Jian.)

CBC execs confirmed that the information provided showed that there was consent. In fact, they later said to me and my team that there is no question in their minds that there has always been consent. They said they’re not concerned about the legal side. But then they said that this type of sexual behavior was unbecoming of a prominent host on the CBC. They said that I was being dismissed for “the risk of the perception that may come from a story that could come out.” To recap, I am being fired in my prime from the show I love and built and threw myself into for years because of what I do in my private life.

(“In my prime,” “the show I built”—he carefully doesn’t mention his other failures—once again, Jian’s incredible self-regard.  But more important is this question of “consent,” that Jian hangs everything on.  This is where his lawyers will be working overtime.  There is, in law, a difference between consent and knowingly doing something that is wrong according to generally acceptable social standards—that is what law and precedent are about.  If my friend says: “My girlfriend just broke up with me.  I want to die.  There’s no point in living.  Here’s a gun.  Kill me, please,” do I kill him?  I don’t care if Jian got “consent” six ways to Sunday; ultimately, the CBC, which had pumped so many millions into him, finally just said, “look, we can’t support this any more.”  It must have been a bitter, bitter decision at CBC, given all they’d invested in him.  What the straw that broke the camel’s back was we may never know.  My guess is that it was internal, since, despite Jian’s talk of all his outside attackers, we’ve never really had much “evidence” of that, yet anyway, whatever Jian says.


Let me be the first to say that my tastes in the bedroom may not be palatable to some folks. They may be strange, enticing, weird, normal, or outright offensive to others. We all have our secret life. But that is my private life. That is my personal life. And no one, and certainly no employer, should have dominion over what people do consensually in their private life.  (Agreed, but as in the anecdotes I’ve cited, and as in Jian’s own post we’re reading here, he seems not to realize how the public blends into the private and vice-versa.  He seems to want to have one set of rules for himself, and another set for others.  It is remarkable that he would “chat” with featured artists almost every day and not realize something as basic and fundamental as the fact that “private” and “public” lives are not categorically divisible.

And so, with no formal allegations, no formal complaints, no complaints, not one, to the HR department at the CBC (they told us they’d done a thorough check and were satisfied), and no charges, I have lost my job based on a campaign of vengeance. Two weeks after the death of my beautiful father I have been fired from the CBC because of what I do in my private life.

I have loved the CBC (I’ll buy that, but now you’d like to bankrupt it, to the tune of 50-55 million.  I’m sure you’re a valuable guy, Jian, but the damages you seek certainly say something about your sense of yourself and your ultimate commitment to an institution you say you supported.  Say you won your lawsuit; would you be thrilled to think of all your “super” colleagues being out of work?  What kind of party would you throw for them?  Wait a minute.  Got it.  And say you do get that big job in Londonor NY or LA, who wants to hire someone who will sue them for 50 mill if they raise eyebrows over the things they hear, and keep hearing, as you so readily detail?  It’ll be in the contract, Jian). The Q team are the best group of people in the land. My colleagues and producers and on-air talent at the CBC are unparalleled in being some of the best in the business. I have always tried to be a good soldier and do a good job for my country (as others have noted, probably not a good idea to compare yourself to a soldier, especially now—once again, it’s your incredible self-regard—but I do get that you’re using clichés and are dashing something off in a state of significant emotional upset). I am still in shock. But I am telling this story to you so the truth is heard. And to bring an end to the nightmare.

–Well, although I wrote two posts critical of (and also a bit positive about) him, I feel no special sense of schadenfreude over his dismissal.  As I said in my posts, I certainly support a show like his.  I do feel for his family, and I am glad that his father didn’t have to start confronting his son in different lights.  But as his self-serving post showed (and as my nano-gesture of visiting his Facebook page for the first time indicates), Jian knows that this is one step on a steady upward climb.  Can you imagine the “team” of lawyers currently negotiating his most recent book deal?  There’s going to be a need for fresh shirts and razors and takeout on that one.  In the 5000 channel universe, and the bazillion-station FM radiosphere, Jian’s stated recent griefs have no doubt been transformed into salivating glowing-eyed decisions over latest opportunities.

This post is basically just about responding to Jian’s statement, but I should have some kind of greater theme in mind, and fairly obviously that would be about how, now more than ever, real or perceived indiscretion leads only to greater fame and emolument.  Jian is aggrieved now, but he knows, and we all know, that whoever his “jilted” ex’s are, and whoever this “freelance writer” is, it’s not them who will be living on easy street as a result of any “scandal” involving him.  If I were a conspiracy theorist, I’d have no trouble saying that Jian brought this upon himself purposely, just so he could get out of Torontoand get back to London, or on to NY or LA, where he wasn’t just on chump Canadians’ dimes.


I guess that’s for another post.  A recent poster to this blog wrote to Jian that his “15 minutes of fame were up.”  Oh, I don’t think so. In the meantime, and surely if it’s Jian’s way, this is very definitely to be continued. . .



{{4 years, 4 posts on this blog.

(I don’t blame you for getting bored, but I’ve as much a right and a responsibility as anyone to be held to complete account for what I have written.)

The first post, the one that EVERYONE read:
The Ever-Incredibly Depressing Jian Ghomeshi of CBC’s Q — 17/09/2011

The next and final post, that a few read.
The Ever-Incredibly Depressing Jian Ghomeshi of CBC’s Q — redux 02/03/2012

3rd post (that a few more read):
My decision to at last address some of the so many comments I got about my *2* Ghomeshi posts (my antique internet attitude has always been that you can respond and say whatever you want to say, and I won’t editorialize.  However, after many comments, I decided to take up a few of the most common ones).
The ever-incredibly depressing Jian Ghomeshi treedux — 11/02/2013

The recent post, that a few have read, now that he’s really famous (and a post that’s already starting to look really antique, like the once-powerful “Copps-May-Shelaghlah Swoonferit Theory of General Sexual Moral Infallibility”):
50 Shades of Jian Ghomeshi: Parsing Jian’s Infinite Self-Regard — 28/10/2014}}



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