The “Great Ghomeshi”

No, this isn’t another Ghomeshi story. This isn’t another off the cuff anecdote about how the media crucifies its own at the first opportunity. The “news” industry has been in decline for so long that I cant even blame them for running this story into the ground the first 7 days. This isn’t about the click-bait headlines… not yet atleast. There is plenty of time for it to become about clicks and ad sales on the media websites though. This isn’t about women’s rights, celebrity privacy or even the presumption of innocence until guilt has been proven. This is about human decency and the modern media.

By now, we are all aware of the Ghomeshi tidal wave that has catapulted a once beloved NPR host from Canadian icon into the international spotlight for a series of private acts. Did he do it? Did they consent to it? The real question – does it matter? If this happened to Joanne in Accounting at UPS, would you be opening up thirty tabs in Google Chrome to read as much hearsay as you could before the facts have been considered?  Chances are you would understand the need for privacy, discretion and decency towards all involved.  Why is it different when an entertainer is involved?

Privacy has practically become a satirical term that the old guys joke about while playing dominos in their rocking chairs. Before “these kids and their Tinder’s,” before they put Google on computers and before it was socially accepted to crucify the potential victims of sexual abuse.

The desensitisation has been a process and it didn’t start with the much-trumpeted charges against the narcissist Canadian radio host. The 24-hour news cycle that launched from the OJ Simpson trial created news networks that were so desperate to monger fear and boost ratings that nobody was spared. In turn, we created an industry of always-on cameramen that would stop at nothing to get a scoop. Through this continuum, the news went from being researched and fact-checked articles to a gold-rush of “I posted the story first,” and worse yet, the dreaded “First to comment!” cheerleaders.

How does this all circle back to the present day? Jian Ghomeshi is a son. He went out of his way to share his recent troubles in his personal life while, in the same breath, painting himself as a victim for having his sexual demons exposed. The blade has always been sharp on both sides. Hey Jian – did you need to belittle your accusers to a massive network before the facts have settled? Clever PR move, but what if the tables were turned? “Never happen; not to The Great Ghomeshi,” he must say, as he stares at his $200 haircut in a makeup mirror. What if it was your mother? What if Mama Ghomeshi was making these accusations against your boss at the CBC? What if your sister was getting manhandled by the water cooler, petrified that her employer was going to ‘hate f—ck’ her or she could lose her source of income?

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You’re a successful host on public radio and a man of great tact in most occasions, but you have bosses to answer to and are far from as powerful as your shrouded ego has built you up to be. I suspect that if the aforementioned situations occurred with your family members, you would quickly realise that having the accused perpetrator level this kind of proactive attack rivals the indecency and lack of human respect that is spoken about for decades in landmark cases. By going out of your way to play the victim, you have muddied the waters for thousands of women who are victim to the same circumstance in the future and who fear coming forward. Are you planning on having kids? I hope they are daughters.

Human decency is a trite concept. We want it to apply to the fish inside the fishbowl at all times, but when it’s inconvenient for us to be subjected to the same standards, we find ways to legitimize the mitigating factors. This world isn’t fair and for most women, the challenges are amplified to a level most men will never understand. The verdicts from these lawsuits have the potential to send all kinds of victims back into darkness with the fear of being publicly tormented for revealing their circumstance. That would be a massive step backwards for society and one that we cannot let happen. We don’t know if these are merely ungrounded accusations or the truth but without the facts, its time for the peanut gallery to pack it in.

As an entertainer, this situation leaves me torn. Firsthand, I have felt the glow of coming off the stage to indulgent fans, or being recognized for a creative project that ended up on national television. There are benefits to that allure, but there are also responsibilities. I’m not standing outside of CBC with a picket line screaming for the castration of Jian. Hell, he is probably a great person to grab a beer with and share tales of adventures on the road. That being said, the foul tactics he has employed over the last week are heinous subtractions in decency towards fellow human beings and set a horrible example for the Canadian entertainment industry.  I was always taught to protect my lovely sisters, at all costs, and in most cases I extend this responsibility to women everywhere.  They receive the benefit of the doubt and that is how it is.

At this point, I don’t care to speculate on how this will boil down. Will Billy Bob Thornton ever agree to appear on his future shows? Will the lawsuits force Ghomeshi down south onto satellite radio in the same vain as Howard Stern (no stranger to controversy himself)? Jian could recover from this and be more successful than ever before, reflecting later on at the incident as a minor speedbump on his path to major stardom. All we know for now is that when the first opportunity arose to truly define the person he is, outside of the narcissistic confines of his CBC studio, he has failed on every level. Winston Churchill once said  that “The price of greatness is responsibility,” and when it mattered most, in game seven with 20 seconds left, Ghomeshi has proven he isn’t decent or responsible enough to be a man in the face of adversity.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 29th, 2014 at 1:29 pm and is filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

3 Responses to “The “Great Ghomeshi””

  1. Francis Minalga Says:

    Jian, The media is run by very powerful and multi-hundreds of billions in their pockets… I think u just stepped on someones toes and made them look bad… it is like this all over the world… the 1%’ters that could solve all the worlds needs and wants but only want to f__k with people… it would be a privilege to have u in America… anywhere… Stay strong!!!!

  2. vlad putler Says:

    francis youre a gas bag. what the fuck do you know about media billions and angry women. your post has the stench of a lame flaccid know it all chauvinist.

    wtf is asperktz? who has time to read the idiotic, indulgent musings of a witless blogger. you talk about others meanwhile you’re chaffing like a 10$ man ho about the idiotic topic. Clown.

  3. Really? Says:

    This blog sucks. And not just because your grammar is at an 8th grade level.

    Sounds like jealousy that finally gets to come out now that Ghomeshi is “fair game”.

    btw – I’m not sticking up for that rat mysogynist. Just saying your blog sucked.

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