Sunday, October 26, 2014

Jian Ghomeshi and you

I've been listening to Jian Ghomeshi for as long as he's been associated with the CBC. His interview style, honed on his national show, Q, is an almost otherworldly mix of the familiar and the probing. I wish I could "do" radio like he does radio, wish I could talk to people with the focused ease that he seems to bring to any conversation.

Doesn't matter if he's talking to rock royalty, actual royalty, or some guy we had never heard of until the mic went on. Whoever the guest and whatever the topic, you know it'll be a worthwhile thing to listen to simply because he's the guy with the baton, and the guy who's helping the guest tell his/her story in ways no other interviewer could manage.

All that seems to have blown up in an uncharacteristically un-Canadian manner this weekend with news that the CBC has let him go, and that he is suing the broadcaster for $50 million. In an explanatory post (here), he goes into rather painful and sordid detail about what may be behind the latest turn of events.

I'm no judge, and I won't get involved in breathless social media speculation over who said what, who's right and who's wrong. That's for the courts, the lawyers, the HR experts, arbitrators and union officials to work out in the weeks and months to come.

But my feelings as a journalist need not wait that long. For now, a major Canadian media voice has been silenced, apparently over allegations that have yet to be proven in a court of law, and that apparently revolve around behaviors that might make a lot of Canadians uncomfortable.

It makes me wonder what a vengeful ex-anyone might dig up if they dug deeply into my own private life, and how that might affect my own professional trajectory (for the record, they'd find an incredibly boring pile of nothingness, but still, that's not the point. What matters is that anyone has this kind of power over anyone else in the first place.)

In the age of social media, expect the number of victims of this kind of thing to increase over time. Whether the allegations are founded or unfounded is almost irrelevant. The fact that they can be made in the first place, and fanned with relative ease in today's online forum, should make us all afraid that the same thing can happen to us.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Kinda jumping the gun aren't you?

Carmi Levy said...

Anon: Um, no. Re-read what I wrote: I'm not jumping on anything.

M.J. said...

He's not jumping the gun, in this country we are considered innocent until proven guilty. One of the great inconveniences of living in a free country.

Carolyn R Parsons said...

He has effectively silenced the cbc. Lawsuit means they're mum. Good for Jian..for now..The one thing I questioned in all this was the comment about nobody having complained to the HR dept. which made me wonder if the alleged accuser works at cbc also. That was a red flag and is something that would change the story considerably. We all have to wait and see.

Jeremiah Andrews said...

This is the age of social media shaming and revenge. In the past year, I have seen certain social media personalities dragged through the mud with allegations about sex, consent, abuse and ego.

This has been going on for a while now. Jian is not the first, nor will he be the last to endure this kind of media attention. For some women making these allegations are warranted and necessary, because the abuse allegations are so scandalous.

Sex is the new black, and airing dirty laundry had its day in the past, it seems that it is making a resurgence as of late.

I've read the post. Is this another case of she said he did? Or he said she did? Some suspect that the whole truth has yet to be revealed, and we will see how this plays out in the court of public opinion.

$50 mil is a lot of money and the CBC has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons.

I understand this dynamic and how it all works. I am well versed in this community and what it does.

If he was her sub, and she was his dom, getting jilted is a direct hit at the woman's ego and pride. It's his word against her's. I've seen doms drag subs into the mud and get them dirty, and in the end that kind of relationship takes two to tango. The dom/sub relationship is fraught with power, control and ego.

We will see what happens next.

Jeremy

kerry said...

If anyone who'd ever acted on a kink was outed like this, nobody would have a job. His post is more honest than most of us would admit to, though perhaps the real tale is somewhere between his tale and hers. Whatever, it shouldn't be a fireable offence if no crime or abuse was committed.