Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Everyone deserves their day in court, even - and especially - Jian Ghomeshi

   Regardless of how you feel about Jian Ghomeshi on an emotional level, one thing is undeniable: his career and reputation are being destroyed without the benefit of due process.
   Ghomeshi did himself a terrible disservice when he posted a lengthy Facebook dissertation detailing his unconventional sexual appetites in an attempt to "stay ahead" of the still-unfolding drama surrounding his sudden and shocking exit from CBC.  He essentially incriminated himself in the assault and harassment allegations that surfaced hours later in the Toronto Star.  The salaciousness of those allegations was enough to convince the public broadcaster to summarily dismiss one of its brightest stars.
   There are two prevailing views of the Ghomeshi affair in the court of public opinion.  One is that he's a misogynistic monster and that firing him was warranted and necessary.  The other is that he's being railroaded and what goes on behind closed bedroom doors is no one else's business.  Only Ghomeshi and the women involved know the truth, but his accusers are refusing to identify themselves or press charges on the grounds that they could be exposed to public ridicule.
  Whatever the deeper sociological issues at play over a sexual assault victim's fear of coming forward, they are not sufficient grounds for ruining someone else's life.  These are not the Middle Ages.  We haven't reverted to burning people at the stake or boiling them in oil on the basis of hearsay. Unfortunately, social media has resurrected the mob mentality, and what's fair and just is secondary to controlling the narrative on Twitter.  
   If Jian Ghomeshi is guilty, he deserves everything that's coming his way and then some.  But in the absence of definitive proof and a criminal court verdict, what's happening to him is a shameful exercise in mob rule and corporate expediency. 


  1. Ted, I have to say that I completely agree with you, which isn't all that surprising given where this story is in the news cycle. Let me explain: Your MO is to espouse a contrarian point of view at every opportunity. If general sentiment is that pitbulls should be banned following an attack, you'll argue that they shouldn't. If Habs fans don't like officiating in a particular game, you defend the refs. If people want Subban on Canada's Olympic team, you make a case against it. And so it goes.

    By the way, these are just examples made up out of thin air to illustrate my point and are not intended as factual references.

    The Ghomeshi story is interesting because there are already two opposing views that are firmly cemented in the media's consciousness. You've done a good job of pointing them out, but here's the rub. With two sides in this debate, there isn't a contrarian point of view for you t exploit. So what do you do? You take the middle road, which in this case is actually the most sensible. If Ghomeshi is guilty, then he will get what he deserves. If not, it seems he has been punished anyways, which is more than a tad bit unfair.

    All of this to say that I agree with you and that I think you are a great writer. I only wish that you would give up the blowhard contrarian schtick and do some more thoughtful analysis as you've done here. Your writing deserves better content that you typically give it.

    1. Your examples you say are made up out of thin air, not intended as factual references. Ok but when you write he would make a case against Subban on Canada's Olympic team, it is actually opposite thats' true. He felt strongly about it; wrote about it.
      Yours was a hypothetical example I understand.
      Just odd you know his writing well enough to pass judgement but got that backwards.
      Opposition is never very far from someone with opinion and backbone.
      its not contrarian.

  2. Fascinating insight. I'm a contrarian. I guess you drew that conclusion from the time I shit all over Milan Lucic for making the jerkoff motion or praised the new HNIC or supported the red poppy. Yup, quite the contrarian, I am.

    1. Thanks for the sarcasm, Ted. I'm not being critical and am a fan of your writing style. Just pointing out that I believe you tend to take a contrarian viewpoint. Whether it's a style choice or if you come to your opinions honestly I am not one to judge. If my observations are insulting to you, then I apologize. Didn't want to be a troll.

    2. Apology acceoted. In closing, I'd think I put enough work and thought into this not to be dismissed as a blowhard contrarian.

  3. Wasn't that contradictory? LOL. I agree with you wholeheartedly.....on both fronts.

  4. Thanks for that Ted. Everyone has flown off the handle in all directions here. So tired of every feminist turning him into a convicted rapist before a single real fact has come to light, and every other extreme unthinking opinion which fuels itself by seeing exactly what it wants to see. At the end of the day these are human beings- with feelings & families -at the root of this story. On both sides. Whatever has or has not happened, it saddens me greatly to see that even IF in fact Jian has done nothing wrong, he has already been declared eternally guilty by the International Court of Society and will be ruined regardless. The Jian I have met and conversed with multiple times has always been so incredibly kind, so thoughtful, has conducted himself with such poise and respectfulness, such concern for the dignity of others, that I just can't write him off so easily. Even if the allegations were true, i can't rectify my personal experience of him with that 'monster' he is accused of being... People are not black and white, all good or all bad. Perhaps if he has engaged in the behaviours of which he is accused, he deserves a chance for treatment and rehabilitation rather than just punishment and vilification? Why has this not yet entered the public discourse at all??