Jian Ghomeshi fired from CBC
October 27, 2014 6:43 AM   Subscribe

Jian Ghomeshi, host and co-creator of Q, has been fired from the CBC ‘over “information” the public broadcaster recently received that it says “precludes” it from continuing to employ the 47-year-old host of the popular Q radio show.’

The CBC would not elaborate on what the information was or how they discovered it. Ghomeshi claims, in a note on Facebook, that he was fired ‘because of the risk of [his] 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’.

Some may be reminded of when the CBC 'threatened to fire Sook-Yin Lee, host of CBC’s Definitely Not The Opera, for having actual sex on film for the 2006 movie Shortbus, but relented under public pressure'.

Ghomeshi claims to have engaged in a relationship including BDSM with a past girlfriend, who is now making allegations that the BDSM activities were not consensual.

This is not the first time Jian has been the subject of controversy. In 2013, Carla Ciccone was the victim of internet backlash after describing a date with a “A Presumed-Gay Canadian C-List Celebrity Who Creepily Proved He Isn't Gay” which appeared to be Ghomeshi.

Three more women have come forward to the Toronto Star, alleging that Ghomeshi physically attacked them on dates without consent. A fourth woman said that Ghomeshi has sexually harassed her in the workplace.

A BDSM educator weighs in on Ghomeshi’s claims.

Ghomeshi plans to sue the CBC for $50 million claiming “breach of confidence and bad faith” by his employer of almost 14 years
posted by torisaur (945 comments total) 76 users marked this as a favorite


 
It's worth noting that he has hired a scandal/crisis PR firm.

This is obviously what a smart and rich person should do whether innocent or guilty. But if we're assigning and updating Bayesean probabilities we should discount all public statements that have the mark of a PR firm on them.
posted by anotherpanacea at 6:52 AM on October 27, 2014 [15 favorites]


I think the two competing narratives at the moment are Ghomeshi's Facebook post ("It was all consensual") and the latest Toronto Star story ("Not all of it was consensual") with Jesse Brown credited at the end but not in the byline (?)

I wonder if the Toronto Star story here is the story Jesse Brown promised he was working on on Twitter on Friday?

This whole affair is horrible in so many different ways - for the women involved, and for anyone who loves CBC radio.
posted by Nevin at 6:54 AM on October 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


anotherpanacea: Navigator is a very, very smart firm, and they take charge like nobody's business. I am sure that they vetted his Facebook post and are guiding every action.
posted by sixswitch at 6:54 AM on October 27, 2014


There is inadequate information to form an educated opinion. I hope the truth, whatever that might be, wins out.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 7:02 AM on October 27, 2014 [33 favorites]


Among certain social circles in Toronto, Ghomeshi has had a long rep of being an egotistical asshole, particularly when it comes to dealing with women. Many are not surprised. But at the same time, he cultivates such a different public persona that this is truly a shock to the vast majority of people. And much like he has cultivated a persona on the radio, the tactics he's employing now are also carefully cultivated.

He released his statement on Facebook, where he has something like 93,000 followers. This morning my Facebook app on my phone reminded me of the Facebook friends (both women funnily enough) who "like" Jian Ghomeshi. Make no mistake, EVERY move here is calculated by him and his PR team.

This is going to get really ugly.
posted by dry white toast at 7:02 AM on October 27, 2014 [28 favorites]


It's remarkable how well Ghomeshi seems to have set the tone of the debate with his facebook post. People I otherwise think of as staunch feminists, who would never presume that sex assault allegations are false, rushing to defend JG's freedom-of-bedroom rights and ignoring the possibility that things were not in fact consensual.

Like Nevin says, it's competing narratives at this point and there is absolutely no way to know the truth. But JG getting his out first seems to have been effective to a point that makes me uncomfortable.
posted by saturday_morning at 7:04 AM on October 27, 2014 [10 favorites]


I basically assumed he was guilty of something the moment I heard he had hired Navigator. (The same firm Michael Bryant had hired when he ran over a cyclist.) You'd think a PR firm would be better at managing their own PR.

A friend of mine went on a few dates with him many years ago. She made him sound very creepy.
posted by chunking express at 7:05 AM on October 27, 2014 [11 favorites]


sixswitch: Should that make us trust Gomeshi's story more or less? "A PR firm edited and massaged my story" makes me think it is less credible. Not that it's false: just that it will appear more trustworthy than a story unedited by a crisis PR team, and so that appearance needs to be corrected for.

Generally, I think that means we should discount it: that is, give it less credibility than we are prone to do.
posted by anotherpanacea at 7:05 AM on October 27, 2014


The key thing to note in that Facebook post: the pre-emptive rejection of (and implicit threat against) any further accusers. "You will hear allegations. And they will be lies."

It's almost like he expects more women to come out of the woodwork.
posted by dry white toast at 7:06 AM on October 27, 2014 [35 favorites]


Count me as a long-term fan who is disappointed in this news, but is not willing to do the mental gymnastics to justify his actions. Consensual or not, I knew for a long time that he had an unsavoury reputation with women. Of course, I just assumed it was your general celebrity egotism, and not say, punching women in the face.

It's always shitty to learn that maybe your liberal lefty male ally is a Grade A creeper, but it's equally shitty to learn that there is a chorus of "He would never do that! Not Jian!"

No matter what happens, a friend of mine said that it's good to remember who has the money, power, and platform to spin this story.
posted by Kitteh at 7:07 AM on October 27, 2014 [31 favorites]


I am given to understand that for some time now, if you were to do a word association exercise with women in and around the Toronto music scene, the words "creep," "pervert," "sexual harasser," etc. present a high probability the person would answer "Jian Ghomeshi." Pretty much everyone knew this anonymous story was about him.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:08 AM on October 27, 2014 [10 favorites]


I am sure that they vetted his Facebook post and are guiding every action.

If you've been fired from a really awesome job, and are filing a $50 million lawsuit, you are a complete fool if you don't have lawyers and PR people vetting everything you say and do.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 7:09 AM on October 27, 2014 [15 favorites]


I was considering posting on this last night, and decided to wait. Glad I did. That last link is very helpful.
posted by sfred at 7:12 AM on October 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


i've been a submissive for 18ish years. i've had wonderful male doms - i've also had male doms who use the scene to find victims and hide their abuse under an umbrella of kink. the bdsm educator link in the fpp pretty well solidifies my feelings on this situation :
But I am saying that Ghomeshi’s argument that what he does is a “mild version of Fifty Shades of Grey” does not match up with his apparent practice of engaging in very high-risk activities with women he’s just beginning to date.
speaking as a seasoned sub, jian is chock full of red flags. it's no wonder he scooped his victims from his adoring masses.
posted by nadawi at 7:14 AM on October 27, 2014 [74 favorites]


anotherpanacea: I wouldn't adjust my estimates of truth at all — there's not enough information for me to judge that. But I would a) adjust the perceived 'truthiness' / persuasiveness (as they are very good at bumping that), and b) appreciate the incredibly good timing of his (PR-guided) actions. The Star's reporting of the allegations against him prevented him from getting out too far ahead of the story, but he has set himself up very well as the victim here, while referencing for support everything from Pierre Trudeau to CanLit.
posted by sixswitch at 7:15 AM on October 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


I wonder if Jian's the reason Moxy Fruvous went on indefinite hiatus. I miss that band.
posted by tehjoel at 7:17 AM on October 27, 2014 [13 favorites]


Rabble has a recent article on Canadian defamation law. Not about this case, but helpful for understanding the Ghomeshi-CBC legal case.
posted by chapps at 7:17 AM on October 27, 2014


if you were to do a word association exercise with women in and around the Toronto music scene, the words "creep," "pervert," "sexual harasser," etc. present a high probability the person would answer "Jian Ghomeshi."

Still, not necessarily cause for being fired from the CBC. Thus the lawsuit.
posted by GuyZero at 7:19 AM on October 27, 2014


As a US citizen who doesn't listen to a lot of radio, who isn't terribly kinky and who doesn't know who this guy is, reading all of this together and looking at it as objectively as i can:

This guy is giving off huge 'powerful sociopath' vibes
posted by Fuka at 7:19 AM on October 27, 2014 [14 favorites]


I just read his Facebook page and immediately popped over here to see if it was a topic of conversation.

Something smelled funny about the post, but I'm not sure if it's because he's lying or because he's talking about something very personal and emotional but his words have all been vetted and edited by a PR firm.
posted by elr at 7:22 AM on October 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


(The same firm Michael Bryant had hired when he ran over a cyclist.)

Uh, the Michael Bryant/Darcy Sheppard incident is not a good example to use if you're trying to show that only guilty people hire Navigator, as it kind of indicates the opposite.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 7:27 AM on October 27, 2014 [8 favorites]


At least he can fall back on his gig vacuuming the turf at SkyDome . . .
posted by slkinsey at 7:28 AM on October 27, 2014 [10 favorites]


I hate this trial by employer trend
posted by bhnyc at 7:28 AM on October 27, 2014 [12 favorites]


Am I alone in always thinking that Ghomeshi always gave off a distinct creeper vibe? I saw him play with Moxy Fruvous back when I was in college, as the opening-night band for our yearly campus folk-arts festival. Although I found him charming enough a front man for an under-appreciated group (I always regarded MF as the less drippy/less self-pitying version of Barenaked Ladies), he was not at all subtle about scanning the front row for freshman-girl groupie action.

There's also the way he opened every episode of Q with "Happy $DAYOFWEEK", which always rubbed me the wrong way. Like he was trying to project a cool, laid-back "hey, who needs a catchphrase?" image, and yet that actually was his totally cliched catchphrase.

(Also, the Q theme song is a complete rip off of "Spanish Bombs", but that's not strictly Ghomeshi's fault.)
posted by Strange Interlude at 7:29 AM on October 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


Still, not necessarily cause for being fired from the CBC. Thus the lawsuit.

Sorry, are you not paying attention? He was fired for allegedly being violent towards multiple women. The idea that he was fired for just being creepy or into kink is his own PR spin, as is the lawsuit.
posted by dry white toast at 7:29 AM on October 27, 2014 [24 favorites]


I wonder if Jian's the reason Moxy Fruvous went on indefinite hiatus. I miss that band.

You are correct. I saw Moxy Fruvous in maybe 1998, right around the time their repertoire transitioned from "wacky a capella" to "Jian's creepy love songs that make me want to run away and hide".
posted by hydropsyche at 7:29 AM on October 27, 2014 [11 favorites]


Ghomeshi must pay for his crimes! Wait, he's accused of what now?

Oh- I was just talking about "King of Spain."
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:30 AM on October 27, 2014 [13 favorites]


For me, it's sad because Q was my gateway into listening to the CBC when I moved up here. I have been a faithful listener for nearly five years. I even went to a live Q taping in Montreal a couple of years ago. I used to extol its virtues but I guess it's good I now have a day job that keeps me radio free at ten am.
posted by Kitteh at 7:30 AM on October 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


a lawsuit that, unless something has changed in the last couple of hours, has not actually been filed. thus far it's purely pr to make him look serious about reclaiming his reputation.
posted by nadawi at 7:31 AM on October 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


Am I alone in always thinking that Ghomeshi always gave off a distinct creeper vibe?

"Hi therre... happy - Mondayy..."
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:31 AM on October 27, 2014 [6 favorites]


To avoid a derail, one more dead town's last parade, maybe we can just let people see the official police reconstruction report of Bryant/Sheppard, which begins with him deliberately ramming Sheppard twice from a stopped position.
posted by sixswitch at 7:31 AM on October 27, 2014 [7 favorites]


Uh, the Michael Bryant/Darcy Sheppard incident is not a good example to use if you're trying to show that only guilty people hire Navigator, as it kind of indicates the opposite.

Well he wasn't charged with anything, that's true.
posted by chunking express at 7:32 AM on October 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


I'm a Canadian-illiterate American, so I had no idea who this guy was, but I'm glad I read the post because now I know to be extra-nice to Moxy Fruvous-loving friends today.
posted by immlass at 7:32 AM on October 27, 2014


This also explains why a couple of older posts about his father (who passed on a little while ago) that were liked by female friends of mine suddenly appeared on my Facebook feed last night.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:35 AM on October 27, 2014


He was fired for allegedly being violent towards multiple women.

I don't know whether these allegations are true or not. The accusers won't go on the record though and haven't pressed charges. That doesn't mean it didn't happen - the court system doesn't do victims very many favours. But you'd think the CBC would need more than allegations to fire someone.

So either they have some proof or they acted too quickly. It seems like it'll eventually come out in the courts.
posted by GuyZero at 7:35 AM on October 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


The BDSM educator link is great.

A danger inherent in this kind of media-message success is that the “don’t hate me for being kinky” defence will be used by people who perpetrate non-consensual violence, and that we, as a community, will stand by uncritically – or worse, cry out in support – as victims of violence are once again silenced. I don’t wish to be complicit in someone’s misappropriation of BDSM terminology and codes as a shield for rape and assault. So when this defence comes up, my immediate reaction is to listen very carefully, read everything I can find on a given instance, and hold back on my knee-jerk inclination to side with the “persecuted pervert.” Persecuted perverts do exist, absolutely. But we don’t know, until we hear the full story, whether that’s what’s really going on – or if we’re being thrown under the bus by someone who’s no friend to sadomasochism.
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:36 AM on October 27, 2014 [13 favorites]


It's always shitty to learn that maybe your liberal lefty male ally is a Grade A creeper...

Police recently arrested the owner of my favorite local used book shops for possessing child porn and secretly videotaping people using the store bathroom. It seems likely he will be incarcerated as he's cooperating with law enforcement, although he has not yet filed a plea. In our small town it's difficult to talk about how it's possible to be simultaneously revolted by his actions, angry on behalf of his victims and sad that the store is now closed and our main street is the poorer for its loss. I feel the same way about this news and Q.
posted by carmicha at 7:37 AM on October 27, 2014 [17 favorites]


This whole thing has the whiff of "welp, that's the last straw" about it, as far as the CBC is concerned.
posted by Mary Ellen Carter at 7:39 AM on October 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


Jesse Brown podcast on the story.
posted by chapps at 7:39 AM on October 27, 2014 [10 favorites]


Bookmarking that Jesse Brown podcast for when I'm not at work. Thanks, chapps!
posted by Kitteh at 7:40 AM on October 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


Maybe there's an opening at the Pizza Pizza.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:41 AM on October 27, 2014 [8 favorites]


But you'd think the CBC would need more than allegations to fire someone.

In another discussion on Facebook (and man does this story ever have legs on Facebook), a lawyer acquaintance mentioned that contracts with talent often have a "morality clause" so Jian may (or may not) be in breach of contract with the CBC.

Another acquaintance suggested that Jian Ghomeshi may have no intention of actually taking CBC to court, but is instead trying to lose in the best possible way, in terms of mitigating damage.
posted by Nevin at 7:42 AM on October 27, 2014 [4 favorites]


The close of the BDSM educator's post is such a (troublingly) uncanny match to the discussion on last week's Bill Cosby FPP:
Ghomeshi could be totally innocent. Four women could be making shit up, anonymously, because… well, I don’t know, but that itself might be an interesting question. For fun? What exactly would the motivation be for this supposed smear campaign, that four women would take part in it despite having evidence that when a previous woman made much milder accusations that don’t even explicitly name Ghomeshi, she was completely trashed on the Internet? Hmmm. This, too, doesn’t add up. Only the most hell-bent revenge-thirsty ex would take this on, knowing the likely consequences. Four women? Really?
posted by argonauta at 7:42 AM on October 27, 2014 [31 favorites]


As is rapidly becoming clear to many people, Ghomeshi has a long-standing reputation of being anything but the super-swell right-thinking chap he plays on Q. I have never met the guy but had a friend who a decade ago met him socially. She said he pressed for her email address, which she gave him (she was in a high-profile job and thought little of doing so). He started sending her emails pushing for a date - this despite the fact that she lived in another city and had (she said) never given him the slightest indication of being interested or even available. His schtick was very similar to the one described in @cciccone's now famous article: I'm big in the Toronto arts and music scene, I'll get us to go see some cool band. She was creeped out by his behaviour and said so; when this didn't work she stopped replying; nevertheless he carried on his email monologue on a near-daily basis for weeks until he finally got the picture (or perhaps just moved on to an easier target).

That was my first second-hand introduction to Ghomeshi as a person, and while it's a far cry from the current allegations, it is still a negative impression that has never left me: even then, pre-Q, he was quite comfortable exploiting his minimal fame as way to pull women, and didn't know how to take several noes for an answer.

Tediously, it's entirely predictable that Ghomeshi is going to go through the full celebrity fall and rise. He has plenty of friends in the media who will facilitate this. In a few months we'll read that in the wake of this scandal (and the readily exploitable coincidence of his father's death), Jian has "gone back to his roots" and is"re-evaluating his priorities in life". He'll be found doing something noble like working with orphans in Nicaragua, teaching them about "his first love - music". He'll then do the obligatory self-exculpatory interview about how he couldn't cope with the pressures of success and fell into a cycle of drug abuse. His stock will rise as another safe interview reveals that he has undergone therapy for sex addiction or something. He'll get married! She'll be the angel he always dreamt of! And in what will seem like a blink of an eye he will be hired again by some network other than the CBC. He may never reach Q's heights again, but we're almost certain to be stuck with his limpet-like presence in Canada's public life for another 10-15 years, until he finally fades away.
posted by senor biggles at 7:44 AM on October 27, 2014 [46 favorites]


According to the star there was a workplace incident of harassment that was reported.
posted by chapps at 7:44 AM on October 27, 2014 [4 favorites]


I didn't know very much about Ghomeshi prior to this - I found his reporting kinda smarmy and facile so I didn't follow his career - but the thing that is the most depressing and also predictable about this is how utterly unsurprised everyone seems to be. As soon as the story broke that the the CBC had let him go, literally everyone on my Twitter feed who is into Toronto politics or Canadian media basically went "oh, yeah, ok, probably because he's a total creep". I've heard from multiple friends who either have a personal negative experience or know someone who did, and the stories go back half a decade.

This is a perfect example of that backchanneling that was referenced in that beautiful Emma Healey essay about how stories of harassment and abuse are like passwords - we expect women to protect each other behind the scenes, quietly, with little fuss, and without disrupting the status quo. And then something like this breaks, and the audience rallies around their media darling and the women - "jilted ex lover / freelance writer" indeed - are vilified, and the cycle continues.

Read that BDSM educator link. Ghomeshi's tactics here are pretty fucking gross.
posted by Phire at 7:45 AM on October 27, 2014 [58 favorites]


I attended an advertising conference a couple of years ago where Ghomeshi was the keynote presenter, and I was stunned at how effective a speaker he was - speaking off the cuff and with seemingly next-to-no preparation, he understood the issues and chalked out a throughline that actually ended up shaping much of the discussion afterwards. I'd always thought of him and Stroumboulopoulos as two peas of the same smuggo pod, but started to see real differences as a result of this appearance.

I am acquainted with a guy who worked for various federal and provincial political campaigns. I was curious, so I checked his blog to see his take. After the FB post but before the Star article went online, he put up two posts supportive of Ghomeshi suggesting the CBC would totally lose the lawsuit.

Then the Star article appeared. Both posts on the blog disappeared.

That, to me, really says it all.
posted by northtwilight at 7:47 AM on October 27, 2014 [9 favorites]


Forgive me if what follows may be shocking to some... 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. (emphasis mine)

Forgive me but this just reeks of bullshit. His story is that there is a vindictive conspiracy against him that relies on people being so shocked by BDSM that they become blinded to the fact that everything that he did was consensual?

I can picture Don Draper in his corner office, gears turning, cranking out this stuff.
posted by leopard at 7:48 AM on October 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


The worst of his statement was the first full paragraph: This has been the hardest time of my life. I am reeling from the loss of my father. I am in deep personal pain and worried about my mom. And now my world has been rocked by so much more.

Like, far be it for me to tell someone how to grieve, but this reeks of using an unrelated trauma in your life to deflect criticism. It sets the tone as 'vulnerable' even though it has nothing to do with the situation before him. Blech.
posted by Lemurrhea at 7:49 AM on October 27, 2014 [23 favorites]


Also, this throws into sharp, sharp relief that much-criticized Q segment where he bravely took on the question of "rape culture: is it real?".

Ugh.
posted by Phire at 7:49 AM on October 27, 2014 [16 favorites]


Maybe there's an opening at the Pizza Pizza.


Do you have to pass a background check for Zamboni operator?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:49 AM on October 27, 2014 [4 favorites]


I wonder if Jian's the reason Moxy Fruvous went on indefinite hiatus. I miss that band.

According to Toronto Life, yes. In an article I read at the dentist's office (I swear), they said that the plan was to break up the band all along, but it was Jian's idea to call it a hiatus. Being a former member of a popular-ish band doesn't buy you much career-wise, but being a current member of a popular-ish band on hiatus is a little better. That was the logic.

Also, yes, even back in the Fruvous days there were rumours about his being creepy and assuming that everyone wants to sleep with him (that's the vibe I get from the bad date story -- he's so full of himself he can't even imagine that this woman just wants to go home to get away from him). I never heard rumours ever rose to the face-punchy level though. That's a whole other level. If that's true, and I'm not sure why 5 women would make things up, of course the CBC was right to fire him and all is well.

I will keep listening to Fruvous, because I like the music, but maybe it will sound tainted and I will be sad and so I will stop. That would be sad.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 7:50 AM on October 27, 2014 [6 favorites]


I have been reading/hearing things like this about Jian Ghomeshi for years, to the point where I stopped listening to Q altogether because I couldn't reconcile what I had heard about him with his friendly on-air persona.

My Facebook newsfeed is full of "SHAME ON CBC!" posts this morning. I'm not so sure I agree after reading that Facebook post he wrote. Something about that seemed very, very off.
posted by futureisunwritten at 7:55 AM on October 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


They seem to have deleted it, but @stats_canada* on Twitter had posted something along the lines of "9 out of 10 Canadians thought it would have been Strombo". Which made me laugh out loud because he always did have a bit of a weird vibe but not (to me, at least, from the tv) a creepy one. Hopefully I'm right about that. But it's an interesting joke; relying on the smallness of the Canadian media landscape that exists.

*not the real Statistics Canada
posted by Lemurrhea at 7:55 AM on October 27, 2014 [11 favorites]


literally everyone on my Twitter feed who is into Toronto politics or Canadian media basically went "oh, yeah, ok, probably because he's a total creep". I've heard from multiple friends who either have a personal negative experience or know someone who did, and the stories go back half a decade.

I grew up in Toronto and have a lot of friends and family who work in media in the city - which despite being the fourth largest city in North America, is a VERY small world. Everybody knows everybody (and a lot of everybody have dated everybody.) Most people aren't more than one person removed from this.

This came as absolutely no surprise whatsoever to any of them.
posted by generichuman at 7:55 AM on October 27, 2014 [5 favorites]


Any time someone says "you're gonna hear... some things, and I won't say what they are but they're ALL LIES," I am not inclined to instantly believe them.
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:56 AM on October 27, 2014 [56 favorites]


To avoid a derail, one more dead town's last parade, maybe we can just let people see the official police reconstruction report of Bryant/Sheppard, which begins with him deliberately ramming Sheppard twice from a stopped position.

Or you can get more than just that selection of facts from Wikipedia. The idea that Bryant just up and murdered an innocent cyclist with his car is not supported by the evidence, and he's therefore not the best poster child for impugning Navigator's credibility. (But this may not play out so well for Ghomeshi.)
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 7:57 AM on October 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


I saw Fruvous play five or six times and even met them backstage after a show. I talked briefly with Mike and shook Murray's hand. Dave was tired, but very friendly. We couldn't get near Jian for the crowd of (what seemed to be) mostly young women surrounding him.

So sad. I still have my promo copy of Barginville that I got from my parent's record store in '93. I wonder if it will make me sad to hear it now.
posted by tehjoel at 7:57 AM on October 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


(Also, the Q theme song is a complete rip off of "Spanish Bombs", but that's not strictly Ghomeshi's fault.)

(He had actually requested that the Q radio theme song be produced in the style of mid-career Clash, so it kinda is his fault. But it's not a big deal.)
posted by ovvl at 7:58 AM on October 27, 2014


I wasn't trying to impugn Navigator. They do a ridiculously good job. And saying someone is guilty because they hired the firm is ridiculous. It's the smart move if you're in trouble and have resources.
posted by sixswitch at 7:58 AM on October 27, 2014


the thing that is the most depressing and also predictable about this is how utterly unsurprised everyone seems to be

i love that emma healey essay. another one that touches on the same thing is the missing stair.
posted by nadawi at 7:59 AM on October 27, 2014 [10 favorites]


which despite being the fourth largest city in North America, is a VERY small world

Oh, TOTALLY. The downtown core of young-ish progressive-ish professionals is a very insular world. I'm not from Toronto and have lived in the GTA off-and-on a grand total of less than two years, and the fact that even my small and nascent network was fully cognizant of the history here says a lot to me.
posted by Phire at 8:00 AM on October 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


My Facebook newsfeed is full of "SHAME ON CBC!" posts this morning.

That probably means he'll get a job at Sun TV within a week.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:01 AM on October 27, 2014


I wondered what Lynn Coady thought about having a story of hers referenced in Ghomeshi's/Navigator's Facebook note, so I went to check her twitter page.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 8:02 AM on October 27, 2014 [9 favorites]


which despite being the fourth largest city in North America, is a VERY small world

I would point out, though, that if you haven't lived in the GTA+ area, or you aren't up-to-speed with the arts scene, then it's pretty reasonable that you wouldn't have heard of this - the chatter that I'm seeing from friends in BC/NB/NL/northern ON vs here in TO is pretty dichotomous.

Not that it should have an effect on peoples' opinions, but y'know, it'll take a bit of time for a lot of people to process the information.
posted by Lemurrhea at 8:06 AM on October 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


I would point out, though, that if you haven't lived in the GTA+ area, or you aren't up-to-speed with the arts scene, then it's pretty reasonable that you wouldn't have heard of this - the chatter that I'm seeing from friends in BC/NB/NL/northern ON vs here in TO is pretty dichotomous.

I would think people who had been to a few fruvous concerts would also not be surprised, and those people should be scattered all over North America.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 8:10 AM on October 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


I basically assumed he was guilty of something the moment I heard he had hired Navigator.

I have a friend that has worked with both Ghomeshi and Stroumboulopoulos at the CBC. She explained their differences in that Strombo is the same both on and off the camera, and works mostly off the cuff, while Ghomeshi is extremely methodical and has the whole show meticulously written out in advance. I think the hiring of the PR firm reflects both Ghomeshi's attention to detail and his personal need to control the story.
posted by furtive at 8:10 AM on October 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


I am always in bed on Sundays when the Strombo show airs. Can I switch to him for interesting on air personalities? Or is he shady too?
posted by Kitteh at 8:13 AM on October 27, 2014


I would think people who had been to a few fruvous concerts would also not be surprised, and those people should be scattered all over North America.

Fair point. They were only active until I was...15? so I tend to forget about that aspect.
posted by Lemurrhea at 8:14 AM on October 27, 2014


As is rapidly becoming clear to many people, Ghomeshi has a long-standing reputation of being anything but the super-swell right-thinking chap he plays on Q.

I suppose I should just start living up to the father-of-daughters cliche to point out that the more strident and outspoken a guy is about his right-thinking plattitudes and views, the worse the character flaws he's plastering over with those plattitudes.

I went to college surrounded by Fruvous fans who were mostly annoyed at their perceptions of young fan girls throwing themselves at Jian. I guess those perceptions were slightly off. But at the one MF concert I attended, I was more than a little put off at Jian's mid-set political rant (what was the point? preaching to a choir that was already singing along to the band's lyrics? what would that accomplish?)

--Ocschwar, certifiable abu-al-bana'at.
posted by ocschwar at 8:14 AM on October 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


After reading the Facebook comments in his support, I'm finding his post even more atrocious. It's extremely clear that the effect has been to misrepresent the allegations against him, so that people think that the CBC is poking its nose in his bedroom rather than responding to allegations of abuse. Great PR strategy that does absolutely nothing to make me think that he is innocent.
posted by leopard at 8:15 AM on October 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


That's the thing about this story: there are a lot of uniquely Canadian wedge points. Beyond just the (sadly) typical rape culture alignments, this tweaks all the typical "Toronto media elites" vs the rest of the country buttons.

I promise, you're going to see some strange combinations of people lining up on different sides of this thing.
posted by dry white toast at 8:15 AM on October 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


People in Toronto often assume there is a Toronto vs. Rest of Canada dichotomy when it is more like Toronto vs. Rest of Ontario.
posted by Nevin at 8:23 AM on October 27, 2014 [4 favorites]


Mild tangent here: I'm an American who had no idea Ghomeshi was in a band and had never heard of Moxy Fruvous. Just checked 'em out on Spotify and WOW SUCH CANADA WOW SUCH 90S.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:23 AM on October 27, 2014 [29 favorites]


Who will host the Giller?
posted by chapps at 8:24 AM on October 27, 2014


Most telling quote to me:

I have always tried to be a good soldier and do a good job for my country. I am still in shock.

Worst possible week for a Canadian to be comparing himself to a soldier.
posted by ocschwar at 8:24 AM on October 27, 2014 [45 favorites]


I've never really listened to Q except when he interviewed Stromae recently (my creep filter was only for Strombo) so I'm in the camp where this comes as a complete surprise.

That last star article is pretty damning. Particularly barfy:

Only one of the alleged victims worked at the CBC. She never dated Ghomeshi. She alleges he approached her from behind and cupped her rear end in the Q studio, and that he quietly told her at a story meeting that he wanted to “hate f---” her.
The woman said she complained about Ghomeshi’s behaviour to her union representative, who took the complaint to a Q producer. As the woman recalls, the producer asked her “what she could do to make this a less toxic workplace” for herself. No further action was taken by the CBC, and the woman left the broadcaster shortly thereafter.


Less toxic workplace for herself.

Barf.

So many companies take this route. What can we do to shut this down as quickly as possible because he's important and you are not. If the CBC knew what he was like and tolerated it, then I am ashamed of my national broadcaster. They better gear up for some mea culpas themselves.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 8:25 AM on October 27, 2014 [31 favorites]


Present day repeat repeat repeat CBC radio, including Q, makes me nostalgic for the days of Gzowski.

Might CBC brass have been long aware that Ghomesi was skeevy in his relationships with women, including many who he was able to attract due to his prominence on their airwaves, but choose to look the other way, hoping it would all stay private behaviour? Probably. This is the mainstream broadcaster who most clearly sends out the vanilla progressive message, especially on radio, but in its desperation for audience happily boosted the voices of trolls like Don Cherry and Kevin O'Leary.

Look at Dragon's Den. The CBC's offerings are now so uninspired that it's pretty much the flagship show for them. What a messed up tone that show has. Three or four times an episode I need to ask myself, is no one there aware of workplace harrassment issues? Isn't that a problem we're supposed to be concerned about? I'm sure I've heard many earnest discussions about it on this very network. But here again we get a bunch of models in bikinis, underwear or fitness gear marching on stage and successive shots of each filthy-rich older executive man giving his best lecherous look. Does no one question the optics of another shot of a 60-something year old owner of a chain of restaurants employing many low pay young women knowingly lifting his eyebrow in recognition of the bikini babe? They do make it equal opportunity, the lone female business leader does get to glance subtly sideways and purse her lips when some zero-fat dude modelling underwear enters the stage. And the innuendo just flies on that show, much of it directed towards that one lady. None of it would be tolerated in any board room, so why are business leaders acting that way on television?

So yesterday I caught the newest dragon doing a promo for his involvement in the first Canadian Wahlburgers. All through the piece he's acting up like Crazy Uncle Larry after too much to drink. And then at the end I notice his shirt wide open, not so much to expose the thicket of chest hair or the gold chain, althought they're there all Burt Reynolds-like, but the "I'm not your regular business leader I'm edgy" tattoo. Cocaine must float off this guy like dust off Pigpen. Did no one at the CBC see The Wolf of Wall Street? They were aware, right, that it wasn't meant to be a sympathetic portrayal of its subject?

Anyway, Ghomesi. If he wanted to explore his darkness he should have sought out the subculture, or found a stable long-term relationship. Not in casual encounters with much younger fans of his celebrity. Little chance he could maintain his voice on radio after this is revealed.
posted by TimTypeZed at 8:25 AM on October 27, 2014 [8 favorites]


Update: Ghomeshi now claiming that the charges are the result of "slanders spread by Alfonsist intriguers within the CBC."
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:26 AM on October 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


A Toronto Life piece on Jian, from January of this year. Ends with just a little hint of creepy.
posted by Kabanos at 8:26 AM on October 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


This along with what happened in Ottawa last week, tonight's #TOpoli election, I'm going to just stay away from Twitter for this week because it's become such a toxic environment.
posted by Fizz at 8:27 AM on October 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


If he wanted to explore his darkness he should have sought out the subculture, or found a stable long-term relationship. Not in casual encounters with much younger fans of his celebrity.

If the various allegations are true, this isn't about BDSM at all, not really. It's about not taking no for an answer. There are ways to bring up kink with a casual partner and have it all be totally great for everyone, but that is lightyears away from what he supposedly did.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:32 AM on October 27, 2014 [28 favorites]


Writing a wildly inappropriate PR release is not the way to convince everyone you're someone who has been behaving appropriately. From everything I've seen on this, I'd say the chances that Jian Ghomeshi is going to be vindicated by ongoing investigation, reportage and court action rather than proved to be a misogynist pig are slight.
posted by orange swan at 8:35 AM on October 27, 2014


Wow, there's a shit ton of control freak and creepy in that TO Life article.
posted by Kitteh at 8:43 AM on October 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


So what have billable hours ever done for me? (Also: I should totally remember to go out and vote today.)

This is a terribly ugly story no matter how it works out. I already see some friends of mine not only liking Ghomeshi's post on Facebook, a couple of them (one teacher, one lawyer) have vociferously supported him with extended commentary. Whatever combo of his own writing and Navigator massage was used to produce that post is obviously working as designed.

I think there's obviously room to be cautious about this. False accusations can be made, celebrities can be extra-large targets, and even moderately bad people can be exploited and made to look worse than they really are.

So I've done my best to put together the most Ghomeshi-favourable version of events based on back channels talk, his post and the Star story.

1. He has a rep as a guy who is very persistent about pursuing women (live and online) and who has a history of grabbing women without their consent. Let's call this the Weak Groper Scenario, as opposed to the stronger version of the story (which may be much more accurate) where he is dangerous enough that women and bouncers strongly warn others not to be alone with him ever. So no matter what he has actually done, he has a pre-existing bad rep that can be leveraged.

2. Let's accept at face value the jilted ex- story. Rejection happens and people can respond very badly. While the vengeful ex trope is well worn and suspicious, it is a possibility.

3. Let's accept at face value the allegation that at least 3 women backed up the ex-girlfriend's fictions with fictions of their own. This sort of thing can happen, but it seems less and less likely as things proceed from whispered gossip, to media and, maybe, eventually to the courts.

4. The CBC, which is probably aware of at least the Weak Groper rumours, hears these major accusations. They also learn of Ghomeshi's BDSM activities from the accusers and from him. When they find out that The Star is not going to press with the story because no charges have been filed and the accusers are not going to be identified, they don't think or tell Ghomeshi "Yeah, you're obviously innocent", they look at the huge mess of maybes they've been left with and try to ease him out. He refuses, they fire him, and everything else rolls downhill.

But here's where I think that my most favourable story still has problems: Ghomeshi over-eggs the pudding in his Facebook post. While being vain, pompous and even narcissistic is not proof that he's also a predator, his failure to tell a relatively simple story with (sorry) some shades of grey is suspicious.

1. The CBC didn't simply act like cowards, but agreed with him privately that he was totally innocent:
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.”
(The CBC may have come close to firing Sook-Yin Lee over Shortbus back in 2006, but they backed down pretty quickly when there was a relatively small swell of public opposition. Maybe the CBC has learned to chill since 2006 and is no longer so easily shocked. Counterpoint: but they're all so conservative / Harper appointees now. Counter-counterpoint: Q is worth much more to the CBC than DNTO, and the ensuing shitstorm is much, much larger and showing signs of getting bigger. )

2. The accuser and her friends alone weren't the only villains. No, the unnamed, dastardly "freelance writer" never liked Jian and colluded with his accusers. It's pushing things a bit to have just one woman make false accusations against you. To have another three do it and take on the associated risks (as mentioned above) starts to strain credulity. But to have a journalist abandon all credibility and work with these accusers to ruin Jian just sounds like bullshit. You have to ascribe extraordinary motivations to several different people to make this story work.

My best case scenario for Ghomeshi is assuming that an extraordinary conspiracy was developed to take him down and the CBC panicked and dumped him when he wouldn't leave. This may actually be true. But I cannot see how my reasonable friends and a bunch of other people can stand up and insist that Ghomeshi is obviously being railroaded.

Happy Monday, folks. Welcome to Ghomeshi Nation.
posted by maudlin at 8:43 AM on October 27, 2014 [24 favorites]


This along with what happened in Ottawa last week, tonight's #TOpoli election, I'm going to just stay away from Twitter for this week because it's become such a toxic environment.

Add Facebook to that list for me. I think more than a few people I know need to go back to bed out of it.
posted by futureisunwritten at 8:45 AM on October 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


Wow, there's a shit ton of control freak and creepy in that TO Life article.

Most pretty run-of-the-mill prima donna stuff if you leave the sex part of it out. Meh.
posted by GuyZero at 8:47 AM on October 27, 2014


One point that stands out for me in Ghomeshi's favour is mentioning that the ex in question is willing to refute false allegations. I trust that point because asserting it hands the ex a lot of power to call one reporter and say "no, I didn't", which torpedos Ghomeshi's whole defense. It's like when the US killed Osama bin Laden: at least, they were certain that OBL was dead because otherwise, one video of him reading the next day's headlines leads to a massive collapse of the US story. Especially with Navigator running things, there's too much risk to asserting that the ex said it, so I believe it.
posted by fatbird at 8:48 AM on October 27, 2014


Add Facebook to that list for me. I think more than a few people I know need to go back to bed out of it.

I may cut bait on FB feed (but I've been doing that a lot lately so no big) because there's a huge whiff of misogyny towards his accusers from men and women, and sadly the women are trotting out the "gold diggers/sluts" rhetoric more than the dudes.
posted by Kitteh at 8:50 AM on October 27, 2014 [1 favorite]




OTOH, Maudlin's point is worth remembering, that powerful sociopaths can misread the effect a PR move will have. Maybe Ghomeshi's just gambling.
posted by fatbird at 8:51 AM on October 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


I may cut bait on FB feed... because there's a huge whiff of misogyny towards his accusers from men and women

I remind myself out loud when issues like this detonate my FB feed: "It's okay for me not to express a strong opinion on this issue." I like to think it helps avoid alienating others.
posted by fatbird at 8:52 AM on October 27, 2014 [10 favorites]


Look at his exact words, fatbird: "the ex has even tried to contact me to say that she now wishes to refute any of these categorically untrue allegations." He doesn't say they have spoken directly, just that she tried to contact him. A friend of a friend told him, maybe? A more effective way of retracting her statement would be going right to the reporters, but apparently she has not done this.

I'm still calling this bullshit.
posted by maudlin at 8:52 AM on October 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


So all the newspapers are fired up getting whatever angle they can over this story... the latest one is that Gomeshi became bigger than the CBC and that's bad.

Except that it isn't. Jon Steward and Stephen Colbert are both way bigger than Comedy Central. Glenn Beck was bigger than Fox (somewhat). Oprah got so big she just went and made her own TV network. The real problem is that CBC has no pipeline for nurturing new talent, no second-stringers who are close but not quite there yet.

The Daily Show spun off Colbert and then John Oliver. That's how you build a real team, so hire people so good that eventually it makes sense to let them go. That the CBC is so incompetent at creating new hosts & interviewers isn't Gomeshi's fault.

(and not that any of that means that Gomeshi is above any sort of scrutiny regarding violent or harassing behaviour. But people would care less of there was a respectable B-team ready to fill his shoes.
posted by GuyZero at 8:54 AM on October 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


TimTypeZed: The few times I've seen Dragon's Den I always seemed to catch a segment that seemed to be pretty much "Let's laugh at this person who likely has mental heath issues."

re: Ghomeshi: I recently picked up his book, 1982, at the "take a book, leave a book" section of my grocery store. Not so keen on reading it now.

CBC execs confirmed that the information provided showed that there was consent.

How is this even possible? If you consent to something beforehand you can still change your mind. Something written after the fact can be done so under duress. Is this addressed anywhere that I've missed (I fully admit I have not read everything).
posted by ODiV at 8:56 AM on October 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


Ghomeshi has scored a pretty big PR coup having convinced a lot of people that CBC fired him for his private consensual sexual preferences, the details of which they have released. Meanwhile, we've heard nothing specific from CBC!

I doubt that the lawsuit will go through. If the allegations in the Star article are true, JG won't want that out there.

Mostly I'm disappointed in the CBC. It seems like they knew of at least one incident in which an employee was sexually assaulted at work and did nothing.

I predict that this will end badly for CBC, worse for JG, with potential or harassment or worse those who might go public with sexual assault allegations.
posted by beau jackson at 8:56 AM on October 27, 2014


Most pretty run-of-the-mill prima donna stuff if you leave the sex part of it out. Meh.

Yeah, there can never be any doubt that the public persona of any media personality is a carefully-constructed artifice. Getting a glimpse of what lies behind the mask is going to be bewildering most of the time.

Even if this story is untrue, the fact is that highly-driven, "successful" people like Ghomeshi achieve their success because they are competitive and because they are control freaks. They strive to get things done, and that's rarely a particularly attractive personality trait, less so because it dramatically conflicts in this case with the smooth, polished image Ghomeshi projects.

In short, while I liked and admired Ghomeshi's public persona, I never had any doubts that when the mic was turned off he would likely be a radically different personality, especially with people he worked with. Of course he's a control freak and a tyrant. It's just the nature of media (think Letterman) and the nature of "success" in a highly competitive environment.

However, I would never really expected anything like this.
posted by Nevin at 8:59 AM on October 27, 2014


I'm an American who had no idea Ghomeshi was in a band and had never heard of Moxy Fruvous. Just checked 'em out on Spotify and WOW SUCH CANADA WOW SUCH 90S.

Well, yes. This was a band with a song called "Stuck in the 90s" (released in 1993, for what its worth).
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:01 AM on October 27, 2014


Ooh. He hit on me really aggressively once in the 90s. I had never made the connection between him as creepy band guy and his broadcaster persona, of which I was only tangentially aware, until this morning.
posted by padraigin at 9:02 AM on October 27, 2014 [8 favorites]


As the employer I fully expect CBC to be tight lipped on this. If indeed there are other employees involved, they have a responsibility to them as well.

If they do say anything the onus will be on them to prove it in court, and reasonable for firing may not be the same as reasonable for the public broadcaster to say on the air.
posted by chapps at 9:03 AM on October 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


So many people are commenting (not here) saying that "If there were really assaults, people would have gone to police instead of the Toronto Star". It's maddening.
posted by beau jackson at 9:08 AM on October 27, 2014 [6 favorites]


Oh god, beau jackson, while I shouldn't be surprised by that, my jaw has hit the floor.
posted by Kitteh at 9:10 AM on October 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


If the various allegations are true, this isn't about BDSM at all, not really. It's about not taking no for an answer.

Yes, I'm aware of that. But Ghomesi in his early messaging attempted to claim the freedom for alternative choices in his private behaviour. The questions of consent are for the courts and any further consequences. The concerns for the media employer could be the ways he exploited his profile (as an extension of the workplace). I'm just doing my own speculative accounting of his veracity based on what we learned from the Star's reporting.
posted by TimTypeZed at 9:11 AM on October 27, 2014


I broke my foot out of love for Jian Ghomeshi. This was, of course, during college. I had been a huge Fruvous fangirl since high school -- I actually helped with their equipment at another show, when they were super-small, but that's another story. But after this show at our college, I finally got a chance to meet Jian! He signed my heavily decorated leather jacket that I'd brought just for his autograph. He went on his way out of the student center at our college, and another friend of mine urged me to come downstairs quick, he said he was going to get a picture with all of us! So I ran down the entrance stairway.

Now, this event was an outdoor festival on a beautiful May Day. I was in a white dress, and barefoot. In my joy, I bounded down two steps at a time. And I landed sidewise on my right foot, which went CRACK.

The pain was unbelievable. I sat there sobbing until my friend ran back and said "Come ON, he's gotta GO . . . oh . . . do you . . . are you going to need a ride to the Health Center?"

So I sat outside crying and trying not to scream until a campus cop came for me. The foot was broken, and my summer was half ruined. On crutches and carless, I struggled with my jobs and public transport; I missed on-the-job chances, and I nearly couldn't go on an archaeological dig I'd lined up that summer. All for a moment with Jian, who never even came over to see the red-faced crumpled girl he was supposed to meet, sitting twenty feet away.

I was in too much pain to consider that at the time, but it occurs to me that if he had had interest in me even as a mark, he'd have played the close-to creeper card. As it was, I was probably not skinny enough for him.

I later joked that this was an important lesson in my life -- never run after a man! The actual important lesson is, of course, not to run barefoot downstairs.

In conclusion, if anyone knows how to remove paint-pen autographs from black leather, please advise.
posted by Countess Elena at 9:12 AM on October 27, 2014 [35 favorites]


I've really enjoyed Jian's show, and I was happy to hear it had been picked up by NPR. Last night, when the news broke, I was surprised and had mixed personal reactions. I had no doubt that it was a highly polished response from a highly polished media pro--meaning Jian, not his team--and I was also very conscious of who has the power in these all-too-typical situations.

With some time to think it through, more info and analysis (props to Sex Geek for the great perspective), I think the real deception going on here is to make people think this is about CBC firing him (the only concrete, public thing which has happened so far) and not about sexual assault (with which he has not be charged in any court).
posted by Walleye at 9:15 AM on October 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


That story wasn't actually my first thought when I read this, though. My first thought was: Of COURSE he's creepy and terrible. Why else would I have found him so attractive? I have a GIFT for these things, I swear.
posted by Countess Elena at 9:15 AM on October 27, 2014 [7 favorites]


My gut is inclined to believe the worst, here, and given the circumstances I don't really expect to be proven wrong. But at the same time, this is sort of why I don't like having a whole public referendum on the events that might have happened the moment allegations like this first show up. I suppose there's really nothing to be done about it, that's just the way the modern media works, but I really wish there was some way to opt out of hearing about these things until there are prepared statements by all the involved parties, whatever lawsuits might be getting filed are actually filed, those sorts of things.

It's not so much that I'm worried we're going to all think he's a monster when he's really a saint, there doesn't seem to be much risk of that, but I start to feel slimy about just how sensational it all is. I think in the end the whole circus, no matter how horrible he turns out to be, just ends up being something to discourage women from coming forward if they're not ready to handle a circus. Not so much "let's withhold judgment and presume him completely innocent until it's a 100% certainty", but a question of--is it really necessary to go over everything with a fine tooth comb the instant news like this appears?
posted by Sequence at 9:16 AM on October 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


The Toronto Star article has that weird line about the women accusing Ghomeshi being employed and educated.

You can read that to mean not aboriginal, and not a prostitute, I guess? Because we have a pandemic of violence against those women in Canada.

Anyway, I found that linecmade the whole thing even more depressing.
posted by chapps at 9:16 AM on October 27, 2014 [30 favorites]


What can we do to shut this down as quickly as possible because he's important and you are not. If the CBC knew what he was like and tolerated it, then I am ashamed of my national broadcaster. They better gear up for some mea culpas themselves.

I think this is the nugget, myself. This is not about Jian having a kink that the ceeb isn't cool with. This is about workplace sexual harassment which the ceeb helped bury.

The other things are (for lack of a better word) irrelevant when it comes to his employment status, other than that it indicates a pattern of behaviour suggesting that the workplace incident may not be isolated.

Sexually harassing coworkers is the big code of conduct no-no. It exposes the corporation to liability. The corporation added to its liability by handling the complaint inappropriately, effectively brushing it aside.

If these allegations are true, of course. We'll find out in the fullness of time. But right now it's not looking good ol' Jian -- this may be a much simpler story than his post would have you believe.
posted by Capt. Renault at 9:18 AM on October 27, 2014 [5 favorites]


this is not a fully articulated response right now, and it is something that i am in the middle of working out, but the thing that keeps glaring out at me, about that statement--is that bdsm has become so codified, that the assumption is that the code cannot be manipulated--instead of having sexuality function as a consistent, well placed set of negotiations, there is the assumption that safe word and checking in and all of that theatrical positioning takes the place of difficult consitent sorting out of bodies in space. I have seen enough folks in the bdsm community subjcate their desires, or have violence done unwillingly upon them, and think that they have no recourse because they had a safe word, and they had fantasies, and there was some checking in--sometimes it's not violence, its unpleasentness, but it feels like how bdsm has changed has failed to leave room for a fully articulated range of responses from this is boring me now to this is rape. I find him creepy, the few times I have meet him (i am peripherally on the scene) and women i know who work at the cbc have told me he was a complete creeper, but the thing that is bothering me the most is this continued codificaiton of sexual otherness that positons language as a way against instead of in favour of discourse.
posted by PinkMoose at 9:18 AM on October 27, 2014 [13 favorites]


The Toronto Star article has that weird line about the women accusing Ghomeshi being employed and educated.

Yeah, I read it initially as trying to say that these women had no direct need to blackmail Ghomeshi but it comes across as more than a little tone-deaf. Like somehow it would be ok to dismiss the allegations of an "uneducated" or unemployed woman. Weird.
posted by GuyZero at 9:18 AM on October 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


So many people are commenting (not here) saying that "If there were really assaults, people would have gone to police instead of the Toronto Star". It's maddening.

Best comment I've read about that was on Twitter: "To be clear, you ridiculous people are saying, Women have to go to the police to be believed. A man just has to post it on Facebook." — Mark Forward
posted by chunking express at 9:19 AM on October 27, 2014 [95 favorites]


No matter what comes to light, JG is going be less than JS, because the Saville scandal really cannot be surpassed for sheer power / politics / pedophilia horror.

> A man just has to post it on Facebook.

A man just has to hire a PR firm to... etc.
posted by anthill at 9:22 AM on October 27, 2014


Wasn't there a line in the Star article about how the ex was dumped by Ghomeshi because she wanted a commitment and he didn't want to give her one? Because that one also came off as incredibly cliched and "women!" as well. If it wasn't the Star, maybe it was his statement, but I could swear I read that somewhere.
posted by Kitteh at 9:22 AM on October 27, 2014


Somewhere, Billy Bob Thornton is laughing.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 9:26 AM on October 27, 2014 [14 favorites]


saturday_morning: "It's remarkable how well Ghomeshi seems to have set the tone of the debate with his facebook post. People I otherwise think of as staunch feminists, who would never presume that sex assault allegations are false, rushing to defend JG's freedom-of-bedroom rights and ignoring the possibility that things were not in fact consensual.

Like Nevin says, it's competing narratives at this point and there is absolutely no way to know the truth. But JG getting his out first seems to have been effective to a point that makes me uncomfortable.
"

The almost automatic reaction from the BSDM community is to link arms in defense of the onslaught of "well of course it's not consensual, how could that be consensual?" whenever a BSDM person is revealed. And the desire to to defend the community and a sexual preference that is reviled or misunderstood by the vast majority of vanilla sex partners is completely understandable. But it's a group-think that allows creepers to creep.
posted by dejah420 at 9:27 AM on October 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


Kitteh, from his statement:
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.
posted by leopard at 9:28 AM on October 27, 2014


Wasn't there a line in the Star article about how the ex was dumped by Ghomeshi because she wanted a commitment and he didn't want to give her one?

I think that was in Ghomeshi's own statement. I dunno, I took it at face value, but yeah, it has it's own bias. If you want to read it favourably to Ghomeshi, celebrities attract odd people and celebrity stalkers are a real thing that exist. At the same time, celebrities who exploit their status to prey on women or be creepers are also a thing.

Sooo... yeah. Not much insight from trying the Kremlinology on this one.
posted by GuyZero at 9:28 AM on October 27, 2014


>No matter what comes to light, JG is going be less than JS

Agree its not that level of depravity just similarities, biography unsavory whispers for years, protected by power and reputation.
posted by Damienmce at 9:29 AM on October 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


There's no way on earth the CBC would dismiss their golden boy without iron-clad proof of serious wrongdoing.
posted by davebush at 9:29 AM on October 27, 2014 [23 favorites]


One of the goals of the PR statement seems to be to get you to conclude that it is not possible to sexually assault someone with whom you've had consensual sex.
posted by beau jackson at 9:31 AM on October 27, 2014 [30 favorites]


I think maudlin's analysis is spot on. My suspicion is that the content of the "proof of consent," presumably text messages and emails, he showed the CBC was in and of itself sufficient to violate his contract's weak-ass morals clause.

No work getting done today for this Torontonian. What the hell, I'm on sabbatical this year, so I'll call it research.
posted by sfred at 9:34 AM on October 27, 2014


No matter what comes to light, JG is going be less than JS, because the Saville scandal really cannot be surpassed for sheer power / politics / pedophilia horror.

I wonder how many Canadians are aware of the Jimmy Savile... thing. The guy actually got a job as orderly in a hospital to get access to his victims, and I believe there were people who helped cover up Savile's crimes.
posted by Nevin at 9:37 AM on October 27, 2014





There's no way on earth the CBC would dismiss their golden boy without iron-clad proof of serious wrongdoing.

I don't seriously doubt that Mr. Ghomeshi is guilty of some fairly creepy if not outright criminal stuff. But as for the CBC and their golden boy -- well let's just say things are changing at the Corp. I believe it's entirely possible that they're viewing this as all very convenient for them. Which is inspiring a bunch of unfortunate conspiracy theorizing from those who are prone to it. And I don't for a moment think Mr. Ghomeshi and his team won't be encouraging as much of it as possible. Indeed, they made the call with that initial Facebook post. This is a public story concerning a public figure. It will play out in public, all bullshit and spectacle.

Strange days ahead.
posted by philip-random at 9:44 AM on October 27, 2014 [6 favorites]


But you'd think the CBC would need more than allegations to fire someone.

His PR-vetted story is basically that a jilted woman conspired with some other people to leak details of his kinky sex life to his bosses, and they got the vapors and fired him even though they knew he did nothing wrong, because kinky sex.

But as far as I can see the only party who wants to make a big deal about "kink" here is Ghomeshi himself. In the meantime there are serious allegations of non-consensual abuse and the CBC is losing a valuable asset that they have a lot of reason to want to protect.

He sounds so full of shit.
posted by leopard at 9:45 AM on October 27, 2014 [4 favorites]


Ghomeshi's face has been erased from the walls of the CBC temple.
posted by Kabanos at 9:47 AM on October 27, 2014 [4 favorites]


The "vengeful jilted ex-girlfriend" narrative has already started to take hold, if the office chatter this morning amongst the women I work with is anything to go by.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:49 AM on October 27, 2014


But as far as I can see the only party who wants to make a big deal about "kink" here is Ghomeshi himself.

yes, exactly this. the only one going on about the shame of bdsm and it obviously being the root of all of this is him. to quote from the kink link in the fpp again -
In this case, Ghomeshi made a pre-emptive strike, setting the terms of the debate: don’t demonize me for being kinky, even if you don’t like my proclivities. But so far, this doesn’t seem to be a scandal about kink at all. From Ciccone to the anonymous accusers, the women who are (or seem to be) complaining about him aren’t complaining about his kinks or calling him out for being a disgusting pervert. They’re complaining about far more mundane and familiar things: the ex-co-worker is noting unwanted ass-groping in the workplace. Ciccone mentions creepy non-consensual touching at a concert date that wasn’t supposed to even be a date, followed by stalker-y behaviour. And the anonymous women who wanted to get involved with him at first aren’t complaining about how gross his supposed perversions are. They’re making allegations of regular old non-consensual violence. And part of the reason they are saying they won’t come forward in person is because they’re afraid their pre-date conversations about kink will be used as evidence that they consented to what he did. In other words, these women may have said “sure, some kink sounds like fun” and are concerned that their own stated interest will be held up as evidence of consent to violence. If I am reading this right, these women were either themselves interested in kink to some extent, or at least weren’t put off by Ghomeshi’s interest, since they each still went on a date with him. This is a very different story than “Ew gross he wanted to use handcuffs what a total sicko!”
posted by nadawi at 9:50 AM on October 27, 2014 [6 favorites]


There's no way on earth the CBC would dismiss their golden boy without iron-clad proof of serious wrongdoing.

CBC upper-level management are by tradition not very insightful. Any decision they stumble upon might or might not be relevant or justified.
posted by ovvl at 9:51 AM on October 27, 2014 [4 favorites]


As for Savile, not just a job as an orderly, he had the keys to the locked wards. Heck, he had the keys to the morgue. I should hope this, whatever it is, would be less than JS, because more than JS is difficult to imagine.

Serious question, why would Billy Bob Thornton be laughing?
posted by glasseyes at 9:53 AM on October 27, 2014


Serious question, why would Billy Bob Thornton be laughing?

Answer: My one and only OP

I have to say, I am a big JG and 'Q' fan... this is seriously bumming me out. I hadn't heard about all the 'creep' allegations.

.

The above '.' is a sad nod to the death of my ignorance, I guess.
posted by Artful Codger at 9:58 AM on October 27, 2014


glasseyes: LINK
posted by joelhunt at 9:58 AM on October 27, 2014


Serious question, why would Billy Bob Thornton be laughing?

"Don't call me an actor."

"Okay, I'll ask you questions about acting, anyway."
posted by a lungful of dragon at 10:04 AM on October 27, 2014


Thanks, guys
posted by glasseyes at 10:05 AM on October 27, 2014


KokuRyu predicting the future way back in 2009 in the "Don't call me an actor " post:
When I was in university, Moxy Fruvous was considered to be the antithesis of cool at first. Then the band's name became synonymous with assaulting your girlfriend.
posted by zenon at 10:23 AM on October 27, 2014 [13 favorites]


I am given to understand that for some time now, if you were to do a word association exercise with women in and around the Toronto music scene, the words "creep," "pervert," "sexual harasser," etc. present a high probability the person would answer "Jian Ghomeshi."

As per this tweet:
Say "Jian Gomeshi" around any reasonably sized group of musically involved women 25-40 in Toronto and you might get a hunch about what's up.
This is also making the rounds on my Facebook feed today:
1. Canadian employment law doesn't allow people to be fired for private, consensual sexual escapades.
2. CBC has competent legal counsel.
3. CBC was acting against its own ratings interest in firing Ghomeshi.

Conclusion: CBC had greater potential legal exposure in not firing Ghomeshi.

Ghomeshi has already told us where that exposure comes from: a rape allegation. In the process of pre-denying that allegation he:

a) Paints the woman as a jealous/crazy/vindictive ex, a saddeningly tried-and-true tactic to undermine the credibility of rape victims.
b) Paints the CBC as knowing that he's innocent and firing their biggest star anyways because of his private sex life.

Conclusion: presuming the CBC is not mind-meltingly stupid, there are one or more highly-credible rape allegations.
posted by jokeefe at 10:27 AM on October 27, 2014 [44 favorites]


There's no way on earth the CBC would dismiss their golden boy without iron-clad proof of serious wrongdoing.

As an aside, the reason CBC brass gave when the reduced Enright from 3 hours to 2 hours on Sunday mornings is because Enright/Sunday Edition is the most popular CBC radio program...? Before Ghomeshi published his Facebook confessional, it would have been easy to believe CBC management was being inept as usual (another case in point is the awful new radio app - replacing a perfectly good one - introduced at a time when CBC is promising to move to more online delivery; or Kevin O'Leary. Or Don Cherry).
posted by Nevin at 10:34 AM on October 27, 2014


*sigh* This is upsetting and disappointing. Count me among those who was a major Fruvous fan in the 90s - saw them 7-8 times between 1995 and 2001, went on a road trip with a friend to see one of the concerts that was being recorded for the live album, got a picture with them at Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, etc. And yes, in retrospect, Jian's later love songs sound creepy ("I Will Hold On", "Sad Girl").

In any event, it's always disappointing to learn that someone you admired is actually a creep. [Disclaimer: Yes, maybe he will be exonerated, but it doesn't seem likely.]
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 10:34 AM on October 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


presuming the CBC is not mind-meltingly stupid

This is not actually that safe a presumption, based on both past history and the fact that the board of the CBC is now 100% Harper appointments who are basically hostile to the CBC's existence.
posted by fatbird at 10:37 AM on October 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


In addition to the political makeup of the CBC board, please also consider the fact that Ghomeshi's beautiful father died recently.

"Let me be the first to say that my tastes in the bedroom may not be palatable to some folks." Seriously, fuck this guy.
posted by leopard at 10:43 AM on October 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


Worst possible week for a Canadian to be comparing himself to a soldier.

I really doubt this sentence would have been included had this news dropped last week. Totally intentional, really quite unsettling.
posted by avocet at 10:44 AM on October 27, 2014 [7 favorites]


Among the "if this is true they would've gone to the police!!!11one" champions is, unfortunately, Elizabeth May:

"So why no police charges? In past I know of allegations (unproven) destroying lives. I'd like to have a sense of fairness."

Sigh.

Yes, 30,000 additional fans on his Facebook page since yesterday really points to a life ruined.
posted by Phire at 10:44 AM on October 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


So this is a variation on the GamerGate defense. He's saying "Actually, it's about ethics in BDSM."
posted by valkane at 10:47 AM on October 27, 2014 [41 favorites]


I have some BDSM friends rushing to man the ramparts on this one. I'm gently reminding them that Ghomeshi is pushing the "being persecuted for my kinks" narrative so they will ignore the assaulted women story.
posted by Kitteh at 10:50 AM on October 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


Sorry for the slight repetition, but I'm actually astounded at how effective his "my tastes in the bedroom may not be palatable to some folks" misdirection has been. It's genius. It manufactures a discussion that literally no one was having and turns "defending" him into a moral stance.
posted by leopard at 10:53 AM on October 27, 2014 [27 favorites]


Conclusion: presuming the CBC is not mind-meltingly stupid, there are one or more highly-credible rape allegations.

I think it's safe to say that a decision this big would have been discussed up and down the line many, many times, with corporate counsel very heavily involved. It's the kind of decision which, as you're making it, you know will end up in the courts, and in proceeding with it, you are saying "yes, I'm OK with seeing my name listed as defendant."
posted by Capt. Renault at 10:54 AM on October 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


Is the CBC keeping Q as a show without Ghomeshi? I can't tell what is going on from this audio clip because, honestly, it vaguely sounds like a pledge drive to keep it on the air.
posted by asockpuppet at 10:54 AM on October 27, 2014


presuming the CBC is not mind-meltingly stupid

Not that I believe Ghomeshi's PR statement (though it's really effective -- he's paying the right firm for this), but this is a really bad assumption to make.
posted by jeather at 10:55 AM on October 27, 2014


Is the CBC keeping Q as a show without Ghomeshi?

Total guess, but I would expect not in the long term. As a creator, the corp would still have to cut him a regular cheque. Plus, he's so identified with the show, keeping the show may become unpalatable.
posted by Capt. Renault at 10:58 AM on October 27, 2014




Q has a reasonable staff beyond Ghomeshi and I think it'll stay for a while at least. Nothing on the CBC is forever but as a vehicle for current arts & entertainment, why rebrand it?
posted by GuyZero at 11:00 AM on October 27, 2014


Nothing on the CBC is forever but as a vehicle for current arts & entertainment, why rebrand it?

Well, depending on how this plays out, it might wind up being "oh yeah, Q, that show they fired the sex criminal from!"
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:02 AM on October 27, 2014


Is the CBC keeping Q as a show without Ghomeshi?

I'd assume they'll put on a similar idea but rename it, like they did with Under the Influence/Age of Persuasion (once they were out of whatever agreement they presumably made with Mike Tennant).
posted by jeather at 11:02 AM on October 27, 2014


From the Post:

It is a common misapprehension that many unionized employees have (although it’s hard to believe of Ghomeshi). They mistakenly believe that being part of a union provides them protection. In fact, it is the reverse: Unionized employees cannot sue their employer for anything flowing from the employment relationship, whether it’s wrongful dismissal, constructive dismissal or anything else. Ghomeshi surely wishes he was not part of a union.

I wonder if he was part of the union though? He was a creator and definitely a manager and maybe had his own contract with the CBC. I mean, sure, maybe there can never be a lawsuit, but if he was a union member presumably they wouldn't have been able to fire him quite so summarily.
posted by GuyZero at 11:03 AM on October 27, 2014


Piya Chattopadhyay is a good host too. Q will survive. Even if the name changes to U, which, the more I think about it the better it sounds.
posted by Fraxas at 11:06 AM on October 27, 2014 [5 favorites]


I do like Piya, but I'm hoping there's something permanent for Karen Gordon. It was a delightful summer with her subbing pretty much everywhere.
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:11 AM on October 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


What strange timing... I'm not really familiar with Ghomeshi's work, but I happened to watch his interviews with Lena Dunham and Anna Kendrick this weekend. I enjoyed the former, but got a slightly "off" vibe from him.

And then the Anna Kendrick one was just excruciating. He is disrespectful, condescending, and almost contemptuous from the very beginning. As much as he tries to hide it, it's obvious that he's internally dismissing her as shallow and trivial. She pretty much shuts down, since (as a super-talented, Oscar-nominated actress who happens to sing and crack jokes) this is treatment that she's used to. He spends the rest of the interview needling her in a really gross way, and I just... Eugh.

I don't feel like I have a right to comment on his work and how it aligns with this, since I'm essentially an outsider. But I seriously spent half an hour ranting to my boyfriend yesterday about how icky that interview made me feel, so... Color me unsurprised.
posted by Starmie at 11:15 AM on October 27, 2014 [9 favorites]


The Star is reporting that Q will continue without him. For a while anyway.
posted by transient at 11:16 AM on October 27, 2014


The Star says Q will continue.
posted by kate blank at 11:17 AM on October 27, 2014


From the Toronto Star piece: The women, all educated and employed, said Ghomeshi’s actions shocked them.

Because we all know that women in general are inherently unreliable narrators, and also that if a woman dares to be uneducated and/or unemployed, you can't believe a word that comes out of her mouth.
posted by grounded at 11:18 AM on October 27, 2014 [7 favorites]


It is blowing my mind that "I want to hate fuck you" is something that could be said to a co-worker while at work. Either the anonymous CBC employee invented the most over the top case of verbal sexual harassment she could think of or Jian Gomeshi is completely insane in the way he thinks he can treat women; there are enough similar stories emerging that it's starting to sound like the latter.
posted by carolr at 11:21 AM on October 27, 2014 [7 favorites]


I just came in here to say that Chris Hadfield is Canadian and he's fucking amazing. So I say to my fellow Canadians: we can still be proud that we have this amazing person representing us abroad.
posted by Fizz at 11:32 AM on October 27, 2014 [9 favorites]


Moxy Fruvous. Just checked 'em out on Spotify and WOW SUCH CANADA WOW SUCH 90S

Oh God they are terrible. Always were, you guys. Someone said upthread they hadn't heard anything "face-punchy level" from Gomeshi previously. Clearly hadn't heard King of Spain or seen that Speaker's Corner performance back in the 90s. See now I have to remember that stuff and have nothing sharp to stab it out of my brain with.

I never got into Q precisely because of his involvement with Moxy Fruvous. I could never be 100% certain he wouldn't break into a terrible "clever" a cappella at any moment.

This whole thing is gross. It's too bad this guy has been able to get away with shit like what's been reported for so long, and the worst that happened to him for it was that he lost his job. He should have to listen to nothing but King of Spain on earbuds surgically implanted to his ear for the rest of his life.
posted by Hoopo at 11:34 AM on October 27, 2014 [9 favorites]


No, no, Hoopo, he would probably be totally okay with that.
posted by Kitteh at 11:37 AM on October 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


3. Integrity
CBC/Radio-Canada employees shall serve the public interest by:

3.1 Acting at all times with integrity and in a manner that will bear the closest public scrutiny, an obligation that may not be fully satisfied by simply acting within the law.
Emphasis added. from CBC Radio's Employee Code of Conduct (strongly interrelated to the general code of conduct for all Crown Corporation employees).
posted by whittaker at 11:38 AM on October 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


Thank you, Fizz. Chris Hadfield is indeed amazing.

< derail > I've heard Hadfield speak at a librarians' conference. He gives good speech -- energetic, and drawing his audience in completely. Coincidentally, that conference also hosted keynote speakers Jian, Strombo, and Steven Page. Strombo did very, very well, not having so much a prepared speech but fully engaging with the audience. Jian did well, too, but not as well as Strombo, and was busy trying to make the (mostly-female) audience fall in love with him. Steven Page blew chunks. < /derail >
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:40 AM on October 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


Among the "if this is true they would've gone to the police!!!11one" champions is, unfortunately, Elizabeth May:

Blerg. I am glad I left the Greens when they started blarting about wifi being dangerous.

Don't think this has been posted yet, but it's quite good: Law and Consent. It talks about a case we discussed here on Mefi.
EDIT: Yes, blarting. It's perfectly cromulent.
posted by Lemurrhea at 11:42 AM on October 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


Also, I can't be the only one a little put-off by all this weird wailing about 'oh what must the world think about us?' in reaction to things like Ford/Bieber/Ottawa shooting/Ghomeshi, can I?

It intentionally or unintentionally implies
a) a weird perception of how the world views Canada.
b) a weird perception of how uncommon abuse or drug-use scandals involving public figures is.
c) a weirdly myopic attitude towards the breadth of who or what can represent Canada.
d) a sadly common representation of national insecurity.
posted by whittaker at 11:47 AM on October 27, 2014 [10 favorites]


Oh God they are terrible. Always were, you guys. Someone said upthread they hadn't heard anything "face-punchy level" from Gomeshi previously. Clearly hadn't heard King of Spain or seen that Speaker's Corner performance back in the 90s. See now I have to remember that stuff and have nothing sharp to stab it out of my brain.

Speaker's Corner performance? Are you perhaps thinking of the Barenaked Ladies, who did record a song in there?
posted by ricochet biscuit at 11:48 AM on October 27, 2014


Uh, the Michael Bryant/Darcy Sheppard incident is not a good example to use if you're trying to show that only guilty people hire Navigator, as it kind of indicates the opposite.

Well he wasn't charged with anything, that's true.


That's not how the law works in Ontario. The police charged Bryant. A special prosecutor was brought in from British Columbia because, as a former Attorney General, Bryant would have had a supervisory relationship with the Ontario Crown Attorneys who would have otherwise handled the case. That special prosecutor reviewed the evidence and dropped the charges because, in his opinion, there was no reasonable prospect of conviction. (The victim's father disagreed).


posted by maledictory at 11:52 AM on October 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


Are you perhaps thinking of the Barenaked Ladies

Are you trying to get me to google Moxy Fruvous videos? That's mean, man.

(it's possible it was just a low budget regular old music video I remember and not Speakers corner)
posted by Hoopo at 11:54 AM on October 27, 2014


Any non-Canadians not know who this is? NYMag explains:

"You can pretty much discard all American radio personalities up to, and perhaps including, Ira Glass. The “This American Life” host is certainly an icon to a certain segment of the public-radio-loving public, and his impact on radio as a storytelling medium is immeasurable; many American public radio shows now may as well be called “This American Lite.” But he doesn’t enjoy the cultural centrality or authority of, say, the Cronkitian or Brokavian network anchor in his prime. Even current network anchors don’t enjoy that cultural centrality or authority (just ask Katie Couric). And their parallels on cable (your Anderson Coopers; your Sean Hannitys) are, almost by definition, revered by one half of the political spectrum and reviled by the other."
posted by acidic at 11:55 AM on October 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


Quite crazy to see Bryant pop up from time to time as a talking head and poster boy for alcohol addiction.
posted by Nevin at 11:55 AM on October 27, 2014


(it's possible it was just a low budget regular old music video I remember and not Speakers corner)

Many people seem to confuse these two bands. I am at a loss as to see why (although I was a gigging musician myself in Toronto in the early nineties and kind of knew them both slightly).
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:00 PM on October 27, 2014


Many people seem to confuse these two bands. I am at a loss as to see why.
I seem to remember they were both constantly being brought up as a pair in entertainment news articles around the time I was in Grade 7 and hopelessly into the Bargainville album. I assumed it was the commonalities of quirky "new genre" music, busking background, TO area.
posted by whittaker at 12:03 PM on October 27, 2014


Yeah, I think they were both basically selling their own cassette tapes at the same time, and maybe both got record deals at the same time. The Bare Naked Ladies are from Scarborough, so are de facto better anyway.
posted by chunking express at 12:06 PM on October 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


I met Jian a few times when I was a lot younger and a Moxy fanboy (anyone else remember their tiny concert outside Hampton Variety, the first place they sold a copy of their original tape?) and he seemed okay. Ran into him a couple times as an older teenager and basically thought 'jeez, what a douchelord.' Easy to be a big fish in the relatively small pond that is Canadian music.

Every woman I knew who met him, though... one friend of mine wanted a shower after just speaking to him.

I feel sorry for the women he's assaulted and I hope he twists in the wind over this. And yet another band I won't be listening to again, alas.

Also FWIW I think Moxy had the first demo out, but BNL got a record deal before they did.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:09 PM on October 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yeah, acidic is right -- it would be hard to understate Ghomeshi's cultural influence, and this may be less visible outside Canada, and especially the CBC attuded generations.

He started and hosts Canada reads, which is huge, and ties into major book promotion for CanLit. he was also slated to host the Giller prize awards, the biggest Canadian lit award.

And there is a reason the "your sex life is non of our business" will resonate in Canada -- I saw again and again in the comments on his post things like "as Trudeau said, the state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation" from 1967. It is probably Prime Minister Trudeau's most famous saying, after "Just Watch Me", and Canadians are rightly proud of the decriminalization of homosexuality (even if it was controversial at the time!)... and it is a big tug at our nationalism to echo this.
posted by chapps at 12:13 PM on October 27, 2014 [8 favorites]


I seem to remember they were both constantly being brought up as a pair in entertainment news articles around the time I was in Grade 7 and hopelessly into the Bargainville album. I assumed it was the commonalities of quirky "new genre" music, busking background, TO area.

The were all part of the brief trend of Canadian Dork-Folk.
posted by Kabanos at 12:14 PM on October 27, 2014 [7 favorites]


For non-UK readers seeing Jimmy Savile links, I'd caution very strong trigger warnings: the guy was a beloved young-adult television personality while being an unapologetic sexual predator, whose ways were known and quietly hidden for decades by the BBC and police.
posted by scruss at 12:22 PM on October 27, 2014


The short audio announcement on CBC's Q web page is tantalizingly non-specific. At least, I imagine it would be to anyone who stumbled on it perfectly unaware of the situation. It's always interesting to watch—and listen to—people when they feel compelled to make a statement but constrained from sharing any actual information, or even hinting at it. I took the liberty of translating it from marketing-speak into English: "In spite of an event that we can't talk about, or acknowledge the existence of, which might at first seem to call for the cancellation of the program, Q will continue as scheduled. Now please enjoy twelve seconds of comfortingly upbeat music to ease your concerns."
posted by Flexagon at 12:25 PM on October 27, 2014 [5 favorites]


I am always in bed on Sundays when the Strombo show airs. Can I switch to him for interesting on air personalities? Or is he shady too?

George Strombolopolous has a sort of too-cool-for-school vibe about him (though maybe I'm just carrying that over from his days as a MuchMusic VJ), but his interviews strike me as much more authentic and laid back than Ghomeshi's. They're sort of the Canadian Marc Maron and Terry Gross (with extra gross), respectively.

The were all part of the brief trend of Canadian Dork-Folk.

That was really just an outcrop of dork rock like The Pursuit of Happiness, the Northern Pikes, and Odds -- not to mention the hip side of CBC comedy of the eighties with The Frantics, Codco, and The Kids in the Hall, all of which were heavily, heavily dorky.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:27 PM on October 27, 2014 [4 favorites]


The Frantics.. of course .... Mr. Canoehead! He can save us!
posted by chapps at 12:36 PM on October 27, 2014 [8 favorites]


the Northern Pikes,

Hey, do not compare the Northern Pikes with f&%@ing Moxy Fruvus and Barenaked Ladies. The Pikes were a far, far greater band by several orders of magnitude.
posted by Nevin at 12:41 PM on October 27, 2014 [12 favorites]


He started and hosts Canada reads

No no no! Jian did not start it. He has been hosting since 2008, but Canada Reads conceived by producers Peter Kavanagh and Talin Vartanian was hosted by the wonderful Bill Richardson for the 5 years prior to that (and Mary Walsh in its first year - who knew?)

OTOH, Jian can probably be credited with it's growing popularity...

(You had me really worried about this before I double checked. Canada Reads is sacred and must not be touched by this grossness! ).
posted by kitcat at 12:47 PM on October 27, 2014 [11 favorites]


The Pikes were a far, far greater band by several orders of magnitude.

All those bands are. Very much so. I'm just sayin', a wart grew off them and someone called it dork folk.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:47 PM on October 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


sorry kitkat, my bad.
posted by chapps at 12:49 PM on October 27, 2014


The Ghomeshi question: The law and consent in the G&M is an interesting read. Basically in Canadian law one can never give consent to assault, so some forms of BDSM are always assault, even if negotiated. But the author sums up the current situation well:

none of us know the facts. We barely know the allegations.
posted by GuyZero at 12:52 PM on October 27, 2014 [6 favorites]


"Look at his exact words, fatbird: "the ex has even tried to contact me to say that she now wishes to refute any of these categorically untrue allegations." He doesn't say they have spoken directly, just that she tried to contact him. A friend of a friend told him, maybe? A more effective way of retracting her statement would be going right to the reporters, but apparently she has not done this."

Yeah, that's the only thing that seems like it might give him an out, and even that looks a bit thin.

One of my pals was talking about this yesterday, and I had no idea that "the lead singer of Moxy Fruvous" (who apparently gave off creeper vibes to her when she saw MF in college) was Jian Ghomeshi from Q. I was already nursing some shade for Q because in my local market, it bumped Tell Me More right around the time Tell Me More got cancelled across the board. (Tell Me More was one of the few shows on NPR aimed at an African American audience, and it was also awesome in delving deeply into headlines — some of the interviews they had over the Syrian civil war were just absolutely revelatory.)

It's weird, she read out his facebook post, and my first thought is that defensively detailing your sexcapades never makes you look less guilty.
posted by klangklangston at 12:53 PM on October 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


none of us know the facts. We barely know the allegations.

But we all know some juicy third-hand rumours, so those will have to suffice for now.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:54 PM on October 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


Corky and the Juice Pigs.
Barenaked Ladies used to open for them.
posted by Kabanos at 12:56 PM on October 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


By the way, if my 2-hr long lunch/shopping break downtown today is any indication, the Ghomeshi/Navigator narrative has been very successful in taking hold. I was hearing the "talking points" being echoed in conversations all around me. Only once did I hear "I heard he's like a creep though."

And NOBODY is talking about the municipal election today.
posted by Kabanos at 1:00 PM on October 27, 2014


sorry kitkat, my bad

Don't be sorry! I had to check myself to be sure. It's become so much bigger since he came along, I understand the misattribution.
posted by kitcat at 1:00 PM on October 27, 2014


none of us know the facts. We barely know the allegations.
Good thing none of us are intending to harm or imprison him or really do anything other than discuss public perceptions, PR strategy, HR policy, and some historical personal anecdotes that seem related in a fairly calm manner on an internet comment thread, then.
posted by whittaker at 1:00 PM on October 27, 2014 [17 favorites]


Turn to your left, now, turn to your right:
"And above all, I promise to do what I just want us all to do now: when a woman, or several women, says that something happened to them, and it was bad, and wrong, and it was not what they wanted and it was against their will: even if I don’t have all the facts, even if I don’t know all the details, the first thing I will do is ask what happened.

And the second thing I will do is even more important. I will take that woman seriously. I will listen.

We owe other women that."
posted by Phire at 1:01 PM on October 27, 2014 [19 favorites]


It's worth reading this blog post (apologies if someone else has already posted it and I've missed it) with the Cossman article from the globe that guyzero posted above.
posted by sfred at 1:03 PM on October 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


But we all know some juicy third-hand rumours, so those will have to suffice for now.

Maybe, but it's pretty damning to me that the CBC has acted. Everything they are doing goes against their self-interest. Had Jian been smarter he (wouldn't have done the things he's accused of in the first place) would have announced something something taking time off for personal reasons and faded away. NB: I'm very glad he isn't that smart. Or is too arrogant, either/or.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:11 PM on October 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


Rick Mercer's subbing in for the Giller Prize gala. Smart move.
posted by whittaker at 1:17 PM on October 27, 2014 [5 favorites]


I'm just sayin', a wart grew off them and someone called it dork folk.

Man, I hated that music (BNL and Moxy Fruvus) back in the day. And yet both bands were so popular. What was even more annoying for me was that I resembled simultaneously Steve Page and Tyler Stewart.

"Hey, you look like one of those guys from the Barenaked Ladies! Yeah, the chubby one with glasses that wears shorts!"
posted by Nevin at 1:22 PM on October 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


While browsing FB last night, Mr. Dorinda says: "Wow. Jian Ghomeshi is all over my feed for some reason!", and I immediately, having seen nothing about the story yet myself, responded with "I bet it's about sexual harassment, isn't it?".
The perceived "common knowledge" of Ghomeshi's status as creeper-and-then-some is very much a thing, at least among my circle.
Admittedly this is secondhand anecdata, but when I lived in Toronto, some older friends of mine knew Ghomeshi fairly well socially and professionally. They were not exactly best buddies, but not merely "professional acquaintances", either. When I discovered that these friends knew Jian, I begged and begged and begged them to host a party/arrange a social gathering that would let me meet him....because I was a super-fan of his and a big nerd and a not-very-mature 20-something at the time. I was repeatedly told by both friends that he was absolutely not someone they wanted to introduce me to, and absolutely not someone they were interested in having in contact with the group of young, female, likely starstruck dancer/actor/artist types who formed my Toronto social circle. They insisted he was "kind of an asshole", but went into no specifics. I assumed, at the time, that they were just trying to avoid me being a creepy/embarrassing fangirl when I met him (a totally valid fear, btw, I was super young and would have been a super annoying fangirl had I actually met him)....but later on, once the Ciccone article came out, I heard through these same friends some stories about the exact nature of Ghomeshi's assholeishness, and realized that their refusal to introduce me to the dude was at least as much about protecting naive me as it was about saving themselves from embarrassment. Icky.
Long story short, I was very very much unsurprised at this story, and am very, very much disgusted by it, for a lot of reasons which people have outlined eloquently above.
posted by Dorinda at 1:23 PM on October 27, 2014 [31 favorites]


Rick Mercer's subbing in for the Giller Prize gala.

Yay! A nice reminder that Canadians have no lack of intelligent, inspired celebrities/artists with real integrity and grace.
posted by kitcat at 1:27 PM on October 27, 2014 [5 favorites]


If he's wise he tapes his encounters. That's the only way he walks away from this with a career.
posted by Renoroc at 1:29 PM on October 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


If he's wise he tapes his encounters. That's the only way he walks away from this with a career.

What? So if a guy is on film having consensual sex, he's definitely never raped anyone at any other time?

Also, I'm not sure what the law is in Canada, but I'm assuming that filming sex without telling your partner is not 100% ok up there.
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:33 PM on October 27, 2014 [4 favorites]


If he's wise he tapes his encounters. That's the only way he walks away from this with a career.

A career in BDSM pornography?
posted by Flashman at 1:33 PM on October 27, 2014 [6 favorites]


When I was in college, I lived in a vegan, anarchist co-op.

We used to hold concerts in our spacious living room. After one particularly rowdy punk concert, the audience didn't want to leave after it was done. Asking them didn't work, ordering them didn't work, ignoring them didn't work, pleading them didn't work.

What did work? Throwing on my well worn Moxy Früvous CD.

The vast majority of the crowd was gone before the end of Bargainville's, first track, 'River Valley'.
posted by spinifex23 at 1:34 PM on October 27, 2014 [21 favorites]


If I were in a position of great public notice and authority/acclaim, and had proclivities that would easily be looked upon as ghastly by the vast majority of the public, I think I'd be okay with being kind of unsatisfied with my sex life as opposed to being so dedicated to gratification that I'd feed a fetish that would be career-ruining if it ever came to light, even if it were always 100% consensual.

"Obviously not" seems to be the answer on the consensual front, but if I were a major network's golden child and had a signed and witnessed document from a prospective partner giving me permission to choke them out while ranting spittle-flecked obscenities, I think I might still choose not to do that. I might opt for the more vanilla choice, even if only 80% of my rocks are gotten off.

I know, I know, celebrities are wired differently and get weird ideas about entitlement; I can see how if you're also a creeper that gets like increased exponentially. But... just... dumb. It is dumb behaviour. It can't not be less undumb.
posted by Shepherd at 1:43 PM on October 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


And of course his first public appearance after this is going to be as on-stage guest at an Amanda Palmer show.
posted by thecjm at 1:45 PM on October 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


but if I were a major network's golden child and had a signed and witnessed document from a prospective partner giving me permission to choke them out while ranting spittle-flecked obscenities, I think I might still choose not to do that.

As pointed out above, that piece of paper wouldn't even protect you. Can't consent to assault. (Exceptions seem to be carved out for e.g. boxing).
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:47 PM on October 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


If he's wise he tapes his encounters. That's the only way he walks away from this with a career.

What? fry.jpg

I don't get the Jimmy Saville comparisons made upthread, either. This is coming off to me (a non-Canadian*, so probably lacking some context) as the opposite of a coverup. CBC has canned this guy after complaints were made, and counsel consulted, which runs contrary to their interests in several dimensions (legal, certainly, not to mention that apparently this Q show is sort of important to their interests as a broadcaster, never mind the PR/managerial problem this kind of public fight necessarily causes). He has responded by hiring a PR firm to spin the issue (brilliantly, it would seem), despite the fact that it's apparently a sort-of well-known fact that he's Creepy McGee -- whereas the JS thing was a massive surprise to a huge portion of the population.

* As such, but a dweller in one of the northern US states bordering Canada, I always feel like Canadian culture sort of bleeds into the pop culture here through some kind of weird filter. For example, I've heard of Moxy Fruvous but can't name a single song of theirs, but would consider Barenaked Ladies to be much more famous and can probably name a half-dozen. I am also vaguely aware that The Tragically Hip are considered to be some sort of national treasure by Canadians, but I have no idea why this is so... most Americans in these parts would probably recognize Ahead By a Century (but not be able to name the band), and that's about it.
posted by axiom at 1:48 PM on October 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


I have rather a lot of excellent high school memories connected to Moxy Fruvous (a couple of married friends even met over the fan boards), and I've actually opened for the side project band of a couple of its members (Mike and Murray, who are both lovely, and now I'm kind of worried about whether they'll get any backlash), but when I heard Jian had been fired, the first thing out of my mouth was definitely, "it's probably something to do with being a creeper." It's certainly been a topic of conversation among the ladies I know (though my friend who kind-of-sort-of worked for him doesn't have anything specific). Bleh.

The last time I saw them play was at BuskerFest, and there was a giant inflated bear (I think the LIFE brand mascot) next to the stage, that slowly started deflating as they were reaching the end of their set. The enormous bear started losing air more and more quickly, and ominously listing toward the stage. The band attempted to keep playing while getting closer and closer to being crushed by a deflating mascot. It's a metaphorical image I can't seem to get out of my head right now.

"Look straight at the coming disaster
Realize what you've lost
You keep handing out horseshoes
Horseshoes have gotta be tossed"
posted by ilana at 1:49 PM on October 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


But again, Shepherd- Jian was not actually accused of 'doing BDSM stuff'. That's just what he claims, but none of the women seem to have seen what happened as 'kinky sex' at all. From the Star article: The three women interviewed by the Star allege that Ghomeshi physically attacked them on dates without consent. They allege he struck them with a closed fist or open hand; bit them; choked them until they almost passed out; covered their nose and mouth so that they had difficulty breathing; and that they were verbally abused during and after sex. A fourth woman, who worked at CBC, said Ghomeshi told her at work: “I want to hate f--- you.”

To me, saying "oh, celebs just shouldn't do BDSM" sounds like you're saying it doesn't matter if this stuff was actually consensual or not. But it makes a HUGE difference.

It's like if some celeb was accused of anally raping someone and the response was "people in the public eye should be careful never to have anal sex!"
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:50 PM on October 27, 2014 [11 favorites]


Mike, Murray, and Jian were among my ex-wife's closest friends when we married in 1990. In fact, she'd dated Mike for a couple of years before she got together with me. But Mike seemed like a pretty awesome guy. Jian bugged the shit out of me.

I was more excited about, say, nomeansno than I was about Moxy, despite the personal connection. But it makes me kind of sad that people are slagging on Moxy generally in relation to this. Some of Moxy's stuff I liked, such as "The Drinking Song". And I still keep around a copy of "Green Eggs and Ham".

I'd like to write to my ex-wife and ask her what's the deal with Jian. Were there things about him she never told me way back when? But that's not going to happen.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 1:54 PM on October 27, 2014 [6 favorites]


As pointed out above, that piece of paper wouldn't even protect you. Can't consent to assault. (Exceptions seem to be carved out for e.g. boxing).

It shouldn't protect anyone anyway. You can't give irrevocable consent to future events. Or at least I hope you can't, because that would be fucked up.
posted by ODiV at 1:56 PM on October 27, 2014


I'd like to write to my ex-wife and ask her what's the deal with Jian. Were there things about him she never told me way back when? But that's not going to happen.

A friend of mine used to date Murray, and knew the other guys. So I'm definitely going to ask her.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 1:57 PM on October 27, 2014


This is coming off to me [...] as the opposite of a coverup. CBC has canned this guy after complaints were made...

If the details of the workplace incident are true, then there was something of a coverup, at least at the level of the show's producers. Asking the complainant what she could do to make her work environment less hostile? I'd say that that approach would be so dismissive as to make for a coverup.

If true, of course. And assuming that she was the only coworker. The reasons why she is no longer working at the CBC weren't stated, but they probably aren't hard to guess.
posted by Capt. Renault at 2:00 PM on October 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I'm still fond of Moxy Fruvous' sound in a novelty-record kind of way and it's not as if it was a Ghomeshi solo act. I don't think it's strictly necessary to declare right thinking intentions as to whatever thing he was ever involved in.

Onto the "Don't do BDSM if you're a celebrity thing." It's obviously problematic and also further entwines the narrative about sexual taste and assault which I think is actually a little loosely coupled and Ghomeshi's brilliantly worded PR statement tries to glue tightly together by leading off about his 'cute little bedroom tastes' as though that's the big confession.

However, being struck and choked when you walk in the door without any prearrangement when you're expecting to at least say 'Hi' and take off your shoes strikes me as a ways off from a bedroom (or even kitchen table) kind of act. If somebody was charged with fraud and impersonation for pulling people over on the highway in an officer's uniform, and they claimed they had elaborate costume/authority fetishes, would we be discussing those highway actions in the context of sex?
posted by whittaker at 2:01 PM on October 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


I think it was pointed out in the Bill Cosby thread that there are plenty of A-list celebrities that go their entire lives without being accused of assault for trumped up purposes. It's really problematic when you have more than a handful of people coming forward to accuse you independently. Jian coming out swinging first to suggest a conspiracy theory in some detail makes me suspect that he knows how problematic this is, and he is framing this in a way in an attempt to undercut this.

It seems like a smoke-fire kind of thing, but aside from the question of proof at this point, if you are living your life in such a way that it attracts multiple accusations, I have to wonder WTF you are doing with your life that it brings on these kinds of problems and multiple stories about you in the internet about what a scumbag you are.
posted by SpacemanStix at 2:01 PM on October 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


If I were in a position of great public notice and authority/acclaim, and had proclivities that would easily be looked upon as ghastly by the vast majority of the public, I think I'd be okay with being kind of unsatisfied with my sex life as opposed to being so dedicated to gratification that I'd feed a fetish that would be career-ruining if it ever came to light, even if it were always 100% consensual.

I'm not sure if the lack of satisfaction would be because you (in this scenario) could do some bdsm, but not, like, the punching in the face or choking bits, or because you just can't do any of it.

That said, I think that if he were just doing 100% consensual kink, the public would not want him fired, no matter what specific kinky things he was doing. There's a reason that quote of Trudeau's is brought up so often, and it's because a lot of people agree with it.

I think "Fuddle-duddle" is up there in his most famous quotes, though.
posted by jeather at 2:04 PM on October 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


Another shocking media firing! (or self-firing, or however it works with a self-employed webcartoonist charging yourself with misconduct) I eagerly await the first comic from his replacement. I'm expecting it to be Diablo, who did a comic-within-a-comic for him before.
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:05 PM on October 27, 2014 [2 favorites]



I never got into Q precisely because of his involvement with Moxy Fruvous.

Gian at his most undeniably Fruvous.
posted by philip-random at 2:09 PM on October 27, 2014


The croquemo game? Cancelled.
posted by Sassenach at 2:11 PM on October 27, 2014


At my most generous, I can imagine it this way: Ghomeshi likes very rough BDSM activities, and *thinks* he's clear in his interests with casual dates. The casual dates, however, sometimes are completely oblivious to these interests (even going so far as to believe he's gay). It's as if he's pre-arranged violent rape fantasies with these women, except skipping the step where he has confirmed their consent. Maybe he even thinks his obviously well-known reputation in this area has him covered. It does sound like he's very active in this area, and with a large number of casual partners the chances of complete misunderstandings increases. Maybe there's even one or two "notoriety seekers" imagining or pretending to have had similar encounters based solely on this common knowledge.

But boy, that's a whole lot of generous needed to excuse this, and my more cautious side thinks the CBC wouldn't have taken this drastic a step without being convinced there was an actual fire among all that smoke. Ghomeshi had already announced a leave of absence to deal with a "personal matter", and they could have simply left it alone until it broke on its own, claiming they lacked hard evidence.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 2:15 PM on October 27, 2014


crokinole
posted by saturday_morning at 2:19 PM on October 27, 2014 [4 favorites]


It shouldn't protect anyone anyway. You can't give irrevocable consent to future events. Or at least I hope you can't, because that would be fucked up.

You can't, really. Supreme Court ruled on it in the past couple of years in the context of sex while sleeping, so I think the more narrow legal question was the ability to give consent to a future act when you would not be able to revoke consent at the time, but I think it's close enough for jazz.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:24 PM on October 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


Hot damn - as goofy and dated Moxy Fruvous seems at times, I'll never get over The Gulf War Song - and how that was written back in 1992 or so, for the *first* conflict. Still makes me tear up.

YouTube has some great covers of it as well, it seems to have become an acapella staple.
posted by spinifex23 at 2:35 PM on October 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


Recommended read:
If you’re ever going to get assaulted, my case was pretty perfect: DNA evidence, no alcohol, no slutty clothes, a guy I didn’t know, and no history of kinky sex. Yes, they asked that too.

So in the Jian Ghomeshi case? A celebrity? BDSM? CBC, our national pride and joy? Frankly I’m with the women who didn’t call the police.

If it all happened to me again I would only call 911 knowing that I’m sacrificing myself for the the potential of a safer society.
posted by jokeefe at 2:40 PM on October 27, 2014 [14 favorites]


The BDSM thing is just a sleight-of-hand trick.

Time was*, if a woman accused you of raping her, all you had to do was imply she was the kind of woman who liked sex and that was the end of it. If she has ever wanted sex, she must always want it.

(*I'm not saying that doesn't still happen. It happens every day. But it's increasingly less tolerated, because we've had several years of activism which educated people about the nature of consent, and now if you imply that a woman was a total slut and asked for it, you'll at least get a lot of pushback, even if you don't wind up getting convicted.)

What's been done here by bringing up BDSM is just another form of this, but sneakier. Now, the idea is: if a woman ever expresses interest in BDSM, it is literally impossible to abuse her, because she really totally wanted it. If he can show that these women ever consented to any BDSM activity, it'll be, oh, they wanted everything he did to them, they just regretted it later.

Because people now are more familiar with the language around 'regular' sexual consent than consent in BDSM, so it's easier to get away with victim-blaming within the context of BDSM. The fact that BDSM in its 'correct' form actually very very strongly emphasizes clear and enthusiastic consent, because its activities can resemble abuse, will be swept aside in this debate if the PR firm has its way.
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:40 PM on October 27, 2014 [28 favorites]


To quote one of the subjects of the TV documentary KINK (which aired on Canadian television a few years ago) when describing how an encounter with her dom turned into rape and abuse, "That wasn't BDSM. That was bullshit."
posted by jokeefe at 2:50 PM on October 27, 2014 [2 favorites]




Oh, and as an addendum: I am lucky enough not to have been raped, but if it ever happens, and the case goes to trial, I know I will be forced to defend my participation in previous, completely unrelated kinky sex in front of a room full of hostile strangers.
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:53 PM on October 27, 2014 [6 favorites]


$55 million. How un-Canadian.
posted by jokeefe at 2:58 PM on October 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


As an American who has no clue what in the hell this is about, there is an oddly creepy LostProphets feel to this whole thing....
posted by GreyboxHero at 3:00 PM on October 27, 2014


It's not that bad, GBH, thankfully. No whisper of minors being involved.
posted by jokeefe at 3:01 PM on October 27, 2014


Uh, the Michael Bryant/Darcy Sheppard incident is not a good example to use if you're trying to show that only guilty people hire Navigator, as it kind of indicates the opposite.

What the actual fuck.
posted by 256 at 3:02 PM on October 27, 2014 [8 favorites]


This is really not my area of law, but I have no idea how you can be defamed by someone who hasn't said or published anything on the matter. The ceeb has been entirely silent on the reason for dismissal, nevermind any the details.

Breach of confidence may have a better chance, but even then -- the information was kept strictly internal to the corporation.

I'd be interested in reading the claim on a purely professional level -- there's likely some spectacular constructive gymnastics happening in there, done by some real pros. Which isn't to suggest that this claim has a chance.
posted by Capt. Renault at 3:06 PM on October 27, 2014 [4 favorites]


Glad that there are no minors in this case, but tbh giving Watkins the benefit of "minors" is almost being too kind...sick bastard.

This whole thing is still incredibly hard to understand from a totally outside perspective though...was this show popular? If so, how popular?

Why are people rushing to his defense if his reputation is seemingly terrible?
posted by GreyboxHero at 3:15 PM on October 27, 2014


Apologies if Navigator is irrelevant to a Bryant/Sheppard derail, but it's an example of even when there is recorded video evidence, good PR and legal threats can prevent it from being communicated to the public.

This citizen-compiled video of Bryant (driver) unilaterally physically threatening then assaulting Sheppard (on bike) then fleeing the scene was never broadcast in context - only as un-ordered snippets in the context of the 24h news cycle. The Youtube views on it (and its in-progress precursors) are from only social media, in 2009. As Navigator got to work, the public discourse shifted to Bryant's lawyers' explanation of the events, exactly how scared for his life Bryant was, and speculation about "what drug-addled past made Sheppard attack people unprovoked".
posted by anthill at 3:18 PM on October 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


Holy shit. The CBC national news (radio) just reported that another woman has come forward, saying that she was assaulted by him TWELVE years ago. They played a brief audio clip of her where she said that she was invited back to his place, he put on some music, then he punched her and bit her head. She started crying and he told her to go home. She didn't see a doctor or report to the police.
posted by maudlin at 3:21 PM on October 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


"This whole thing is still incredibly hard to understand from a totally outside perspective though...was this show popular? If so, how popular?"

Yes, Ghomeshi is a household name in Canada, and his fame spans many age groups. Both my 80 year old Dad and I (a 44 year old woman) would regularly listen to this show, for example, and my god daughter, would know his name and she is 22. Everyone at my work knows his show, and who he is, and considers it a big deal.
posted by chapps at 3:25 PM on October 27, 2014


he punched her and bit her head. She started crying

wat

This is going to be really ugly. Ugh.

Also, that poor woman. Who wants that? No one.
posted by GuyZero at 3:28 PM on October 27, 2014


Why are people rushing to his defense if his reputation is seemingly terrible?

Different peoples. The arts/media community in Toronto discussed his behaviour for years, a few of us clued in to his rep last year when the xojane article was published, and the rest of CBC-loving Canada had no clue about any of this until this weekend.
posted by maudlin at 3:28 PM on October 27, 2014 [4 favorites]


Thanks...what's the real demographic of the show? It's kind of hard to pin down from the articles I've read.

Is it supposed to be "edgy" or is it a really mainstream type of thing?
posted by GreyboxHero at 3:29 PM on October 27, 2014


It's basically mainstream, probably skews a bit left/urban.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:30 PM on October 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


Pretty mainstream for the most part. I'd say the core audience was 30+ totebagger types and *cough* freelancers who need some audio background at work. Pink himalyan salt of the earth types. You know ... MeFites.
posted by maudlin at 3:32 PM on October 27, 2014 [11 favorites]


[A few comments removed, cut it out.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:02 PM on October 27, 2014


Just going to put this out there: the fact that he has (allegedly) been assaulting women for at least twelve years speaks to how hard it is for survivors of sexual assault to go to the police or come out openly about their experience, especially when the perpetrator is a well known personality. It's horrifying to think about
posted by torisaur at 4:03 PM on October 27, 2014 [16 favorites]


A career in BDSM pornography?

Happy Monday Productions.
posted by Kabanos at 4:12 PM on October 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


As It Happens is reporting on it now (stream here). Interviewing a PR person about his facebook post.

(I can't find anyone else anywhere reporting what I heard on the 6 PM news re the woman reporting her assault. I didn't imagine it, did I?)
posted by maudlin at 4:33 PM on October 27, 2014


dan savage weighs in. i am not normally a cheerleader for him, but i think this is very well said (after some maybe hasty tweets on the matter before more of the story had come out) -
"The ability to produce e-mails or texts showing that a person consented to kinks A, B, and C does not prove that person consented to kinks D, E, and F; those same e-mails and texts also don't prove that a person who had previously consented to kinks A, B, and C didn't withdraw their consent during sex that included kinks A, B, and C.
posted by nadawi at 4:34 PM on October 27, 2014 [5 favorites]


As a guy who identifies with his top energy sexually, when MULTIPLE women start coming forward and making accusations about a guy ignoring consent, I believe them.

Because I have met big, bad, put-you-through-the-ringer tops who have never been accused of that. But I've also seen abusive jerks who think leather gloves = "I'm not an asshole, I'm just a top."

The common denominator in all these accusations is not kinky sex and edgeplay.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 4:36 PM on October 27, 2014 [8 favorites]


If there is a person whom "everyone knows is a creep," maybe it's time to start outing those people before they hurt others?

Even typing that I can see the problems with this approach, but at the same time it's like the "everyone knows" stuff seems way too common.
posted by cell divide at 4:58 PM on October 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


If there is a person whom "everyone knows is a creep," maybe it's time to start outing those people before they hurt others?

Look at the intensely negative reaction against women who come forward AFTER they hurt others, and ask yourself how that would go...

Honestly, this is a cultural thing, and it's going to take a long damn time to solve.
posted by showbiz_liz at 5:06 PM on October 27, 2014 [14 favorites]


cell divide: "If there is a person whom "everyone knows is a creep," maybe it's time to start outing those people before they hurt others?

Even typing that I can see the problems with this approach, but at the same time it's like the "everyone knows" stuff seems way too common.
"

There's a guy I know in the Dallas scene that I am convinced has bodies buried in his yard. (He probably doesn't, but he might...he's creepy as fuck.) Everyone knows he's creepy, everyone knows there's something "off", but I mean, other than warning people not to be alone with him, what else can you do? He's never done anything actionable in front of witnesses, and no witness has ever come forward to say anything...it's just a vibe, you know?

Still, bodies. I'm convinced someday they'll find bodies.
posted by dejah420 at 5:10 PM on October 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


I am not from North America. I have never heard of this guy nor his terribly-named band, but I just watched a few clips of them on Youtube and... can someone explain why this band was popular? Genuinely. I can't even see it in an objective way. I always thought Australians and Canadians generally understood each other -- Commonwealth thing, yknow? -- but... I'm just stumped here.
posted by retrograde at 5:16 PM on October 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


It was fun and goofy music that was very much of its time, with occasional moments of depth (The Drinking Song, The Gulf War Song).
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 5:19 PM on October 27, 2014 [5 favorites]


Maybe this is more of an AskMe, but what DO you do when you hear from someone you trust that a guy in your social scene is a creepster? (this actually came up in my IRL life over the weekend, I'm feeling a bit thrown.)
posted by epersonae at 5:25 PM on October 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm surprised no one has mentioned the fact that Jian Gomeshi built his career on appearing to be gay, from naming his show Q to very carefully calculated comments such as in this interview with the Queer Voices series of Portland's Q center.

I've listened to the show a lot, and if he hasn't said explicitly that he's gay (not bi, not kinky) I would be very surprised.

These allegations are horrible, and disputed, but his own statement makes it clear that he pursues young women. And that undercuts his credibility a lot on everything else IMHO.
posted by msalt at 5:28 PM on October 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


Arbitration is a coin flip as far as who wins. That being said, if you win, you can expect to be made whole. Jian Ghomeshi is not worth $55 million, unless he had one hell of a sweetheart deal with CBC.

I find the opportunism in using this as an opportunity to slam unions (which is ironic, since the "collective" in collective agreement means "management and union employees," and Arbitrarion is for the benefit of both sides)
posted by Yowser at 5:35 PM on October 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


The other thing about Gomeshi is that he is an incredibly obsequious interviewer. The new generation's Larry King.
posted by msalt at 5:39 PM on October 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


If there is a person whom "everyone knows is a creep," maybe it's time to start outing those people before they hurt others?


Yeah.... what could possibly go wrong with that....
posted by Cosine at 5:40 PM on October 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


I am not from North America. I have never heard of this guy nor his terribly-named band, but I just watched a few clips of them on Youtube and... can someone explain why this band was popular? Genuinely. I can't even see it in an objective way. I always thought Australians and Canadians generally understood each other -- Commonwealth thing, yknow? -- but... I'm just stumped here.

I don't know if Moxy Fruvos was ever actually popular. There was a brief moment where "Once I was the King of Spain" was all over Toronto, but that was maybe a couple of weeks. I went to Thornlea (the high school they all went to) in 1994, a time close to what should have been the height of their popularity, and they were not popular.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 5:44 PM on October 27, 2014 [4 favorites]


Moxy Fruvous was kind of Canada's 90s version of ironic detachment. Not to be taken seriously, and yet not a comedy band.
posted by Yowser at 5:54 PM on October 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


I don't know if Moxy Fruvos was ever actually popular...
...I went to Thornlea (the high school they all went to) in 1994...

IMPOSTOR!
If you truly lived in Canada, you would have naturally spelled "Fruvous" with a U!

Bake him away, toys!
posted by bitteroldman at 5:58 PM on October 27, 2014 [6 favorites]


epersonae, this Captain Awkward post might be of interest.
posted by clavicle at 6:04 PM on October 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


I went to Thornlea (the high school they all went to) in 1994, a time close to what should have been the height of their popularity, and they were not popular.

bayview/7 represent!
posted by avocet at 6:07 PM on October 27, 2014


If there is a person whom "everyone knows is a creep," maybe it's time to start outing those people before they hurt others?

Found one! And in this very thread! You know what they say: it's always them what protests the loudest.

Seriously, let's at least finish convicting Gomeshi before we start looking for more people to try. Witch hunts might be a fun way to pass the time, but they don't tend to serve the long term interests of truth or justice very well.

Gomeshi may well be a sleaze, but I promise you, not everybody who's ever given somebody somewhere a creepy vibe actually is. That said, I have known a couple of people over the years who were ginormous, skeezy assholes who used and manipulated people for fun and amusement regularly and seemingly with the full support of their social peers. They'll never get any shit from anyone because their offenses were more subtle--things like knowingly encouraging certain celebrities to use more coke than any reasonable person would consider safe and bragging to everyone they knew in private about how they were there the night such-and-such celebrity almost OD'd and screwed their minds up--I mean, literally taking credit for it as if fucking up celebrities deliberately should come with bragging rights!

tl;dr: We're all veterans of a fucked up world. No need to encourage crazy-making, lazy-ass paranoia, even if you do suspect Gomeshi's guilt.
posted by saulgoodman at 6:31 PM on October 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


I guess, on review, people "everyone knows is a creep" might be worth checking into, but why does it seem all the people I've met who seem like they should fit that description enjoy some kind of unconditional support from the people around them?

Ah hell, forget it--I'm just musing aloud. This topic probably deserves more serious consideration, but I keep trying to make sense of it in terms of my own experience and probably just can't fit it into that framework.
posted by saulgoodman at 6:45 PM on October 27, 2014


If there is a person whom "everyone knows is a creep," maybe it's time to start outing those people before they hurt others?

Long thread, but just so they're handy, two of the very good pieces that relate to this were linked in Phire's and nadawi's comments above. (This FPP, too.)
posted by argonauta at 6:48 PM on October 27, 2014


okay, who Called Saul?
(eponysterical to the max)

let's at least finish convicting Gomeshi
he's the plaintiff, not the defendant here...
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:48 PM on October 27, 2014


I'm thinking back on times I've met a guy and really felt... creeped out. One or two instances are springing to mind, but they weren't guys I actually knew, more like friends of friends. And now that I'm thinking about it - the idea "I must tell everyone about this guy to protect others" didn't really cross my mind. I just felt happy to have gotten out of a thoroughly creepy conversation, maybe mentioned it to some friends, and went on with my life.

Those guys were mostly probably just normal guys who didn't know how to talk to girls, but maybe some of them were genuine threats to me/others? How could I know?
posted by showbiz_liz at 6:58 PM on October 27, 2014


When this story was breaking yesterday my first thought was "Thank god his father is not alive for this."
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 7:00 PM on October 27, 2014 [4 favorites]


"Creepiness" is a pretty subjective thing. A decent person who is socially awkward could come off as creepy, and a very charming person could be one who is capable of horrific things.

I suppose the intention to call for calling creeps out was to actually call out/warn others about a person who is know to harass and hurt others. That seems like a good idea, though I'm not sure how exactly that would work. What is clear is that some people can continue to abuse their positions of power for years and years without much in terms of consequences, and victims are silences for fear of being hurt further. This has to change.
posted by beau jackson at 7:07 PM on October 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


but why does it seem all the people I've met who seem like they should fit that description enjoy some kind of unconditional support from the people around them?

Successful long-term predators tend to be good at not just selecting victims, but also building support networks that enable their predation. You see it in full-on abusers like in those awful orphanage cases, and in everyday highschool bullying.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:11 PM on October 27, 2014 [9 favorites]


Interesting that The National just reported on Jian's FB defence - - that he engaged in consensul bdsm -- but didn't actually list the allegations, even in a vague way. They just said there were allegations published in The Star. It's going to be hard to make a defamation case against an organization that won't even report that other people are alleging something.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 7:22 PM on October 27, 2014


For those asking upthread ( Kitteh was first I think): I know someone that works at the CBC, and has worked with, and had staff that has worked with George Strombolopolous multiple times. They had nothing but glowing words for how he conducts himself off the air, saying he is one of the nicest people they've worked with in years.
posted by Canageek at 7:33 PM on October 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


bayview/7 represent

Haig4Life, yo. MF was less popular than BNL, mostly among the D&D/nerdy/Monty-Python-quoting crowd.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:07 PM on October 27, 2014


Canadian Feminist icon Judy Rebick, while endorsing a Jonathan Kay column of all things - "whatever else" Ghomeshi may have done, he was a great broadcaster. I....yeah. I don't even know anymore.

Elizabeth May has apologized for her comments, for what it's worth.
posted by Phire at 8:23 PM on October 27, 2014


And please, let me be clear, even I'm not defending Ghomeshi. Presumably there's more going on here than someone saying, hey, he gives me creepy vibes. But it does bear pointing out that people no one seems to see as creepy are sometimes the worst. People should definitely out their abusers though, when there's a clear pattern of deliberate or even negligent abuse. That's not the same thing as going on witch hunts.
posted by saulgoodman at 8:28 PM on October 27, 2014


Sorry, but that's supposed to be an apology? She begins by citing a legal analysis claiming that certain forms of BDSM cannot be legally consented to in Canada and then says "As a feminist, I would never discount a story of violent attack."

Focusing like this on the allegations of physical violence seems to tacitly be saying that accusations of rape alone wouldn't be enough to take seriously. Three women have claimed that Ghomeshi raped them. That should be enough.

Oh, and then she offers her compassion for this "deeply terrible time" that Ghomeshi is going through. Bleh.
posted by nicolas.bray at 8:38 PM on October 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


Presumably there's more going on here than someone saying, hey, he gives me creepy vibes.

Uh, yeah, there's the three women accusing him of rape and the two women accusing him of sexual assault.
posted by nicolas.bray at 8:40 PM on October 27, 2014 [12 favorites]


Doesn't seem to be posted yet, so here is the actual Statement of Claim.

Capt. Renault, I was wondering the exact same thing - how in the world can the CBC defame Ghomeshi without saying anything? According to this (paras 25/26, and then 35), it's that they changed what they were going to say "generic fluff", but instead they said what they did on Sunday "information came to us...precludes us from continuing our relationship" - that it was based on the confidential info provided by Ghomeshi. And then all it says is "[it] is defamatory in that it is made about Mr. Ghomeshi, and it implies or creates the innuendo that Mr. Ghomeshi's termination was related to unacceptable conduct.".

That's not fucking defamation. Among many, many, many other things, you have to give notice to the libeller , served the same way as the statement. Unless they did that this morning before filing the claim. Not really sure how it works, it's kind of a wonky section and also not my area of law.

The whole thing is reliant heavily on the fact that Ghomeshi wouldn't have provided the information he did if he knew that the CBC would use it to fire him. But there's no consideration that the CBC learned all of the same information (or, likely, more) from outside sources, in which case they weren't acting in bad faith at all, were they?
posted by Lemurrhea at 8:57 PM on October 27, 2014 [6 favorites]


Since you seem like our Canadian law expert, can you talk at all about the difference between libel in the U.S. versus Canada? Are they closer to the U.K. laws where libel is much easier to prove?
posted by klangklangston at 9:03 PM on October 27, 2014


Thanks Lemurrhea, I was hoping it would get posted somewhere. From my quick scan through it appears Jian's defence is that he provided info "proving" consent with one woman with whom he had a relationship with for one year. Based on his statement of claim it appears the CBC supported him against the one woman's allegations. Perhaps the tipping point for the CBC then was two other women plus a former employee being brought to the CBC's attention, which certainly is less likely to be shrugged off as a vengeful ex. The CBC is certainly not looking good here, first in apparently dismissing an employee's account of harassment to the point that she is no longer working for the CBC, and then being willing to work on a strategy to protect the "brand" of Jian and the CBC when they though there may only be one victim.
posted by saucysault at 9:11 PM on October 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


I always thought Judy Rebick, like other talking heads, was paid to have opinions by the truckload.
posted by Nevin at 9:14 PM on October 27, 2014


"information came to us...precludes us from continuing our relationship" - that it was based on the confidential info provided by Ghomeshi

And that statement is a gift to the defence because all they have to do is present information that DIDN'T come from Jian (like the accounts of the three other women) and the breach of confidence and bad faith claim is inapplicable.

Is a progressive folk saying at the beginning of a statement of claim usual? I have never seen that before and it looked wildly unprofessional I thought.
posted by saucysault at 9:25 PM on October 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


I've seen multiple people mention rape allegations. I haven't seen these in the Star article. I assume they're elsewhere. Can someone link to where these are posted?
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 9:25 PM on October 27, 2014


saucysault: Is a progressive folk saying at the beginning of a statement of claim usual? I have never seen that before and it looked wildly unprofessional I thought.

Reading the first couple pages of the claim confirms the theory I was about to express: commenting on the legal basis of the claim is pointless because it's not actually a legal action, it's a PR move. Filing a claim like this gives him another avenue to portray himself as the victim here and I think the very large price tag will subconsciously insinuate that he's been seriously wronged. I'll admit that I don't really know what I'm talking about here but that claim just doesn't read like a strictly legal document to me.

If only I had a penguin...: I've seen multiple people mention rape allegations. I haven't seen these in the Star article.

What the Star article describes is rape. Choking someone during sex when they haven't consented to that is rape. The fact that very few people are actually using the dreaded r-word is just one more problem here.
posted by nicolas.bray at 9:38 PM on October 27, 2014 [4 favorites]


The CBC is certainly not looking good here, first in apparently dismissing an employee's account of harassment to the point that she is no longer working for the CBC, and then being willing to work on a strategy to protect the "brand" of Jian and the CBC when they though there may only be one victim.

I have a good friend who spent many years in the CBC, though hasn't been around for more than a decade. But he has kept in touch. His line is, you pretty much have to murder someone on CBC premises and be found with the bloody weapon on your desk before you get fired. In other words, it's a pretty lenient place in terms of folks' personal lives. So his feeling is that whatever Ghomeshi did (and my friend's sources say the CBC had been investigating him for months), they did pretty much everything they could to make his departure seem as amicable as possible (ie: taking time off for personal reasons, writing that novel, starting a production company, whatever) ... but at some point Gian's ego kicked in ("you can't force me out") and we now have the situation that we have.
posted by philip-random at 9:42 PM on October 27, 2014 [8 favorites]


I don't use "rape" because it is an archaic legal term in Canada. I don't think sexual assault (or even assault) is less serious. As far as I know, journalists are expected to use correct legal terminology and not older terms.
posted by saucysault at 9:43 PM on October 27, 2014 [5 favorites]


I can't remember, who played the 'creepy vibes' in Möxy Fruvous?
posted by mazola at 9:45 PM on October 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


In my experience, when I have spoken up about a dude I am not comfortable around and my discomfort stems from feeling he's treating me differently because of my gender, unless it is among other women, I find what I say is dismissed or minimized. Usually in the form of the guy (friend, partner, or basically someone to whom I would trust enough to speak up) saying, "Well, I've never experienced/witnessed that." Yes no shit he treats you, a dude, differently than he treats me.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 9:53 PM on October 27, 2014 [16 favorites]


Klang, me? Heh. Definitely not an expert, I just talk a lot! I can try, though, barring in mind that I've been drinking and an a young lawyer who doesn't do defamation law. Or you could just read the Canadian Bar Association, but that's no fun.

As with many aspects of Canadian law and culture, we're somewhere in the middle of UK and US schemas. In the US, given that JG would be a public figure, the NY Times v Sullivan + Curtis v Butts would mean that JG would have to prove actual malice or at least that it was reckless and unchecked - both of which are pretty...strong? That's a high bar to prove defamation.

Here, it's lower but not that much lower. The law is here, but frankly it's pretty confusing and I don't know tons about it, so I'm gonna have to speak more generally. The big case would be Grant v Torstar (full case) - there may be other cases clarifying smaller points. You have to prove three things:

1. The words are defamatory - a reasonable person would have their opinion lowered.
2. They were said about the plaintiff.
3. They were published.

So #2/3 are easy. 1 is what myself and Capt Renault were wondering - how does "we learned information that doesn't allow us to continue our relationship" (paraphrase) lower a normal person's opinion of JG? Honestly, I'm not sure it does, unless the reasonable person knows that this is about his assault/bdsm/whatevers. That'll be a bit of a hurdle. I could probably see JG making it? I'm unsure off the top of my head. Part of the problem is the timeline - I think JG came out first with his side, then that "learned info.." statement happened, but I don't remember, and that could change things. If JG was first, then all the CBC said was the leave of absence, which meh. I have to think about it, sorry.

Once you get those 3, it's on the defence to prove that they weren't defaming. This is where Canadian law is different from American. We have a low bar to the presumption of libel, but multiple defences. The US has a high bar to libel, but I think that bar kind of "encompasses" some of our defences.

This is where it gets tricky for the CBC. IF JG gets through the first part, they need a defence. So you have justification (aka what they said was true, barring minor irrelevancies); various full immunities (e.g. you can never defame someone when you're testifying in court or talking in Parliament - full stop. Policy reasons, nothing relevant to here), you have statements of opinion (if Klang says he thinks I'm an idiot, even if I can prove I am not an idiot [LOOK AT MY MENSA MEMBERSHIP], he didn't defame me). For our purposes it's roughly what you would expect? This is the big one that we care about here - it's older than the Torstar case, but that's a good summing-up. The test is (paragraph 31 of Torstar, if you're following along:
(a) the comment must be on a matter of public interest;
(b) the comment must be based on fact;
(c) the comment, though it can include inferences of fact, must be recognisable as comment;
(d) the comment must satisfy the following objective test: could any person honestly express that opinion on the proved facts?; and
(e) even though the comment satisfies the objective test the defence can be defeated if the plaintiff proves that the defendant was actuated by express malice.
So a is clear, b is probably clear. c is probably clear (I think it runs into the same problems as part one as I discussed above - are the words even defamatory? But I think if it passes #1 it passes c, so we can probably ignore it.)
e is probably clear? It seems unlikely that JG can prove the CBC made its statement out of malice. It's a very careful statement.
d is the hard part. That's where the CBC has to put its cards on the table and say "we acted reasonably given our information", and here there will be a fight about whether it knew things because JG said it (in which case maybe they're not allowed to rely on it because of Reasons) or that it knew from elsewhere (which, given the comments here/twitter/facebook doesn't actually seem that hard. But I'm not pretending to be objective here.)

Does that make any sense? CBC will say "we heard from credible sources (Jesse Brown and the Toronto Star) that multiple women have claimed to be assaulted by JG above and beyond their consent to kinky sex. We believe their reasons for not reporting to the cops. We also have a workplace harassment issue that fits with these allegations [ignoring their own poor response to it, which is relevant to us-as-humans but not CBC-as-defendant]. We therefore were reasonable in our belief that we could not continue our relationship, both as an employer that cares about modelling the highest form of ethics in our community and as an employer that would be harmed if the allegations became public, especially after we examined them." Just, cleaner and better than I'm writing off-the-cuff :)

Then there are other things about defamation in Canada - Torstar established a "journalism protection"-like thing, where media can say incorrect statements of fact that are defamatory but were responsible journalism - they checked sources, gave the opportunity for a response, yadda yadda - but in this case the CBC is not a media outlet, right? They're an employer, so that won't matter.

Fundamentally I think this comes down to whether or not the words are even defamatory. Reporting charges, for example, is not defamation, but saying someone is guilty of a crime is defamation (if untrue). People get fired all the time. I don't really see how "we have information that requires us to terminate our relationship" is defamatory - inferring the context isn't really workable for legal purposes, as far as I know.

Sorry for the length. Happy to be corrected by someone more knowledgeable. Also no discussion of UK law because I don't know it! Also happy to clarify points, this was pretty haphazard and I know I'm hitting the standard non-educator's problem: I'm not sure what knowledge I have that's specialized and what's not.
posted by Lemurrhea at 9:56 PM on October 27, 2014 [18 favorites]


Is a progressive folk saying at the beginning of a statement of claim usual? I have never seen that before and it looked wildly unprofessional I thought.

Never lose an opportunity to advocate! I was also confused about the lack of a notice of libel, but then I am not an expert. I would have thought the fact that the statement was published in the Globe meant that a "newspaper" was involved, per s. 1 and 5(1) of the Libel and Slander Act.

It's been suggested this is all moot anyway because, if he's unionized, these disputes will have to be settled in arbitration.

I've seen multiple people mention rape allegations. I haven't seen these in the Star article. I assume they're elsewhere. Can someone link to where these are posted?

The Star article at one point said that after a woman was hit she "submitted".
posted by maledictory at 10:03 PM on October 27, 2014


Heh. Brian Radnoff of Lerners, who is a player is these kinds of things, agrees that it's a PR lawsuit, and specifically mentions the Trudeau quote. So saucysault and nicolas.bray, please collect your $5. I was going to say that a few of my law school profs enjoyed quotations for beginning academic-ish articles, and given that it was written over the weekend it was probably someone fresh outta school :)

Also the fact that it's a PR..thing makes me kind of regret spending the last hour analyzing the actual legal side. Whatever, I enjoy it.

Also also I just realized a friend of mine works at Dentons. I should probably not harass him about this.
posted by Lemurrhea at 10:05 PM on October 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


as somebody put it earlier today on Facebook, "journalism is about gathering as many facts as possible and reporting them, PR is about persuasion."
posted by philip-random at 10:30 PM on October 27, 2014


Michigan Militia
posted by grobstein at 10:36 PM on October 27, 2014


I don't use "rape" because it is an archaic legal term in Canada.

I don't really see why that's relevant outside of a court room.

I don't think sexual assault (or even assault) is less serious.

Since rape is sexual assault, sexual assault is definitely not less serious in general. However sexual assault also covers things like groping which if we're going to be generically assigning seriousness levels to things, I think would fall below rape. So using the words "sexual assault" instead of "rape" can definitely be a way to introduce some ambiguity and soften the blow.

And let's not ignore the power words have beyond their literal meaning.

As far as I know, journalists are expected to use correct legal terminology and not older terms.

Sure, journalists writing/speaking for whatever media outlet and lawyers in court should use specialized terminology. But that's a very small fraction of the discussion going on about this case.
posted by nicolas.bray at 10:41 PM on October 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


Billy Bob Thornton will be throwing a party!!
posted by smudgedlens at 10:56 PM on October 27, 2014


MF was less popular than BNL, mostly among the D&D/nerdy/Monty-Python-quoting crowd.

Yeah, I was originally going to describe the set that Moxy Fruvous was popular with, but it seemed a bit antagonistic so I just went with the band not being popular. But nerdy, D&D and Monty Python quoting were the exact things I was going to write.

Haig4Life, yo.

I went to Haig too. One year at Thornlea was enough for my parents.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 10:58 PM on October 27, 2014


However sexual assault also covers things like groping which if we're going to be generically assigning seriousness levels to things, I think would fall below rape.

I think it is this type of "hierarching" of assaults is why the term rape has fallen out of use. Unwanted/unconsented touch is assault and crosses a boundary, how far over the boundary becomes irrelevant to the discussion except as leverage by the person who transgressed the boundary (I only pushed you down, I didn't punch you; I only made you suck my cock, I didn't fuck you against your will). Because of the gendered view of assaults, rape (an unwanted penis in a vagina) was considered by the male judiciary a greater "violation" than other physical assaults - but a woman that has been assaulted can tell you how traumatising it is to have any part of her bodily integrity violated. There are of course other historical reasons for the elevated importance of rape like the possibility of pregnancy or causing the later inability to get pregnant but I fear I have gone far afield...
posted by saucysault at 11:12 PM on October 27, 2014 [10 favorites]


This is certainly not a good day for CBC in terms of building and keeping their present audience, but at the same time, the price paid for the popularity of Q was a certain amount of dumbing down. Perhaps it's just as well for those who are interested in more in-depth interviews as opposed to endless celebrity puff pieces mixed with 90's hyper political correctness and gender (ironic, now) stories. The reason Ghomeshi got so many big name interviews was because of his pandering to them and his connections, more than his great interviewing skills (listen to a clip of the real master, Peter Gzowski, for comparison). I admired his earnestness in promoting arts and culture but at the same time got tired of the Enterainment Tonight vibe and the fascination with sex. Frequently there was also a just below the surface weirdness and roughness (for all the mentioned polish), something I noted from the start and not just in hindsight.

On a personal level, I reacted much more strongly than I expected. I've found myself muttering more than once, time to go, Jian, when he was being particularly insufferable, yet I still found myself in shock at losing the cheerful in a slightly goofy way, familiar voice.

Terrible for the women who were victimized, or even just creeped out, and sad for arts and culture in Canada to be betrayed in this way.
posted by blue shadows at 12:07 AM on October 28, 2014 [6 favorites]


So I touched on it here, but not very clearly. Maledictory was a lot clearer here. I can't sleep so let's look at the issue of providing a formal complaint to libel carefully:

Again, sorry for the length. I think it's on-topic, but it's also kind of tangentially too-deep. tl;dr: the defamation claim is super-bullshit, go ahead and ignore it.

There is an aspect of the Libel & Slander Act (section 5(1), fyi) that says there's no cause of action [aka a lawsuit can't be brought] unless the plaintiff, JG here, puts in writing a complaint to the defendant, CBC here. It only applies when talking about a newspaper/broadcast, as Maledictory notes. They've got 6 weeks to do it. This gives the defendant the ability to retract/correct/apologize - which a) is a good thing by itself, and b) limits the damages to "actual" (which I'm not sure how they decide but we can be sure would be lower than otherwise).

People might remember from the mayoral campaign this story, where Doug Ford ended up having to apologize in a written letter to the police chief, for a probably-defamatory statement he made. I can't speak highly enough about this aspect of the defamation law - it ends up resolving so many of these cases without a court battle.* I'm not sure if the law here is quite the same, because I thought that Ford was slandering the chief vs this being a libel situation (quick difference: libel is printed/published, slander is spoken/broadcast), but either it's exactly the same or it's close enough.

Now, the story broke on the weekend. The lawsuit was filed Monday, probably at close of business. There seem to be 3 options. Let's call the required written complaint a "notice":

1. No Notice prior to the lawsuit; one already-delivered now or planned.
2. No Notice prior to the lawsuit; none planned.
3. Notice prior to the lawsuit.

So in reverse order, #3 seems unlikely, just because of the timing AND that nobody has reported it. It's certainly possible, and I would trust the law firm to not screw such a thing up. Even then I would think they're kind of breaking the spirit of the law in not allowing time for the CBC to reply, right? That's the point of the law, as I mention above. Retraction, apology, validation, done. But spirit of the law, schmirit of the law.

#2 is possible. It either becomes proof positive that we're dealing with a PR claim rather than a lawsuit (since notice is definitely required) - that or JG doesn't think he's bound by that particular section of the Act. More on that later, because it's legal analysis.

#1 is most likely but I think problematic. I don't know enough civil procedure to say for sure (not a litigator), but I don't expect that you can take a statement of claim (which initiates the lawsuit) that is essentially invalid (because no Notice bars a claim) and make it valid by doing something external to it. You could file a new statement of claim, of course, or there are times when the SoC is invalid by itself and you can amend it (people screw up SoCs, nbd). Otherwise you would get weird timing issues - there are X days to respond to a SoC - but if it's not active because there's been no Notice, when do those X days start? Blech. Or in more formal legal terms, blerg that's confusing. So it's probably just that you can't do it like that.

So, #2. Why wouldn't JG be bound? I'm not sure. It doesn't matter that CBC isn't "media" in this context - what matters is where it was published - and JG says it was in the G&M. The G&M is headquartered in Ontario, all the weird formalities are fine I'm sure. And beyond that, I don't even know why I'm talking when Justice Abella explains it all.** From paras 16 & 18:
There is no jurisprudential doubt that an action for libel cannot be brought unless the defendants have first been properly served with written notice specifying the words and matter complained. The reason such notice must precede the commencement of the action is to give a defendant an opportunity to correct, retract, justify, apologize for, or otherwise consider what mitigating steps are appropriate.

..the written notice must "specify" the matter complained of. This means that a defendant is entitled to know with clarity the essence of the case it has to meet and have an opportunity to meet it before an action for libel is commenced. The denial of sufficient particularity constitutes a denial of that opportunity.
So that means my option #1 is out the window. You can't do it like that. Frankly, the Statement of Claim itself doesn't even give enough particularity. So if notice is required, it was unlikely to be given properly. Beyond that...I don't know? This is all the easily-findable cases that examine the section. None of the ones I found help JG. But I didn't look at them all.

So after writing 2,000-ish words across two comments on the topic, I would amusedly suggest that we ignore the defamation aspect, because with the one exception of "they gave notice to the CBC Monday morning and nobody reported on it", it is complete and utter garbage.

*It still has the normal problems of people choosing not to litigate due to lawyers' high cost, which is bad, but that is an orthogonal issue to what this is about, solving public disputes quickly and, well, publicly.

**Abella went on to join the Supreme Court. Treating her word as gospel is not the worst idea!

posted by Lemurrhea at 12:30 AM on October 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


But... even the timing is off, isn't it? I thought Ghomeshi had indicated there'd be a lawsuit before or during the weekend, which unless I've messed up the timeline is before anything was published?
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:32 AM on October 28, 2014


saucysault: While typing out a very long response to you, I'm realizing that (in addition to the whole derail thing) my thoughts on this are maybe inchoate enough that I shouldn't be just tossing them out into the noosphere. There's no need for more noise on this topic. I'll just say that I do see a real danger in hierarching in that it, at a minimum, treads very closely to dictating to victims how they should feel about their personal experiences. I was going to add a "Yet..." here but maybe I'll omit even that. Of course every violation of bodily integrity can be traumatizing but there are degrees of violation and degrees of trauma. I think the statement "how far over the boundary becomes irrelevant to the discussion" is too strong: a person will find those degrees of trauma and violation very relevant for their own experience. But talking about those degrees in an interpersonal way seems to be quite complicated.

My earlier remarks were quite crudely phrased and if I were to make them again, I would make it clear that by "seriousness", I'm talking about the guilt of the offender rather than the trauma of the victim. But it's possible that I shouldn't even be saying that which is why I wouldn't make them again to begin with.
posted by nicolas.bray at 12:50 AM on October 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


I agree that it sounds pretty bad for Ghomeshi. It's really, really hard for me to accept that someone could get so many women to allege nonconsensual activity, no matter how vengeful one's ex is.

That said, it makes me uncomfortable how many people are ready to equate behavior like that described on xojane (overeager/self-centered behavior) and behavior like that described by some of these other women (nonconsensual punching and asphyxiating, telling coworker he wanted to hate fuck her). The former behavior is annoying. The latter behavior is illegal, violent and sociopathic. I don't feel they should both be described by the same term "creep."
posted by feets at 1:33 AM on October 28, 2014 [5 favorites]


Lemurrhea, it seems entirely possible (indeed likely, given it's Dentons) that the notice was given immediately prior to the statement of claim being filed. While the theory is as Abella states it, there's no definitive timeframe stated under the Act (e.g. that one must give notice and then wait x weeks before filing the statement of claim).

In any event, I suspect they know the defamation claim is a weak one at best, and that explains why 90% of the legal argument in the statement of claim is focused on the breach of confidence action, which wouldn't fall under the remit of the L&S Act in any event. Harm to reputation would simply be a head of damage under the common law tort of breach of confidence, irrespective of whether the requirements of the L&S Act were met.

To my knowledge there's not a huge amount of Canadian jurisprudence in the breach of confidence area as it relates to privacy issues, but certainly there is in the UK, where the English courts have used an expanded breach of confidence in place of a freestanding invasion of privacy tort (also in 'celebrity' cases, such as Campbell). Another option for Dentons might be try and argue that since the Court of Appeal recognised the 'intrusion upon seclusion' privacy tort in Jones a couple of years ago, Canadian jurisprudence should now go whole hog and adopt the complete 4-branch American version of the privacy tort, and bring an action under that for giving publicity to private facts.
posted by modernnomad at 3:51 AM on October 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


For those suggesting this band was popular... yeah, no. Maybe localized in a certain neighbourhood of Toronto for a couple years, but not really outside that bubble. Comparisons to Barenaked Ladies are ridiculous. Fruvous didn't make the Billboard charts, for example, and outside King of Spain I couldn't name a single song. Never heard them on the radio here in Halifax. I'd put an act like Pursuit of Happiness much higher on the popularity scale, and I doubt anyone remembers them. It was just enough "cred" so Ghomeshi could say, yeah, I was in a band, and not have his guests openly laugh at him.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 3:53 AM on October 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


"If the various allegations are true, this isn't about BDSM at all, not really. It's about not taking no for an answer."
Oh it absolutely is, and just how blind so many BDSM communities are to that should absolutely make them fucking terrifying, especially for younger or more vulnerable kinky people. Sexual abuse and its enabling is endemic in BDSM communities and routinely hidden by BDSM language in a way that no amount of wishful thinking or attacks on untrue Scotsmen will change. That this bastard is trying to hide behind BDSM should not be a prompt wash hands and ignore the problem yet again, but instead to educate and empower people who don't yet know how to find missing stairs like him.

A Field Guide to Creepy Dom
posted by Blasdelb at 4:42 AM on October 28, 2014 [9 favorites]


This is an excellent time for a savvy "yes means yes" campaign, one that emphasizes the need for explicit, real-time consent.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:03 AM on October 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


Jian versus the CBC:
When’s the last time you busted someone at work for stealing supplies? When’s the last time you called someone out for a racist comment? When’s the last time you put your reputation on the line to fight someone in a position of authority? When’s the last time you stood up to anyone about ANYTHING — not to mention in front of police, the media, and an entire country?

Oh, never? Then shut the fuck up about why these girls aren’t coming forward. They’ve more to lose than you ever will.
Feel free to read the comments. The writer is in there, kicking ass and taking names.
posted by maudlin at 5:37 AM on October 28, 2014 [32 favorites]


Uh, yeah, there's the three women accusing him of rape and the two women accusing him of sexual assault.

Not so you'd know from much of the media coverage, though. Unfortunately, that's all been as hopelessly confused and vague on specifics as these things usually are. I definitely don't discount those accusations. But a lot of the discussion here has been about peripheral issues and more general stuff, like the comment I was addressing in my original comment.
posted by saulgoodman at 6:17 AM on October 28, 2014


My husband said it was not a coincidence that the bulk of the story happened the day of the TO election. He was saying that CBC did that because that puts Ghomeshi's FB post and defense as 2nd or 3rd item in the news at most. Of course, this whole thing started Sunday afternoon...
posted by Kitteh at 6:25 AM on October 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


Thanks, Lemurrhea. This really is not my area of law, but just the very idea of suing for defamation when that person hadn't said anything struck me as Impossibly Wrong, although I had no actual reason for saying that. But the professional instinct is rarely wrong in these things.

Offhand, I'd say that the defamation-by-implication argument is a total non-starter. Nothing in the ceeb's statement implied anything which was actually negative on Jian. He was fired because of 'information'? Well, of course he was. That's true of anyone who's fired. That that information must have been negative? Of course it was, if it was good enough to get him fired.

That gets us to a point where the act of firing is itself defamatory, which is ridiculous.

But yeah. Total PR suit, and will only result in the judge blasting counsel for wasting the Court's time.
posted by Capt. Renault at 6:40 AM on October 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


OK, quickly scanning the plaintiff's claim, a few thoughts:

1. The damaging information was released through Jian's counsel?
b) Spell 'masochism' right.
(iii) Leave Leonard Cohen out of this.

How the fuck can you sue for breach of confidence for improper use of whatever information, when that information was freely supplied by your counsel? Counsel which, presumably, was advising you to release or not release? To now say 'I wouldn't have given you that information if I knew it would be abused', when that possibility was something your counsel would have advised at the very time?

A GTFO lawsuit if ever I've seen one.
posted by Capt. Renault at 6:54 AM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Moxy Fruvous seemed to be pretty popular in Southern Ontario back in the day.
posted by fimbulvetr at 6:55 AM on October 28, 2014


"Bargainville" is a brilliant dork-rock album. The ret of MF's stuff left me kinda "meh".
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 7:00 AM on October 28, 2014 [5 favorites]


Capt. Renault, yeah I would agree. He immediately loses any protection of disparate power - it goes from a standard employment relationship, where there is high potential for coercion by the employer, to a discussion among equals, where there isn't.

And modernnomad, that's really interesting, thanks. I think the biggest argument against a kind of one-two notice-lawsuit is just that we hadn't seen it reported, which is contrary to what we've seen in the past. Not a terribly strong argument as they go. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Do you happen to have a link/full name for Jones? I don't remember reading it and wouldn't mind refreshing myself.
posted by Lemurrhea at 7:15 AM on October 28, 2014


The strongest cultural warning I wanted to give in this thread was when someone vaguely questioned The Tragically Hip. Never seem like you're criticizing Gordo. His fans are passionate. Seriously. I can't think of another Canadian band who inspire such near religious devotion in their most dedicated fans. The Church of Gordo has an unforgiving creed.
posted by One Hand Slowclapping at 7:41 AM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


I will never stop finding it weird that there is a street named after the Hip here in Kingston. Never.
posted by Kitteh at 7:47 AM on October 28, 2014


There's only one street named after The Hip in Kingston? I'm surprised there aren't more.
posted by GuyZero at 7:51 AM on October 28, 2014 [4 favorites]


ONE IS TOO MANY
posted by Kitteh at 7:51 AM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Getting back to the matter at hand, here is Heather Mallick's column about why women say nothing about their abusers/attackers:

But the allegations have nothing to do with the semi-cool world of sexual bondage, a fetish Ghomeshi admits he enjoys, while blaming the scandal on vengeful rejected girlfriends. Search Fifty Shades of Grey and you’ll find no one punched, slapped, choked or near-asphyxiated.

(apologies if this has appeared already; I couldn't find a link upthread)
posted by Kitteh at 7:56 AM on October 28, 2014 [3 favorites]


Yes Means Yes

A fantastic blog that covers not only consent in the general public but also consent/the missing stair/enabling in the BDSM community.
posted by LizBoBiz at 7:56 AM on October 28, 2014 [3 favorites]


Re: creepy predator vibe vs socially awkward guy:

In my experience, guys who give off a "creepy predator vibe" are not the same guys who give off "socially awkward energy". The creepy predators have to be charming enough to convince a woman to let down their guard when they're alone. Then a predator drops the facade and turn on the woman he's with.

The socially awkward guys, it seems, generally don't get far enough down the interpersonal path to put a gal at ease so they can turn on her.

When people in communities like BDSM and Sci-Fi/book conventions talk about "missing stairs", said stairs tend to be charming and socially fluent in public. This is their cover, and how they maintain their position in the community they prey upon.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 8:14 AM on October 28, 2014 [8 favorites]


You know what's breaking my heart? It's watching women I know and like say things like "If his sexual behaviour was so appalling, then why did that ex stay with him for two years? Obviously, she liked that kind of thing."
posted by Kitteh at 8:23 AM on October 28, 2014


The strongest cultural warning I wanted to give in this thread was when someone vaguely questioned The Tragically Hip.

is it vague enough to suggest that The Tragically Hip are one of those Canadian bands that Americans more or less got right?
posted by philip-random at 8:48 AM on October 28, 2014


MF was less popular than BNL, mostly among the D&D/nerdy/Monty-Python-quoting crowd.

That explains why the name was so familiar to me, despite being in the eastern US at the time they were active.
posted by tavella at 9:04 AM on October 28, 2014


Perhaps it's just as well for those who are interested in more in-depth interviews as opposed to endless celebrity puff pieces mixed with 90's hyper political correctness and gender (ironic, now) stories. The reason Ghomeshi got so many big name interviews was because of his pandering to them and his connections, more than his great interviewing skills (listen to a clip of the real master, Peter Gzowski, for comparison).

Well, that's one way of looking at it. I thought that Q was an interesting show and that Ghomeshi was a pretty good in-depth interviewer, of course with a fairly soft-pedal style rather than hard-hitting confrontationalism. (I never felt all the reverence for revered old-school CBC icon Peter Gzowski, who came across as kinda pokey to me, but maybe I just missed his subtleties).

But, I also noticed that in one of his final interviews last week, Ghomeshi quietly skirted around significant recent events in Neil Young's personal life (see internets) even though the conversation had almost started moving in that direction a few times.
posted by ovvl at 9:13 AM on October 28, 2014 [5 favorites]


It could only be said that Americans got the Hip right if they were considered big enough to play the halftime show at the Super Bowl.

I mean, the Barenaked Ladies admitted that the most Canadian name ever was Gordon (Gordon Pinsent, Gordon Lightfoot, Gordie Howe...), and the Hip have not one but TWO guys named Gordon in the band. Their lyrics reference Jacques Cartier, Marshall McLuhan, Bill Barilko, David Milgaard... yet are still hard rocking, crowd pleasing tunes.

It's not so much a Church of Gordo as a recognition of the obvious... oh, never mind.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 9:16 AM on October 28, 2014 [6 favorites]


Ghomeshi quietly skirted around significant recent events in Neil Young's personal life (see internets)
His divorce and tryst with Daryl Hannah, or something else...?
posted by pxe2000 at 9:34 AM on October 28, 2014


the Barenaked Ladies admitted that the most Canadian name ever was Gordon

After Lorne, maybe.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 9:40 AM on October 28, 2014


Owen Pallett weighs in with a downright anguished post.

"Jian Ghomeshi is my friend, and Jian Ghomeshi beats women. How our friendship will continue remains to be seen."
posted by whittaker at 9:48 AM on October 28, 2014 [32 favorites]


I thought that Q was an interesting show and that Ghomeshi was a pretty good in-depth interviewer, of course with a fairly soft-pedal style rather than hard-hitting confrontationalism. (I never felt all the reverence for revered old-school CBC icon Peter Gzowski, who came across as kinda pokey to me, but maybe I just missed his subtleties).

this all the way.

Ghomeshi may be many bad things, but he was/is very good at radio, and in particular, at delivering a show that managed to be both fascinating (at times, dependent on the topic/subject at hand) and not particularly provocative (ie: canny enough to know when to pull its punches in such a way that the regular folks in the listening audience would not be overly offended). That's a tough trick to pull off.

And the Peter Gzowski reference is a good one. For those who don't know their Canadian radio history, his show Morningside owned Q's mid-late morning slot for a long, long time. It was very popular and when Gzowski retired, it proved a very difficult hole to fill. Various things were tried but nothing really clicked until Q came along, which was much more urban, much less down home folksy, much more youth oriented, much cooler, much more relevant to a nation that was fast becoming less about small towns and wide open spaces and more about people who lived in cities arranged within a hundred or so miles of American border.
posted by philip-random at 9:49 AM on October 28, 2014 [4 favorites]




the most Canadian name ever was Gordon

After Lorne, maybe.


I'm thinking Pierre has both beaten by a fair measure; not to mention Marie.
posted by philip-random at 9:52 AM on October 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


I also just came over here to post that Owen Pallett status update. Colour me very, very impressed.
posted by Phire at 10:11 AM on October 28, 2014 [3 favorites]


For reals. And while I appreciate Owen Pallett sticking his neck out, it still saddens me that it will take another male voice to have a stronger sway than those of his accusers/victims.
posted by Kitteh at 10:15 AM on October 28, 2014 [17 favorites]


Never seem like you're criticizing Gordo. His fans are passionate

The Tragically Hip is the sound of long rides through Ontario in cars filled by dudes who can't agree on what music to listen to.
posted by Hoopo at 10:37 AM on October 28, 2014 [6 favorites]


I don't know what to do about the signed copy I have of Jian's '1982'. "Hope you enjoy it!" Not anymore, I won't. *sigh*
posted by Capt. Renault at 10:45 AM on October 28, 2014


Capt. Renault: Mail it to him with that written below the signature?
posted by Canageek at 10:54 AM on October 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


I don't know what to do about the signed copy I have of Jian's '1982'. "Hope you enjoy it!" Not anymore, I won't. *sigh*

Donate it to a charity garage sale or something. Even if money is spent on it, the money is spent for a good cause.
posted by Fizz at 10:59 AM on October 28, 2014


Also, Owen commenting on his own post just a little later:
"Owen Pallett: This was an incredibly difficult thing for me to type I am shaking with rage."
posted by Fizz at 11:01 AM on October 28, 2014 [7 favorites]


And while I appreciate Owen Pallett sticking his neck out, it still saddens me that it will take another male voice to have a stronger sway than those of his accusers/victims.

A male voice, or the voice of someone who is not anonymous? Let's be at least a little fair: anyone can make anonymous claims without proof of any sort. And with his horrible reputation and creep factor and ego, it's not hard to believe those claims. But surely it is reasonable to lend more weight to those voices that are not anonymous or which present us with hard evidence.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:05 AM on October 28, 2014


It might be exacerbated because of our inclination to mistrust anonymity (though I would point out that these voices are not anonymous to The Star/Kevin Donovan, whose journalistic integrity and due diligence I have full faith in). But it would be foolish to overlook that even in feminist spheres there is a long history of male voices being given far more credence and accolades than their equivalent female colleagues, even when they're simply repeating what the female feminists have been shouting into the void for years.
posted by Phire at 11:14 AM on October 28, 2014 [10 favorites]


"Innocent until proven guilty, unless you're being accused of lying about rape, in which case, guilty until proven innocent"
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:16 AM on October 28, 2014 [8 favorites]


i am sad that the state of the world is such that it so often takes men's voices to get heard. on the other hand, that is where we're at still and so i'm so glad that a man - a friend, someone who found jian's dating history the source of jokes previously - stood up for what he believes and didn't just say this privately and try to let that be enough. when men speak up to say that you believe victims first and foremost it moves us closer to a world where women speaking up will be enough.
posted by nadawi at 11:25 AM on October 28, 2014 [10 favorites]


In current culture it's critical that men stand up in support rather than relegating this to a problem where the onus is solely upon women to solve.
posted by whittaker at 11:31 AM on October 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


Maybe localized in a certain neighbourhood of Toronto for a couple years, but not really outside that bubble. Comparisons to Barenaked Ladies are ridiculous.

Um, maybe less with the sneering? They released seven albums and had a pretty heavy tour schedule for years. They may not have reached mainstream/international fame like BNL, but to claim that Moxy's popularity was localized to one neighbourhood in Toronto is patently ridiculous. Several posters here talking about being major fans are nowhere near Toronto--most, unless I'm mistaken, are in or from the US!

As for comparisons to BNL... those of us who were actually in Toronto at the time were here to see both MF and BNL rise; they were definitely of the same movement in music, they were very often presented together in the media, and they became popular at the same time--BNL with Gordon and MF with Bargainville.

Comparisons are apt as to how and when they began, and it seems... odd to claim what you have claimed when a) you're not in Toronto and thus weren't here for the coverage during the formative years of both bands, and b) there are people here from nowhere near Toronto talking about MF's popularity.

Owen Pallett is and has always been a class act, good on him. As noted though, it's sad that his voice (maybe I'm contributing to it?) is going to be more prominent than many women. Maybe, though--and please, hear me out--maybe it's not so bad that male voices denouncing Jian are going to be so much louder here.

It has been brought up here before in the context of certain flavours of Christianity (not to cause a religion derail; just showing a parallel) that if you are going to claim an umbrella, you must also denounce the actions of the asshats also under your umbrella. So it falls to men to loudly and roundly condemn the acts of misogynist shitbags, because at the end of the day, 'internal' criticism carries more weight than external with the people being criticized, I think.

I am not suggesting in any way that it is not terrible and awful that women are not believed. That needs to be fixed yesterday. There is no excuse for that. But us men who aren't out assaulting women and being shitbags have a responsibility to use our privilege for good. "That man is an asshole. These women are telling the truth, listen to them," could help, I think, lead to that not needing to be said at all.


...on preview, what nadawi and whittaker said
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:33 AM on October 28, 2014 [9 favorites]


I think feckless has honed in on a particular pattern here. I know it's nice to declare Fruvous a terrible and unpopular band especially in light of all this but, intentionally or not, it feeds into a myth that predators are some sort of monstrous 'other' that aren't capable of producing meritorious work. What we need to get in our heads as a society is that successful predators are usually really good at many things socially, aesthetically, and artistically that endear them to the community and an audience and they use this to carve themselves a safe space in which to operate.

To demonstrate this principle from the other side: I hear too much sentiment along the lines of "Ghomeshi couldn't have done this, he's such a wonderful interviewer and host and I like him".
posted by whittaker at 11:53 AM on October 28, 2014 [10 favorites]


Noting the prioritizing of male voices in debate in no way negates the awesomeness of awesome comments men make about feminism!

Don't speak out less, solidarity is great...but also seek to elevate awesome comments by women. Circulate them and discuss their ideas. Refer to women's ideas and credit them where due.
posted by chapps at 11:58 AM on October 28, 2014 [7 favorites]


the most Canadian name ever was Gordon

After Lorne, maybe.

I'm thinking Pierre has both beaten by a fair measure; not to mention Marie.


Over history, in pure numbers, according to this janky genealogy site that misspells "search" on its search button, yes, Pierre and Marie are way up there, though Pierre is second to Joseph.

But Gordon, Lorne, Pierre, and Marie are all old people names. According to the BC government website (which has neat graphs), Gordon and Lorne both peaked in popularity as baby names in that province in the 1940s-60s, with tremendous dropoffs soon thereafter.

In 2013, there were just eight (8) baby boys named Pierre in Québec -- equal to the number of Gordons born in BC that year, as it happens -- and twenty-four (24) baby girls named Marie. (Hyphenated names, which often include Pierre and Marie, are counted separately, but they're not very popular either these days.)

Future candidates for "most Canadian name" (based on the 2013 top ten in those two provinces) seem to be Oliver, Olivier, and Olivia -- only the latter of which has made the US top five in the last century.

/derail-of-a-derail
posted by Sys Rq at 12:19 PM on October 28, 2014


Many people, especially Ghomeshi defenders, keep repeating the charge that his accusers are anonymous. That's not true. I think it's important to keep repeating this point:

a woman who worked at the CBC, subordinate to him, complained formally of sexual harassment. She is NOT anonymous, the CBC obviously knows who she is. She just hasn't announced her workplace complaint to the public. That is a very different situation. She also never dated him.
posted by msalt at 12:21 PM on October 28, 2014 [9 favorites]


Fine, Moxy Fruvous outsold Barenaked Ladies, Pursuit of Happiness, 54-40, Crash Test Dummies, and the Northern Pikes combined. Sheesh. It's too bad we didn't have some absolute way, like album sales or chart positions, to determine relative popularity of musical acts.

I lived in Toronto and Ottawa from 1988-1992, during their "formative" years & my peak club-hopping years, so I do have a bit of direct knowledge of this.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 12:46 PM on October 28, 2014


"But Gordon, Lorne, Pierre, and Marie are all old people names. According to the BC government website (which has neat graphs), Gordon and Lorne both peaked in popularity as baby names in that province in the 1940s-60s, with tremendous dropoffs soon thereafter."

I am disappoint, Canada: Howe played from the '40s though the '80s and should singlehandedly have kept "Gordon" as the top name until it was supplanted by "Wayne."
posted by klangklangston at 12:47 PM on October 28, 2014 [3 favorites]


MF toured the everliving fuck out of college towns in the great lakes/northeast during the 90's. I figure that is why their US nerd base was so solid.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 1:04 PM on October 28, 2014 [3 favorites]


I initially misread your comment as "MF tortured the everliving fuck...", mandyman, and was about to gingerly suggest that that may be a liiiiittle bit hyperbolic...
posted by Phire at 1:10 PM on October 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


Fine, Moxy Fruvous outsold Barenaked Ladies, Pursuit of Happiness, 54-40, Crash Test Dummies, and the Northern Pikes combined. Sheesh. It's too bad we didn't have some absolute way, like album sales or chart positions, to determine relative popularity of musical acts.

Yeah, too bad. You could see if they had the #13 single at some point, or the #7 album, or the #1 Cancon single, not that beating Bootsauce on the charts should be an automatic bye into the Rock Hall Of Fame or anything.

Different bands had different popularity in not only different parts of Canada, but also with different audiences. MF always did better with nerds than they did with "club-hopping" kids, for instance. It would be an exaggeration to say that they were the most popular act in Canada, but it is similarly incorrect to pretend that they had no success or following.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 1:17 PM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


I discovered Moxy Fruvous in 1994 (in Maryland, halfway down the east coast of the US) because a friend's brother had encountered their music (and Barenaked Ladies) on a trip to Canada and brought home "Bargainville" and "Gordon". Me and my geeky hyper-literate friends just ate it up. I saw them pretty regularly in concert in Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, and Massachusetts. So yeah, they had a pretty decent college following in the eastern US, if nothing else.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 1:33 PM on October 28, 2014


Do you happen to have a link/full name for Jones? I don't remember reading it and wouldn't mind refreshing myself.

The case you want is Jones v. Tsige, 2012 ONCA 32.
posted by maledictory at 1:40 PM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Well here's a perfectly awful article:

Christie Blatchford: Jian Ghomeshi another man vilified by anonymous accusers in the press
posted by kitcat at 1:41 PM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Is it too late to edit that NP link away? I always feel dirty giving Blatchford or Wente traffic.
posted by anthill at 1:46 PM on October 28, 2014 [5 favorites]


I saw the Blatchford link earlier today and just decided it was awful, stupid and not worth my time to read. I'm considering it an exercise in willpower because life is too short to spend time reading and agonizing over asshats.
posted by maudlin at 1:54 PM on October 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


Oh dear, no, sorry. I didn't know any better. I'd seen her courtroom drama description articles in the past and just thought she was a trashy journalist, but harmless.
posted by kitcat at 1:57 PM on October 28, 2014


I know it's nice to declare Fruvous a terrible and unpopular band especially in light of all this but, intentionally or not, it feeds into a myth that predators are some sort of monstrous 'other' that aren't capable of producing meritorious work.

That discussion is just a bit of a trivia derail, nothing much more than that. He is known now and has been known for a good number of years primarily for being a high profile and successful (in Canadian terms) radio personality, and I'm sure many of his listeners were not Moxy Fruvous fans or even knew or thought much about the fact he might have been in a band at some point. It doesn't feed into any myth about "monstrous other" or whatever if someone doesn't like his band from the 1990s. The band wasn't monstrous, they were merely really annoying. His behaviour described here is what makes him sound monstrous, with the closed-fist punching and all.

Different bands had different popularity in not only different parts of Canada, but also with different audiences

What I don't understand is why Eric's Trip never caught on, dammit. They were even signed to Sub Pop back when that was the cool thing to be. Or, like, Grasshopper. Remember those guys? I remember that EP being aces.
posted by Hoopo at 2:02 PM on October 28, 2014 [6 favorites]


What, no love for Platinum Blonde?
posted by bitteroldman at 2:08 PM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Blatchford is a terrible person.
posted by chunking express at 2:15 PM on October 28, 2014 [9 favorites]


Fine, Moxy Fruvous outsold Barenaked Ladies, Pursuit of Happiness, 54-40, Crash Test Dummies, and the Northern Pikes combined.

I never said that. In fact, I pointed out that they never had the same level of mainstream and international success of BNL. I was responding to your dismissive statement that MF was popular only in some 'localized Toronto neighbourhood,' which is so obviously untrue that I am baffled as to why you'd even say it. Plus, as Homeboy Trouble said, if you were a clubber MF wasn't part of your orbit anyway.

Or, like, Grasshopper.

Holy shit I remember going to some terrible show they did at some all ages club in like.. 95? Maybe? They were terrible live (at least then) so I never bought their album.

What, no love for Platinum Blonde

HA. I used to serve Mark drinks at an afterhours. (Vodka soda, splash of cran). I rememebr going to his club (The Mod Club) for my birthday one year and him yelling at the bartender "GET THE MAN A VODKA! GET THE MAN A VODKA!"

Good times. Good times.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:18 PM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


I thought for a long time that Moxy Fruvous was a Canadian jam band of the Ekoustic Hookah or Leftover Salmon ilk, but then when I finally heard them I was… well, what's the word for being wrong but not disappointed because the expectation was so low? (I was underwhelmed if that's a word.)

I grew up in Michigan, so all the cool stations had 10 percent Canadian content anyway, but they never really rated, at least in my memory. I mean, Christ, I remember the Gandharvas and Flashing Lights as bigger names, let alone The Hip or Alanis Morrissette (or Loverboy or April Wine). Sloan and Eric's Trip were cult faves over here, along with Zumpano, Elevator to Hell and Super Friendz (who I always mixed up with Supergarage). Treble Charger, Weakerthans and The Sadies also got big play in Windsor around then.

In terms of fame (but not style), I woulda put MF at about the Chore/Econoline Crush niche. Like, college show level with some genre following but not widespread crossover or breakthrough appeal.
posted by klangklangston at 2:35 PM on October 28, 2014 [4 favorites]


Jian Ghomeshi another man vilified by anonymous accusers in the press

Another man? Can anyone think of a single case involving a man accused of sexual assault by multiple women in which the man was ultimately proved to be innocent? Because I can't.
posted by orange swan at 2:37 PM on October 28, 2014 [7 favorites]


klang, you just gave me so many highschool/90s flashbacks I'm reeling over here
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:40 PM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Or, like, Grasshopper. Remember those guys? I remember that EP being aces.

Grasshopper was pretty good. Some nicely fried 90's stoner-rock, IIRC. I think they had a pretty short career?
posted by ovvl at 2:42 PM on October 28, 2014


"klang, you just gave me so many highschool/90s flashbacks I'm reeling over here"

Yeah, Canadian content was a secret weapon on many of my high school mixtapes. Plus Sloan pissed my dad off. I remember him coming downstairs hollering about, "Who the fuck is this with the mariachi horns all over everything?" over this.
posted by klangklangston at 2:48 PM on October 28, 2014 [9 favorites]


Can anyone think of a single case involving a man accused of sexual assault by multiple women in which the man was ultimately proved to be innocent?

Don't most of these accusations just get swept under the rug, die on a prosecutor's desk, get ignored by police, etc? Do many of these even end up with some sort of satisfyingly final conviction/acquittal, because a lot of the time it seems like, "Not enough evidence, charges dropped/not brought forward/etc."

I don't think he's innocent, but how would you even prove it if he was? It doesn't seem like there's a lot of these ending in a proof of innocence because in most cases it doesn't even get that far, right?
posted by ODiV at 2:51 PM on October 28, 2014


klangklangklangston, that anecdote gave me a warm, happy glow.
posted by whittaker at 2:51 PM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Blatchford is a terrible person.

There is something odd about her, that's for sure. Maybe it's all the hardboiled True Detective stories or something.
posted by Nevin at 2:53 PM on October 28, 2014


Does anyone know if anything can happen with Owen Pallett's statement, at least in regards to the law, court, etc? Could he testify as a witness or something like that?
posted by Fizz at 2:55 PM on October 28, 2014




Could he testify as a witness or something like that?

What could he testify to? His post doesn't assert any first-person knowledge of what happened; he's saying "I believe these women even though this man is my friend."

From his post:
At no point here will I ever give my friend Jian’s version of the truth more creedence than the version of the truth offered up by three women. Anonymity does not mean these women do not exist.
posted by Lexica at 3:06 PM on October 28, 2014


I didn't phrase that properly, ODiV. Of course accused people aren't ever proved innocent in a court of law: they are are either found to be innocent or proven guilty. So my question should have been, can anyone think of a case involving a man accused of sexual assault by multiple women in which he was found innocent?
posted by orange swan at 3:08 PM on October 28, 2014


Oh sorry, I wasn't trying to rules lawyer or make some point about "he's innocent until he's found guilty in a court of law" or anything. I just meant that in the world we live in where so many accusations of sexual assault never make it to trial, that's a tough question. For example I don't think this specific instance involving a man accused of sexual assault by multiple women will result in a trial (in which he is the defendant), so he won't be found innocent or guilty.

Similarly, the accusations against Assange will probably never result in a trial. So it's not like we can point to him and say, "Oh yeah, there's that innocent guy who was accused publicly of sexual assault and he was totally innocent." I mean some people might say that, but I certainly wouldn't feel comfortable doing it.

I totally get your meaning though. People talk about false allegations like it's some sort of epidemic and it's really, really not.
posted by ODiV at 3:19 PM on October 28, 2014


"klang, you just gave me so many highschool/90s flashbacks I'm reeling over here"

Time to see if Econoline Crush is available on the UK iTunes store...

... it is!

I like to think that I'll now show up on their sales reports as the single UK buyer. Thank you for adding a bit of warm happy nostalgia into an otherwise deeply depressing thread.
posted by generichuman at 3:22 PM on October 28, 2014


Yes, that's right, that was my point. There aren't lots of innocent men out there being vilified by sexual assault accusations from multiple women, and the title of Christie Blatchford's shitty column implies it happens constantly.
posted by orange swan at 3:26 PM on October 28, 2014


Yeah, but it's Christie Blatchford. You expected sense, reason, or even a tenuous connection to reality instead of her bizarre conservative paranoid fantods?
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:28 PM on October 28, 2014 [6 favorites]


There is something odd about her, that's for sure. Maybe it's all the hardboiled True Detective stories or something.

No, it's more than that, I can see after a cursory read of the Wikipedia article on her. She spoke out against the show of love for Jack Layton after his death (wtf?).

But far, far worse is her take on Rehtaeh Parsons (Rehtaeh killed herself after being raped and then cyber-bullied, if you're not aware of the case). Don't read it. It made me feel ill. There's a theme here. Blatchford does not understand what consensual sex is. Apparently, all of these women were asking for what they got.
posted by kitcat at 3:31 PM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


No feckless fecal fear mongering , I didn't expect anything else from Blatch. Just doing a bit of rebuttal. You'll notice that I confined myself to criticizing the title of her column. I don't have the stomach for dissecting the whole rotten mess.
posted by orange swan at 3:32 PM on October 28, 2014


ah, fair enough. Mostly I just want to see her vanish. Not die, not suffer, just.. disappear.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:34 PM on October 28, 2014


Don't read it. It made me feel ill.

You're lucky that you only have come to this conclusion after researching Blatchford just now on Wikipedia. Try reading her columns (it's kind of like driving by the scene of an accident - one always manages a glimpse) for years and years.

I do think the crime reporting has addled her brain.
posted by Nevin at 3:45 PM on October 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


There should be a word for "when you think something is a shitty 90s jam band and it turns out to be even worse," - more specific than just a letdown carryover.
posted by GreyboxHero at 3:46 PM on October 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


I actually caught Sloan earlier this year touring on the 20th anniversary of Twice Removed. They played the whole album, took a break, came back for a second set of all their hits. They are still pretty tight live, I was impressed. Also depressed. Because 20 years? Fuck.
posted by Hoopo at 3:52 PM on October 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


"I didn't phrase that properly, ODiV. Of course accused people aren't ever proved innocent in a court of law: they are are either found to be innocent or proven guilty. So my question should have been, can anyone think of a case involving a man accused of sexual assault by multiple women in which he was found innocent?"

Scotland kinda does prove people innocent by distinguishing between "not proven" and "not guilty." I don't know enough about civil/code systems (e.g. France) to say what their verdicts are.
posted by klangklangston at 3:52 PM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Try reading her columns [...] for years and years.

Alternately don't.

Also don't read Barbara Amiel.
posted by jeather at 4:09 PM on October 28, 2014 [4 favorites]


I find Barbara Amiel (and her hubby) entertaining, at least. She's not toxic like Blatchford or Michael Den Tandt or Mark Steyn or Margaret Wente.
posted by Nevin at 4:16 PM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


I kind of wonder if Navigator has paid commenters astro-turfing the various news stories about Jian Ghomeshi. There are an awful lot of well-written comments right at the very top saying, to whit "what happens behind closed doors is none of my business", totally ignoring the alleged assaults that have now been reported.
posted by Nevin at 4:20 PM on October 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


I'd be surprised if they didn't.
posted by Lexica at 4:23 PM on October 28, 2014 [4 favorites]




A few righteous paragraph from the above linked article:
It's not just that one woman is so angry about being rejected by him that she falsely accused him of criminal behavior. It's that she rounded up a bunch of other women, who all agreed they would lie to reporters in an effort to smear an innocent man. He has done nothing wrong, nothing non-consensual, yet all of these women hated him enough to conspire to get him fired and publicly humiliate him. They "colluded" to establish a false "pattern of [nonconsensual, potentially life-threatening] behavior." Because one of them was rilly, rilly mad.

Can we take a moment to think about how incredibly unlikely that is? That doesn't necessarily mean it can't be the truth—sometimes, as they say, that's stranger than fiction. But goddamn, it's unlikely.
posted by jokeefe at 4:29 PM on October 28, 2014 [17 favorites]


I like this bit:

Every time, we ignore the single most likely reason for someone to allege sexual assault or rape—to wit, that it actually happened—and grasp at any other explanation, no matter how implausible, that will save us from having to reconcile our positive feelings about Celebrity X with the distinct possibility that he's kind of a monster. We prioritize maintaining our own comfortable, familiar image of a person we've never met, and probably never will, over treating someone's testimony that a crime occurred with the seriousness it deserves.
posted by showbiz_liz at 5:33 PM on October 28, 2014 [6 favorites]


they are are either found to be innocent or proven guilty

Both sides of this suggest actual truth in fairly obvious ways (you don't find something that's not actually there and you can't prove something that's not true) though and that's not something the courts actually provide. Couldn't we just stick to "convicted" and "not convicted"?
posted by nicolas.bray at 5:47 PM on October 28, 2014


I've started to wonder though if it's not so much about preserving one's image of the particular person than it is about one's view of the world at large. kitcat says Blatchford thinks, "all of these women were asking for what they got". And as long as you can maintain the sociopathy necessary to divorce yourself from their pain, wouldn't that be kind of nice? To keep those "kind of a monster"s as some nebulous force off in the darkness rather than admitting that they might be among your friends and neighbours? Or the voice on your radio?

The other night I was sitting in a restaurant and looked around the room. The odds were decent that at least one of my fellow diners was a rapist. I wonder which one it was. They all looked very normal.
posted by nicolas.bray at 5:57 PM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


It might take a while for all the Jian Ghomeshi details to shake out, but we can settle the best-Toronto-band-of-the-90s thing right here and now. The answer is always Lowest of the Low.
posted by atropos at 6:42 PM on October 28, 2014 [6 favorites]


Nonsense. Look People.
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:40 PM on October 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


More from Andrea Zanin, in the Globe and Mail, talking about consent in BDSM.

This is a breathtakingly, unprecedentedly great treatment of the subject for mainstream media.
posted by clavicle at 7:42 PM on October 28, 2014 [4 favorites]


The press is sort of torn between getting as much ink as humanly possible on this story and at the same time not trying to appear too salacious. So it's been non-stop wonkery of analyzing the ethics of consent, the details of unionized labour relations and how defamation lawsuits work. Only in Canada does scandal drive the newspapers to higher levels of discourse.
posted by GuyZero at 8:32 PM on October 28, 2014 [22 favorites]


The other night I was sitting in a restaurant and looked around the room. The odds were decent that at least one of my fellow diners was a rapist. I wonder which one it was. They all looked very normal..

Ouch. That is a damning indictment of our society. It should be imprinted on a creeper picture meme.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:44 PM on October 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


A misogynistc creeper, not a Minecraft creeper.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:48 PM on October 28, 2014


Only in Canada does scandal drive the newspapers to higher levels of discourse.

It's true, and I quite like this.
posted by Meatbomb at 2:17 AM on October 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


Wait, sorry, I mean it probably happens elsewhere too but I like it is all.
posted by Meatbomb at 3:09 AM on October 29, 2014


The other night I was sitting in a restaurant and looked around the room. The odds were decent that at least one of my fellow diners was a rapist. I wonder which one it was. They all looked very normal..

It's been discussed before here, but in a recent thread some of the statistics were again linked -- sadly, it's going to be a lot more than just one of your fellow diners who has crossed that line at some point. But very few men are the kind of serial predator that Ghomesi is being accused of being, and those serial predators are apparently the ones who commit the vast majority of assaults.

That, to me, is one of the benefits of having these cases go so public -- if we can change social norms and the way the justice system handles the serial predators, it would have an outsized impact because of how many assaults those people commit over their lives. In the past (and still in many ways today) significant aspects of predatory behavior were normalized and accommodated, so it is heartening to see both discourse and policy shifting, however incrementally, on this.

I am also appreciating the links to smart and informed articles about consent that seem to be a byproduct of this case. It would be wonderful if the level of dialogue on that issue in particular could be raised, since so much sexual coercion and predation relies on deliberate obfuscation and confusion around consent.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:41 AM on October 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


emma healey (author of the previously linked, secrets are like passwords) wrote on the narrative.
posted by nadawi at 7:53 AM on October 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


"If Ghomeshi knows, as he must, that his civil case will be quickly dismissed, there appear to be two good reasons to file the suit anyway. One, it gets his story onto the public record, without any possible recourse. Ghomeshi cannot be sued for whatever he decides to state in his claim, however libellous it is.

But... there is an even more compelling reason for him to sue civilly. If the anonymous accusers are weighing whether to go public, a $55-million action must give them pause. Who is going to risk being potentially sued for defamation by a party who has already assembled a team of lawyers and PR agents and showed a readiness to take on even the comparatively powerful CBC for $55-million? Given that they have already been painted by Ghomeshi’s version of events as being into BDSM kink — something they may not even be, or may not want known to friends and family — how quickly will any accusers come forward publicly now and risk being joined to this outsized action?"

From "The Real Reasons Ghomeshi Is Suing the CBC"
posted by feets at 7:56 AM on October 29, 2014 [12 favorites]


Was just coming to see if the link feels posted was here; an excellent read on how Ghomeshi is using the process to control the narrative and intimidate potential accusers. I wonder if his lawsuit will be dropped before the CBC can file a response; I have no idea how this works from here.
posted by nubs at 8:32 AM on October 29, 2014


3rding that it's a great article. A no-nonsense and logical analysis of the situation. It should be read by those who are taking JG's version of events at face value.
posted by beau jackson at 8:36 AM on October 29, 2014


Elizabeth May apologizes and makes excuses for her Jian Ghomeshi tweets.

It's amazing & saddening to me how many ostensibly-progressive friends I have joining in with the weird garage about how we can't trust anonymous accusations. One person on my fbook is literally blaming a Harper conspiracy. WTF.
posted by Lemurrhea at 10:14 AM on October 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


Correct me if I'm wrong, but Ghomeshi's lawsuit, as far as I understand isn't for wrongful dismissal, it's for "breach of confidence, bad faith and defamation by the public broadcaster." ... which would not necessarily be subject to any labour agreement...?

It's of course entirely plausible that the lawsuit is a vehicle for getting JG's spin out in an effective way, as suggested.

The NatPost articles, in the way they are going on about the 'wrongful dismissal' slant, seem to be on a campaign of their own.
posted by Artful Codger at 10:21 AM on October 29, 2014


A desire to control the narrative at this magnitude by itself is telling. It's a sign of a person who has thought about this in some detail already and perhaps even anticipated it, not someone who was taken by surprise by false charges and is trying to feel out what the best next step might be to prove his innocence.
posted by SpacemanStix at 10:26 AM on October 29, 2014 [3 favorites]


Artful, the breach of confidence/bad faith arguments are that they used the information he provided (in confidence) to fire him (in bad faith). So fundamentally they're about the employment relationship between the CBC and JG - and the courts in recent years have been very clear that anything tied to the employment relationship has to go through the grievance process/labour agreement.

The defamation isn't really related to the employment contract (I don't think; could be convinced otherwise because it is about them firing him). But I've talked quite a bit above about how that's not worth paying attention to.
posted by Lemurrhea at 10:28 AM on October 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


"A desire to control the narrative at this magnitude by itself is telling. It's a sign of a person who has thought about this in some detail already and perhaps even anticipated it, not someone who was taken by surprise by false charges and is trying to feel out what the best next step might be to prove his innocence."

Not really. A desire to control the narrative is pretty natural for anyone in a situation like this, guilty or innocent. And much as trying to gauge whether or not someone was assaulted based on how they react is fallacious, saying that engaging crisis communication PR agencies is a sign of malfeasance is also fallacious. Likewise, we do know that he's had an inkling of this for quite some time, as he'd previously discussed it with the ceeb.

You can disagree with how he's going about attempting to control the narrative — I certainly do — but just trying to control the narrative in general is too noisy a signal to be worth basing conclusions on.
posted by klangklangston at 11:27 AM on October 29, 2014 [8 favorites]


Not really. A desire to control the narrative is pretty natural for anyone in a situation like this, guilty or innocent. And much as trying to gauge whether or not someone was assaulted based on how they react is fallacious, saying that engaging crisis communication PR agencies is a sign of malfeasance is also fallacious. Likewise, we do know that he's had an inkling of this for quite some time, as he'd previously discussed it with the ceeb.

You can disagree with how he's going about attempting to control the narrative — I certainly do — but just trying to control the narrative in general is too noisy a signal to be worth basing conclusions on.


I would agree with that on the logic alone (setting aside other pieces of evidence), and I was a bit hasty in taking that to a rational conclusion. My initial gut feeling was that this sort of aggressive image management is more consistent with one conclusion vs. the other, even at face value, but I don't think that's right any more giving it some more though.
posted by SpacemanStix at 11:46 AM on October 29, 2014


As It Happens interviewed one of the women today apparently!

We speak to a woman -- anonymously -- who claims she was hit by Jian Ghomeshi - this is not one of the four women who talked to The Star.

Apparently there will be another interview tomorrow elsewhere on the CBC.
posted by GuyZero at 3:10 PM on October 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


As It Happens has an interview with another woman -- anonymous but not one of those who talked to the Star -- describing how Ghomeshi hit her. That link goes to audio already broadcast in Atlantic, upcoming in eastern time zone.

What I reported earlier in the thread must have been a teaser for this, but I still don't know why no one else reported hearing it. (My report that he bit her seems to have been mishearing "hit".)
posted by maudlin at 3:16 PM on October 29, 2014


GuyZero, the next interview will be on The Current.
posted by maudlin at 3:21 PM on October 29, 2014


Holy smokes. We finally start to emerge from the Ford Brothers trainwreck and now we have this. The horrible people never stop showing up.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 3:43 PM on October 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


I feel sick.
posted by Capt. Renault at 3:50 PM on October 29, 2014


That As It Happens interview is utterly harrowing.

Fuck you, Jian Ghomeshi.
posted by senor biggles at 4:11 PM on October 29, 2014 [3 favorites]


When Carol asks her, "Why did he stop?" I was absolutely gobsmacked. Then the woman answered, "Why did he start? is the better question." ASK BETTER QUESTIONS
posted by LynnDee at 4:22 PM on October 29, 2014 [14 favorites]


The ...defensiveness* in her voice and words are just fucking heartbreaking. Thank you for speaking out, mystery woman.

*Need to explain herself? Something like that. I of course want to make clear that I am NOT saying that she needs to do so, or that she has anything to feel guilty/be defensive about. Just that of course she's going to feel this way, because that's what our culture requires of her.
posted by Lemurrhea at 4:22 PM on October 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


I think the question "Why did he stop?" was meant as "What made him stop?" or "What happened that made him stop?"
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 4:40 PM on October 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


More coming from The Star around 9:30. An actress who was assaulted. Will go on record with her name. This is according to The Star's twitter account.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 6:00 PM on October 29, 2014 [1 favorite]




The Star: 8 women accuse JG. The "named woman" is Lucy DeCoutere, aka Lucy from Trailer Park Boys.
posted by Lemurrhea at 6:36 PM on October 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


Video from The Star: Jian Ghomeshi reported to have choked & slapped Trailer Park Boys actress & RCAF Captain Lucy DeCoutere.
posted by thisclickableme at 6:37 PM on October 29, 2014


Two of the women who allege they were physically assaulted also say that before the alleged assaults in his home he introduced them to Big Ears Teddy, a stuffed bear, and he turned the bear around just before he slapped or choked them, saying that “Big Ears Teddy shouldn’t see this.”
Gross.
posted by jeather at 6:39 PM on October 29, 2014 [8 favorites]


... and the latest article from The Star: Jian Ghomeshi: 8 women accuse former CBC host of violence, sexual abuse or harassment.

Includes exceedingly creepy reference to "Big Ears Teddy."
posted by thisclickableme at 6:40 PM on October 29, 2014




Geez, that Melissa Martin piece is great, orange swan.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 6:47 PM on October 29, 2014 [3 favorites]


Later, Ghomeshi called her a degrading term. She objected, she says, and told him, “don’t talk to me like that.”

She says Ghomeshi shrank away from her at that moment, sulking. “You’re making me feel like a weirdo,” she recalls him saying. He then said, “You need to go,” and left the room.


Goddamn it, goddamn him.
posted by Lemurrhea at 6:48 PM on October 29, 2014 [4 favorites]


Yeah make sure you read that Martin piece posted by orange swan. It's chilling but very good.
posted by Lemurrhea at 6:49 PM on October 29, 2014 [3 favorites]


Holy crap. He is so done.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 7:03 PM on October 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


"You need to go" to jail.
posted by sockpup at 7:08 PM on October 29, 2014 [4 favorites]


The @bigearsteddy twitter account. Jesus.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 7:11 PM on October 29, 2014


Big Ears Teddy Twitter posting about abuse... in April.
posted by yellowbinder at 7:12 PM on October 29, 2014 [8 favorites]


Those tweets are from April. Wow.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 7:14 PM on October 29, 2014 [3 favorites]


I would like all the hours I spent listening to him back plz.
posted by mannequito at 7:17 PM on October 29, 2014 [3 favorites]


And all these women who don't know each other knew about the teddy bear detail how?

I can't believe the sheer narcissistic gall of the guy. He could have left the CBC quietly and none of this would have come out, but instead he launched a lawsuit and tried to brazen his way through it. He had to know any number of the women he's abused could step forward and tell their stories. He couldn't seriously have thought everyone would take his word over that of countless women. I don't even know how anyone could have bought into that Facebook post of his, or even how his PR company could ever have approved it (but then maybe they didn't and he insisted on posting it against their advice). It was laden with red flags.
posted by orange swan at 7:21 PM on October 29, 2014 [12 favorites]


Yeah, when all I knew was a friend of mine reading the Jian facebook post and thinking that there was a protest too much feel about it and a weirdness around the jilted ex stuff, I was still trying to keep an open mind until I knew more. Now, having read the coverage (starting with the Star's first article) and seeing the women coming out of the woodwork about how this was an open secret, I don't think that there's any doubt that he gets off on beating women without their consent. Shame that it had to come out this way, but at least there's very little chance of him getting to do it again.
posted by klangklangston at 7:22 PM on October 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


This Big Ears Teddy is some real Buffalo Bill shit.
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:28 PM on October 29, 2014 [16 favorites]


I can't believe the sheer narcissistic gall of the guy. He could have left the CBC quietly and none of this would have come out

FWIW, I'm not sure that's fully true. The Star / Jesse Brown definitely had some things, although they'd been sitting on it because they couldn't verify. If the CBC had something (which they must have for them to fire him), that might have been enough for the Star to go forward. At the least, it was a ticking time bomb.

Regardless, I agree with the rest of what you're saying. Nothing about his strategy made sense.

It's heartening to see a number of musicians I respect and enjoy on this petition.
posted by Lemurrhea at 7:28 PM on October 29, 2014


FWIW, I'm not sure that's fully true. The Star / Jesse Brown definitely had some things, although they'd been sitting on it because they couldn't verify. If the CBC had something (which they must have for them to fire him), that might have been enough for the Star to go forward. At the least, it was a ticking time bomb.

I think he knew and he decided to push all of his chips onto the table instead of walking away.

For anyone who thought this was a smoke-maybe-fire thing, I think this is the part where the house burns down.
posted by SpacemanStix at 7:37 PM on October 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


I hate our carceral system and I think it does more harm than good and I try to practice pacificism but by god I desperately want to see him behind bars.

So many victims. The sheer hubris.
posted by Phire at 7:40 PM on October 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


FB's CBC Fan Club says that Jian is no longer being represented by Navigator, and that all requests are being referred to "Rock-It Productions".
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:03 PM on October 29, 2014 [3 favorites]


Heh, just yesterday a friend was saying that Navigator needs to have a bunch of arms-length subsidiaries to keep their own reputation intact. Dunno if that's the case here, but it's funny.

This is a very interesting interview by Dan Savage of a woman who dated Ghomeshi, did some bdsm with him, and never had a consent problem. Savage's discussion of how to square the "two Ghomeshis" is pretty worthwhile.

I started off writing "claims never to have had a consent problem." How vigilant (some of us?) have to be to avoid those sexist patterns. Why wouldn't I take her at her word? Fuck you, me.
posted by Lemurrhea at 8:14 PM on October 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


I'm thinking all the people who signed this Change.org petition to support Jian are going to feel reeeeaaaaallly stupid by the end of this week.
posted by orange swan at 8:16 PM on October 29, 2014 [5 favorites]


I don't even know how anyone could have bought into that Facebook post of his, or even how his PR company could ever have approved it (but then maybe they didn't and he insisted on posting it against their advice). It was laden with red flags.

I was very dismayed to see some family and friends of mine reposting the FB post and making the "shame on you CBC" statements, because what I have learned after talking with some very good female friends and a lot of time on here is how difficult it is for women to come forward about this type of thing, how hard it is to be believed, and the risks that they face. So I felt very much that this was a moment where we had to listen to voices we don't listen to enough, and hear their stories, and give them the benefit of the doubt as opposed to the benefit of the doubt always going to the more powerful member of the equation. I had a good in person conversation with my brother-in-law and got him to understand that Jian was working hard to control the conversation and that it was not about a non-mainstream "lifestyle" but about assault.

And I am so, so impressed that more women have come forward, and that one of them has the courage to be public about it. Because, unfortunately, that is what it is going to take to puncture the bubble here and get the toxic shit that has been buried too long out. And maybe, maybe, the world gets a little better as a result. Maybe our media and public figures and we all learn that we should listen and wait and make space for the vulnerable instead of just accepting the story that is being presented.
posted by nubs at 8:22 PM on October 29, 2014 [9 favorites]


After reading about Big Ears Teddy... I can't. I can't even.

What horrifies me is how much worse any woman who reads that must be feeling.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:27 PM on October 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


Heh, except for this one:
Fuk You-Jian TORONTO, CANADA about 2 hours ago Liked 0
Jian you are an arrogant, misogynist coward. You're so called kink lifestyle is actually just a media play to cover up the fact you beat young women for kicks. Fuck you and burn in hell
I am watching TV and idly looking through all the comments for anyone I know. I should stop.
posted by Lemurrhea at 8:28 PM on October 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


I saw that one. There is also one retraction. But otherwise it's all true believers as far down as I've gone. And so few of them can even spell "consensual".
posted by orange swan at 8:31 PM on October 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


Even now on the CBC Fan Club, there's denial worthy of Ford Nation.
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:39 PM on October 29, 2014


The rock-it promotions website. If Jian has gone from Navigator to them - which I believe is unconfirmed - then something strange is going on.
posted by nubs at 8:43 PM on October 29, 2014


It's not really clear what the "switch" means.
posted by maledictory at 8:49 PM on October 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


Holy shit.

Well, we have some more stats now.

Four anonymous women = room for debate for lots of people.

Eight women, including a non-anonymous actress, plus Big Ears Teddy = bring on the pitchforks.

That PR missive is looking darkly farcical now.
posted by leopard at 8:49 PM on October 29, 2014 [3 favorites]


Hey, just found this one:

Victim Blamer VANCOUVER, CANADA 3 days ago Liked 0
I'm one of many people who are uncritically supporting Jian's PR - crafted version of events because I am influenced by a rape culture environment where powerful, popular men like Jian can get away with whatever they damn well please, and hey I like his show and that's way more important to me than whether he has at least three women accusing him of sexual assault.

posted by orange swan at 8:49 PM on October 29, 2014 [11 favorites]


Do you think he might need to reduce his lawsuit demand a little bit now? Maybe 30 million?
posted by leopard at 9:01 PM on October 29, 2014


Also, in further linemouth news, Jian to appear at upcoming Amanda Palmer show in Toronto because of course he is.
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 9:02 PM on October 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


Surprisingly not-tasteless humour about the situation: Stuart McLean replaces Jian Ghomeshi as host of Q

posted by GuyZero at 9:04 PM on October 29, 2014 [5 favorites]


Assuming that he is now repped by Rock It, how very clever to now be fronted (solely?) by a company whose public faces are all women.

Would be interesting to know whether he dropped Navigator or they dropped him.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:08 PM on October 29, 2014


Would be interesting to know whether he dropped Navigator or they dropped him.

As the tweet linked by maledictory indicates, the relationship with rock-it promotions is apparently not new; it might just mean that the strategy is to try to keep a "business as normal" approach, with Navigator working behind the scenes on everything.
posted by nubs at 9:18 PM on October 29, 2014


He does appear on the client page under entertainment.

I think Jian must be one very damaged person. I don't say that in judgment, but I cannot find any compassion for him either. I cannot comprehend the behavior the women describe, but I do believe them.
posted by jaruwaan at 9:19 PM on October 29, 2014


The fact that one of his victims is a Captain in our Air Force makes that line about being a good soldier seem all the more inappropriate. And it already seemed madly inappropriate given the last couple of weeks in Canada.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:21 PM on October 29, 2014 [10 favorites]


I wondered about that. The other victims whose stories we've heard summarized all seemed to have been in relatively powerless positions — fans, students, looking for a position in show biz, etc. — so I find myself wondering how he slipped and assaulted somebody with as much social capital and credibility as (I assume) an Air Force Captain would have.

(Blech. I hate that I'm wondering about this.)
posted by Lexica at 9:25 PM on October 29, 2014


I'm struggling to find the right words but there's something weird about how we live in a rape culture that doesn't believe women and is very deferential to powerful men -- but somehow the teddy bear, a relatively trivial detail, has the power to break the spell -- it makes him into a "weirdo" and suddenly people are much more comfortable wishing for his death for example.

Maybe I'm making too much of the teddy bear, I don't know.
posted by leopard at 9:28 PM on October 29, 2014 [4 favorites]


I think the fact that one victim is a Captain in the Air Force (in addition to an actor) is the reason she felt she could go public; that her life wouldn't be destroyed or taken away by this (and I also believe that some people will still try).

But I feel disturbed/discomforted by the fact that it (a) required someone to go public before a lot of people seemed to take what was going on as something other than a conspiracy; and (b) that it needed someone with these types of credentials to feel comfortable about speaking out publicly.
posted by nubs at 9:33 PM on October 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


Update: I am still waiting for my lefty friend who this morning was saying it had potential to be a Harper smear campaign to chime in. I'm betting on "I said it was possible and that we needed to wait for the facts, I was right to wait and now I agree with you."

While I wait, let's watch Jian Ghomeshi's facebook page get un-liked in real time.
posted by Lemurrhea at 9:36 PM on October 29, 2014 [27 favorites]


I'm really hoping Palmer will ask him to bail out, although the other day she said she would never disinvite a guest from her life. I've got tickets to the show and I can't imagine the scene if he shows. This is where I'd defend her on MeFi. I just really hope she reconsiders as this shit continues to develop.
posted by yellowbinder at 9:47 PM on October 29, 2014


if I were Mr. Ghomeshi, I wouldn't be going anywhere conspicuously public for a good long time.
posted by philip-random at 9:56 PM on October 29, 2014 [3 favorites]


Wouldn't be surprised if the next headline is suicide. What is this dude without the fame and secret brutality?
posted by Scram at 11:11 PM on October 29, 2014 [4 favorites]


The news of this hit me like a ton of bricks. I've listened to this guy multiple times a week every week for the last few years and always just assumed that he, being a rational and likable personality on the radio, would be the same in the flesh. This doesn't seem to be so.

I considered myself a fan and his show was the only thing on CBC Radio that I was interested in. But, unless these allegations against him somehow turn out to be false (which I, like most people here, doubt), I don't think I could stomach hearing his voice again.

I'm so, so utterly disappointed.
posted by GlassHeart at 11:20 PM on October 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


I'm actually starting to feel for the guy. No, I don't buy his bullshit. I just wonder what happened that so distorted him (maybe as a little kid, maybe just when the fame + POWER came).
posted by philip-random at 11:32 PM on October 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


Wouldn't be surprised if the next headline is suicide.

Ugh, can we not? Lets focus on his actions.
posted by Deoridhe at 11:34 PM on October 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


Maybe I'm making too much of the teddy bear, I don't know.

I think it makes it easier to "other" him, which makes it easier to wish horrible things to him or speculate on his mental health. I think it's important to not forget that he is, by all accounts, a charming, affable man who made many friends and had many supporters, including his job superiors for a while.

Many charming, affable men are just that. Some are predators. By acting as if predators couldn't be charming, affable men, we offer cover to other predators who will use the same well-worn, well-trodden, reliable path to getting away with abusing people.
posted by Deoridhe at 11:38 PM on October 29, 2014 [7 favorites]


Charming, powerful man who very successfully juggles a charismatic public life and sadistic private life. Sounds like a sociopath.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:51 PM on October 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


... or a generic Hollywood villain.
posted by philip-random at 11:54 PM on October 29, 2014


Maybe I'm making too much of the teddy bear, I don't know.

It's a childish detail that punctures to image of a powerful man, or perhaps plays into other stereotypes whereby powerful men just want their stern mommy to love them. Either way, it feels like a window into a sick psyche that previously was represented by CBC billboards, Moxy Fruvous mix tapes and a radio show that had a lot of appeal to a lot of people for being smart, progressive and just kind of awesomely Canadian.
posted by fatbird at 11:54 PM on October 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


Offhand observation: this story seems to be facilitating discussion of a collection of topics that has been simmering just below the surface of our collective psyche for some time now. Much like Fifty Shades of Grey opened up BDSM as a topic of casual/polite conversation, people can hopefully use this as lead in to discussions about the nature of consent, abuse, etc. There is much to be said in as open a format as we can muster, and I think we're ready. We just needed a catalyst.

The more we collectively accept the reality that someone can put on a public face that totally masks the luridness of their private personality, and keep it up for years and years, the more we'll hopefully be able to stop abusive people in their tracks in future, before they are able to do much damage.

I may have missed it, but I haven't seen an statement from Jian himself after the allegations started coming out. It could be that even he believed he was simply a Good Guy with a slightly unusual predilection. IMO: he needs to be very deliberate in his next action, because the wall of well-intentioned ignorance he might have been crouching behind has been kicked down. I think his mainstream media career is over if he doesn't fully acknowledge wrongdoing, take responsibility, and try to offer restitution.
posted by mantecol at 12:35 AM on October 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


“You’re making me feel like a weirdo,” she recalls him saying.

Now everybody knows you are a weirdo, Jian. For a sociopath like this, that has to be really painful - for the rest of his life the mask is off, no more naive marks to play with, we all know. He doesn't get to be a cool kid ever again.
posted by Meatbomb at 2:35 AM on October 30, 2014 [6 favorites]


Has anyone come forward to say they had kinky sex with him and had no problems? Not that that would be hugely powerful evidence in my view-- friends always come out of the woodwork to defend beleaguered celebrities. But still, I am waiting for someone to corroborate the way he describes it on Facebook, if not for accusers, then for themselves.
posted by BibiRose at 4:30 AM on October 30, 2014


Yes, Dan Savage has interviewed a woman who say she had consensual kinky sex with him. Most of what she says he liked is pretty much what the other women said he liked, except she consented to it.
posted by jeather at 5:00 AM on October 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


Seen on Twitter: "Once I was the King of Q. (Now I podcast from my basement...)"

Dying here.
posted by orange swan at 6:10 AM on October 30, 2014


Seen on Twitter: "Once I was the King of Q. (Now I podcast from my basement...)"

I know some great people who live in basement apartments, let's not malign them.
posted by Fizz at 6:17 AM on October 30, 2014


There was a woman interviewed on Ontario AM this morning who was talking about how and why those women didn't go to the police or air their names as so many of his defenders have been asserting all along. I'm paraphrasing here but essentially she said it boils down to no one believing them and that what we're teaching our daughters in terms of domestic abuse is that It Is Our Fault. When you're too afraid to speak up for fear of no one believing you and total strangers also slandering you, that is a problem we need to deal with.
posted by Kitteh at 6:18 AM on October 30, 2014 [6 favorites]


I've been thinking a lot this morning about how initial reaction to this differed from the initial reaction to the Rob Ford crack scandal. Many of the claims Ghomeshi's early defenders made could also have applied to Ford in the early days (firm denial from the accused, "smear campaign," allegations are being made by people who have remained anonymous, "innocent until proven guilty," "no charges have been laid," "what he does in his private life is his own business," etc etc). Hmm, I wonder what the key difference could possibly be . . . .? (he wondered sarcastically)

I know some people did rush to defend Ford in the early days. I'm just carrying some bitterness towards generally progressive / enlightened people within my sphere of awareness who dropped the ball in a really depressing and deliberate way by leaping to Ghomeshi's defense earlier in the week. I guess we now know how many women's voices are equal to a man's voice in contemporary, progressive, listens-to-CBC Canada - somewhere between 3 or 4 (not enough) and 8 (enough).
posted by erlking at 6:35 AM on October 30, 2014 [6 favorites]


I used to listen to Q regularly before CBC changed their schedule on SiriusXM. I remembering being ticked off because I would have to listen online or download podcasts instead..which I hate doing. ...

My wife and I go back and forth sometimes about good & evil. She believes the universe is basically good, man is born good. I have always been more cynical and think our universe is slowly going to shit. She is strong enough in her belief that I have been rethinking my view recently, trying to be more optimistic.

And then shit like this.
posted by dukes909 at 6:50 AM on October 30, 2014


Ghomeshi has issued a brief statement on his Facebook page in response to the Star's story. TL;DR: no comment, thanks for the support.
posted by dry white toast at 7:12 AM on October 30, 2014


That's a little less bold than the last post, eh?
posted by Elementary Penguin at 7:22 AM on October 30, 2014 [5 favorites]


The Toronto Sun posted an article about Jian previously telling an audience about the role his bear plays re his anxiety disorder. There was another local article posted at the time (July).
posted by maledictory at 7:24 AM on October 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


He's going to "meet the allegations directly" but not speak to the media? It's easy to comment when you just have to comment about anonymous allegations, but less easy to accuse specific, well-liked women (well-liked has an effect, sadly)?

(His facebook page was, earlier, being de-liked at a rate of about 300/hour, now it's at 1200/hour.)
posted by jeather at 7:25 AM on October 30, 2014


If some of those comments on that FB post are anything to go by, it's pretty clear what kind of supporters he's going to be left with and well....yup.
posted by Kitteh at 7:27 AM on October 30, 2014


Lucy DeCoutere on The Current.
posted by jeather at 7:30 AM on October 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


How accurate is that Facebook Like counter thing? Because every once in a while the number of likes goes up, and I want to know what sort of person waits to like a person on Facebook until after eight women accuse him of sexual assault and rape.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 7:37 AM on October 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


They could be following out of morbid curiosity, or what's colloquially known as "hate following".

I also note that two of my friends still "like" his page. I do so hope it's a matter of them having liked it previously and not having remembered to unfollow.
posted by orange swan at 7:39 AM on October 30, 2014


The people who want to watch the trainwreck as it happens?
posted by jeather at 7:40 AM on October 30, 2014


I'm actually starting to feel for the guy. No, I don't buy his bullshit. I just wonder what happened that so distorted him

So I read his memoir and he's clearly a pretty anxious person. There was a lot of pressure on him as a kid, he was a bit of an outsider as a kid, etc. I don't buy his story either, but maybe to him it's actually true. At any rate he clearly has a huge drive to get external approval.

To me the weird dichotomy is not that he turns his teddy bear around when he gets it on but that on air he's pretty outspoken as being pro-woman (not sure if he's every called himself a feminist) but that in his sex life it's slap first and get consent later. He spent a lot of time manipulating and managing his image but apparently no time reflecting on his actions. Dude needs some better therapy help.
posted by GuyZero at 7:45 AM on October 30, 2014 [3 favorites]


Eh I started following his twitter account after this started - not really out of hate-following, but because I'm invested in the story and wanting to keep up-to-date. The counter is for his page in general (as compared to a specific statement), so the same thing could be happening there. It's the same problem we have with favourites.

A couple journalist friends I know who have on their own facebook pages been strongly for believing the anonymous women "like" his page, although I don't know when they did so. I wouldn't put too much thought into it.
posted by Lemurrhea at 7:47 AM on October 30, 2014


He's going to "meet the allegations directly" but not speak to the media?

My wife and I were discussing where this goes now last night, and my thought was that one of the possible next steps in his strategy will be to try to find the "Oprah moment" - where he can have a friendly chat with someone, confess that he has problems and issues, apologize to everyone he has hurt, and announce that he is seeking treatment.

Not sure who fills the role of "Oprah" in this scenario, though.
posted by nubs at 7:48 AM on October 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


A few things I was discussing with my wife over the past few days...

1) I don't think anyone's brought this up, but I wonder how deliberate the CBC's timing of this was. The sacking came the day before the municipal elections, including Toronto; I wonder if this is a decision they were sitting on and decided to launch moments before the elections in the hope that another Ford Bros. shit-show would completely eclipse this news and help keep it quiet. It doesn't seem to have worked -- for once, the Fords haven't managed to fart and stumble their way all over the news. The TorStar piece felt like it was only three-quarters baked but they had to haul it out of the oven when the CBC made the announcement. Just a feeling.

2) Ghomeshi's probably now (deservedly) stuck in what I now think of as the Dennis Miller Spiral. Even the most ardent fan with fingers firmly in ears will now not be able to think of him without at least wondering if he's a violent rapist, and knowing for absolute sure that he is at least a Grade-A creep. He's going to be stuck in a MRA feedback loop where the only people that give him the attention he clearly craves are going to be people with super shitty ideas, and so he's going to have to adopt and pander to those super shitty ideas, which will completely lock him into a C-List Ranter persona where nobody with five brain cells will give him the time of day.

On preview, I think you can Oprah Moment your way out of a drug or alcohol addiction, or infidelity, or a false public persona, but I think if you're revealed to be somebody who is inherently physically dangerous to be around, that's a lot harder to come back from. I can see myself forgiving a heroin addict, or an alcoholic, or a fabulist, but "Yeah, I promise I'm not a sexually violent predator any more, pinky swear" just doesn't resonate the same way.
posted by Shepherd at 7:54 AM on October 30, 2014 [10 favorites]


I don't buy his story either, but maybe to him it's actually true.

This is what I think is so threatening to some people - the idea that maybe they've done something, or had something done to them, that wasn't consensual, but they didn't know because they didn't care to know or had somehow never learned what consent really means. No one wants to look back and think "you know, in retrospect, maybe I assaulted someone," so instead they double down on denial.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:19 AM on October 30, 2014 [6 favorites]


I would surmise from Ghomeshi's use of the word "allegations" that he intends to double down in his forthcoming statement. The man is not smart.
posted by orange swan at 8:20 AM on October 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


"Actually..."
posted by Fizz at 8:23 AM on October 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


"Meeting the allegations directly" sounds like he's about to sue Lucy DeCoutere.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 8:25 AM on October 30, 2014


Reporter Melissa Martin on what it was like to know about Jian Ghomeshi's reputation with women without ever being in a position to do much about it.

This is the most fascinating aspects of this story to me. I went to school in Toronto in Moxy Fruvous' heyday, and somehow even though I wasn't a fan and not in the scene at all, I Knew About Jian. We passed this info like the 101 Dalmatians' twilight bark, from bars to chatrooms across entire dorms. It's amazing how effective this girl grapevine is, that I and hundreds of other women knew to tell friends headed to a show not to hang out backstage... but it's also so heartbreaking when it fails and someone gets hurt, and so enraging that so-called "gossip" is our best weapon against this kind of creep.
posted by Freyja at 8:37 AM on October 30, 2014 [26 favorites]


I am super sad about how many more women may be out there who were frightened to share their stories, all because of the power and klout this dude has.

(I have gotten over being sad that Jian ruined my very positive first impression of the CBC and moved on to being very fucking pissed at his level of awful.)
posted by Kitteh at 8:40 AM on October 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


The Lucy DeCoutere interview from The Current this morning that jeather linked above is really, really good. Her affect is very matter-of-fact, her take on the whole situation & her reaction to what happened to her is a valid & common one that doesn't get a lot of attention/credence in these situations where neither the media nor the society we live in seem to be able to handle nuance. She's plainspoken, she comes off as almost too honest in a way I find refreshing (it's clearly not "present yourself in the best light possible to the mainstream listener" media-managed), she calls herself "naive" and I am like that myself all too often so I identify with it. Her take is complex & human.

Her wrap-up is great: about how she felt his Facebook statement sounded, about how she didn't consider her particular incident as traumatic, about how she has nothing to lose or gain by coming forward, about how she's been thinking how these other women must really feel they will be targeted, about how something is wrong in society if women feel that way. It's all worth the listen.
posted by flex at 8:46 AM on October 30, 2014 [10 favorites]


Freyja, the 'twilight bark' allusion you used is pitch perfect. I'd love to read a paper on these sorts of social communication systems.
posted by whittaker at 8:52 AM on October 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


(I have gotten over being sad that Jian ruined my very positive first impression of the CBC and moved on to being very fucking pissed at his level of awful.)

I never liked CBC as a brand - it's too artificial in terms of "This is Canada!" - but I am passionately in love with radio, and I have liked some of the shows and some of the hosts for years. While I never listened to Q regularly, I did like Jian Ghomeshi's public persona (which I feel stupid about now), and was excited to see CBC getting some airplay in the US thanks to Q.

I liked the entrepreneurial approach, and it pointed to a way forward for CBC Radio, which is always getting cut, despite providing way more value per dollar spent than CBC television, which is generally inauthentic and a waste of money. I was not a huge fan of the show Q per se, but I liked the idea of CBC Radio punching above its weight. Despite the stupidity of CBC corporate culture.

So while I think violence against women, and violence against these women is obviously a much more important issue than the fate of CBC Radio, I still am pretty sad about the state of CBC Radio now.

And how could all of this behaviour, whispered or not, have been ignored?
posted by Nevin at 9:12 AM on October 30, 2014 [3 favorites]


"Not sure who fills the role of "Oprah" in this scenario, though."

Don Cherry.
posted by klangklangston at 9:26 AM on October 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


And how could all of this behaviour, whispered or not, have been ignored?

The sad thing is that it not being ignored would be the surprising case. Ignoring it is SOP.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 9:32 AM on October 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


"Not sure who fills the role of "Oprah" in this scenario, though."

Rex Murphy
posted by Nevin at 9:33 AM on October 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


For those who are talking about the likes on his Facebook page and such, this brief analysis of deleted comments on his original post may be of interest.
posted by torisaur at 9:33 AM on October 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


I wonder how deliberate the CBC's timing of this was.

I doubt the timing had much to do with anything except the fear that the Star piece would be published before they could do anything about it. Thus this all happened on a weekend to anticipate what they thought would come out in the paper the next week.

I think it likely that the CBC brass were well aware of the Jesse Brown investigation and simply wanted to be ahead of the story to avoid looking like idiots without a plan.
posted by bonehead at 9:41 AM on October 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


It's amazing how effective this girl grapevine is, that I and hundreds of other women knew to tell friends headed to a show not to hang out backstage... but it's also so heartbreaking when it fails and someone gets hurt, and so enraging that so-called "gossip" is our best weapon against this kind of creep.

Yes and no. I had no idea about this, and I'm relatively media knowledgable--but I'm a man, outside of Toronto, more into film than music and radio. This grapevine seems to have a very clear boundary--once I was "read into" it because everyone started discussing it openly, it had a huge impact on my perception of things, but until then I was much more open to staying "balanced" and "both sides". I'd be very curious to see someone explore this aspect of it: how the grapevine's knowledge, like a liquid, filled up a social network as much as possible, but never spilled over into print, say, or something publicly articulated that might have shaped initial reaction to the story differently.

What's happening now with this grapevine aspect is almost identical to the skeptic community and Michael Shermer, and the SciFi community and too many authors/editors to list here.
posted by fatbird at 9:46 AM on October 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


Also, of course, these types of grapevine stories are only effective if you're well-connected enough to hear about them. Which means that the women who remain ignorant and so are more vulnerable to abuse by these guys 'everyone' knows about will also tend to be women with few connections, and therefore less power.
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:54 AM on October 30, 2014 [9 favorites]


They still seem to be committed to trying to be everything to everyone while they’re completely cut off at the knees. And you’re feeling it in the programming across the board. Like some of the radio stuff these days feels like college radio. Meanwhile, in that radio service you have this incredibly cost-effective service. For very little investment you’re reaching a huge audience, meanwhile they’re starving it and still putting money into just ridiculous flights of fancy.
posted by Nevin at 9:56 AM on October 30, 2014


Our broken discourse about sexual assault:
Every time I saw a friend click-to-like Ghomeshi’s Facebook post, I recognized that this was one more person that I could no longer fully trust. What’s frightening is that these friends supporting Ghomeshi were people who would have been appalled by sexual assault committed by a stranger. But it’s different, I guess, when the accused is someone whose radio show you’ve enjoyed for the past eight years.
posted by Lemurrhea at 10:08 AM on October 30, 2014 [8 favorites]


Lemurrhea's link is spot on in terms of finding out which of my friends were immediately trotting out the "exes can be crazy bitches," "ugh, these are just horrible rumors; he cleared up his side of the story with his FB," "why did any of them come forward or go to the police," "well, if they didn't report it when it happened, then obviously it was consensual," etc.

A few of them are guys I know (and one in particular who is stridently defending JG just makes me "Well, that is no fucking surprise") but A LOT are women. Women I like, women who are mothers. And that's what is flooring me. The inability to listen and be empathetic to women while they are raising their own.
posted by Kitteh at 10:12 AM on October 30, 2014 [6 favorites]


Elizabeth May is one of our local MP's, and I have a number of friends and acquaintances aligned with May and the Green Party here in Victoria. I know they must be just crushed by May's remarks about Jian Ghomeshi. Like, WTF?
posted by Nevin at 10:25 AM on October 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


"And that's what is flooring me. The inability to listen and be empathetic to women while they are raising their own."

Rape culture isn't just about the actions of low-empathy gamers or drunken dudebros. It's also about the quiet people who turn a blind eye and can't believe that that people they like do bad things. Any conversation needs to include how we all need to examine our assumptions and actions, not just those of a few very visible examples.

Condemning a predator like Ghomeshi or a #GamerGate idiot is a no-brainer. Challenging an aunt or a friend or a young guy who condones or actively ignores---that's where real change has to happen.
posted by bonehead at 10:39 AM on October 30, 2014 [10 favorites]


Not sure who fills the role of "Oprah" in this scenario, though.

I was mulling this over last night, and the only person in Canada I can think of with the requisite gravitas is Peter Mansbridge. I doubt he'd do it, though.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:43 AM on October 30, 2014


Women I like, women who are mothers. And that's what is flooring me. The inability to listen and be empathetic to women while they are raising their own.

That's fear, though. The world seems a lot less threatening when you tell yourself that bad things happen to bad people (or deny the bad things outright).
posted by cotton dress sock at 10:44 AM on October 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


Not sure who fills the role of "Oprah" in this scenario, though

I'd love if it were Jann Arden.
posted by kitcat at 10:51 AM on October 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


Elizabeth May is a great example the women Kitteh describes, passively condoning rape culture, and how pervasive it can be even among "progressives".
posted by bonehead at 10:52 AM on October 30, 2014


Women I like, women who are mothers. And that's what is flooring me. The inability to listen and be empathetic to women while they are raising their own.

That's fear, though. The world seems a lot less threatening when you tell yourself that bad things happen to bad people (or deny the bad things outright).


Or you tell yourself that bad things happen to people who make bad choices. You will be ok because you don't make bad choices.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 11:01 AM on October 30, 2014 [11 favorites]


I think we should give May a break. She admitted that she hadn't read the Star article before making her Twitter comment. She would have been going off of the CBC news item that it had 'ended it's relationship' with him and Jian's FB piece. We're right to expect a lot from her and yes it was a foolish thing to do. But I think any condemnation of May should stop there, at 'foolish'.
posted by kitcat at 11:02 AM on October 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


Nevin: I voted for Elizabeth May and was very happy that the Green Party leader got a seat here. But my opinion of her and the Green Party has been declining ever since (also due to other weird tone-deaf things high-ups in the Green Party have been saying and then back peddling on), and this is just one more reason I'll think twice about voting for her or the party again.

My wife never liked her, on first meeting her said "that woman has no soul." At least I never like Jian Gomeshi...
posted by Emanuel at 11:04 AM on October 30, 2014




I think we should give May a break.

Well, yeah, I guess, actually, no I don't agree with you... May is an MP. I suppose like Judy Rebick she is paid to have opinions, but unlike Rebick May is accountable for what she says. It's in her job description.
posted by Nevin at 11:25 AM on October 30, 2014


Anyone know how I can get hard numbers on the decline of likes over time on Jian's FB page?
posted by KathyK at 11:42 AM on October 30, 2014


i understand why people wonder if jian had consensual rough sex and why some have a hard time squaring those two sides - someone trusted in the top role and also someone who abuses it. i sadly find it less confusing. i had consensual sex with a "missing stair" off and on for years. he was one of my closest friends. i realized in retrospect that people had tried to tell me the rumors. i realized in retrospect that i was being used, purposefully or otherwise, to make him seem safe around other women - "oh, nadawi likes him, he must be alright."...and then, it was no longer consensual and then all the half whispers came rushing back, and a couple questionable encounters between us previous to the drugging came back, and i realized what part i had played, completely blind, in his assaults. the most fucked up part about it is that sometimes i miss him - not the rapist, but my friend. it's complicated the tenderness i still feel for parts of him.
posted by nadawi at 11:49 AM on October 30, 2014 [11 favorites]


Maybe May shouldn't get a break for clueless, premature opining on Twitter, but I don't agree that May is guilty of "passively condoning rape culture."
posted by kitcat at 11:54 AM on October 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


At this point, if Person A is accused of sexual assault and Person B's first reaction is to try to find excuses or explanations that support Person A, I do think they're condoning and supporting rape culture. That's one of the cornerstones of rape culture, isn't it? "Disbelieve the accuser, attack the victim, support the alleged perpetrator because women are lying sluts who make up false rape accusations."
posted by Lexica at 11:58 AM on October 30, 2014 [5 favorites]


I like that Elizabeth May made a stink about Harper trying to pass that long bill a few years back, and she pushed for attention to the fact that there were lots of amendments trying to be made "under the rug." That was cool. As a person she strikes me as... impulsive? Like the first to yell loudly without fully thinking about it. And also kind of not dialed in socially. She seemed kind of tone deaf that one time they let her in on the debates. Not someone I'd invite to my party (though tbh I wouldn't invite the others either, except Duceppe). So I was surprised by her tweet (and that an MP would make a statement about a celebrity figure like that) but her retraction (i was too upset about the fallen soldier!) was even worse.

To the person that asked - this morning the ghomeshi meter was at ~130kl, now it's at 99.1kl. Current stats are -630lph and -15.6kl per day.

kl = kilo-likes
lph = likes per hour

I cant believe I just made a unit of metric with Likes in it.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 11:59 AM on October 30, 2014 [10 favorites]


Okay, then how about Sheila Copps and Carolyn Bennett, both former MPs, who in the last 24 hours have BOTH tweeted blaming these women for not coming forward, allowing others to be victimized. Copps also said that Ghomeshi was entitled to due process. Staggering how a former lawmaker doesn't get that you're only entitled to due process in the criminal justice system, not when you're an embarrassment to your employer.

So yeah, I think this is absolutely passively condoning rape culture. It's saying it's your fault for not coming forward when everything about our society puts victims who do step forward through utter hell...including, but not limited to, women in positions of influence in our society and government portraying you as the villain.
posted by dry white toast at 12:00 PM on October 30, 2014 [4 favorites]


And how could all of this behaviour, whispered or not, have been ignored?

Because of the huge number of people who had a stake in it not coming to light, right down to the people who just want to enjoy their late morning radio in peace.
posted by dry white toast at 12:02 PM on October 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


Not to mention the fear of reprisal from someone with more money/power/influence than you.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:04 PM on October 30, 2014


the chances are high that in some/most of our extended social groups over our lifetimes there are/were/will be missing stairs. instead of asking how so many can "know" and do nothing, use situations like this to heighten your awareness of what this looks like and keep your eyes and ears perked. even for someone like jian, who violently assaulted women, what those who knew about jian saw was :

Warned by this, I kept my distance and just watched. I saw the way he moved towards women, introduced himself, and pushed his way into their space. There was something about the way his hands slid over tense and hunched-up shoulders, found their way to the small of a half-turned back, a waist, a hip. Nothing you’d call a crime, not quite. Nothing you could name.

it can be so subtle and we've all probably missed noticing that missing stair a bunch of times in our lives. all we can do now is try not to miss any more.
posted by nadawi at 12:16 PM on October 30, 2014 [3 favorites]


At this point, if Person A is accused of sexual assault and Person B's first reaction is to try to find excuses or explanations that support Person A, I do think they're condoning and supporting rape culture.

This case was actually even worse than that since Elizabeth May didn't even wait to hear the accusations. Ghomeshi said, "I'm going to be accused of rape" and she supported him instantly.

She actually could make good on this. She could talk about how this is part of rape culture and how even people who consider themselves feminists can fall into these patterns sometimes. But she's refused to do that. She's tried to make it an issue about physical violence (as if her actions would be more acceptable if Ghomeshi had raped women without hitting them), she's blamed it on the Ottawa attacks (pretty nasty, if you ask me), and she continues to talk about her compassion for Ghomeshi.

In fact, her last statement was "For somebody who has tumbled so far, I don’t have contempt for someone in those circumstances. I have compassion." So maybe she doesn't have compassion for all rapists, just the famous ones. WTF.
posted by nicolas.bray at 12:20 PM on October 30, 2014 [3 favorites]


There is definitely condoning of rape culture going on, tons of it, I just don't think it's being done by May. Her actual tweet was:

I think Jian is wonderful. Likely TMI for an old fogey like me, but his private life is none of our beeswax.

It sounds to me like she clumsily jumped on it as a labour and discrimination issue - "CBC fired Jian for having deviant sex? That's nuts." Again, all she had read was his spin, which was "I've been fired because of my private sex life".

Honestly, I'm not even a green party supporter. I think seeing and calling out rape culture apologists is really important.
posted by kitcat at 12:23 PM on October 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


Again, all she had read was his spin,

Exactly. I'm not sure why you think this is a defence. This is not even thinking a woman is lying when she accuses a man of rape. This is assuming that she will be lying without even waiting to hear what she has to say.
posted by nicolas.bray at 12:27 PM on October 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


kitcat: I don't see how that makes it better. Scenario:
Man says "I'm about to be accused of something negative that's sexually related."
Viewer: "I BELIEVE YOU NO MATTER WHAT."
The train of thought is still "he's being accused of something negative that's sexual, but I don't need to know who's accusing him or even what he's being accused of because ___________" (a blank which usually gets filled in with "women are liars" etc.).
posted by Lexica at 12:29 PM on October 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


Again, all she had read was his spin, which was "I've been fired because of my private sex life"

And yet, unless I missed it somewhere, he hasn't sued for wrongful dismissal nor initiated arbitration proceedings.

It's an interesting detail that AFAIK none of his defenders (who are, thankfully, dwindling) have picked up on.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:29 PM on October 30, 2014


“I think Jian is wonderful. Likely TMI for an old fogey like me, but his private life is none of our beeswax.”

If you can't see how saying "oh, you shouldn't be talking about those things in public" based on hearing only the accused's version of events propagates rape culture, I think you need read up on what rape culture actually means.
posted by dry white toast at 12:31 PM on October 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


regardless of anything else, a person in her position should be reserved enough to give the news a few hours to develop or not. rushing to twitter isn't really defensible. there's no harm in letting a story develop a little before giving out your 140 character reaction.
posted by nadawi at 12:34 PM on October 30, 2014 [4 favorites]


And yet, unless I missed it somewhere, he hasn't sued for wrongful dismissal nor initiated arbitration proceedings.

Actually, yes he has. This piece by the Financial Post argues he's actually doing it because in the course of making statements pursuant to a lawsuit, he's free to say anything he wants about the accusers without being subject to libel.
posted by dry white toast at 12:35 PM on October 30, 2014


This tweet from April (the bigearsteddy twitter) was used in a piece I read somewhere this morning that implied the bear had a video camera in it. And given the weird behaviour of turning it around I can see how that might be true.
posted by aclevername at 12:37 PM on October 30, 2014


Okay, then how about Sheila Copps and Carolyn Bennett, both former MPs, who in the last 24 hours have BOTH tweeted blaming these women for not coming forward, allowing others to be victimized. Copps also said that Ghomeshi was entitled to due process. Staggering how a former lawmaker doesn't get that you're only entitled to due process in the criminal justice system, not when you're an embarrassment to your employer.

How about them? Just because they are both former MP's with name recognition does not mean they are not guilty of making ignorant comments. Neither of them could be considered subtle or intellectual anyway.

As for May, having not read the Star piece is not a suitable defense. I avoided discussing this on Facebook because I thought it was a dangerous topic. If a schmuck like me can show some public restraint, why not May? It's an issue of leadership.
posted by Nevin at 12:40 PM on October 30, 2014


dry white toast: "Actually, yes he has"

Actually -- and that article is not super clear on this -- what he's suing for is explicitly not wrongful dismissal (which I think would have to go to arbitration because of the labor agreement) but rather breach of confidence and defamation. Lemurreah previously linked to the actual claim which is here.
posted by mhum at 12:43 PM on October 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


As for May, having not read the Star piece is not a suitable defense. I avoided discussing this on Facebook because I thought it was a dangerous topic. If a schmuck like me can show some public restraint, why not May? It's an issue of leadership.

In case it was unclear from the tone of my comment, I'm with you. Staggering lack of leadership on May's part; all of them frankly.
posted by dry white toast at 12:45 PM on October 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


I read his Facebook post before I knew anything (at all) about him. I was inclined to believe him at first. The part about how CBC had seen his proof that it was consentual, and agreed with him, was really powerful. It didn't occur to me at first that it is not actually possible to possess such proof.

On preview, I was just wondering to myself if that bear had anything to do with his supposed proof. Really creepy if there's anything to it.
posted by mantecol at 12:46 PM on October 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


Actually, yes he has.

No, he's suing for defamation and breach of confidence.

'Wrongful dismissal' states that one has been terminated without legal cause--against the law, actually. He isn't contesting his dismissal, which is one of the more glaring admissions of guilt here, even if inadvertent.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:48 PM on October 30, 2014


I really don't understand how people are imagining this bear thing working. Yes, there are lots of bears with "nanny cams" in them out there. But the cameras are in the *front* for a couple very obvious reasons.
posted by nicolas.bray at 12:49 PM on October 30, 2014


good point. Apologies.
posted by dry white toast at 12:50 PM on October 30, 2014


I really don't understand how people are imagining this bear thing working. Yes, there are lots of bears with "nanny cams" in them out there. But the cameras are in the *front* for a couple very obvious reasons.

Which, if said bear has a camera in it (which would be weird as hell, I'm just following the train of thought), would completely explain "Big Ears Teddy doesn't need to see this" in a very creepy way; if that is the case, then he knew exactly what he was doing and was avoiding having it recorded.

If that tweet is accurate and there is video evidence, I'd be surprised if it hasn't been completely destroyed at this point.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:55 PM on October 30, 2014 [7 favorites]


Elizabeth May is a long time personal friend of Bill Clinton. So she already had the experience of mixed feelings when a powerful friend is accused of exploiting their position to make their way with women. Maybe in some way that still informed her kneejerk reaction.
posted by TimTypeZed at 12:55 PM on October 30, 2014


JG on the bear...
posted by cotton dress sock at 12:56 PM on October 30, 2014


The theory is that he wasn't quite stupid enough to film himself committing crimes, so he would film sex and then turn it around when he was going to starting hitting women. It's a nastier but yet perhaps less disturbing theory than it just being a bear and the line being sincere. More sociopathic, less psychotic.
posted by tavella at 12:58 PM on October 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


Aye, my point being he knew he was committing crimes, rendering all his 'just consensual BDSM' stuff even more self-serving and vomit-inducing.

If there was a camera I mean. Even just saying that the teddy bear shouldn't see what he was doing indicates an awareness of how wrong his actions were.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:00 PM on October 30, 2014




She actually could make good on this. She could talk about how this is part of rape culture and how even people who consider themselves feminists can fall into these patterns sometimes.

RIGHT? Fuck I would be thrilled if someone with a great deal of credibility/prestige would be like: it doesn't matter if you were right from the beginning. The inclination to believe men accused of assault over women goes deep in our cultural history. We will all make mistakes in which we reinforce sexist patterns, and we won't notice them. Please call me out on it, and please believe me if I apologize for it."

I think very few people would continue to have a problem with someone saying that. Oh it would be so wonderful if the CYA/don't back down mindset would die.

No, he's suing for defamation and breach of confidence.

'Wrongful dismissal' states that one has been terminated without legal cause--against the law, actually. He isn't contesting his dismissal, which is one of the more glaring admissions of guilt here, even if inadvertent.


Eh not really. The breach of confidence & bad faith are specifically about how they were wrong to fire him in the manner that they did. It's not a free-floating breach of confidence, but that they used his admissions (presumably of kink) for an invalid purpose. More importantly, I'm pretty sure the grievance process would be fully confidential, so we won't necessarily know about it.
posted by Lemurrhea at 1:08 PM on October 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


What Kind of Woman Won't Report Sexual Assault?

HuffPo Canada, written by a former Crown prosecutor.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:28 PM on October 30, 2014 [12 favorites]


In another case a 16-year-old girl (whose identity had been closely guarded for two years) was under cross-examination about intimate and humiliating details when a school group on a field trip trooped into the courtroom to watch the trial. They were from her high school.
fucking hell.
posted by nadawi at 1:36 PM on October 30, 2014 [6 favorites]


This is a pretty good discussion of how the law has evolved with regards to the whole "you can't consent to assault" and how it interrelates with sexual assault. Not great, but a decent reference to the leading cases on the issues.
posted by Lemurrhea at 1:48 PM on October 30, 2014


Navigator (the PR agency discussed above) says it is not (no longer?) representing Ghomeshi.
posted by saturday_morning at 1:50 PM on October 30, 2014


Perhaps Navigator thought that continuing to represent Ghomeshi would damage their brand.
posted by beau jackson at 1:55 PM on October 30, 2014 [4 favorites]


I legit think that's what happened, beau jackson.

TW, but: Jian Ghomeshi fans vow to support even if allegations are false.
posted by Lemurrhea at 1:57 PM on October 30, 2014


Seems like 'no longer'; "the circumstances of our engagement have changed and we are no longer able to continue."

Nice to know there's a level of toxicity even an amoral PR firm won't touch.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:57 PM on October 30, 2014


i find myself wondering if he lied to them - gave them a similar story to the one he gave us - and once the accusations started rolling in they realized his lie and cut ties.
posted by nadawi at 2:03 PM on October 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


A ninth has stepped forward.

Thank you.
posted by Lemurrhea at 2:03 PM on October 30, 2014 [5 favorites]


Whoops, now Rock-It has also stopped repping Ghomeshi.
posted by GuyZero at 2:04 PM on October 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


Wow, I had sort of assumed that the Navigator thing was a red herring, that they were hired to craft the initial strategy and let his regular representation take it from there, possibly advising on future developments. That interpretation is off the table it seems. Yikes.
posted by yellowbinder at 2:04 PM on October 30, 2014


Lemurrhea - Re: your link. You know that The Beaverton is a satire site similar to The Onion? And apparently is about as funny as well.
posted by Zack_Replica at 2:10 PM on October 30, 2014


And a tenth, in the comments?
posted by cotton dress sock at 2:10 PM on October 30, 2014


Do PR firms stop representing clients if they are lied to? It seems like representing people with terrible PR is their job.
posted by jeather at 2:12 PM on October 30, 2014


There's something darkly amusing about PR firms stating they won't be responding to media requests.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:14 PM on October 30, 2014 [6 favorites]


I've been seeing some comment elsewhere suggesting Jian thought what he was doing was somehow ok, like "welp might as well try this out and see if they're into it," like you'd do if you went in for a kiss or something. She'll be into it or she won't.

I think they may very well be right. But that doesn't make it ok and I'm really surprised at how many people seem to think it does.
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:23 PM on October 30, 2014 [4 favorites]




You know you're a piece of shit if Olivia Pope-esque companies do not want to be associated with you.
posted by Fizz at 2:27 PM on October 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


i find myself wondering if he lied to them - gave them a similar story to the one he gave us - and once the accusations started rolling in they realized his lie and cut ties.

or maybe Navigator said, keep your mouth shut and let us figure out how to spin this. But then he went ahead and made his Facebook post. Because I can't imagine anyone (except JG obviously) thinking that was a good idea.
posted by philip-random at 2:30 PM on October 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


You know that The Beaverton is a satire site

And then there's Frank
posted by Nevin at 2:36 PM on October 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


I've been seeing some comment elsewhere suggesting Jian thought what he was doing was somehow ok, like "welp might as well try this out and see if they're into it," like you'd do if you went in for a kiss or something. She'll be into it or she won't.

In Dan Savage's interview with two women who'd had consensual encounters with Ghomeshi, Savage started from roughly this position:
My theory is that Ghomeshi's MO has been to initiate rough sex—become violent in the lead-up to a sexual encounter—and that he either believes or intends to argue that this was how got a woman's consent. If he became violent and they didn't respond negatively or didn't leave or if they returned, he saw that as consent. If they reacted negatively, if they were unhappy, he stopped.

The problem with that? Or one of the many problems with that? Only an idiot or sociopath would interpret actions that could be read one way or another—she came back because she likes this kind of roughness, she came back because she's starstruck and is willing to overlook or hopes to deflect this kind of roughness—as consent to the kind of extreme shit Ghomeshi apparently enjoys. Only an an idiot or a sociopath would interpret someone's vague and non-verbal consent to some mild roughness ("I pulled her hair and two weeks later she came back to my apartment...") as consent to being punched repeatedly in the head with a closed fist.
His first update to the story:
Choke and slap first, call it off if she's not into it—that would appear to fit Ghomeshi's deeply fucked up MO.
And his second update:
As I continue to read more about Ghomeshi... I now think my interpretation—my attempt to reconcile the experience of the woman I interviewed with the allegations of the eight women who now report being assaulted by the radio host—was entirely too charitable.
posted by Lexica at 2:37 PM on October 30, 2014 [5 favorites]


Maybe May shouldn't get a break for clueless, premature opining on Twitter, but I don't agree that May is guilty of "passively condoning rape culture."

I don't believe in softening this sort of language or playing nice with these sorts of phrasings, because that allows these rationalizations we've seen above. "Shes' not a bad person becasue...."

In point of fact, she rushed to his defense reflexively, before knowing the full facts. I think CBC acted somewhat bravely in this instance (only somewhat), and May was cutting them down for it. That's the message she was sending: take (even the most timid) action on abuse and I'll call you out for it. In my book, that's perpetuating the climate of fear that discourages reporting. Stick your neck out, it gets cut off by May.

Perhaps that's harsh, but she's a public figure with a podium under her feet, and a safe perch from which to make her remarks. She has a responsibility to use that wisely. Were she a CPC backbencher, we wouldn't even be having this discussion.
posted by bonehead at 2:41 PM on October 30, 2014 [6 favorites]


How many women do you suppose Jian Ghomeshi has assaulted? It could be hundreds, couldn't it? I wouldn't be surprised if a hundred or more women step forward to tell their stories, but we'll never know how many more women he hurt and frightened and left with painful memories they don't want to talk about in public. We'll never know just how much damage that one man has caused. It's a deeply chilling thought.
posted by orange swan at 2:45 PM on October 30, 2014 [4 favorites]


Yeah, I really like how Dan Savage has been handling this. I have some issues with him, but he's using his considerable influence as possibly the most visible pro-kink person out there in a really positive way here.
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:48 PM on October 30, 2014 [10 favorites]


How many women do you suppose Jian Ghomeshi has assaulted? It could be hundreds, couldn't it?

Could be. There'll definitely be more, whether it's 10 or 100 remains to be seen. I was wondering about the cluster of cases around the 2012 book tour. It could be that those are just the first to be revealed because they're more recent, or it could be that he was dabbling in this behaviour for years and only started doing it regularly as he got more powerful. I wonder if the incidents increased in frequency in step with his rise to fame.
posted by mannequito at 3:07 PM on October 30, 2014 [3 favorites]


one of the allegations goes back 12 years, yeah? i imagine there's a huge swath of victims - the wrinkle is how many feel like it's assault and how many think it's a scene gone wrong? i know it took me some time as a sub to realize the second thing is often the first thing, but i still struggle with naming my scenes gone wrong as assault because of how i rationalized it at the time.
posted by nadawi at 3:36 PM on October 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


Choke and slap first, call it off if she's not into it—that would appear to fit Ghomeshi's deeply fucked up MO.

That jives with how the woman who agreed to be interviewed anonymously interpreted his initial behaviour ("There was no talk – other than what I said in the car, when he pulled my hair, I think he might have been saying, Do you like it rough?").

Part of what makes things slippery within these events - hard for everyone to grasp, including victims themselves - is the complexity of responses to abusive acts. It's possible that JG interpreted - or wanted to interpret - the dissonance well described by the woman above and Lucy DeCoutere as consent. In her shock, Lucy stayed for an hour after being choked, feeling a sense of obligation to be "polite". The anonymous victim reported thinking, "Maybe he’s just a little too rough and I can sort it out". The Jane Doe commenting beneath the piece by Riva Seth, linked to by Lemurrhea above, split off the violence she endured during 'intimacy' from JG's 'respectful' behaviour outside of that context. All of them went on two or more dates after the initial assaults. They describe shock and confusion; the scripts that pop up automatically to fill in the gaps are classically feminine injunctions to smooth things over, to take responsibility for caretaking, to play along, play nice - scripts that dovetail with attraction and hope for love, ones it is somehow easier to believe than "this horror is happening to me". I mean, this is what happens in most abusive relationships. It's why women go back to abusers, and why they're judged and doubted when they do.
posted by cotton dress sock at 3:52 PM on October 30, 2014 [29 favorites]


My new statement to anybody I know if they question the CBC cutting him lose in my presence:

"Was the CBC justified in firing Jian Ghomeshi? Well, Navigator just fired him after 168 hours and he was paying them."
posted by whittaker at 4:33 PM on October 30, 2014 [37 favorites]


Reading Reva Seth's post and wow, very brave of her to share her story and open up old wounds. I applaud her and anyone else who is willing to share these difficult stories.
posted by Fizz at 5:19 PM on October 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


The female CBC employee who Jian wanted to "hate fuck" has told more of her story: “No one was going to talk to Jian, he was too big. The show was a f—-ing juggernaut at that point. His face and name were inextricably linked with the brand of Q.”
posted by nubs at 6:59 PM on October 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


So it looks like she complained to her manager and also brought it up to her union rep. I would say I wonder why nothing happened, but she said it above: he was too big.

It sounds a lot like the Frenkel thing, where there were backchannel chats and unofficial complaints for years, but nothing quite official enough even when there were actual complaints until suddenly all at once.
posted by jeather at 7:09 PM on October 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


Also there are more details -- disturbing details -- from a woman who was (I think) one of the initial four from the Star.
She says Ghomeshi did tell her he had "these violent type of tendencies," but assured her it was "pure text fantasy" and that "none of it would happen in real life."
Unsurprisingly, it turns out it did all happen in real life after that assurance.
posted by jeather at 7:14 PM on October 30, 2014


Beyond the story that the harassed producer provides (which is as nauseating as I have come to expect), I hate this sentence in the article:

"Since then, eight women — only one of them revealing her identity — have spoken out..."

Drop the "only", please. Makes it sound like they shouldn't be taken as credible without taking that step, while you are publishing an interview with an individual who is choosing to remain anonymous because she was/is "Fearful that a grievance or face-to-face confrontation would torpedo her fledgling career...", which is a very legitimate concern and needs to be acknowledged.
posted by nubs at 7:18 PM on October 30, 2014 [6 favorites]


Jeet Heer ‏@HeerJeet 1. Let's talk about the political economy of Jian Ghomeshi. ...
posted by maudlin at 7:30 PM on October 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


Reva Seth, not Riva. Thank you, Reva.
posted by cotton dress sock at 7:36 PM on October 30, 2014


but he's using his considerable influence as possibly the most visible pro-kink person out there in a really positive way here.

Yeah, I...am deep-learning a lesson I often preach about perfect not being the enemy of good, but I never dreamed my good would be Dan Savage.
posted by Lyn Never at 8:33 PM on October 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


Lemurrhea - Re: your link. You know that The Beaverton is a satire site similar to The Onion? And apparently is about as funny as well.

I did indeed, should have been more clear.

I've seen one person argue that Savage should have been more clear in his headline, that he has a responsibility to not give the people who don't read the full story the wrong impression, etc.

I was going to start arguing with them that he has a stronger responsibility to his interviewee and not misrepresent her, didn't because then we ACTUALLY would have been arguing about ethics in journalism.
posted by Lemurrhea at 8:58 PM on October 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


New Brunswick woman allegedly beaten and choked with a belt to be interviewed on CBC Moncton this morning.

Carleton University looking into allegations from @bigearsteddy twitter.
posted by sockpup at 12:03 AM on October 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


i understand why people wonder if jian had consensual rough sex and why some have a hard time squaring those two sides - someone trusted in the top role and also someone who abuses it. i sadly find it less confusing

Thank you for that whole comment, nadawi. I'm sorry you understand this from personal experience.

One of the things I find so poignant about these women's reports is how consistent they are in explaining why they didn't report; why some went on subsequent dates. It is so common for rape/assault apologists simply to refuse to ACCEPT how this does happen and to conclude that the accusers are lying. But reading these stories--and, in the case of DeCoutere and the anonymous woman interviewed by radio, hearing their voices--it's inescapable how coherent, thoughtful, and tragically plausible all of them are in recounting their experience.

I hope that this awful story might put one more crack in the wall of refusal-to-believe which which society blocks the stories of abused women.
posted by torticat at 12:11 AM on October 31, 2014 [5 favorites]


Also, I wasn't really familiar with Jian Ghomeshi before this story broke, except to recognize his voice (I guess I've heard Q a couple times on PRI?).

I've been trying to think of a radio personality I could compare this to personally--Brian Lehrer's my favorite, but he's more local NYC than a national voice. But if something like this came out about him, I would be heartbroken.

I know it's not really the same; I'm unaware of any quiet background noise about BL being a creep (god forbid). Still, to all of you for whom Ghomeshi's voice has been a frequent presence in your home, I'm sorry. I imagine it feels violating and disorienting for you too. (Radio's kind of intimate that way.)

What a dick he is.
posted by torticat at 12:22 AM on October 31, 2014 [4 favorites]


[Sorry, cotton dress sock, missed your comment before posting mine]

Choke and slap first, call it off if she's not into it—that would appear to fit Ghomeshi's deeply fucked up MO.

That jives with how the woman who agreed to be interviewed anonymously interpreted his initial behaviour ("There was no talk – other than what I said in the car, when he pulled my hair, I think he might have been saying, Do you like it rough?").


Yeah, it also might kinda jive with Reva Seth's recollection,
"I remember he gave me some weird lines about how he couldn't tell if I was actually attracted to him or not, and somehow this was meant to explain his behaviour."

But what the FUCK. What kind of sociopath, in order to find out if a woman likes rough play, beats, chokes, or slaps her without warning and then stands back to gauge her reaction?? He was clearly well past "play" and into IRL no-consent violence against women.
posted by torticat at 12:53 AM on October 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


Countering the idiots who foul r/Canada has been entertaining. A lot of the trollish/ignorant/misogynist types are not being tolerated. It's like most everyone can see this has gone too far. There seems to be a fair bit of support (by Reddit standards) for feminist views.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:54 AM on October 31, 2014 [2 favorites]


Anyone else think there's a chance Jian is getting a sick thrill out of all this news coverage about himself?
posted by GlassHeart at 1:41 AM on October 31, 2014 [2 favorites]


I've been thinking about this bizarre story, and I have my doubts about the theoretical narrative wherein Ghomeshi uses an unexpectedly violent overture in order to just gauge the willingness of the victim to engage in mutually enjoyable rough sex. For one thing, he's nearing 50, not callow or unintelligent, and has apparently attacked a rather vast swath of women over the years, rather than just a ignorant, inexperienced type who doesn't have the sophistication or resources to learn about BDSM standards and practices in order to refine his hamhandedly brutal approach for greater success (and less felony assault and rape) .

To me, it seems more likely that the shocking and unexpected suddenness of the violence (according to so many similar stories) may be an integral, indispensable element of the thrill for him, and the reason that he is compelled to constantly seek out fresh new unwitting (and unwarned) targets. Once you've violently attacked someone out of the blue a couple of times, it becomes not quite so shockingly unexpected – unless you work out some sort of Cato vs Clouseau romantic paradigm, I suppose ... and thus the relentless cycle of JG punch 'n' choke speed dating victims.

I also thought that his latest FB message sounded like a pretty unadorned threat: he will "meet the allegations directly" but not via media, so is that a threat of legal action? "If you are thinking of speaking out, you can expect to hear from my attorneys that I will be suing you for ELEVENTY BILLION DOLLARZ"?
posted by taz at 3:52 AM on October 31, 2014 [8 favorites]


What happened with the Quintly page showing JG's falling FB likes? It's showing an error now?
posted by dukes909 at 5:02 AM on October 31, 2014


> Anyone else think there's a chance Jian is getting a sick thrill out of all this news coverage about himself?

Given that he's an intelligent, articulate, well-read and experienced broadcaster, and he's watching his entire career, and a lifetime of cred, respect and goodwill float away like breath on a winter morning... I would say... probably not.

If I were he, I have no idea how I'd get through this week.

Of course, anticipation of consequences is yet another reason why most of us don't transgress, either. Besides personal ethics, of course.

(just empathizing, not trying to excuse his behaviour, or belittle the upset and anguish of his victims)

I hope he gets help.

(This is me finishing my own grieving about this. I was a fan)
posted by Artful Codger at 5:35 AM on October 31, 2014 [4 favorites]


The G&M has an excellent timeline of how events unfolded in the CBC and what lead to his firing. This had been going on for months internally, but came to a head last week when the CBC finally asked for and examined Ghomeshi's communications.
posted by bonehead at 5:36 AM on October 31, 2014 [9 favorites]


Countering the idiots who foul r/Canada has been entertaining. A lot of the trollish/ignorant/misogynist types are not being tolerated. It's like most everyone can see this has gone too far. There seems to be a fair bit of support (by Reddit standards) for feminist views.

r/Toronto has been surprisingly free of trolls.

Interesting that the CBC timeline doesn't mention complaints by other employees.
posted by jeather at 6:00 AM on October 31, 2014


Good Globe and Mail article. However, it doesn't mention the 2010 incident of groping and sexual harassment at work reported to the union and apparently known by at least one Q producer. I hope that the private investigator that CBC has hired will also look into what was know, and by whom, at the CBC.
posted by beau jackson at 6:01 AM on October 31, 2014


I suspect, like the Star, the G&M is being very careful to source everything they're saying right now.
posted by bonehead at 6:07 AM on October 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


Re Navigator's statement that "the circumstances of our engagement have changed and we are no longer able to continue."

That's code for "We told JG what our level of effort must be and what behavior will be required of him, given this evolving shitstorm, and either he can't afford us or refuses to follow our advice."
posted by carmicha at 6:15 AM on October 31, 2014 [4 favorites]


The G&M article brings up that the staff had a code word for female guests who may have slept with JG. I must confess that I had wondered about that upon occasion myself. Even when I was a fan, he still struck me as someone who really wanted to be the level of big as the big names he interviewed and was willing to use his charm to get in good with them off the air.
posted by Kitteh at 6:25 AM on October 31, 2014


Bonehead- Yes, you're right. I was hoping for more info about that incident but it's reasonable that it wasn't mentioned in that article. It remains to be seem what happened at CBC and who knew about it. I just hope that they're held to account if they enabled this behaviour in the workplace.
posted by beau jackson at 6:32 AM on October 31, 2014


To me, it seems more likely that the shocking and unexpected suddenness of the violence (according to so many similar stories) may be an integral, indispensable element of the thrill for him, and the reason that he is compelled to constantly seek out fresh new unwitting (and unwarned) targets.

I agree. There are many people (probably the vast majority, in my uneducated guess) who aren't comfortable saying things like "What are your feelings about rough sex, spanking, and kinky activities?" and instead communicate via hints ("Say, seen Secretary lately?") and by edging very slowly into those activities. Pulling someone's hair lightly or resting a hand on their throat, say, and then watching for either a positive or negative reaction.

Even if Ghomesi wasn't capable of discussing his preferences, he could still have done that, and it would have worked fine because no one is going to feel abused or disrespected -- at worst someone says "Hey, please don't slap my ass" and everyone moves on. His choice to escalate instantly to quite extreme violence was deliberate and probably served him well in terms of almost always provoking the catatonic response that such unexpected and intimate violence tends to cause, as well as being a thrill in and of itself.

The whole thing is grosser the more I think about it, and that detail about the teddy bear takes it into deeply disturbed territory for me.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:51 AM on October 31, 2014 [5 favorites]


I agree; it sounds like he is really mentally ill and needs treatment, as well as whatever criminal sanctions he has incurred. It's not like it's that hard to bring up BDSM these days with all the popular media you can cite. (Although I think 50 Shades of Grey is pretty disturbing itself.) There's a huge difference between consensual BDSM and what he's doing. Sadly, he probably doesn't like it if it's consensual. We're getting a strangely detailed view-- albeit in bits and pieces-- of what it's like to be inside his very messed-up head. I feel so bad for anyone who had the misfortune to date him.
posted by BibiRose at 7:03 AM on October 31, 2014


There are many people (probably the vast majority, in my uneducated guess) who aren't comfortable saying things like "What are your feelings about rough sex, spanking, and kinky activities?" and instead communicate via hints ("Say, seen Secretary lately?") and by edging very slowly into those activities.

I get your point, but just want to say that it seems like a really poor place to be having Ask vs. Guess culture issues (and I say that as a pretty strong Guess person in most aspects of my life).
posted by nubs at 7:05 AM on October 31, 2014 [3 favorites]


I think it's interesting that Jian brought "evidence" into that critical meeting that he was confident would "prove" that things were consensual, and that very evidence ended up being so shocking as to convince management that he needed to be gone immediately. It's as though he really was that oblivious that what he was doing was non-consensual.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 7:08 AM on October 31, 2014 [20 favorites]


ThatCanadianGirl, I totally skimmed over that bit. OH GOD.
posted by Kitteh at 7:11 AM on October 31, 2014


Looking at the G & M timeline, you can see how important it was for the Star to quickly release it's story. Without that, Ghomeshi might have built up enough support to bluff through, at least for a while. Someone in star land, probably Michael Cook, saw the Facebook comment and said screw this guy, we're publishing what we have.
posted by sfred at 7:16 AM on October 31, 2014


From The Globe & Mail article linked above: One staff member, who agreed to speak on the condition of anonymity, said one question she has repeatedly faced since the scandal erupted is how the voice on the radio, who portrayed himself as a feminist and sensitive, can be accused of such things. Her response was simple: He was often “reading other people’s words.”

Yes, it would have to be that way. There is no way Ghomeshi would be capable of writing a solidly feminist essay. As soon as I read Ghomeshi's Facebook statement, I knew there was little chance he'd be vindicated by whatever revelations where to come. I have, unfortunately, known enough abusive/sociopathic/narcissistic people in my life that I recognize one trying to pass as normal when I see one. Their good person act is never that convincing because they honestly don't know what appropriate behaviour is or how to treat others well. They can't pretend to have a mindset they don't even understand.
posted by orange swan at 7:34 AM on October 31, 2014 [5 favorites]


Amanda Palmer still has him as a guest in Toronto. This is going over as badly as you would expect.

Comments say he did the same at university, too.
I've been hearing from friends and acquaintances since - 1988 - the year the 5th floor residence advisors pulled the women in my dorm from every house (Stong res - he was in Vanier res at York University) together to warn us about him. Before this story broke open and before he'd posted his side on facebook I had been PMing friends outraged about his dismissal about my sispicion that he was FINALLY facing sexual assault charges and I said what I had been warned about - young women going to the RA after bad dates where they'd been choked or hit. We were warned about the coed washrooms, and being in stairwells with him and told to tell them if he was at house parties. I changed schools going to OCAD and kept hearing stories but now he was getting minor celebrity status because of moxy fruvous. Over the years (I moved from Toronto but still am friends with my more edgy big city artist friends) not a 4 year period has gone by where I haven't heard about other women facing the same things
posted by jeather at 7:36 AM on October 31, 2014


While I definitely don't want to create another iteration of "let's pile on AP" here, this is incredibly tone deaf on her part. Hopefully she will drop him because seriously, I cannot imagine his appearance going over well at her show. I shouldn't think her hardcore fans are that lenient.
posted by Kitteh at 7:40 AM on October 31, 2014 [2 favorites]


i have been a long time supporter of afp - but i will admit that i have unfollowed her in various places online because of her reaction to this. i hate that statement of hers - suggesting that hatred for a serial abuser is not a valid response - but i don't think she's saying he's absolutely still on the bill, but that he's also not thrown off it yet, i'm still figuring out what to do about this. hopefully she makes the right choice...
posted by nadawi at 7:44 AM on October 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


AFP seems to do stupid things, take some time to think about it, then (sometimes) walk it back. Which is normal, really, she just does it all really openly.
posted by jeather at 7:47 AM on October 31, 2014 [2 favorites]


Elisabeth Faure, a former Q intern, speaks about the CBC's actions in regards to Ghomeshi & Q. Unsurprisingly, CBC looks like they took no action until they had to.
posted by Lemurrhea at 8:22 AM on October 31, 2014 [2 favorites]


What I'm wondering is how many other people like this are out there. If he could sustain this alleged behavior for 3 decades without facing consequences, who else is stil doing the same thing?
posted by mantecol at 8:25 AM on October 31, 2014 [2 favorites]


I love Palmer, but she's impulsive, stubborn and tone deaf. She does reconsider her positions eventually, and does seem to be on the road to coming around on this. Of course in this case it really shouldn't take this long, I guess his initial statement really worked on her. It's definitely disappointing but whether it winds up being her decision or his he's not going to show up. I know lots of people who won't go to the show if he's there, and I can't even imagine the strength of the crowd reaction if he does walk out on that stage.
posted by yellowbinder at 8:29 AM on October 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


It's as though he really was that oblivious that what he was doing was non-consensual.

Beyond the who said what when, I think that was the biggest revelation in that piece, how clueless "JG" really is/was. But then, one of his many (apparent) failings is low empathy.
posted by bonehead at 8:33 AM on October 31, 2014


It was mentioned above that Amanda Palmer will never disinvite a guest. Is there any chance that if he does appear, she might make it bad for him? Like it would actually be a real interview instead of some softball game and platform for him to apologize?
posted by LizBoBiz at 8:35 AM on October 31, 2014


That's what she said at the time, her recent Facebook is all "Don't know what do. Thinking. Listening." I don't think she would make it bad for him though. I have no doubt the audience that does show would boo and jeer him off the stage and it would be a bad scene for everyone.
posted by yellowbinder at 8:38 AM on October 31, 2014


He manages a young female music artist who goes by the moniker "Lights". I wonder if she is okay. I wonder what things have been like for her throughout their relationship.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 8:46 AM on October 31, 2014 [3 favorites]


Ghomeshi cancelled his upcoming gig in Prince George, so I would say that he will probably cancel Palmer as well.

I can't think of anything kind at all to say about Palmer though.
posted by Nevin at 8:48 AM on October 31, 2014 [2 favorites]


I've been hearing from friends and acquaintances since - 1988 - the year the 5th floor residence advisors pulled the women in my dorm from every house (Stong res - he was in Vanier res at York University) together to warn us about him. Before this story broke open and before he'd posted his side on facebook I had been PMing friends outraged about his dismissal about my sispicion that he was FINALLY facing sexual assault charges and I said what I had been warned about - young women going to the RA after bad dates where they'd been choked or hit. We were warned about the coed washrooms, and being in stairwells with him and told to tell them if he was at house parties. I changed schools going to OCAD and kept hearing stories but now he was getting minor celebrity status because of moxy fruvous. Over the years (I moved from Toronto but still am friends with my more edgy big city artist friends) not a 4 year period has gone by where I haven't heard about other women facing the same things

If York University knew he was assaulting the women he dated, why the fuck wasn't he expelled or at least kicked out of residence?
posted by orange swan at 8:49 AM on October 31, 2014 [5 favorites]


If York University knew he was assaulting the women he dated, why the fuck wasn't he expelled or at least kicked out of residence?


Charitable interpretation is that the RAs weren't going to the university proper - perhaps because the women who were confiding them had asked them not to, perhaps some other reason. Although universities still have problems about dealing with serial sexual assaulters, so I'm not really convinced by the charitable interpretation myself.
posted by Lemurrhea at 8:54 AM on October 31, 2014


"But what the FUCK. What kind of sociopath, in order to find out if a woman likes rough play, beats, chokes, or slaps her without warning and then stands back to gauge her reaction?? He was clearly well past "play" and into IRL no-consent violence against women."

At least everyone who sees him on the street can just fucking punch him in the head, because, you know, he might be into that.
posted by klangklangston at 8:59 AM on October 31, 2014 [24 favorites]


The Globe article demonstrates that there is some seriously narcissistic denial going on with Gomeshi:
When he arrived at the Sunday meeting, his dismissal was not yet a foregone conclusion, one source confirmed. Had he expressed remorse, or offered to seek treatment, the CBC would have had to consider its next steps carefully. Yet Mr. Ghomeshi remained unrepentant. [...] Mr. Ghomeshi knew the Sunday meeting could decide his career at the CBC. At the very least, he was going off-air for some time – that much was certain, with allegations and evidence of aggressive sexual behaviour threatening to engulf him.

Accompanying Mr. Ghomeshi to the gathering were a lawyer representing him from Dentons Canada LLP and a staff member from Navigator, the renowned crisis-management firm he had hired. Also in the room was Todd Spencer, the CBC’s executive director of people and culture, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.

Mr. Spencer arrived with authorization to fire the host – one of CBC’s most high-profile figures – unless Mr. Ghomeshi said something to change the CBC’s views dramatically on an emerging scandal.

Given a chance to speak, Mr. Ghomeshi insisted he had done nothing wrong. His employment was terminated on the spot. The decision was unanimous.
They tried to give him an out. They tried to keep him. If he had agreed to go to rehab or some such equivalent, to apologize-- even go through the motions of apologizing-- this would all still be discussed only in boardrooms and lawyer's offices. Even the Toronto Star was holding off on its story. He brought all this exposure on himself.
posted by jokeefe at 9:39 AM on October 31, 2014 [9 favorites]


If York University knew he was assaulting the women he dated, why the fuck wasn't he expelled or at least kicked out of residence?

Knowing and proving are different things, as this case has unfortunately brought out. And given University incompetence when dealing with sexual assault-- and this back in the 80s, as well-- I'm not surprised that this was part of the secret knowledge traded between people to try and keep women safe once an abuser has been recognized among them.
posted by jokeefe at 9:48 AM on October 31, 2014 [3 favorites]


Comments say he did the same at university, too.

Oh, God.

He manages a young female music artist who goes by the moniker "Lights"

Who is really, really awesome by the way.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:51 AM on October 31, 2014 [3 favorites]


If York University knew he was assaulting the women he dated, why the fuck wasn't he expelled or at least kicked out of residence?

It could also be that status of women just was not on the radar of universities in Canada at the time.

I attended university starting in 1989 and there was seriously a big, massive debate about whether or not to use the masculine pronoun, and whether or not to refer to humanity as "Mankind."

And then Ecole Polytechnique happened.
posted by Nevin at 9:51 AM on October 31, 2014 [2 favorites]


York University wouldn't have had to meet the standard of proof required by a court of law to expel a student. It would have taken some careful management to avoid the danger of a lawsuit, yes, but when Ghomeshi was enough of a problem that RAs were warning all the female residents about him, they had to have had enough on him to kick him out of the school. I do recognize that this was a different time, a year before the Montreal massacre happened.
posted by orange swan at 9:56 AM on October 31, 2014


He and I are only months apart in age: yes university and dorm attitudes were very different then. Being openly gay on campus was practically unheard of then, for example.

But still, "no means no" and growing awareness of date rape were a thing. We got material (and a talk?) during the Frosh week at McMaster University, just down the road in Hamilton. I'd be surprised if there wasn't an awareness campaign then at York either.
posted by bonehead at 10:30 AM on October 31, 2014


I remember the "No Means No" campaign at the time at UVic. There wasn't a really aggressive macho culture at UVic either at the time (apart from the poli sci profs), which I think can be attributed to the fact that UVic has never had a Greek/frat scene at all.
posted by Nevin at 10:40 AM on October 31, 2014


I started Dalhousie University in 1991, and volunteered at the campus/community radio station there. I remember getting warnings from other girls not to be alone with that guy from Moxy Fruvous. I never made the connection to the radio host by the same name until this scandal erupted. (I'm not a Q listener.)

I do remember there being a big thing with "no means no" campaigns, and at an engineering-focused school in Ontario the guys put up signs in their windows that said stuff like "no means get her drunk" and "no means hit her harder" and as I recall, the administration's response was basically to ignore the whole thing. So the idea that, 2-3 years previously when JG was in university, the administration ignored some RAs, just seems completely unsurprising.
posted by joannemerriam at 10:49 AM on October 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yeah, the engineering society stuff was absolutely happening, all across the country. Open misogyny was common. The Mac one had their newsletter shut down, UBC five years later closed their engineering undergrad society entirely for a few years over similar concerns.
posted by bonehead at 11:02 AM on October 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


That "engineering-focussed school" was Waterloo, btw. I remember seeing such signs in person.
posted by bonehead at 11:04 AM on October 31, 2014 [2 favorites]


I do remember there being a big thing with "no means no" campaigns, and at an engineering-focused school in Ontario the guys put up signs in their windows that said stuff like "no means get her drunk" and "no means hit her harder" and as I recall, the administration's response was basically to ignore the whole thing.

That would have been my illustrious alma mater Queen's University. During my own Frosh Week, 1989. I lived across the quad from those signs. It was a terrible time on campus and very confusing for a lot of us who'd probably never encountered this kind of thing - I certainly hadn't and I wasn't close to the most naive freshman in my dorm. I could easily see how the gossip machine would pass the word but the actual campus infrastructure at that time having no clear path to reacting to that gossip.
posted by marylynn at 11:06 AM on October 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


the guys put up signs in their windows that said stuff like "no means get her drunk" and "no means hit her harder"

in some ways, things remain depressingly the same.
posted by nadawi at 11:11 AM on October 31, 2014


If folks need a link round-up, there's a subreddit: r/50shadesofjian
posted by Going To Maine at 11:17 AM on October 31, 2014 [1 favorite]




looks like i was right. the only way navigator lets that fb post go out is if he's convinced them it's true. if they knew the real story they would have likely taken a different path from the very beginning.
posted by nadawi at 11:26 AM on October 31, 2014 [5 favorites]


Don't know why there should be much expectation of York having acted 25 years ago, when the supposedly more aware present-day CBC was unable to recognize the problem for 14 years of having him in employment as one of their most prominent talents. Then he was a student amongst thousands (although a friend on Facebook who was at York at the same time and was defending him after the early news says he was president of the student council). His method of operation was probably the same then, leaving his victims shocked and confused and unable to articulate what exactly had happened, more likely to make the choice to just avoid him in the future rather than pursuing any formal complaint.
posted by TimTypeZed at 11:26 AM on October 31, 2014


Don't think the fact that I'm criticizing York means I'm excusing the CBC. Both deserve censure for not having acted to control a sexual predator.
posted by orange swan at 11:36 AM on October 31, 2014 [1 favorite]




And Amanda Palmer continues to be an idiot. The real problem here is people hating on Jian Ghomeshi, after all!
posted by tavella at 11:40 AM on October 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


regarding a replacement guest: i've reached out to Sook-Yin Lee, who i know through john cameron mitchell and met a while ago in NYC. if anybody has any suggestions....hit me!

So, so crass, tone-deaf, butt-headed...
posted by Nevin at 11:43 AM on October 31, 2014 [5 favorites]


i have no benefits of the doubt to extend to afp here. she could have done better with all of this. i'm glad he won't be invited on her stage. sook-yin lee was a suggestion that people going to her toronto show made in the comments of her last update about all this. i'm not sure why finding a replacement speaker, one specifically asked for by her fans, is buttheaded...
posted by nadawi at 11:47 AM on October 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


York's response was fairly typical for 1988. Here's the current language regarding student conduct: http://www.yorku.ca/oscr/pdfs/CodeofRightsandResponsibilities.pdf
It's important to note how process-heavy it is and that it is complaint-driven.
posted by sfred at 11:47 AM on October 31, 2014


I think the buttheaded comment refers to the end of that line - "Hit me!" Which, OMGWTF Amanda.
posted by yellowbinder at 11:50 AM on October 31, 2014 [6 favorites]


ah fuck didn't even notice that. it's such a standard phrase of hers that i just rolled right past it...
posted by nadawi at 11:53 AM on October 31, 2014


i'm not sure why finding a replacement speaker, one specifically asked for by her fans, is buttheaded..

"Hey now thanks to crowdsourcing my personal judgement that it's absolutely clear that Jian Ghomeshi is just not a good fit at the moment with my show, I need to find another youthful vismin CBC host with an edgy history... I know, I'll suggest Sook-Yin Lee. She checks off all of the little boxes. I'm sure she won't mind being the replacement for a guy who is currently the most toxic personality in Canada at the moment. It's not like she has anything better to do."

What a butthead.
posted by Nevin at 12:04 PM on October 31, 2014 [3 favorites]


Megan MacKay offers us the Jian Ghomeshi-inspired makeup tutorial, in which she demonstrates how to score that coveted terrifyingly violent disgraced public br­oadcaster look.
posted by orange swan at 12:14 PM on October 31, 2014 [4 favorites]


ok - but, again, it was the name that came up over and over and over again, with no other names being suggested, from her fans. whatever, this is not worth the fight.
posted by nadawi at 12:19 PM on October 31, 2014 [3 favorites]


Amanda Palmer will do whatever gets the most attention for Amanda Palmer.
posted by asockpuppet at 12:24 PM on October 31, 2014 [7 favorites]


Our own jscalzi weighs in with a characteristically thoughtful post.
posted by Lemurrhea at 12:34 PM on October 31, 2014 [4 favorites]


Sadly, I'm starting to hear the argument that because there is such a large number of people who are now coming forward with allegations of various types of abuse/assault/victimization that it "must be a conspiracy".

*sighs*
posted by Fizz at 12:41 PM on October 31, 2014


people will do absolutely anything to defend the notion that they'd be able to spot an abuser like this. if they don't think he's an abuser than he can't be one, end of story to them. it goes along with the just world theory in some ways - that if he was really so bad than why was he so popular? it's easier for many to believe that women get their thrills tearing down a powerful man because he wouldn't marry them/pay them/continue to fuck them/whatever.
posted by nadawi at 12:50 PM on October 31, 2014 [4 favorites]


The fact that a large number of people are coming forward now that the story is out actually is pretty good proof of a conspiracy around reporting abuse but it's not the one people who are saying that think it is.

It's the conspiracy to keep the abused silent that we live with every fucking day that prevents anybody coming forward until it feels safe to do so.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:21 PM on October 31, 2014 [14 favorites]


I've read most of this thread but may have missed discussion of this earlier; sorry if so. In his FB post, Ghomeshi said:

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."

Has there been any response to this? Was he flat-out lying, or was CBC really this mealy-mouthed in firing him?
posted by torticat at 1:23 PM on October 31, 2014


One thing that is haunting me about this is the YEARS of evidence that people knew of. This is a huge thing that I'm only beginning to understand: One of the worst pillars of rape culture is the one in which we counsel women to avoid rape. When we do that, we are saying, "Let the rapist rape someone else. "

This is exactly what has happened over the last, what, TWENTY-FIVE YEARS at least, with this person. So many of us whispering and warning friends, has meant that only the women who didn't know someone who knew about Jian would end up assaulted.

I do not know how to reconcile this. We need to do better as a culture at speaking up, and listening to those who do speak up, to stop rapists and assaulters from raping and assaulting, rather than protecting the women we know. We need to stop the rapists from raping. We need to stop men like Jian from doing what they do.

I'm just not sure HOW.
posted by Richat at 1:25 PM on October 31, 2014 [13 favorites]


Has there been any response to this? Was he flat-out lying, or was CBC really this mealy-mouthed in firing him?

The guy was fired by his PR firm, I'm not sure why people are acting as if he has any credibility at all.
posted by leopard at 1:32 PM on October 31, 2014 [4 favorites]


The other members of Moxy Früvous have released a statement claiming that they "had no inkling that Jian engaged in this type of behaviour".

I'm very skeptical as to the truth of that.
posted by orange swan at 1:53 PM on October 31, 2014 [12 favorites]


Richat, that's not going to get fixed as long as reporting sexual assault is a ticket to having your life destroyed. He was very careful to stick to people who had gone out on dates with him or taken up an invitation to come visit him, or people who worked for him. For the first two categories, juries will almost never convict unless there are visible major injuries and sometimes not even then. After, if they went out on dates they must have consented to sex, and once they've consented to sex they are fair game for anything, right? What's the point of reporting an attack when the outcome will be (if the police can be bothered to do anything at all), smug smiling pictures of Ghomeshi as he walks out of court declared not guilty?

And for the third category -- well, sure, file a formal complaint. And see your chance to work anywhere in Canadian media destroyed forever.
posted by tavella at 1:54 PM on October 31, 2014 [5 favorites]


CBC executive just sent this out to all employees re: Jian Ghomeshi: "On Thursday, October 23, CBC saw, for the first time, graphic evidence that Jian had caused physical injury to a woman."
posted by Westringia F. at 2:08 PM on October 31, 2014


I'm very skeptical as to the truth of that.

I'm not skeptical at all: it's obvious CYA bullshit. There is no way in hell they didn't hear about this behaviour after spending the better part of a decade around each other. Just none. I wish I still had a copy of Bargainville so I could smash it.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:11 PM on October 31, 2014 [3 favorites]


I assume "no inkling" means "we knew he was sketchy about women but in this society that is not grounds for distancing your yourself from someone as long as they are ok to you"
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 2:20 PM on October 31, 2014 [11 favorites]




Latest from the Star: Jian Ghomeshi showed CBC video of bondage, beating -- apparently the stuff he thought would exonerate him [TW: descriptions, no images].

There's more in that piece about the history of the Star's investigation, which was sparked by the @BigEarsTeddy twitter.
posted by Westringia F. at 2:22 PM on October 31, 2014


Wow, just realized that the Amanda Palmer event Jian was formerly to appear at is called "The Art of Asking." Consensual/Non-Consensual. Art of Asking/Asking for it?
posted by oceanview at 2:24 PM on October 31, 2014


What are current views on alternative ways of investigating and prosecuting sexual assault? Here, lawyer David Butt suggests offering victims the choice of a criminal or civil lawsuit (with both options conducted by the Crown). The idea is that civil suits have a lesser burden of proof ("balance of probabilities" vs. "beyond a reasonable doubt"), which might better accommodate the "she said / he said" nature of evidence common in many assaults. It seems sensible (to me at least).
posted by cotton dress sock at 2:28 PM on October 31, 2014 [2 favorites]


How fucked up does your private life have to be that showing your employer a homemade sex tape is something you'd think would be a good idea?

I also have to wonder if the wom{a|e}n in the video(s) consented. I somehow doubt those videos still exist. But I hope they do, oh God I hope they do.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:29 PM on October 31, 2014 [3 favorites]


whatever, this is not worth the fight.

Ya we obviously have different perspectives about this Amanda Palmer person. And her fans.
posted by Nevin at 2:31 PM on October 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


I remember being 16 and totally inappropriately pursued by the lead singer of Moxy Fruvous, now known as Jian Ghomeshi, while at an outdoor music festival with my parents. (3 accounts collected in a thread on reddit.com/r/toronto)

Sketchy, but, for any Americans still reading, totally legal. IIRC Moxy Fruvous broke up about 7 or 8 years before the age of consent was raised from 14 to 16 (in 2008).
posted by maledictory at 2:31 PM on October 31, 2014


According to the Star article I just linked, after the @BigEarsTeddy tweet last spring started attracting suspicion, "CBC was worried too.... The crisis firm Navigator was hired, working for both CBC and Ghomeshi." [emph mine]

So CBC's move, when confronted with this, was not to investigate themselves -- they left THAT to the Star -- but to hire Navigator?! I'm trying to view this charitably, because I'm a big CBC fan, but....
posted by Westringia F. at 2:37 PM on October 31, 2014


Dan Savage had interviews with a couple of women who had consensual BSDM with him, so I presume the video he was showing was from that sort of session. But I suspect that the CBC, seeing him leaving injuries on consenting women, came to the conclusion that made the women talking about him punching and choking them without consent *more* believable rather than less. Plus, I'd be rather creeped out by someone showing me sex tapes going "so I couldn't have raped someone else!"
posted by tavella at 2:39 PM on October 31, 2014 [7 favorites]


Sean Stokholm weighs in [National Post] on the idea of the "mob" mentality.

tl;dr for the link above:
"We must make it easier for women to seek justice when they are the victims of violence and sexual abuse. But reasonable people should still be able to request verification, due process and the like. Reasonable people will want to avoid a world where a simple accusation can destroy the reputation and career of anyone. But mobs aren’t reasonable."
posted by Fizz at 2:46 PM on October 31, 2014


"We must make it easier but actually believing them when only ~10% of allegations are false is bad because some man might have his name besmirched."

I refuse to give the Post my eyeballs beyond reading your pullquote.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:50 PM on October 31, 2014 [4 favorites]


I should make it clear I do not agree with everything in that article, I just wanted to share it because the conversation around these issues always manages to bring up this kind of argument/logic.

*sighs*
posted by Fizz at 2:54 PM on October 31, 2014


Lights just posted on Facebook 1) that she apologizes for having defended Ghomeshi initially and or how that must have made people feel, 2) she has decided Ghomeshi is no longer representing her.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 4:38 PM on October 31, 2014 [4 favorites]


Lights has dropped him, as has his agent.
posted by lunaazul at 4:39 PM on October 31, 2014


At this point I half expect Ghomeshi's mother to release a statement saying that she's disowning him and for his dog (if he has one, which I doubt) to show up at the Toronto Humane Society and give itself up for adoption.
posted by orange swan at 4:43 PM on October 31, 2014 [10 favorites]


No stories yet, but both the Toronto Star and Canadian Press are reporting on Twitter that two women are filing criminal police complaints. Full story from The Star upcoming.
posted by maudlin at 4:49 PM on October 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


There seems to be new stuff appearing every hour. Now two women have gone to the Toronto police.
posted by Nevin at 4:50 PM on October 31, 2014


Posted too soon: here's The Star. (WARNING: video autoplays on load -- talking head stuff, not sensitive content, but loud)
Toronto police have confirmed that two women have come forward with allegations against Jian Ghomeshi and are investigating.

One is Trailer Park Boys actress Lucy DeCoutere, who alleged in an interview with the Star that in 2003, Ghomeshi choked her to the point she could not breathe and then slapped her hard three times on the side of her head.

The other woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, first talked to a Star reporter on Monday, and alleged that without consent, Ghomeshi grabbed her hair and pulled her down to the floor. Then, she alleges, he delivered three sharp punches to the side of her head while she lay on the floor.

The woman had been invited to a taping of >play in 2002. Ghomeshi was the host of the CBC Newsworld TV show.

Det. Lisa Ferris of Toronto police’s Sex Crimes Unit will be conducting an interview Saturday, said the woman, who has been assured by the police that her identity will be protected.
posted by maudlin at 4:52 PM on October 31, 2014 [2 favorites]


Jesse Brown also said something really interesting (I think it was reported in either the Star or the G&M). Apparently Brown Tweeted about some big story he was working on that was going to bring down someone or other.

Ghomeshi took that to mean that Brown was going to break the story on all of the abuse complaints that CBC had been addressing with him.

And so Ghomeshi published his "women are lyin" Facebook post, which in fact allowed the Star to publish its story on the Monday. According to Brown, on the Friday (when Ghomeshi had been I think fired by CBC) the story had no legs from the perspective of being able to report on it.

So Ghomeshi's Facebook post set in motion a chain reaction that basically wiped out whatever resources he had to deal with this crisis.

The irony of course is that Brown claims that the other big story he is working on that he referred to has nothing to do with Ghomeshi. Or perhaps Brown is just trying to twist the knife.

This Toronto Lite interview with Jesse Brown has some great background on the challenges Brown had (until that Facebook post) reporting on the Ghomeshi story.
posted by Nevin at 4:54 PM on October 31, 2014 [10 favorites]


Yeah, Nevin. This comment from John Michael McGrath seems to sum it up nicely: "Self-destructed because he couldn't imagine a story he wasn't the main character in."

And from Jesse Brown: "To be clear: the reason #JianGhomeshi was exposed is because 4 brave women came forward anonymously. Everything else is circumstance."
posted by maudlin at 5:00 PM on October 31, 2014 [14 favorites]


Of course Jian thought the "monster story" was about him. Come on, who else would it be about?
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 5:02 PM on October 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


Dan Savage had interviews with a couple of women who had consensual BSDM with him, so I presume the video he was showing was from that sort of session. But I suspect that the CBC, seeing him leaving injuries on consenting women,

Yeah... and that might answer my question up above, too. The CBC exec memo says nothing at all about consent, just about physical injury. So it could be that Ghomeshi was technically telling the truth in his FB post about what CBC said when they fired him, i.e. they were shocked by his actual activities not by a lack of consent.

And then the Star article came out indicating things were so much worse than that.

Jesus.
posted by torticat at 5:07 PM on October 31, 2014


In all of the horror of this, I find myself wondering what in the hell someone like Ghomeshi does next. Do you just sit in the house for the rest of your life until your money runs out? I mean, is that where he is right now, just sitting in his house feeling it all fall apart? Is he waiting to get arrested, staring at the wall? I want to see justice done in a very definitive way, but man, this has to be a special kind of hell watching it all crumble down around you and waiting, just waiting, to see how bad it will ultimately get and wondering if any semblance of a life will ever be possible again that will let you leave your house like a half-way normal person, and knowing that it probably won't. It seems as appropriate as anything else that should also happen to him.
posted by SpacemanStix at 5:29 PM on October 31, 2014 [9 favorites]


who has been assured by the police that her identity will be protected.

I really hope that this identity is protected and her privacy is respected. It's one thing if a person comes forward and wants to share their story. It's another if that person wants to work within the legal system in private, they should ideally be given that opportunity.
posted by Fizz at 5:30 PM on October 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


Ya we obviously have different perspectives about this Amanda Palmer person. And her fans.

oh, i thought we were discussing this specific instance, not using it for some weird continued axe grinding. also, if you are trying to passively aggressively insult me maybe you can be either more direct or drop it.
posted by nadawi at 5:31 PM on October 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


He is no longer Lights' manager. She deeply apologized for having supported him the other day. :-(
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 5:31 PM on October 31, 2014


I find myself wondering what in the hell someone like Ghomeshi does next 

sadly, history tells us he'll get assume sort of redemption story and get back some of his life. it'll likely never be the same level, but it's common that men who abuse women don't actually lose it all.
posted by nadawi at 5:38 PM on October 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


Fizz, I think canadian law requires anonymity for victims of sexual assault initiating lawsuits, even if it goes to trial s/he won't be named. In some cases even if she wishes to be public, media still cannot name her, such as in the (in)famousJane Doe case (link to her amazing book).
posted by chapps at 5:39 PM on October 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


re: lights,i found a comment from a bartender whose club had banned jian and his band from performing and jian continued to show up with people he was managing, and the bartender described them as all pretty much young women...and he'd still try to get the 16 yr old female bussers alone.
posted by nadawi at 5:48 PM on October 31, 2014


I'm beginning to wish I could find a Chrome extension to replace his smarmy face with pictures of puppies. I was never a fan, but his leering grin and/or smugness is almost making me sick to my stomach as I read article after article.

If this is even 1/100000th of what his victims have felt since they suffered his attack...well, I just can't even imagine.

P.S. Yes, I know I could stop reading articles, but I so so so want this sociopath to see justice, I can't help it. Also, *edited to make my fraction diffferent. I so don't want to equate my feelings with those of victims of violence.
posted by Richat at 5:51 PM on October 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


Jude MacDonald notices something important about the Big Ears Teddy timeline.
He finds the bear account on Twitter in April. Reporters ask him questions. And *then* he speaks publicly about the bear, in detail. [In case you missed it: this talk at Stratford in July of this year]

This is incredibly high-risk behaviour. More so with fame. It takes a long while to build to it. This is going to get very, very bad.

Bear talk's a stunningly vivid example of practiced predator behaviour. Arrogance bound to need for escalating risk-taking to maintain high.
posted by maudlin at 6:09 PM on October 31, 2014 [2 favorites]


Going to the police does further protect the victims anonymity. It's against the law I'm Canada to publish the name of a sexual assault complainant. One weird result of thay Canadians aren't able to read about (or at least know that they're reading about) the prosecution of the rapists of one of Canada's most famous rape victims. I cant figure out how to link on mobile, so here's the URL. http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2014/09/29/rehtaeh_parsons_canadian_journalists_can_t_print_her_name_as_a_suspect_pleads.html

And to whoever pointed out to me above that what the star reported was rape, point well taken. Thank you.

All I can think at this point is, "wow...how fucked up do you have to be to....be that fucked up."
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 6:11 PM on October 31, 2014


Oh holy christ maudlin.

Thank god I am surrounded by cats right now.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:08 PM on October 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


As noted on Reddit, while it wasn't in detail he did acknowledge the bear in his book from 2012.
posted by maledictory at 7:13 PM on October 31, 2014


You know what, I'm sorry, that comment was stupid. I hope every woman victimized by Ghomeshi is surrounded by cats right now.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:15 PM on October 31, 2014 [4 favorites]


Fizz, I think canadian law requires anonymity for victims of sexual assault initiating lawsuits, even if it goes to trial s/he won't be named.

Yes, I was aware of that. Sadly it still happens, as I have heard people in the media talk about how while they are prevented from publishing the name, it is often still common knowledge in those communities because people talk. I hope her privacy is respected.

Slight derail: it reminds me of this case in particular.
posted by Fizz at 7:22 PM on October 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


Poor Rehtaeh. Hounded in life, cannot--in most cases for big-picture-but-specifically-stupid-here societally beneficial reasons--be left alone in death, even unnamed. How her family makes it through the day...
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:26 PM on October 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


You're right, maledictory. He mentioned the bear in the book almost two years before the Twitter account went up. But once he was aware of the account, he apparently went out of his way to talk about the bear in great detail just a couple of months later, when the reporters had already contacted the CBC and he had to know he was at some risk of being exposed.

Now maybe he talked about the bear in response to an audience question. The article doesn't say whether or not it was in response to a question (although I'm pretty sure somebody must be trying to dig out that detail right now). But it looks as if he simply chose to talk about the bear at length, unprompted by anyone else. And the last line in that story, from the curtain call?
"He received a standing ovation from the crowd at the Avon, and after artistic director Antoni Cimolino urged him out for a curtain call, Ghomeshi turned to him and said, "If only Big Ears could see this."
(Am I helping ruin teddy bears for everyone? I'm sorry. You may not want to follow this link to a series of pictures of teddy bears flipped inside out, either.)
posted by maudlin at 7:28 PM on October 31, 2014


Has anyone else in public life in this country fallen as far as fast?
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:41 PM on October 31, 2014


Ben Johnson?
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:43 PM on October 31, 2014 [4 favorites]


Hard to search this thread on my phone so apologies if I missed it... But do we know the origin of the teddy bear twitter account? Not who specifically but perhaps a victim of his? This whole thing is so disturbing. Brain bleach disturbing.
posted by futz at 8:05 PM on October 31, 2014


This may be a weird place to say this, but this is actually giving me ...cautiously... a little hope.

Yes, tons of people jumped in to support Ghomeshi, but there were more public, prominent people saying either "wait and see" or "I believe these women" than I ever remember seeing before.

Likewise, when more women came forward, more people jumped in and shifted to their side. In terms of the high profile things, the amount of shaming the women for their sexuality has been minimal, and most sites seem to have pre-emptively framed things as if women having sex with men is an understandable, natural thing.

Even the BDSM angle, there has been a lot of prominent people turning the focus on the lack of consent, and keeping the focus there instead of the more prurient "hee hee hee, rough sex."

It just seems like we've hit some sort of tipping point where blaming the victim has become less acceptable. At least I hope it's true.

We still have men's voices counting for more than women's, but that one is going to have a damn long tail because it's so implicit.

I dunno; the framing I'm seeing is giving me hope that someday we will have a broader cultural consensus that consent is the most important thing.
posted by Deoridhe at 8:13 PM on October 31, 2014 [20 favorites]


In regards to Sook-Yin Lee, Canada is such a small community, and it's being reported that so many people (notably women) at CBC are tramautized over this, I really do wonder what it would be like for her to be dragged into this situation by Palmer. While I think Sook-Yin Lee is going to be pretty tough personality, it must be horrible to be associated at all with this situation. It is an example of how Jian Ghomeshi and other predators can really create a culture of violence in society - rape culture. What they do affects many other people in many ways, for a long time.
posted by Nevin at 8:21 PM on October 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


Dragged? Does Sook-Yin Lee not have agency to decide what she will and will not do?
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:26 PM on October 31, 2014 [6 favorites]


So apparently Jian actually set this whole thing off by asking for a meeting with the CBC (and then showing them his homemade porn to prove everything was consensual, so many levels of no) because he read a tweet from Jesse Brown saying a big, embarrassing story was upcoming.

Except the story was about Snowden.
posted by jeather at 8:27 PM on October 31, 2014 [14 favorites]


Megalomainiacs gonna megalomaniac.
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:37 PM on October 31, 2014 [6 favorites]


We had friends over for dinner on Sunday, just as JG's original FB post was gaining publicity. Consensus was that this was just one side of the story and we should wait to see how it unfolded. Glad we did, passing judgement then would have been foolish. Can't see him climbing out from under all of this.
Hugs and healing to everyone affected by this.
posted by arcticseal at 10:25 PM on October 31, 2014


Hey folks did you know that there's a person with OPINIONS about JG? On the internet!
AKA the Star writes the most vapid piece I've read in a long time.
posted by Lemurrhea at 5:07 AM on November 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


Lemurrhea:I judge your comment to be #PowerfulStuff. If that piece had appeared as is in The Onion, I would have thought nothing of it (except maybe to wonder that they had noticed Canada).
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:36 AM on November 1, 2014 [3 favorites]


I was talking with someone last night who told me she was disappointed to learn in all the scrutiny this week that Ghomeshi did not usually write the essays that he would read on Q. I replied that that was not even in my top twenty issues with Ghomeshi.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:50 AM on November 1, 2014 [4 favorites]


Reflections on dating Jian over five months in 2010: I now believe that Jian was grooming me for the same violence he inflicted on other women.
posted by jaruwaan at 6:14 AM on November 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


Has anyone else in public life in this country fallen as far as fast?

Ben Johnson?


That was the only competition for this degree of clay-footedness that came to mind, but I think Ghomeshi fell from higher and fell further. Consider: the guy had been a public figure for almost a quarter century. Twenty years ago, Ghomeshi was part of a popular (albeit not universally so) band with a heavy touring schedule and an enthusiastic following. Twenty years before the Seoul Olympics, Johnson was a six-year-old living in Jamaica; so far as I know, he was not known by anyone beyond family and friends. For the last seven years or so, Ghomeshi was the host of a flagship show on CBC, and had arguably a level of prominence in this country with any of the Mother Corps' front bench: Rick Mercer, Rex Murphy, Sook-Yin Lee, Stuart McLean. So far as I can tell, Ben Johnson first achieved any degree of celebrity with the 1982 Commonwealth games and I suspect his two bronze medals in the 1984 Olympics were the first time he became anything like well-known.

And ultimately, it seems the accusations against Ghomeshi are far more serious. I mean, it is hard to demonstrate an objective comparison, and I am sure there are people who would find cheating in a sporting event to be far more grave than beating multiple women (allegedly, of course), but I am not among them.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:48 AM on November 1, 2014 [4 favorites]


The other members of Moxy Früvous have released a statement claiming that they "had no inkling that Jian engaged in this type of behaviour".
That's pretty disappointing, since it sounds like Jian's behavior was an open secret among the fandom, so it's hard to imagine the guys who were around it all the time had "no inkling of it". I guess the non-specific "this behavior" leaves open the interpretation of "we knew he was a creep, we didn't know he hit women".

My band opened for them a couple of times in the 90s and they all seemed like really nice guys. (For one thing, they all paid attention to us during our opening set, which is unfortunately rare.) To learn that not only was Jian a predator, but also that the other guys are still claiming that they didn't know about any misbehavior, is very disappointing.
posted by dfan at 8:35 AM on November 1, 2014 [3 favorites]


"Toronto police are appealing for public assistance in their criminal investigation of former CBC star radio host Jian Ghomeshi now that three women have come forward to complain."
Police now probing 3 complaints against Jian Ghomeshi. [CTV]
posted by Fizz at 9:42 AM on November 1, 2014


The statement from the former members of Moxy Fruvous is distancing, impersonal, and kind of boilerplate, I think. I, too, find it disappointing, to say the least.

"No inkling" to me implies "we knew nothing; none of it" and from the many reports of "open secret" that is just hard to fathom.
posted by jaruwaan at 10:03 AM on November 1, 2014 [6 favorites]


Don't think this got posted: Rape myths emerge in wake of Ghomeshi story. They won't necessarily surprise us given the thread, but it is great to see in the Star. Actual feminist scholars! Quoted!
posted by Lemurrhea at 10:08 AM on November 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


The CBC has released its memo to staff about Jian Ghomeshi. (Sorry if I missed this upthread.)

In it, Heather Conway says CBC fired Ghomeshi because it saw "graphic evidence that [he] had caused physical injury to a woman." She goes on to talk about how that is "inconsistent with the character of the public broadcaster, fundamentally unacceptable for any employee, likely to bring the reputation of fellow employees and CBC into disrepute" and cannot be defended by the CBC. The memo repeats the phrase "physical injury" 3x, and never uses the word consent.

That strikes me as so weird. All week we've had all this thoughtful coverage of the consent issue, and for the CBC to basically say, after all that, "ick, weird sex, shame on you" -- it's just so clueless/tone-deaf.

Also Conway says that this summer the CBC conducted an investigation into Ghomeshi's behaviour and concluded "there were no complaints of [a non-consensual sex-related] nature related to Jian's behaviour in the workplace." But, that appears to not be true, because Jesse Brown has said in these tweets that one of the women he spoke with complained to the CBC union, and he has seen the mails from her rep there, Timothy Neesam, that say "I spoke with a CBC Radio manager & I spoke with [Q executive producer] Arif Noorani." So, it looks like CBC did know about at least one complaint.
posted by Susan PG at 10:13 AM on November 1, 2014


> The [CBC] memo repeats the phrase "physical injury" 3x, and never uses the word consent.

That strikes me as so weird. All week we've had all this thoughtful coverage of the consent issue, and for the CBC to basically say, after all that, "ick, weird sex, shame on you" -- it's just so clueless/tone-deaf.


Really? From a management or employer/employee point of view, how could the CBC reasonably make public reference to the consent issue, when it wasn't a matter of certain, defensible knowledge to them? But they now have court-worthy evidence of assault.

You can't easily fire someone for rumours, or even on a couple of workplace complaints, whereas you can most certainly and safely fire someone for committing felonious assault. Whatever the reason, they're rid of him.
posted by Artful Codger at 11:16 AM on November 1, 2014 [3 favorites]


That's pretty disappointing, since it sounds like Jian's behavior was an open secret among the fandom, so it's hard to imagine the guys who were around it all the time had "no inkling of it". I guess the non-specific "this behavior" leaves open the interpretation of "we knew he was a creep, we didn't know he hit women".

I was not in the inner circle of Fruvous fandom. I went to a bunch of concerts in several cities. I went two a couple of FruCons. I have all their CDs and a few band member solo CDs and some concert recordings that were traded online. I've been to a few band member solo concerts and seen band members perform with others. Still, I was never one to stay after the show to meet the band because I just never was. I came to hear the music and left.

So, as a fan but not an inner circle fan, the open secret that I heard was that he was arrogant and creepy. I did not hear that he was rape-y or non-consensually violent. Maybe the inner circle fans heard more. But based on what I heard, it doesn't seem implausible that they knew he liked to sleep with young women in a creepy predatory way, but not that he was doing anything non-consensual. Now of course if the rape-y bit was already known when he was at York, maybe it was known in his fruvous days, too, just not to me.

In short, I'm withholding judgement on whether the bandmates knew. However, I acknoledge that part of my motivation here may be a desire to not think people are so horrible. There's no much hope for thinking anything positive about Jian at this point, but can *four* people really be that awful? I hope not.

Also, what's been running through my head since last night: His poor mother. I can't imagine what it must be like to know that your son is a rapist.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 12:13 PM on November 1, 2014 [3 favorites]


But based on what I heard, it doesn't seem implausible that they knew he liked to sleep with young women in a creepy predatory way, but not that he was doing anything non-consensual.

in these types of threads we're often asked what men can do - how they can help - when most of the sexualized abuse women suffer is done in secret or in ways that men aren't socialized to see for a variety of reasons. moxy fruvous give us a good example of what can be done (or rather, an example of what not to do)...stop giving a pass, either explicitly or implicitly, to men in your extended social circles who are creepy and predatory - it is likely it's worse than you know. men always assure use that these types of creeps aren't their friends, that they know no one like that, but the truth of the matter is you likely do - look for them, keep your ears and eyes open to the interactions around you.

also, as far as fruvious goes, if the story about them being banned from a club because jian was trying to get the two 16 yr old bussers alone/was creepy towards the crowd/etc, than i am not buying that they were caught utterly unaware.
posted by nadawi at 12:29 PM on November 1, 2014 [9 favorites]


f the story about them being banned from a club because jian was trying to get the two 16 yr old bussers alone/was creepy towards the crowd/etc, than i am not buying that they were caught utterly unaware.

Missed that story. My bad.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 12:42 PM on November 1, 2014


i don't think it was here - it was fark or reddit or ontd - the bartender made a post about how creepy and and just generally awful jian was.
posted by nadawi at 1:05 PM on November 1, 2014


Really? From a management or employer/employee point of view, how could the CBC reasonably make public reference to the consent issue, when it wasn't a matter of certain, defensible knowledge to them? But they now have court-worthy evidence of assault.

I don't agree. I'm sure you're right that the CBC lawyers advised CBC management to focus on the reputational issue because it's irrefutable: it's obvious after all this that Jian Ghomeshi can't represent the CBC. And, I'm sure the lawyers advised CBC to focus on what was visible/known/provable, at the time that they fired him: i.e., the physical violence.

But that is an example of over-lawyering, and it's why good leadership takes legal advice into consideration, but doesn't let it drive. The memo was sent out on Friday, after nine women had come forward saying their rough sex experiences with Ghomeshi were utterly non-consensual. It was not primarily a legal document: it was a note to staff. To focus narrowly on physical violence in that context (like, "BDSM, ew") just entirely misses the point.

I also don't agree that the CBC, after seeing the videos, then had "court-worthy evidence of assault." Again, consent is key. The videos Ghomeshi showed CBC surely included women consenting to whatever violence was taking place -- that was the whole point of him having shown them.

The CBC could have said something like "after seeing the video, we knew we couldn't continue to work with Jian Ghomeshi for [x, y and z narrow legally-vetted reasons]." But then they needed to go on to say that in the week since, it's become apparent that the situation is far worse than they thought at the time, and that consent is at the heart of what happened here. To omit the consent aspect -- again, it just makes them seem prissy and clueless. And they do not need to be extremely super-cautious to legally justify their decision to fire Ghomeshi, at this point: it's obvious that his lawsuit is bullshit, he has no important supporters left, he may well end up going to prison, and the likelihood of him being awarded any kind of monetary settlement surely is practically nil.

I am just disappointed. There was an opportunity here for the CBC to show leadership and to help make sense of this entire thing, both for its own staff and the people of Canada. To advance the conversation. And it dropped the ball.
posted by Susan PG at 1:13 PM on November 1, 2014 [6 favorites]


To focus narrowly on physical violence in that context (like, "BDSM, ew") just entirely misses the point.

To be fair, they had to know the memo would be made public, and Ghomeshi's already suing them for defamation. So the wording has to be clear and very careful.

I'm a happy kinkster, and I didn't get any 'BDSM, ew' from the memo at all, FWIW. I got "Someone who inflicts bruises on other people is going to have a negative blowback for our image." It's not the CBC's job to change the country's mind on BDSM, and as a taxpayer-funded institution they have to be--and rightly so--extremely mindful of how they are perceived by the public.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:17 PM on November 1, 2014 [5 favorites]


I also don't agree that the CBC, after seeing the videos, then had "court-worthy evidence of assault." Again, consent is key.

Upthread there were a couple of links saying that, in Canada, it is not legally possible to consent to assault that causes injury. So if the video shows Ghomeshi causing injury, I'd think that counts as "court-worthy evidence of assault," regardless of whether the women gave consent or not.
posted by Emanuel at 1:59 PM on November 1, 2014 [13 favorites]


> But then [the CBC] needed to go on to say that ... consent is at the heart of what happened here. To omit the consent aspect -- again, it just makes them seem prissy and clueless.

...There was an opportunity here for the CBC to show leadership and to help make sense of this entire thing, both for its own staff and the people of Canada. To advance the conversation. And it dropped the ball.


Look, the CBC is an employer. In that missive to their employees, that's the context. The whole issue of consent... is still, at present, a set of unproven allegations. I'm not trying to belittle any victims or deny their stories, but legally speaking these stories remain just allegations. No employer would be legally safe to take to a pulpit to rail about allegations. In terms of investigations, it's still early days.

More importantly, the CBC is a broadcaster and a well-respected news organization. Every CBC radio newscast that I've heard today has led with the Ghomeshi story. Hardly clueless.
posted by Artful Codger at 2:14 PM on November 1, 2014 [6 favorites]


Not sure if this has been linked but I couldn't find it up above:
"One of Canada’s most famous broadcasters is accused of choking, bruising and biting several women. Now I see our relationship in a new light."
"I dated Jian Ghomeshi, Canada's fallen radio star....." by Ruth Spencer [The Guardian]
posted by Fizz at 2:15 PM on November 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


Y'all are missing my point. I'll try once more and then I'll stop :)

Yes, there is obviously a legal component to the note, in that the CBC can't afford to worsen its legal position. And there are 5,000 employees at the CBC, so obviously the note would be made public.

But the note itself is not primarily a tool for the CBC's legal defense of its actions. There have been reports all week of internal CBC meetings at which people were breaking down crying. The organization is obviously traumatized by this -- by the idea that it sheltered and promoted, however unknowingly, a guy who appears to have been a serial abuser of young women, almost certainly including their own youngest and most vulnerable. In an organization that prides itself on its treatment of women, and which is majority-female at the executive level. I guarantee you that there are a billion awkward, painful conversations happening at the CBC right now, with people comparing what they know and feeling like shit.

In that context, there is space for leadership. That note wasn't leadership. That what I'm saying here.
posted by Susan PG at 4:05 PM on November 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


Knowing that there was a 100% chance that the memo would become public, and knowing that every word will be scrutinized by Ghomeshi's legal counsel for the already-filed defamation suit, how would you reword what they said?
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 4:09 PM on November 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


The CBC has released its memo to staff about Jian Ghomeshi. (Sorry if I missed this upthread.)

Susan PG, yeah there was a little discussion of this (consent vs injury in the memo) upthread.

I am sure CBC is just being very careful to explain exactly why Ghomeshi was fired and nothing more. They can hardly say "OK maybe we were hasty at the time but subsequent events have proved us right."

But it's probably a moot point since "ew, bdsm" appears to be somewhat baked into Canadian law (thanks for noting that, Emanuel, I'd missed that link earlier... certainly throws CBC's legal perspective in a different light).

Ghomeshi reportedly spent some of the time in the CBC meeting using the videos to try to prove that bruises can result from consensual rough sex. That was his opinion; I suppose if he'd been reported it would have been up to the courts to decide whether what he did during those supposedly consensual encounters constituted "bodily harm" or not? But it was obviously enough for CBC to conclude that no fucking way were they going to stand by him long enough to find out.

(Speaking of the videos... I wonder if the woman/en in them consented to having them shown to a bunch of CBC execs. Good lord.)
posted by torticat at 5:24 PM on November 1, 2014 [4 favorites]


Some pretty great commentary here
posted by Klaxon Aoooogah at 5:29 PM on November 1, 2014


I think the first part of the memo is basically fine. What's missing is something like this:

"In the past week, we've heard increasingly disturbing allegations from numerous women saying Jian Ghomeshi assaulted them violently without their consent. We don't yet know the whole story, and we may never know it. But we do know that for our organization, it's been a tough week. The CBC prides itself on being fair and equitable, and it's hard for us to imagine we may have unknowingly sheltered and promoted a person who behaved in a way that's the antithesis of our values." And then x, y and z about internal investigation, what will happen next, etc.

I dunno. That's spitballing from my phone, and this is not a hill I want to die on. Obviously the people at the CBC are not the most important people in this story. I just know a lot of them, and am feeling empathy for the confusion and pain I'm sure many there are experiencing. I feel like situations like this offer the opportunity for organizations to grow and get smarter, if they are wiling to be a little raw and honest. That's all.
posted by Susan PG at 5:43 PM on November 1, 2014 [4 favorites]


What's missing is something like this:...

I know nothing about Canadian law, but in the US it is incredibly common to have a stated reason for firing (eg "came to work late three times despite repeated counseling") and the real reason (eg "terrible attitude and kind of creepy"), and any employer knows not to put the real reason into writing. I think you are looking for closure and nuance from a memo that has to stay strictly to the official line.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:18 PM on November 1, 2014 [9 favorites]


Leaving aside the point that in Canadian law there is apparently no such thing as consent to sex that causes injury, I almost wonder if dude made the videos at least in part as insurance, with a view to exonerating himself if and when his other habit -- nonconsensual assault -- began to cause serious trouble for him. It seems more than a trifle exhibitionistic, and possibly premeditated (not to mention distasteful) that he would show his employer a bunch of material documenting consensual BDSM sexual encounters as "proof" that his partners were willing, rather than taking some other tack such as, I dunno, acknowledging that he had a problem and committing himself to getting help.

Besides, even a multimedia presentation showing clear and umambiguous consent from one or more women to sexual activities that left them bruised certainly wouldn't prove in itself that he never assaulted anyone, especially if there'd been allegations of harassment/abuse from women he worked with. Maybe he was too deluded to have thought of that, though.

Ugh.
posted by FrauMaschine at 8:03 PM on November 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


Frau, he's either breathtakingly clueless, has NPD (which would make him breathtakingly clueless among other things) or sociopathic. Whatever his species of problem is, I hope he's never, ever able to hurt anyone again.
posted by Klaxon Aoooogah at 9:45 PM on November 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


cool. no comments in over 12 hours. to quote a long gone uncle, "we're not just finished with him, we're done."
posted by philip-random at 9:51 AM on November 2, 2014


I've actually been thinking a lot about something someone said upthread, about what does he do now? No Sunday brunch out today, no Hallowe'en party, no Saturday night cocktails. No job tomorrow.
If this man suffers from an anxiety disorder, and has any tendency towards depression, I would hope his therapist is keeping a suicide watch.
Because it's looking as though he has lost everything that mattered to him.
posted by antiquated at 10:25 AM on November 2, 2014 [8 favorites]


Speaking of his therapist, what has his therapist's life been like this week? Good grief.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 10:35 AM on November 2, 2014 [3 favorites]


Along the same lines, I was wondering if we are going to hear that he was abused as a child.
posted by Mid at 10:39 AM on November 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


I would hope his therapist is keeping a suicide watch.
Because it's looking as though he has lost everything that mattered to him.


Yes, that's becoming my worry too - if it all starts crashing in on him, that he's lost it all and that he wasn't engaging in edgy sex but, in fact, abusing people - that we might be dealing with a very different story.
posted by nubs at 11:39 AM on November 2, 2014


This is pretty damning, from many years ago
posted by seawallrunner at 11:58 AM on November 2, 2014 [3 favorites]


Wow, I couldn't even listen to half of that. Wow.
posted by antiquated at 12:22 PM on November 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


Is there a summary? Not sure I want to subject myself to it...
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:53 PM on November 2, 2014


Along the same lines, I was wondering if we are going to hear that he was abused as a child.

Of course we are. Whether it is true or not, it is literally his last chance at a saving roll. There is no other story he can tell that would get people on his side.

If he decides to opt out of suffering the consequences of his actions, that, too, is all on him. I can't see any reason to care whether he decides to live or die. Whatever results in him never injuring women again is fine with me.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:15 PM on November 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


In a news story which began with boatloads of people accusing women of making up assaults for their own gain, I'd rather not progress to preemptively accusing a man of making up assaults for his own gain. Even if he is a total reprehensible scumbag.
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:21 PM on November 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


Also can we not wish suicide on people?
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:21 PM on November 2, 2014 [13 favorites]


But if he does, sadly (because suicide is a pretty horrible thing, regardless of who does it), is it okay to use Ghomeshi as a reason NOT to kill myself when I find myself in my darkest of dark moments? Because having to spend eternity hanging out with Hitler AND Ghomeshi in the 7th ring of hell would be the WORST THING EVER.
posted by echolalia67 at 1:28 PM on November 2, 2014 [3 favorites]


So that video that seawallrunner linked to a few comments up is Jian in his long-haired Moxy Fruvous days. It's backstage after (before?) a show and Jian is at piano improvising a song. "All my fans make sick. I'd like to hit them with a stick." Then he tells the camera that it might sound like he's joking but he's really not, because the fans are just a bunch of losers and the band is so much better than they are etc etc. Then he goes back to the song about wanting to hit people. So yeah. Yeah.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 2:34 PM on November 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


antiquated: 'I've actually been thinking a lot about something someone said upthread, about what does he do now? No Sunday brunch out today, no Hallowe'en party, no Saturday night cocktails. No job tomorrow.
If this man suffers from an anxiety disorder, and has any tendency towards depression, I would hope his therapist is keeping a suicide watch.
Because it's looking as though he has lost everything that mattered to him.'


The shock of this story has by now pretty much worn off completely yet, despite finding this whole thing horribly depressing and saddening, I've by now pretty much 'moved on' . . . yet here I am still Googling Ghomeshi multiple times each day. As to why, I'm not fully sure. It could be almost solely for the grim reason that I've a strong inkling he'll be attempting suicide any moment now. (Note: I don't wish death on him—I don't wish death on anyone no matter what they've done—it's just that this seems almost inevitable)

I wonder how Ghomeshi's sister, who happens to live very close to me, feels about this whole situation. Would be interesting to see what she has to say about it, especially considering that she is / was very close to her brother.
posted by GlassHeart at 3:05 PM on November 2, 2014


I've actually been thinking a lot about something someone said upthread, about what does he do now

this says a lot
posted by philip-random at 3:49 PM on November 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


One young woman's experience as Jian Ghomeshi's unpaid intern.
posted by orange swan at 3:52 PM on November 2, 2014


Jesse Brown has just posted a new Canadaland episode: We all knew about Jian: "Roberto Veri used to work for CBC's Q with Jian Ghomeshi. He witnessed harassment that he never reported, until now. Also: the extraordinary circumstances that led to Ghomeshi's downfall."

I haven't listened yet, but according to Jonathan Goldsbie: "A previously unreported, arguably more severe act of workplace sexual harassment by Ghomeshi is discussed. ... Brown reveals that in addition to the Star, Vice had also originally declined to publish the initial set of allegations against Ghomeshi."
posted by maudlin at 8:50 PM on November 2, 2014 [3 favorites]


Then he tells the camera that it might sound like he's joking but he's really not, because the fans are just a bunch of losers and the band is so much better than they are etc etc.

That's pretty much how I guessed they felt about the fans. We were a pretty dorky set. At the time I kind of wondered if that was why they went on hiatus. They just kind of thought they were too good for their fans and got tired of playing for a bunch of dorks. Jian gave this impression the most and Mike the least, was my sense.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 9:12 PM on November 2, 2014


stop giving a pass, either explicitly or implicitly, to men in your extended social circles who are creepy and predatory - it is likely it's worse than you know. men always assure use that these types of creeps aren't their friends, that they know no one like that, but the truth of the matter is you likely do - look for them, keep your ears and eyes open to the interactions around you.

Yeah, this. I'm not going to relate my experiences (or my friends' experiences) with such things here, but Nadawi speaks truth.
posted by KathrynT at 9:15 PM on November 2, 2014 [3 favorites]


I keep coming back to the videos he presented to the executives as exonerating evidence. The BigEarsBear twitter that was purportedly a student abused by Jian, mentioned that there was a large collection of videos. How did this person know about the videos? Did Jian show them to other people?

I have to wonder if the women in the videos knew they were being filmed, or if they gave consent for them to be shown. I've read a lot of words, so I may have missed it, but I don't remember either of the consensual BDSM partners saying anything about filming.
posted by dejah420 at 9:27 PM on November 2, 2014


Yeah, it was an open secret, part 87 or so: according to tomorrow's Star, journalism students at the University of Western Ontario were warned against interning at Q. (Link goes to tweet and screencap of print front page -- no story online yet).
posted by maudlin at 9:36 PM on November 2, 2014


I'm wondering if it was a student who heard other women's stories and decided to see if she could get him on tape. Maybe BigEarsBear was rubbing his face in it a bit.
posted by echolalia67 at 9:54 PM on November 2, 2014


Here's a link to the story Maudlin referenced
posted by modernnomad at 3:21 AM on November 3, 2014


The other thing Goldsbie tweeted last night: Things got awkward.
posted by clavicle at 5:33 AM on November 3, 2014 [3 favorites]


Jesse Brown has just posted a new Canadaland episode

Whoa. That is WELL worth a listen. Confirms/pulls together some of the threads that have been discussed here.

Also fascinating as a discussion between two men about what they knew about JG and did not act on, and why.
posted by torticat at 6:54 AM on November 3, 2014 [1 favorite]




"I had been trying to talk to Ghomeshi since June about our investigation into these serious allegations, hoping he would sit down and give his side of the story."
...
"And now a strange twist was going to give me an hour or two with the man that women said beat and choked them without consent."
Jian Ghomeshi’s unplanned dinner with Star writer Kevin Donovan
posted by Fizz at 7:33 AM on November 3, 2014 [3 favorites]


Wow, that Canadaland podcast. It's really hard to listen to this guy just going on about what he saw and why he didn't speak up or do anything.

On one hand, I have a lot of sympathy for his reasons: "Nobody will listen, I'm too low on the totem pole, they would have gone after my job, you just turn your head and soldier on..." Yup, right, all this is true, tough situation. Now imagine all that, plus at the same time you're the one getting harassed and groped at work and your coworkers are watching and making funny inside jokes about choking instead of helping.

Still, nice of them to speak up now that there's no risk at all except getting too many hits and becoming big damn podcast heroes.
posted by Freyja at 8:26 AM on November 3, 2014 [6 favorites]


"Living well is the best revenge."

Listened this morning to Q with Brent Bambry, and was interested to hear the short "listener support" section at the end. A lot of people sharing my own feeling, that Q is a good show and there are a lot of good people behind the scenes, and that we can keep enjoying it without that previous host.

Also had a short giggle, thinking this morning that I know exactly what Jian Gomeshi was doing this morning - listening to Q, just like me.

I hope that Brent and the other fill-in hosts will be talking to a lot of women in the coming months, women who have interesting perspectives on gender and culture, the arts, all that stuff... preferably many of them women who didn't want to come work with creepy Jian but are now freed of that encumbrance. Also hoping that, like the one guest today, many people will cheer lead and sing the praises of the show, on the show. Let's be explicit that it is CBC's show, Canada's show, the listeners' show.

Listen to that and suck on it Jian!
posted by Meatbomb at 8:32 AM on November 3, 2014 [11 favorites]


Still, nice of them to speak up now that there's no risk at all except getting too many hits and becoming big damn podcast heroes.

Maybe I'm confused, but isn't Canadaland the source that originally went to The Star?
posted by ODiV at 8:36 AM on November 3, 2014 [2 favorites]


(Cannot listen to the podcast currently and just realized I probably shouldn't have commented since I'm obviously missing some information contained within.)
posted by ODiV at 8:39 AM on November 3, 2014


...isn't Canadaland the source that originally went to The Star?

Yah, I'm mostly talking about the guest, although I'll admit my comment was uncharitable. I shouldn't be so dismissive of the hurdles men face when confronting issues of harassment in the workplace. It just made me viscerally angry to listen to him recite the same list of reasons women cite for not reporting, but from a position of relative security, in a somewhat amused tone, while recounting all the funny codes and jokes they had to talk about abuse everybody knew was occuring.

He clearly feels sorry for not acting now, he apologized to that woman and is telling the story in support of her. That's absolutely commendable. And I have nothing but thumbs up for all the work Jesse Brown put in to get the story out.
posted by Freyja at 8:43 AM on November 3, 2014 [6 favorites]


I'm six minutes into the canadaland podcast, and listening to the guest talk about how he felt about Jian -- "I would mortgage my house to send my daughter to Italy for a month to stop her from dating that guy." "Because of the nonconsensual stuff?" "No, nothing like that."

And I'm just thinking -- what are you saving her from? Are you worried that she's into this stuff, that she'll be excited to participate in this behavior? And if that's not what you're worried about, what ARE you worried about? Surely, you're worried that your hypothetical daughter will get subjected to behavior that she doesn't want, right? Because that is THE DEFINITION OF NONCONSENSUAL.
posted by KathrynT at 8:54 AM on November 3, 2014 [2 favorites]


Perhaps I am too optimistic, but I really feel like this whole incident might, in the long run, have a positive impact on the way men and women relate to each other. It's a hell of an example to point to, on the dangers of just going along with things and writing off creepy behavior as merely weird and not predatory.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:58 AM on November 3, 2014 [5 favorites]


At the gym this morning, I overheard a late-40s or early-50s man loudly 'explaining' the Ghomeshi situation to his personal trainer. Except he was giving the one-week-old, bullshit-even-then version. "He says it was consensual, they say it wasn't, it's just his word against theirs," and so on.

A depressing reminder that not everyone is following this story closely, and not everyone is on board with the idea that, yeah, it's now pretty much undeniable that this man is an abusive creep.
posted by erlking at 8:58 AM on November 3, 2014 [3 favorites]


erlking, did you speak up and give him the facts?
posted by KathrynT at 8:59 AM on November 3, 2014 [3 favorites]


This is an aside to the larger theme of how being in a position of power enables cover ups of bad behavior.

I find myself wondering when, if at any time, there was a "needle scratch" moment in Ghomeshi's life. You know, that moment in a comedy when everything is going swimmingly, everyone's onboard and happily proceeding with the plan, and one character reveals to his cohorts that he has it all horribly, horribly wrong.

Was there any point where someone could have said, "... hey Jian, you need to get your head straightened out, that shit is thoroughly fucked up" and be taken seriously by him? If so, why was that point not made or not more forcefully made? Does the background noise of sexism just allow ideas and desires like this to float along building power, impervious to intervention and insight? I'm assuming that at one point he was a very normal kid/teen/young man unless he, like Ted Bundy, displayed sociopathic tendencies as a very young age.

These are just questions that weigh on me as the mother of a young boy. I really hope that if my son starts to ruminate and get comfortable with this kind of ugly line of thinking about sex and women, there's a record scratch moment and I or someone trustworthy is there to catch it before this kind of malevolence takes root.
posted by echolalia67 at 9:12 AM on November 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


I wanted to, but there wasn't really an opportunity - he was across the room (he was talking in a really loud voice, is the only reason I could hear him - total broadcasting-masculinity-entitled-aging-former-jock-wealthy-businessman-who-isn't-used-to-being-challenged vibes). Also, I am really nervous of confrontation and generally have difficulty speaking to strangers, although I know that is not a good excuse. I told myself if I catch him in a better spot sometime in the next week (he's a regular, I've seen him before), I will speak to him.
posted by erlking at 9:16 AM on November 3, 2014 [3 favorites]


To clear things up for those who were as confused as I was- erlking is responding to KathrynT, not to echolalia67.
posted by beau jackson at 9:31 AM on November 3, 2014


Q has a really deep bench to draw from, and many smart producers. JG hardly did all his own research or thought up all those questions himself. Developing talent has always been a CBC strength. Keeping it, eh.

For a program that probably had a lot of content in the can that can't now be used, they've handled the transition with no drop in quality that I can tell. Brent was his usual capable self, from what little I was able to listen to. It will be interesting to see whom they pick for permanent host.
posted by bonehead at 9:35 AM on November 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


Thanks, bonehead. Here is a pretty short but interesting storify that reinforces what you are saying: Ghomeshi's Staff & Their Invisibility.
posted by taz at 9:57 AM on November 3, 2014


New host? Nora Young. Nora Young. Nora Young. Nora Young.

Thank you for your consideration.
posted by maudlin at 10:06 AM on November 3, 2014 [5 favorites]


Like I said, a deep bench: Young, Piya Chattopadhyay, Brent Bambury, Sook Yin Lee, and those are just the obvious ones.

My favourite dark horse: Amanda Putz. She's available.
posted by bonehead at 10:13 AM on November 3, 2014 [3 favorites]


They really ought to go with a female host.
posted by orange swan at 10:19 AM on November 3, 2014 [7 favorites]


I'm six minutes into the canadaland podcast, and listening to the guest talk about how he felt about Jian -- "I would mortgage my house to send my daughter to Italy for a month to stop her from dating that guy." "Because of the nonconsensual stuff?" "No, nothing like that."

And I'm just thinking -- what are you saving her from? Are you worried that she's into this stuff, that she'll be excited to participate in this behavior? And if that's not what you're worried about, what ARE you worried about? Surely, you're worried that your hypothetical daughter will get subjected to behavior that she doesn't want, right? Because that is THE DEFINITION OF NONCONSENSUAL.


I don't know. I can think of plenty of guys who I would strongly discourage any friends from dating, but for the most part, they aren't guys I'd ascribe anything non-consensual to. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe not.
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:56 AM on November 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


I agree, wholeheartedly, orange swan. I think the CBC really has some work to do:

1) Addressing how a serial harasser was able to be described as someone with a "clean work history". From the sounds of things, they owe a NUMBER of people grave apologies and possibly reparations.
2) Allowing a culture to develop like we're hearing existed at Q: brilliant staff, has all their credit stolen.

I think replacing this ousted voice with a woman's voice would be a wonderful start.

On our cultural to-do list?
1) Sort out how we can do a much better job allowing victims to feel that they can speak up so they can be heard and action can be taken.
2) Sort out how we can learn to step up and stop people like this guy before they are able to abuse women for 25+ years without comeuppance.
3) Sort out how we can do a much better job for fully half of our population - listening more, respecting more, learning more. Goddamnit men, we have GOT to be better than this.
posted by Richat at 10:56 AM on November 3, 2014 [6 favorites]


Nora Young has had her turn at the wheel for decades on CBC radio and she's never really managed to grab an audience. I liked her DNTO much better than the Lets-Be-TAL the new DNTO is, but it still wasn't a huge draw. It's not that she's not competent, but she's not that charismatic. As much as Ghomeshi is a dick, I think he was a really good host. As much as I hate to say it, it's clearly not the kind of skill that's easily taught or even learned.

Of course, you don't have to be the greatest interviewer in the world to host a solid show for a long time. Witness my perpetual hate for Terri Gross.
posted by GuyZero at 11:04 AM on November 3, 2014 [2 favorites]


I'm remembering something that happened in college, which I had almost completely forgotten about.

My friend Kate went on a few dates with this guy, I didn't really speak to him much but he seemed normal enough the one or two times I met him. At one of these times I discovered he'd gone to the same high school as another friend of mine (state school, most people were from nearby), and I mentioned it to her, that some guy named [I can't remember, let's say Alex] who went to her school was dating my friend, and did she know him?

"Does he have a gap between his front teeth?" "Yeah." "That guy date raped one of my friends."

So, what did we do? We called Kate and told her this and she stopped seeing him. But that's as far as it went. I didn't know any of his friends, I had barely met him. What else was there to do?
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:04 AM on November 3, 2014 [2 favorites]


So apparently Jian actually set this whole thing off by asking for a meeting with the CBC (and then showing them his homemade porn to prove everything was consensual, so many levels of no) because he read a tweet from Jesse Brown saying a big, embarrassing story was upcoming.

Except the story was about Snowden.


This is covered at the end of that Canadaland podcast (starting around 27:45). Brown said no one would touch his story, which is why he sat on it for so long, and it only started getting attention after the firing... which only happened because Jian THOUGHT the story was about to come out, but it actually wasn't.

If true, then... well, wow.
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:58 AM on November 3, 2014 [4 favorites]


Oh, and that's also why he made that big Facebook post: because he thought the stories were about to run. They still weren't. Until the Facebook post.
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:05 PM on November 3, 2014 [2 favorites]


For a new host I'm thinking Karen Gordon, Brent Bambury, Nora Young, Kevin Sylvester. The twitters are all over Jann Arden but I think she'd not be so great at the serious/political stuff. I'm not a fan of Piya Chattopadhayi. She's maybe got the opposite problem. Not good at the lighter stuff, but better at the heavy stuff. Also, no to Sook Yin Lee. And they can't possibly keep the name Q. It's too damaged. They should just move Brent Bambury's Day Six over, rename it and move on. I kind of thought of it a sister show to Q anyway.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 12:41 PM on November 3, 2014


I've always felt that Bambury was wasted across all his radio work. He's so good but only seems to get short-run and fill-in stuff. More Bambury!
posted by GuyZero at 12:47 PM on November 3, 2014 [5 favorites]


I'm a big fan of his too (fell asleep to ".....goodnight..." many times as an undergrad), but I feel the opposite: he doesn't work well on tv, but give him something like GO! or Day Six and he's in his element.
posted by bonehead at 1:13 PM on November 3, 2014


I like the idea of having multiple hosts for Q or Show-That-Q-Will-Become. It discourages a cult of personality from forming, and it provides a bit of variety. I never listened to Q because I could not STAND Ghomeshi as an interviewer or commentator, even when he was Canada's Sweetheart - in my opinion, he was smug and smarmy; he interrupted his subjects when they seemed on the verge of saying something truly interesting, and he was often poorly researched (I would occasionally tune in if he scored an interview with someone I really loved, and he'd invariably get a basic fact wrong, or say something that revealed he was fairly ill-informed). Now, if he only hosted 1/3 of the flagship national arts and culture show, I wouldn't have tuned stopped listening completely; I'd just have skipped Tuesdays and Thursdays or whatever.

Also: Tom Power! Tom Power! Tom Power!
posted by erlking at 1:31 PM on November 3, 2014


Allowing a culture to develop like we're hearing existed at Q: brilliant staff, has all their credit stolen.

Unfortunately pretty common.
posted by juiceCake at 1:45 PM on November 3, 2014


Norm MacDonald has thrown his hat in.
posted by bonehead at 1:49 PM on November 3, 2014


showbiz Liz: Now when high school students reading the Greek tragedies have a hard time understanding the concept of hubris, all we have to do is say "for example, Ghomeshi".

I've never seen this level of self-delusion outside of someone who is swept up in a massive, tsunami-like manic and/or psychotic episode. And let's make no mistake: this is arrogance, not mental illness. He really thought he was smarter than the average bear and that he could keep doing this for years to come. In his mind, this was just a little bump that could be smoothed out with the help of lawyers and a good PR firm. Just, wow.
posted by echolalia67 at 1:50 PM on November 3, 2014 [5 favorites]


Norm MacDonald has thrown his hat in.

The show would change from Q to Stoned?
posted by juiceCake at 2:00 PM on November 3, 2014 [2 favorites]


At what point does arrogance become delusion become illness? I'm not certain it matters. His hubris is pathological, fortunately. Otherwise we might never have seen what he thought was ok.

I have a hope, a feeling that worst is yet to come for him. If the police get to see what the bear saw, Mr. Ghomeshi might yet see jail time.
posted by bonehead at 2:24 PM on November 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


That's pretty much how I guessed they felt about the fans. We were a pretty dorky set. At the time I kind of wondered if that was why they went on hiatus. They just kind of thought they were too good for their fans and got tired of playing for a bunch of dorks. Jian gave this impression the most and Mike the least, was my sense.


I met Mike Ford as a high school student, after Fruvous went on hiatus. Mike was touring, promoting his solo work, and performing historical songs about Canada in public schools. Moxy Fruvous was the first band I ever really liked, as a young kid, and though I had outgrown them by high school, I was still incredibly thrilled to meet him. I was this dorky and weird and overly excitable girl and he was so incredibly gracious and kind to me.

It's hard for me to square that with the creeping suspicion that the other members of MF must have known, or at least suspected, that something very bad was up with Jian.
posted by mellifluous at 2:29 PM on November 3, 2014 [4 favorites]


When I was about 19, I interviewed half of Moxy Fruvous for my zine. I showed up to the Middle East while the band was soundchecking, and Jian was a little...insistent, I guess, about doing the interview. Mike and Murray had to intervene and say "no, we're going to talk to her." The next time they played Boston, they pulled a clearly drunk woman on stage with them for a (surprisingly good, under the circumstances) cover of "Brown-Eyed Girl".

...and now I'm wondering what happened to that woman.
posted by pxe2000 at 4:25 PM on November 3, 2014 [2 favorites]


The woman who previously spoke on As It Happens about having been victimized by Ghomeshi is one of the three (so far) to have brought their story to the police. Tonight, she spoke again with As It Happens about her experience reporting it to the Toronto police [audio starts ~9min in]. It's a wonderfully thoughtful (and encouraging, under the circumstances) interview.
posted by Westringia F. at 5:32 PM on November 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


I shouldn't be so dismissive of the hurdles men face when confronting issues of harassment in the workplace.

No, I had some of the same reaction, Freyja. I was conflicted listening to that, and part of the reason I thought it was fascinating was BECAUSE it was two men examining their own reactions to the whole thing.

The interviewee did say he didn't know what kind of relationship Ghomeshi and that woman might have had outside of work, so... yeah, it might have felt weird or intrusive for him to try to do something about it at the time. It was only after he heard/read her testimony that he realized, holy shit that was the thing I witnessed (also they talk about how it wasn't actually even the event he witnessed, but another similar one with the same woman).

Anyway, yeah, the guy doesn't come off looking like a hero; but OTOH he didn't sound like he wanted to. And the more people hear that discussion being had--among men--about paying attention and maybe daring to speak up when things seem squicky--that is ALL to the good.
posted by torticat at 7:04 PM on November 3, 2014 [7 favorites]




And I'm just thinking -- what are you saving her from? Are you worried that she's into this stuff, that she'll be excited to participate in this behavior?

I'd strongly discourage my daughter from dating anyone in his mid-forties who serially dated women in their mid-twenties.

Also if my daughter ends up into bdsm, so be it, but I'd never be comfortable with the idea of her being choked out, consensual or not.

Also I'd tell my daughter than any guy who feels up a woman in the workplace--even if they're dating--is a fucking creep.

I imagine there was a lot that people knew that was enough for them to be PLENTY leery of Ghomeshi without knowing he punched women in the head.
posted by torticat at 7:18 PM on November 3, 2014 [5 favorites]


We had the radio on in our car on the way home from dinner tonight. It was a pretty interesting interview with Walter Isaacson about early computing leaders; I think he has a new book out. Toward the end my husband said "this is Q, the show that Jian Gomeshi used to host". We both noticed the interviewer stumbled over the name of the presenter who was going to host the next show.
posted by immlass at 7:23 PM on November 3, 2014


The Norm Macdonald suggestion may or may not be serious, but I'd love to see it. First item: a weekly Washington check-in with brother Neil. Tell me that's not a winner idea.
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:48 PM on November 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


Carl Wilson, Toronto's man about music, weighs in.

Final paragraph ...

Already, amid the racket, you have heard new whispers, about other men. You don’t want to believe them. But you do. So far, you have done nothing about it.
posted by philip-random at 8:09 PM on November 3, 2014 [2 favorites]


From the interview Westringia F. linked:
And the police treated me with the utmost respect and care, and there was no judgment, there was nothing shameful about it, they didn't express their own opinions or anything like that, it was — it was a lot easier than I thought. And it was an emotional day, but it was not what people are expecting.

Was it something of a relief?

It was a big relief.
Although when she goes on to talk about how most of her family don't know about it, and she's hoping they don't find out because of the fallout that would then hit them… yeah, despite that previous optimistic note, find myself still hating society.

Still, it's remarkable how positive her experience with the police seems to have been.
posted by Lexica at 9:08 PM on November 3, 2014


Still, it's remarkable how positive her experience with the police seems to have been.

I would have been surprised if they hadn't done an exemplary job here. They had a tonne of lead time, they actually invited the women to please come forward so they could get started, they knew it was the hottest story in Canada.
posted by Meatbomb at 5:33 AM on November 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


Carl Wilson, Toronto's man about music, weighs in.

This is super important:

"The worst thing, you [he means 'I'] realize, is that you tended to look down on Jian’s conquests. As if anyone who fell for his come-ons was a fool, instead of merely lacking the advantage of inside knowledge.

No wonder the women didn’t hope to be taken seriously. No wonder most filed no grievances, and none of them laid charges, nor spoke out in public, until they learned they were not alone."
posted by showbiz_liz at 5:33 AM on November 4, 2014 [7 favorites]


Women have stories that they share with each other, that are often invisible to the men around them. Stories like passwords.
posted by dejah420 at 6:10 AM on November 4, 2014 [9 favorites]


One of Canada's prime legal ethicists wrote a good post on the challenges in representing people like JG, here. Discusses both filing of probably-meritless claims as well as not turning evidence over to the cops.
posted by Lemurrhea at 10:36 AM on November 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


Ed the Sock's commentary is worth a read.
posted by beau jackson at 1:23 PM on November 4, 2014 [6 favorites]


I have to admit, I am surprised that Ed the Sock of all peoplepuppets has something so cogent to say about this issue.
posted by jacquilynne at 3:08 PM on November 4, 2014 [4 favorites]


Even a sock has more respect for women than Jian Ghomeshi.
posted by wabbittwax at 5:04 PM on November 4, 2014 [3 favorites]


Huh, I've never been a fan of Ed the Sock, but that was great. And I'm so relieved to hear that about Strombo. I'm not particularly a fan. I've only seen his show a couple of times. Which is actually more times than I've listed to a full episode of Q, actually. Anyway, not that I'm a fan, but I just don't want to hear any more like this and I'm glad we probably won't be hearing that Strombo is an ass, too.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 5:21 PM on November 4, 2014


On my limited experience, Strombo is the real deal. And he gives great facebook. But maaaaan, is he a Close Talker.
posted by Capt. Renault at 6:29 PM on November 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


Toronto Star says a guy has now come forward stating Jian grabbed him in a sexual way when they were at York U.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 7:55 PM on November 4, 2014


Jesus Christ, ThatCanadianGirl, that article is horrifying. JG, who's clearly a sexual predator, has been getting away with this for a long, long long time.
posted by Klaxon Aoooogah at 10:27 PM on November 4, 2014


Ed the Sock's comment was definitely interesting. I have no problem believing that he and his team run a decent, respectful workplace. I do think he doth protest too much about his raunchier show, though. While entertainers like him (or, say, Howard Stern) don't usually go over the edge of sexually appropriate behaviour, they certainly earn notoriety and coin from coming close to it (whether satiric/ironic or not). In other words they make money from the same sort of sexual ignorance, taboos, myths and innuendo that also shelters abusers and muzzles victims.
posted by Artful Codger at 5:46 AM on November 5, 2014 [5 favorites]


Ghomeshi has retained criminal lawyer Marie Henein, the same lawyer who represented Michael Bryant. Interestingly, she made jokes about him at recent Criminal Lawyers Association gala dinner:

“As criminal lawyers we represent people who have committed heinous acts. Acts of violence. Acts of depravity. Acts of cruelty. Or as Jian Ghomeshi likes to call it, foreplay,” she said to the crowd of about 450 lawyers, including judges of both the provincial and superior court where his case might be heard if charges are laid.
posted by torisaur at 6:42 AM on November 5, 2014 [8 favorites]


Jeez, that article...

Another former student, Kerry Eady, now an arts and crafts teacher in Nova Scotia, recalls attending an informal meeting at York University in the fall of 1988, where residence advisers (senior students) “told us they’d had reports from a couple of young women who had bad dates with Jian Ghomeshi … that he had hit them.” One female student had told the residence advisers she was choked, Eady said.
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:54 AM on November 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


So he's hired Bryant's PR firm and lawyer.
posted by chunking express at 9:22 AM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


As we expected, CBC is trying to get the lawsuit dropped for not going through the collective agreement-required process.
posted by Lemurrhea at 11:14 AM on November 5, 2014


So he's hired Bryant's PR firm and lawyer.

And unlike Bryant, it looks like there's a pretty cut-and-dried case against him.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 12:01 PM on November 5, 2014


showbiz liz: Someone on Jezebel told a similar story in the comment section. Wonder if it's the same person? Very disturbing ...
posted by echolalia67 at 12:47 PM on November 5, 2014


So he's hired Bryant's PR firm and lawyer

And the PR firm has since dropped Ghomeshi.
posted by nubs at 2:16 PM on November 5, 2014


This NatPo article on the CBC request to have the lawsuit dismissed is interesting -

The CBC also goes on to claim that the information allegedly provided by Mr. Ghomeshi to the CBC “was not confidential.”

“In particular, the information in question was information retrieved from CBC property and to which CBC was always entitled,” the CBC notice states.

posted by nubs at 4:07 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


So I'm taking that to mean he was using work email or computers to hold or send these videos or relavent messages.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 4:28 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


somewhere an unnamed source said he was using his work phone so it wasn't a question of personal info.
posted by nadawi at 5:13 PM on November 5, 2014




Did Stombo not know that Jian was a bad date? Did he somehow not hear that Jian hit women? That he touched female coworkers in unwelcome ways and said inappropriate things to them? Did he ever step up and call Jian out on it? I'm thinking not, given that they seem to have been workplace buddies. Thumbs down on old George from me.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 6:04 PM on November 5, 2014


most people, especially men, will swear up and down their friend group contains no sexual predators or abusers and act shocked when one is revealed. same shit, different day.
posted by nadawi at 6:21 PM on November 5, 2014 [5 favorites]


I don't understand the argument around whether or not this was confidential information. I mean why does it matter if they got the information from Jian?

I'm reminded of joking advice that I once gave to a friend: He was a religious brother at that time (i.e. the male equivalent of a nun). So he lived in the religious community and he was once telling me how much he liked dogs, so I told him he should get a dog. He said they couldn't have dogs in the community because a) The individual brothers come and go, so it wouldn't be clear, does the dog go or stay? can do the dog go to the new community etc. and b) some community members might be allergic or afraid of dogs.

My advice: Just get a dog. Every morning go to confession with whoever is the big wig in the community house and confess that you have a dog even though it's against the rules. Thanks the santctity of the confessional, nobody will every be able to say anything about your having a dog because it as revealed in confession and is thus secret.

Of course my advice was a joke, but is this actually a legal principle? Can Jian really argue that because he "confessed" (i.e. showed them the info) they can't do anything about it? Can you really do whatever you want at work so long as you're the one who pointed out that you did it?
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 6:21 PM on November 5, 2014


ThatCanadianGirl - you're kidding, right? Do you have the lowdown on all your co-workers? Do you feel entitled to interfere in their personal lives? Creepiness isn't (yet) a crime.
posted by Artful Codger at 6:31 PM on November 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


creepiness isn't a crime but it is a giant red flag that all too many (often men) ignore.
posted by nadawi at 6:31 PM on November 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


And "creepiness isn't a crime" is a all-too-frequently used scold against women who complain that a man's behavior towards her is making her uneasy.
posted by echolalia67 at 6:34 PM on November 5, 2014 [9 favorites]


I've been mostly biting my tongue in this thread about Mr. Ghomeshi's group Moxy Fruvous because some seem to have been genuine fans. But now that somebody's dug up this hilarious 1992 takedown down of them written by none other Naomi Klein, let me just chime in and say ... ah hell, I won't say anything. I'll let Klein speak ...

"So, you guys are like the Nylons-meet-the Barenaked Ladies, right?" I said as I sat down with the four band members last July. My remark was met with stony stares and sulky glances. I then spent the next 10 minutes backpedaling, trying to explain irony to a group which bills itself as political satirists. Yikes, this was not going well.

In the words of band member Mike Ford, Moxy takes satire mighty seriously. "Our job as satirists is to discover the irony inherent in the issue or with a public perception that is off." Well then, as the self -proclaimed satirist of these satirists, the irony in these political humorists is that they are neither effectively political not particularly humorous.

posted by philip-random at 7:08 PM on November 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


His lawyer, Marie Henien, helped to defend Gerald Regan, the former premier of Nova Scotia who was charged with 16 counts of sexual offences in 1995. He was charged again in 1999 with multiple counts of rape, attempted rape and sexual assault. All in all, there were more than 30 women who came forward with incidents that spanned 40 years.

He was acquitted on the all 8 charges the first time round, and the second round of charges (in '99) were dropped because of the age of the allegations (many of which dated back to the 50s).

If you have the stomach for it, you can get a real sense of what the women in the Ghomeshi case will be up against in court by reviewing the Regan case (trigger warning).

As one of the women wrote in a letter to the RCMP, "Many straws floating down the stream tell which way the current runs."
posted by LynnDee at 7:18 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


Philip Random: I enjoy their music and I enjoyed that article.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 7:22 PM on November 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


Wow, Marie Henien has helped a lot of rapists. How does she sleep at night.
posted by anthill at 7:24 PM on November 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


Sorry, Regan was charged with 16 counts the first time, but only stood trial for 8 and was acquitted. The later 18 charges were dropped in 2002. More here.
posted by LynnDee at 7:30 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


Wow, Marie Henien has helped a lot of rapists. How does she sleep at night.

She's a criminal defence lawyer. That's the job. You want she should not defend people accused of sexual assault?

Oh look for the first time in the thread "innocent until proven guilty" actually has relevance!
posted by Lemurrhea at 9:35 PM on November 5, 2014 [13 favorites]


> His lawyer, Marie Henien, helped to defend Gerald Regan....

I'm confused; both articles about Regan refer to a lawyer by the name of Edward Greenspan. What's Henien's role?

(And, ugh, I hope no more victims are put through that sort of wringer.)
posted by Westringia F. at 9:40 PM on November 5, 2014


This article says "Ms. Henein is a well-respected lawyer with a number of high-profile victories in the courtroom. She successfully defended hockey coach David Frost on charges of sexual exploitation, and, alongside lawyer Edward Greenspan, former Nova Scotia premier Gerald Regan, who was acquitted of a string of historic sex assaults."
posted by LynnDee at 9:53 PM on November 5, 2014


She also represented the Feminist Coalition (which is...exactly what it sounds like) who were involved in the Bedford sex work case, arguing for decriminalization, partially on grounds of preventing harm to sex workers. Just don't want people to get the impression that her only job is defending accused of sexual assault. She's a great lawyer.
posted by Lemurrhea at 6:03 AM on November 6, 2014 [3 favorites]


The point of a defense lawyer is to present the best possible defense so that, if a guilty verdict is reached, you can be damn certain it was warranted and the accused wasn't railroaded. Without defense lawyers, you may as well do away with the trial altogether and just have prosecutors sentence people.
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:40 AM on November 6, 2014 [8 favorites]


Eddie Greenspan, Marie Heinan's former legal partner and apparent mentor, is basically the poster child for the cab rank rule for lawyers in Canada. This link doesn't work for a lot of people because of the format, but it's a debate between Greenspan and Allan Hutchinson on the issue of why defence lawyers need to defend everyone, not just people they think aren't guilty or aren't guilty of heinous things.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:05 AM on November 6, 2014


Toronto Star: Marie Henein is the lawyer Jian Ghomeshi needs, say justice system observers
In 2010, she got all charges dropped against Michael Bryant, including criminal negligence causing death, after bike courier Darcy Allan Sheppard died. In his book, the former attorney-general of Ontario heaped praise on the “finest barrister I ever met.” She “seemed to channel Hannibal Lecter,” Bryant wrote in his 2012 book, 28 Seconds. “So able was she to find a person’s deepest frailties and exploit them.”

...

Henein recently deleted her Twitter account, but not all of her online presence has been scrubbed. A Law Society of Upper Canada video from 1998 shows Henein explaining defence strategies around getting a sexual assault complainant’s sexual history to be introduced at trial.

Suggesting one final tactic she said: “Sometimes you bring the application, especially in front of a judge-alone trial to introduce all this otherwise inadmissible evidence and if it’s excluded, well, oh, well, the judge has heard it.”

After slightly shocked laughter from the audience, she continued: “No, no, I’m absolutely confident that the judge will be able to disabuse his or her mind of the fact that she has a very extensive and lewd prior sexual history.”
posted by metaplectic at 11:34 AM on November 6, 2014 [3 favorites]


The terms of reference for Janice Rubin's investigation into what happened at CBC have been released. Jesse Brown is not impressed.

I would tend to agree with him, although I don't know much about how these things normally go.
posted by Lemurrhea at 1:55 PM on November 6, 2014 [2 favorites]


The Current did a piece on the experience of reporting sexual assault today.
posted by nubs at 6:38 PM on November 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


"If only we'd paid attention to the signs" = My favorite comment in response to this photo, tweeted by the Canadian Writers Group.
posted by taz at 2:42 AM on November 7, 2014 [5 favorites]


Regular Q guest Elvira Kurt responds.
posted by chapps at 7:36 AM on November 7, 2014 [4 favorites]


Have we seen this article?
The complaint reveals that a clear, official attempt was made to address Mr. Ghomeshi’s behaviour in the workplace, and it was reviewed and acknowledged by CBC managers long before the star host was fired last month. Sources said they felt management was sympathetic, but that Mr. Ghomeshi’s office conduct never significantly changed.

As I hear more about the workplace stories I am more and more disenchanted by the CBC's actions.
posted by jeather at 7:48 AM on November 7, 2014


...and Elvira Kurt gets a "follow" from me on Twitter.
posted by orange swan at 11:38 AM on November 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


Did Stombo not know that Jian was a bad date? Did he somehow not hear that Jian hit women?

Yeah, it's kind of weird, eh? Stroumboulopoulos, Kurt, Pallett, Lights, the rest of Moxy Fruvous etc. all seem to have worked with or been friends with him and somehow dodged this information.
posted by ODiV at 11:52 AM on November 7, 2014


Well, in fairness to those guys I don't know anything about my co-worker's dating habits or home lives either. Ghomeshi's who thing is that he's two-faced - charming in public, strangely violent when in an intimate situation. And it's not like he every told anyone up to now - I'm sure he skipped those parts if he ever discussed how his dates went.
posted by GuyZero at 12:28 PM on November 7, 2014 [8 favorites]


To reiterate GuyZero's point, I'm going to tell you guys something I have never discussed anywhere. I was good friends with a guy for most of high school life and a good chunk of my adulthood too. He and I and a few others were pretty close, despite the fact most of us moved away for college or for jobs. He stayed in our hometown. We saw him during Christmas or other holidays, drank beer, made the same stupid high school jokes. Hell, he was super fond of my family and we considered him honorary family. He was someone we trusted, I trusted.

Then one day my mom calls me in a state of shock. My friend was all over the news, having been arrested for child pornography and attempting to lure minors.

And I and my other friends had no fucking clue. Even now, I still can't see any weird behaviour on his part that led to this but I keep wondering if I missed something so blatant and if so, how was I so blind? So yeah, sometimes people we think we know, we don't know at all. And it hurts and scares us.
posted by Kitteh at 1:22 PM on November 7, 2014 [18 favorites]


My understanding is that everyone knew he was somewhere between an asshole and a serial harasser at work, and everyone who knew him socially knew he was a creep but not that he actually hit women.
posted by jeather at 1:36 PM on November 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


In terms of the culture of fear at CBC, in the media and in other industries where there are high-powered personalities, abusive (although not physically abusive) behaviour is not unusual at all. The fact of the matter is that the people who are in the drivers seat are not in the drivers seat for being warm and empathetic. There is a certain ruthlessness and even cruelty needed to ascend the heights of the corporate or show business world, and you get used to people behaving like assholes or sociopaths.

From the outside, the "culture of fear" and workplace bullying that's being described could be regarded as "intense" and negative, but, hey, it goes with the territory and the prima donna personalities. It's part of the culture.

Not everyone gets to work at the CBC, after all, and people are going to tolerate a lot more as they keep their eye on the prize.
posted by Nevin at 2:47 PM on November 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


Rex Murphy does not mince his words.
posted by seawallrunner at 6:58 PM on November 7, 2014


Echoing Kitteh's experience, the exact same thing happened to me. There was a coworker who I thought, we all thought, was a very stand-up guy. Exceptionally responsible. He was fired for something we thought was pretty flimsy, and disappeared. Years later, he showed up on a newscast, having been convicted on account of sexually abusing minors. And all of us simply had no idea.

In hindsight, the signs were all there, had we read the narrative in that way. But he was our friend, one of the good ones, one of us, so why would we have thought of that worst possibility?

What kind of friend would think the very worst of another friend, absent demonstrable proof? Who wouldn't write some oddity off as being a fault of their own character?

And that's what these guys count on.
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:57 PM on November 7, 2014 [8 favorites]


Who wouldn't write some oddity off as being a fault of their own character?

Yeah, and you know what's really sad/creepy, the women who are their victims do this too. A couple at least of the women abused by Ghomeshi have said so explicitly in explaining why they didn't report and/or went out with him even after seeing that side of him. Like they were so conditioned not to see "abuser" that they didn't credit their own experience but assumed they were just too naive, or the only one, or maybe hadn't communicated clearly, or didn't get it, or whatever. Because he was so smart and charming and normal when he wasn't choking or beating them.... so, surely it must be that they were missing something?

It's really scary, a really scary mind-fuck.
posted by torticat at 8:20 PM on November 7, 2014 [8 favorites]


The CBC offered Q's executive producer Noorani hush money to resign. Better than nothing, I guess.
posted by anthill at 2:55 PM on November 10, 2014


Huh, I see it differently. Noorani's not leaving the CBC; he's retaining his title of executive producer, and the CBC even says he's going to get to make a new show. I read that and my jaw dropped.

Like, they have only just begun an internal investigation which Noorani's at the very centre of: they have no idea yet what they will find out. At this point it's hard to think of him as having been a very good boss: at worst he enabled years of sexual harassment; at best he was kind of cluelessly presiding over a toxic environment. Offering him a new show right now just sends a terrible message about how seriously the CBC is taking this, IMO.
posted by Susan PG at 9:33 PM on November 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


(Oh, and I should say: one key that he's not being punished is that he's retaining his executive producer designation. He's a union member and so it would be tough for the CBC to flat-out fire him even if they wanted to, particularly in the middle of all this. But the "executive" designation is at management's pleasure. The fact that he still has it isn't necessarily intended as an endorsement of him, but it means he isn't being punished.)
posted by Susan PG at 9:37 PM on November 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


While not entirely a comparable situation (certainly in terms of the number of incidents being reported), this retrospective look at how an assault accusation against New York Fox anchor Greg Kelly came unwound in early 2012 brings up some sad parallels. Above all, it is another reminder of why women are reluctant to report assault, particularly when it occurs in the context of a date: as happened to Maria Di Toro, there is a real risk that they will find themselves not merely disbelieved but turned into the focus of the story.

(As a sidebar: I know a woman who believed herself to be in a loving, monogamous and serious relationship with Kelly at the time of this attack. They stayed together for most of 2012, until he ended it. To this day she refuses to believe anything Di Toro has said. I don't know why, exactly, but I somehow find it even more troubling when women side unquestioningly with a male accused in such cases--as they have done, in large droves, with Ghomeshi.)
posted by senor biggles at 4:12 AM on November 11, 2014 [2 favorites]


Susan, I agree completely. "Resign" was the wrong word. On the Canadaland podcast I linked, an ex-CBCer talks about how "show development" funds are used within CBC not as way to actually get new show concepts, but as "please go quietly" carrots from management.

Complete speculation, but Noorani probably can implicate upper management as well, which would explain why they're not pushing him very hard.
posted by anthill at 5:23 AM on November 11, 2014 [3 favorites]


Good heavens.
posted by torticat at 1:33 PM on November 12, 2014


In this story, the head of CBC Radio's talk programming says about Q "It feels like we’re turning the page. The full team is back and the program is rocking."

I wonder where the CBC feels like they're at with this story. Like, if the ordinary arc is something like revelation>shock>denial>investigation>truth-telling>healing.. I wonder which point they believe they're at.
posted by Susan PG at 2:34 PM on November 12, 2014


I cannot get over the fact that Jian thought the video would exonerate him from being a worry to CBC management. "See? Nothing to worry about here. She liked it." And! And! His lawyers thought this was a good idea!

The other thing I keep wondering about is where is Jian now and how much of a wreck is he?
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 5:32 PM on November 12, 2014 [5 favorites]


His name is going to live on in infamy because Canadians will always say that a good Jian Ghomeshi joke just can't be beat.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:39 PM on November 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


And Wab Kinew as December host sounds pretty good.
posted by chapps at 11:05 PM on November 12, 2014 [2 favorites]




Linden MacIntyre, one of the country's best investigative journalists, has just been banned from the CBC.

His crime, apparently, is to compare the workplace Ghomeshi had at Q with the norms around the CBC and to name a few names in the process:
“The larger environment of the CBC workplace right now is set by a feeling established by a sense of crisis, and deterioration, and responses that have involved the increased vulnerability of a larger number of people,” he notes.

“CBC is now sustained in the trenches by a whole lot of new recruits who are enthusiastic and ambitious and gifted, and who desperately want to get a foothold in media. And desperation and vulnerability will go together, and then if you put that in a place where there is an influence driven by ego, narcissism, a kind of abusive personality, you start moving along a continuum. It starts with just a sort of obnoxious, ‘Run down and get me a coffee.’” Unchecked, he says, “It moves into a sense of entitlement that allows you to make greater demands and be a bigger bully.”

[...]

“The problem with the culture is that it nurtures that kind of celebrity, and it nurtures that kind of entitlement, because stardom tends to put a rosy glow over the whole institution, and makes the managers who cultivate the stardom look competent, and effective. And it makes them a little bit starry, too,” MacIntyre says. “So the Ghomeshi thing was always a problem. Because Ghomeshi has always been arrogant, he’s always been obnoxious – in the sort of the passive way, where he’s always been so vulnerable: ‘You can’t hurt Jian,’ even though he hurts other people. And his tantrums and his workplace relationships: ‘Well, he’s very rigorous, he’s a perfectionist, you know?’ So he is allowed to bully and abuse people. You know, that’s the way it works, that’s what you put up with, whether it’s Mansbridge, Gzowski, whatever. They were not like shrinking violets, either. So along comes Ghomeshi: ‘Oh, yeah, he’s in the tradition of that. But somewhere along the way, it crosses a line. It does cross a line.”
Of course, as a CBC exec noted just a week or so ago: "Those kinds of work environments are not to be tolerated and need to be dealt with. "
posted by bonehead at 8:41 AM on November 20, 2014 [4 favorites]


CBC seems to be on a hair trigger at the moment.
posted by nubs at 9:05 AM on November 20, 2014


Whoa, they fired him? For that? That's a wrongful dismissal lawsuit I don't see the CBC shaking off quite so easily.

*clicks link*

Oh, they've updated the article. He's been un-banned. And he's retiring soon anyway, or already has, or something.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:37 PM on November 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


Well that was quick. Mr. MacIntyre and Sook Yin Lee should start a club for de-banned CBC hosts or something.
posted by bonehead at 2:12 PM on November 20, 2014


Yeah, he was retiring this week anyways. Hence the interview with the Glob, where he got off on his tangent about the cultures that evolve around celebrities. I think he was trying to say that there were cultures of "bend around the central figure" around Mansbridge and Gzowski, as happens around a powerful media figure, but that the culture that developed around Jian went beyond that and was unhealthy and toxic.
posted by nubs at 2:21 PM on November 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


So someone please reassure me: Peter Mansbridge is still the soul of integrity and trustworthiness, right? I can't lose Peter Mansbridge.

Lindem McIntyre's novels have been decently successful. I would have thought he might be leaving the pursue that more fully.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 4:15 PM on November 20, 2014


I stopped watching Peter Mansbridge when he started standing up.
posted by mazola at 10:49 PM on November 20, 2014 [3 favorites]


Ditto. Someone really ought to tell him to put some pants on.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:12 PM on November 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


The CBC's story on banning MacIntyre doesn't hold up. Peter Mansbridge's producer was behind it, and just happens to be married to the CBC News managing editor.

I'll stop reposting CanadaLand updates - if you haven't added them to your reading/listening list by now, you oughta.
posted by anthill at 9:30 AM on November 24, 2014 [1 favorite]


Ghomeshi's lawsuit has been dropped. Undisclosed settlement (which is normal) and he's apparently paying $18k in legal fees, which feels less normal (but I'm not a civil litigation guy) to me.

Not really a surprise, of course, but still good.
posted by Lemurrhea at 10:51 AM on November 25, 2014 [3 favorites]


It also looks like he's taken down his Facebook page.
posted by metaquarry at 10:53 AM on November 25, 2014


He's paying fees, the guy who brought the suit. I've never heard of that before.
posted by bonehead at 11:19 AM on November 25, 2014


If Canadian law is anything like Oregon's, a person who brings a meritless lawsuit can be ordered to pay legal fees for both sides. Settling would be a way to cut his losses; I'm sure the CBC can show a LOT more than $18,000 in legal expenses to date on this matter to date.
posted by msalt at 12:12 PM on November 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


CBC producer Ing Wong Ward has been tweeting that this is NOT a settlement. Jian is paying CBC $18,000. CBC is paying Jian nothing.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 1:00 PM on November 25, 2014


Technically, that would still be a settlement if my (generic) understanding is correct. Gomeshi would be giving $18,000 in return for the CBC not taking full advantage of their right to demand full attorneys' fees.

A one-sided settlement in the CBC's favor, certainly.
posted by msalt at 1:23 PM on November 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


if only, he'd just gone for 25 million ...
posted by philip-random at 1:38 PM on November 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


Oh, I'm sure the ceeb can show way more than $18,000 in fees, even for a no-brainer defence and dismissal. Mid-level Bay street types, say, $400 an hour? 45 hours, one week divided by however many lawyers? A much higher rate for the partner who's actually meeting the ceeb's execs? That's no time at all, and they've barely done more than open a file.
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:24 PM on November 25, 2014 [3 favorites]


Apparently they're back to going for binding arbitration between Ghomeshi and the CBC.
posted by jeather at 6:07 AM on November 26, 2014


Twitter rumours indicate that Jian was arrested this morning.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 7:36 AM on November 26, 2014 [1 favorite]




Yeah, sorry for jumping the gun a bit and calling it a settlement, was going off the early press reports.But none of that matters now!

First appearance is this afternoon. Also: this thread ends tomorrow I think.
posted by Lemurrhea at 7:58 AM on November 26, 2014


Also: this thread ends tomorrow I think.

Almost perfect timing then - the thread closes as Jian gets arrested. Going to be a few months of nothing to report now.
posted by nubs at 8:19 AM on November 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


So it's $100,000 bail, he can't leave the country and has to live with his mother. Nothing exciting. See y'all in the next thread, whenever it is.
posted by Lemurrhea at 10:15 AM on November 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


CBC has a couple of lines, slightly more detail in the Calgary Herald.
posted by arcticseal at 11:44 AM on November 26, 2014


I had this brief brief moment of feeling sorry for Ghomeshi when he turned himself in: a skyrocketing career, an adoring fanbase, basically the world is his oyster.

And then I remembered the women he abused and who silenced themselves initially out of fear, who were brave enough to say something at long last. I also remembered he thought he was un-fucking-touchable because of his status.

Yeah, that moment passed pretty damn quickly.
posted by Kitteh at 12:27 PM on November 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


Sure, it's a tragic fall from being one of the most celebrated names in the country to never being able to show your face in public again and court-ordered to live with your mom. Not hard to feel a pang of empathy at that, even for one whose behaviour has been so monstrous.
posted by yellowbinder at 12:41 PM on November 26, 2014




Wow. He's facing life in prison. I'm happy to see justice done, and frankly kind of stunned it happened so quickly. +1 for Canada.
posted by msalt at 1:01 PM on November 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


Not to be contradictory but I don't feel any sympathy for Ghomeshi at all.

He also looks old.
posted by Nevin at 1:47 PM on November 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


For example I don't think this specific instance involving a man accused of sexual assault by multiple women will result in a trial (in which he is the defendant), so he won't be found innocent or guilty.

Quoting myself from earlier in the thread. Glad to (likely) be wrong.
posted by ODiV at 1:52 PM on November 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


I also felt some sympathy for him. He deserves this, I feel more sympathy for everyone he victimised, but I still do feel a pang of sympathy for him.

No new news likely to come out before Jan 8, now? I'm not sure what will happen with the CBC investigation.
posted by jeather at 2:13 PM on November 26, 2014


We have what seem to be credible reports that he's been abusive pretty much all his adult life. I don't feel any sympathy for his "downfall" — I'm frustrated that he rose as high as he did while apparently just about everybody was having whispered "do you know about Jian?" conversations.
posted by Lexica at 2:51 PM on November 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


Well, now the news turns to the CBC execs and how the hell they let JG get away with so much. In addition to the staff harassment/toxic workplace, supposedly they offered to let him resign after he showed the video of him assaulting someone to them. But yeah, nothing about the court stuff for a while. That's good - this should be treated as a bog-standard sexual assault case. Nothing weird needs to happen.

Fifth Estate's episode on Friday is about that, and were given pretty strong access and an open hand, I'm hearing. Might be worth watching.
posted by Lemurrhea at 2:51 PM on November 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm happy to see justice done, and frankly kind of stunned it happened so quickly.

What I'm most happy about is that in Canada, criminal investigations tend to be pretty private - the evidence and such forth won't be in the media until such time as there is a trial (or a guilty plea, but given the lawyer he has retained, I'm not going to hold my breath on that).

The CBC investigation is likely to be largely kept in-house, I think. We may never really know what happened or happens inside the Mothercorp.
posted by nubs at 3:33 PM on November 26, 2014


We may never really know what happened or happens inside the Mothercorp.

well, here's a detail someone just passed on to me.

when he first showed the CBC execs the home video that got much of this rolling, he had it on a CBC-owned phone. This apparently caused almost as much immediate furor as what he was showing them. The bureaucratic horror of implied complicity. "Good God, man. That's one of our phones."
posted by philip-random at 4:12 PM on November 26, 2014 [3 favorites]


I did not anticipate it would get this far at all, in terms of the prosecution.

Earlier on I was trying to speculate what it would be like to have a first-person vantage point of such a fall from grace. Where do you hang out, and what consumes your thinking? How do you distract yourself, and is that even possible?

On top of that, he now has to live with conditions imposed by the courts, while waiting his fate at a court date in the future. I'm going to guess that someone who does what Ghomeshi has done doesn't like to be told what he can do with his life.
posted by SpacemanStix at 5:35 PM on November 26, 2014 [3 favorites]


Even as Ghomeshi interviewed his guests in a fawning manner, I always felt like there was incredible hubris buried underneath. It will be interesting to see how this plays out for him.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 5:51 PM on November 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


This apparently caused almost as much immediate furor as what he was showing them. The bureaucratic horror of implied complicity. "Good God, man. That's one of our phones."

It's also likely to be one of the key elements if they ever actually have to defend wrongful dismissal. "He came to work with homemade porn videos on his company phone. What else could we do?"
posted by jacquilynne at 5:59 PM on November 26, 2014 [3 favorites]


New York Times.

"I always felt like there was incredible hubris buried underneath."

That's my own personal experience of him twenty-four years ago. In a nutshell.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 6:18 PM on November 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


In addition to the women, I'm also feeling bad for his mom. Immigrant success story, the son everybody loves, then her husband dies and this nasty business comes out about her son, and God knows what kind of personal conflicts she has going now. Such happiness, then the death of her husband, and then this fresh Hell. Good Lord...
posted by Capt. Renault at 6:24 PM on November 26, 2014 [9 favorites]


Fifth Estate's episode on Friday is about that, and were given pretty strong access and an open hand, I'm hearing. Might be worth watching.

I intend to. I wonder if that would be Fanfare-able? It's on IMDB.
posted by jeather at 6:32 PM on November 26, 2014


Capt. Renault, I think about his mom and sister, too. His sister is very accomplished and visible in her field, has the name Ghomeshi and has a prettier version of his face. Not hard to figure out she's related to him. This must be a terrible time for them, right on top the loss of the father.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 6:39 PM on November 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


" I'm also feeling bad for his mom."

I do feel really bad for people about that sort of thing. Not the perpetrators. But the family. The amazingly great television show Rectify handles this issue pretty well.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 6:45 PM on November 26, 2014


Such happiness, then the death of her husband,

I do wonder about Ghomeshi's home life. Maybe he was just born a sadistic, yet anxious sociopath, but you have to wonder what going on at home when he was growing up.
posted by Nevin at 7:54 PM on November 26, 2014 [3 favorites]


let's not blame his parents for the choices he made.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:31 PM on November 26, 2014 [6 favorites]


i totally get why people would wonder about the home life - but, i come from one of those homes and while there was some stuff lacking and devout christianity and poverty - my parents were the best parents they could be. still - my oldest brother has been an abuser since he was 10 years old or so. my other brother and i have none of those impulses and if anything suffer from being too empathetic and open. maybe there was something that sparked it in his home, but he also might just be fucked up in this way despite any efforts by his parents to change the course he was on.
posted by nadawi at 8:32 PM on November 26, 2014 [7 favorites]


Sometimes it's pretty clear that someone's malicious pathology is the product of environment and trauma, and other times that's just who they are. I really hate the nature versus nurture narrative about these sorts of things (hell, I hate it in general) because it's always a mix and, sometimes, it's pretty strongly one and other times it's pretty strongly the other. So universalizing about character in this way is very unwarranted and leads to bad shit where either people just imagine that all bad people are born bad (making it convenient to write-off whole classes of people), or all bad people must necessarily have had some experiences which made them bad (and from which we can transfer blame to others, including onto parents).

I've always thought the latter was really weird because it's not like many of us don't have siblings. My sister and I are alike in many respects, and amazingly different in others. My sister's two boys are like night and day and they are growing up in pretty much exactly the same environment with the same parents. Furthermore, if you don't believe that a person's character is set at birth, then you believe that it's determined by their environment and their experiences and, I would hope, their own choices. If someone being a predator like Ghomeshi is related to their environment and experiences and choices, there's a whole hell of a lot of other possibilities besides just his childhood homelife.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 9:25 PM on November 26, 2014 [3 favorites]


"guilt is not something that should be privately assigned to some individual, but rather something shared by everybody in some mysterious way."

(Marshall McLuhan)
posted by philip-random at 9:44 PM on November 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


In addition to the women, I'm also feeling bad for his mom.

Right? She has to live with him by court order. What if she doesn't want to? Jailed for contempt?
posted by msalt at 1:05 AM on November 27, 2014


Right? She has to live with him by court order. What if she doesn't want to? Jailed for contempt?

No, he has to live with her as a condition of being free. If she doesn't want to, he sits in jail until a trial.

I also had been feeling sorry for his mother, though, and I don't think it makes sense to assume she or his father messed up somehow. Maybe they did, but, you know, different kids internalize things, including innocuous things so differently that I imagine it's kind of impossible to know which innocuous thing you might do as a parent that your kid will somehow interpret and internalize in a weird way. I mean, sure abuse will mess them up, but it's hardly the only thing.

On the subject of siblings and the same environment, Dalton Conley has a book, the Pecking Order, on this -- why siblings who are given essentially the same environment and the same advantages/traumas frequently have such different outcomes. In his case, he is interested in status attainment, not criminality. Anyway, I recall the answer being complicated, but part of it is about timing -- sure, both you and your siblings went through your parents' divorce, but going through a parental divorce at 8 vs. 14 is different. Sure, both of you had your parents get a promotion and seemingly strike it rich (or lose a job and be reduced to penury), but at different ages this will mean different things. Anyway, a little off topic, but interesting.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 4:07 AM on November 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


Right? She has to live with him by court order. What if she doesn't want to? Jailed for contempt?

That would be something she agreed to as part of standing surety for him. It's not enough in Ontario (probably not anywhere really, but I only learned how this works here recently as part of a school assignment and I have no idea about other places) to simply post the monetary bond to bail someone out of jail. You also have to agree to supervise them during their release, ensure they make it to their court appearances and do whatever else the court orders. If she decides she no longer wants to do this, or if the court decides that she's not doing it effectively, then his bail can be revoked and he can be held pending trial.
posted by jacquilynne at 4:23 AM on November 27, 2014


Jacquilynne, I think that might answer another question I had: In today's Metro (yes, I know, but it's free!) I read that his mother posted the bail. I thought that was odd because surely he has $100K himself (maybe not in cash, but he could put up the value of a condo, say, right? Presumably his mother put up her house). So why make his mother pay his bail? Are people not allowed to put up their own bail?
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 5:40 AM on November 27, 2014


I am not sure that I know the answer to that question. What I do know, I learned from actually going to bail court and watching proceedings, and they don't explain everything for the lay audience. I think that both the surety AND the accused can be required to post different bail money. In the surety's case, it is to ensure that they're properly supervising the accused and will revoke the surety on their own if the accused is non-cooperative or risk losing the money (and only second-hand to try to guilt the accused into cooperating or his family would lose money). In the accused's case, it would obviously be to try to compel their own cooperation at the risk of taking a financial hit if they don't.

So, I don't know if the $100K was paid on her behalf, to establish that she was serious about acting as surety or if it was his own bail money owed that she simply paid for the logistical reason that he was in jail at the time.
posted by jacquilynne at 5:53 AM on November 27, 2014


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