After an excruciating week in Canada we have laid to rest a soldier lost in a senseless attack on our nation's capital. Now this morning we return to distractions in Canada's largest city for a look at the people whom our brave men and women of the armed forces risk their lives every day...
Jian Ghomeshi is, er, was the most popular radio personality on CBC until yesterday when the broadcaster dropped him with almost no explanation. What a shock, exclaimed so many, at the perceived unjust dismissal of such a sweet, sheepish, and endearing fellow. Within minutes of the news, the backlash began with accusations of the CBC bowing to some force within the government.
Ghomeshi gained a lot of sympathy when Billy Bob Thornton
bullied the sweet and sensitive radio host in 2009.
In order to try and get ahead of the story so to speak, the former rock star turned pop-culture commentator posted a lengthy message on Facebook. To paraphrase, the message boils down to an assertion that "look guys, you're gonna here some stuff about how I'm a rapist so I'm letting you know that I'm not so anything you hear later isn't true and it's a conspiracy by my crazy ex-girlfriend."
Substitute sexual assault for "smoked crack" and you've got a play straight out of the Rob Ford handbook: deny, deny, deny and accuse, accuse, accuse. Ghomeshi claims that because he's into kink, rough sex and bdsm and that his personal life is being used as a smear campaign to discredit him.
|Sparring with the late Christopher Hitchens.|
The only thing smutty here is his attempt to use his sexual preference, and implicitly a community of people who share that preference and its celebration of consent, as a red herring: I’ve been fired from the CBC because of the risk of my private sex life being made public as a result of a campaign of false allegations pursued by a jilted ex girlfriend and a freelance writer. It's not Ghomeshi's private sex life that seems to be the issue with the prudes at the CBC - it's the allegations of lack of consent that are disturbing.
|Last year, Carla Ciccone wrote an account of a very disturbing encounter|
with an unnamed Canadian celebrity. The hints were pretty clear at the time of
whom she was speaking and Carla faced a vicious backlash form Ghomeshi fans.
Comparing his preemptive strategy to that of Toronto's embattled Mayor Rob Ford there is a familiar pattern. Whereas Ford's alcohol abuse was an open secret at city hall predating his escapades at the Garrison Ball and long before the allegations of crack use, it's been an open secret to some that Jian Ghomeshi has engaged in "creepy, rapey" behavior. Like the professor who "everyone knows" is having sex or making creepy uninvited moves on a student, there is no solid evidence beyond hearsay and personal anecdotes. Should that be sufficient to ruin a man's career and reputation?
Well, when he posts a long explanation on Facebook in which he implicates himself in something that no one has yet to accuse him, stating a number of times "they set out to try to find corroborators to build a case to defame me." It creates a very disturbing and familiar impression. That's saying nothing about how such a response serves as an attack against potential victims of sexual assault who are afraid to come forward.
|There is heated discussion on campuses about combating rape, namely|
finding a balance between protecting victims while preserving
due process for the accused.
Hiring a PR firm and going on the offensive as Ghomeshi has, (he's threatening to sue the CBC for $50 million) instead of hearing his refutation through a lawyer is a clear attempt to cash in on the good karma that his seemingly affable personality has built in the last several years. The question is, will the strategy that spelled the end for Rob Ford's drug allegations, save Ghomeshi from accusations that are far more serious?