November 04, 2014
Oh, great: another Canadian Muslim on a rampage.
Don”t worry, I don”t mean that some self-styled Islamic terrorist is killing our men in uniform again. That was last month.
I”m talking about Jian Ghomeshi.
For those fortunate few who swerved to avoid this pileup”helpfully distilled in this easily digestible video backgrounder“here’s the executive-est summary I can manage (after numerous drafts):
Ghomeshi, 47, is a hugely popular-in-Canada radio host. Seemingly out of nowhere, he faced lurid accusations of physical and sexual assault by a former female romantic interest. Then another. And another.
A predilection for kink, while apparently a job requirement at the BBC, is a firing offense at its Canadian cousin. At least, that’s how Ghomeshi spun it in his $55-million wrongful dismissal suit against the CBC, after they hurriedly kicked him to the curb.
In a lengthy Facebook cri de coeur, he tried to head off the burgeoning scandal by claiming that all these encounters had been consensual.
He’s into BDSM, you see. That’s just another “sexual preference,” and, therefore, he wrote, his “human right.” A jilted ex-lover was behind all this, and she was exaggerating.
In a stunningly tone-deaf sign-off”given that Corporal Cirillo was just then cooling in his casket”Ghomeshi promised some hundred thousand admirers (some of whom are known to put the “-atical” in “fan”) that he”d bravely “soldier on.”
Briefly, he was buoyed on a wave of support. Then the accusations kept coming, and rapidly resolved themselves into a pattern:
Women half his age, many of them aspiring broadcasters or “culture workers” of some sort, had been hit on”then literally hit”by Ghomeshi.
None of them went to the police.
Now: I don”t care about what Ghomeshi did in his bedroom. That sounds corny and even odiously “liberal,” but I mean it. In fact, while reading his TMI Facebook post two Sundays ago, I curled into an empathetic, kyphotic cringe.
Look, I couldn”t find the CBC on the dial. Ghomeshi’s appeal has always escaped me. He looks and talks like a typical Toronto leftist beta male. (In fact, the initial reaction to the scandal was a nationwide: “You mean he’s not gay?!”)
But this mess was one of those “naked in public” dreams, except it was happening to a real person. Could any of our lives withstand such scrutiny? I wondered. And besides, witch hunts and moral panics, especially sexual ones, are deadly to the body politic.
My only gripe is that we”re already forced to cough up $1 billion a year for the dubious privilege of being scolded by the CBC for not being sufficiently compassionate or bright. Now my extorted tax dollars will be also financing both sides” legal bills. Then the inevitable Royal Commission(s). And “on-site grief counseling.” And God knows what all.
No, what fascinates me is the left’s reaction to what is properly known as Ghomeshi-quiddick.
Of course, they”ve stuck with that stale “-gate” suffix instead. Even when one of their own stands accused, they must remind us of a 40-year-old “right-wing” crime, despite the fact that Watergate, in the cosmic scheme of things, was basically a corpse-free, combination fraternity prank/blooper reel.
Now we”ve reached the stage in the news cycle where the liberal elites begin insisting that Ghomeshi’s meltdown helpfully provides us all with a “teachable moment,” the opportunity for a “national conversation.”