What’s the Q media panel saying?

Finally, something to get the Ford family off the front page!

CBC Radio’s firing of Jian Ghomeshi on Sunday was pretty shocking. Let’s cue up the Q media panel to see what they’ve had to say about their host’s scandal: Jonathan Kay (National Post), Judy Rebick (rabble.ca) and John Cruikshank (Toronto Star)

The story began with the CBC posting its story, Jian Ghomeshi, host of Q no longer with CBC on Sunday, October 26,2014 1:37 PM ET

Judy Rebick posted the Globe and Mail story  about Ghomeshi’s firing and plan to sue for $50 million on her Facebook at about 4:00 pm without offering comment.

Ghomeshi posted his 1500-word Facebook response at about 7:00 pm.

By 8:00 pm, it had just over 18,000 “likes” and thousands of comments supporting Ghomeshi, berating the CBC and quoting Pierre Trudeau about state not belonging in the bedrooms of the nation.

The Twitterverse exploded with words of comfort, the sting of more accusation and jokes about “safe words.”

National Post reporter and panel member, Jonathan Kay, joined in the fun with his Tweet.

Curiously, Kay didn’t use Ghomeshi’s actual name, calling him a “cbc Radio host” instead.  Hedging his bets to continue being on the panel maybe? (Surely not.)

Another Q panelist, John Cruikshank, publisher of the Toronto Star, was nowhere to be found publicly. Perhaps he was busy consulting with Michael Cooke, Kevin Donovan and Jesse Brown about the Star’s “bombshell” that “three women interviewed by the Star allege that Ghomeshi physically attacked them on dates without consent.”

In the story, Kevin Donovan went on to helpfully offer that, although the accusations were anonymous, “the Star’s interviews of the women were lengthy” and the women where “all educated and employed.”

Would the accusations have somehow meant less if the women were uneducated and unemployed, Your Working Girl wonders? Or was that like a code for something else?

Were these women all educated and employed and white, maybe?

Your Working Girl has no knowledge of this, of course. No one does because the allegations are anonymous.

Yet, she does understand that accusations of sexual violence aimed at men of colour do exist as a very real cultural dynamic every now and then—one that the Q media panel might well discuss. Right now, the only faces of the women are a trio of middle-aged white guys who decided the Ghomeshi story is worth months of investigation. (1,100 murdered and missing Aboriginal women, anyone??)

According to Your Working Girl’s understanding of the law, everyone has the right to face his or her accuser. Yet, in the absence of facts, lots of narratives take shape, any one of them as real as the next. The Star is creating its own communication vacuum on purpose. That’s a curious execution of investigative journalism.

Will the Q panel continue to exist?

Judging from Brent Bambury’s truculent sounding intro in Monday’s Q program, the show is about the people who work on it and the audience (i.e. not about the host, YWG supposes) and they are “moving forward.” So the media panel could be just picking up where they left off, which is why Judy and Jonathan Kay are not really saying anything of substance right now.

But if John Cruikshank continues to be a part of the media panel, well now, that would be worth a critique of all of its own.

 

By Tuesday morning at 10:00 am, the number of likes on Ghomeshi’s Facebook grew to 103,000 and there were more than 30,000 comments, almost all of which were in support.

Updated Tuesday, October 28, 2014 11:15 am

 

Author Photo 01 Sandy Tam PhotographyGail Picco is a strategist who has worked in the nonprofit sector for 25 years. She is the author of What the Enemy Thinks, a recent novel set in the nonprofit sector, and is Chair of the Board of the Regent Park Film Festival. She also writes about baseball and F1 racing.

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Comments

  1. Mary Jane Wood says:

    I have to say I am on the other side of this one. Those young women could be right, and why should we discount what they say just because the are white and educated?? I am appalled that there is so much support for Ghomeshi. I think women’s groups in Canada should unite behind the women.

    • I understand MJ. It’s a tough one. The thing is that every woman who has ever sought justice on being raped, assaulted or otherwise hurt by a man has had to do so by voicing the accusation publicly in court and that takes amazing courage. I’ve stood next to many of those women in the court room. Allowing anonymous accusations to stand does not help women. It sets a precedent whereby anyone with power or access to power through a media platform can assert anything and claim it to be true. And, believe me, men have that power and access a lot more than women. Although it may not seem like it works all the time, abused women must insist the law be obeyed. In who’s interest are Kevin Donovan and Michael Cooke working in now? Those young women they interviewed or their own? We can each make our own decision on that, but I’m betting Michael Cooke is thinking more about column inches than justice right now.

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