Ghomeshi’s Defense Counsel Screwed Up- A Contrarian Approach to the Ghomeshi Trial

Jian Gomeshi. Photo: screenshot YouTube The National

I predict that Ghomeshi will be convicted on at least one charge, if not more than one charge.

Marie Henein is an excellent lawyer. Perhaps one of the best defense lawyers in Canada. But she is human. Last time I looked she does not walk on water in her “ glamorous, vertiginous footwear, a parade of five inch heel Manolo Blahniks, Alaïas and Brian Atwoods” , (as reported by Anne Kingston in “Macleans”)

Yes, Henein is tough, determined, talented, hard- working and generally always prepared. Her strength is her self-confidence and her arrogance, but that is also her weakness.

I have followed her career closely over the years. Her arrogance has sometimes led her astray. I believe she made a serious mistake in this trial, and that may lead to her client being convicted.

Henein has performed admirably, notwithstanding that her client, Ghomeshi is a narcissistic, controlling, slime bucket- who is on trial- having been charged with four counts of sexual assault and one charge of overcoming resistance by choking- involving three women.

The first complainant testified as to having her hair allegedly pulled back by Ghomeshi on one occasion in a car. She then alleged that on a second occasion while in Ghomeshi’s house, he pulled her hair back a second time and then punched her in the head three times.

The second complainant, who can be identified as Lucy DeCoutere, testified that while in Ghomeshi’s home, she was allegedly choked and then slapped three times in the face by Ghomeshi.

The third complainant alleged that while on a park bench, Ghomeshi suddenly bit her shoulder, then placed his hands around her neck making it difficult for her to breathe.

In each case, the complainant admitted that at the beginning of each encounter there was consensual kissing, so each encounter, at least initially, was sexual in nature and consensual.

However, each complainant maintained that at no time subsequent to the kissing but before the alleged, pulling of the hair, punching, or choking, or punching or biting or choking, slapping- did any one of them consent to the above hair pulling, punching, choking, punching , biting, choking or slapping.

My view is a layman’s view. But the law is based upon common sense and reasonableness. So my common sense and logic still lead me to the conclusion that Ghomeshi may still be convicted on at least one charge ( if not several) of sexual assault.

In order to convict Ghomeshi, the Crown has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Ghomeshi had both the intention to commit a sexual assault ( known as the mental element or mens rea) and that he actually committed such a sexual assault ( known as the actus reus).

The role of the judge is of a trier of fact. It is his job to assess the truthfulness and credibility of the witnesses and determine whether what they are saying is accurate and can be relied upon in making a determination of the facts.

I was not in the actual court room. I did see the complainants provide evidence in chief or respond to Henein’s cross-examination. I am relying solely on reports by journalists who attended this trial.

In the Crown’s closing argument, the Crown admitted that there were some inconsistencies and omissions in the testimony of each of the three complainants. The first complainant was unclear as to whether she was wearing hair extensions when her hair was pulled in Ghomeshi’s car and a little confused as to what car Ghomeshi was driving when one of these alleged incidents occurred.

The first complainant omitted to mention that she sent Ghomeshi her bikini photo, subsequent to the alleged hair pulling and being punched in Ghomeshi’s house.

Ms. Coutere omitted to disclose that subsequent to allegedly being choked and slapped three times in the face, she kissed Ghomeshi good night and the next day she wrote to Ghomeshi that “you kicked my ass and that makes me want to fuck your brains out”.

DeCoutere also omitted to disclose that she had spent the next day with Ghomeshi and subsequently sent him a 6 page love letter which concluded that she thought he had nice hands.

The third complainant omitted to disclose that subsequent to the alleged choking on the park bench, they had met a subsequent time and she had given Ghomeshi a hand job.

Henein for the defense in her concluding remarks argued that the Crown has failed to introduce evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that any of these alleged incidents occurred. Because all three of these complainant are liars, lack credibility, have faulty memories and have provided inconsistent statements which undermined their credibility. And they have omitted crucial facts which also called into question the truth and accuracy of their statements.

The Crown countered that just because a complainant may be fuzzy on peripheral facts. May have been inconsistent or omitted certain facts, that does not mean that their statements of facts relating to the actual incidents of pulling of hair, punching, slapping or choking are untrue.

I believe that Henenin made a serious error in not having Ghomeshi testify that either; none of these incidents of alleged sexual assault occurred or if some such incidents did occur, they were all consensual and had been explicitly consented to by each complainant prior to each incident.

Of course, there were great dangers to Ghomeshi testifying. If he had testified, the Crown would have introduced as evidence Ghomeshi’s arrogant Facebook posting in which he admitted to engaging in rough sex, but only of a consensual nature. That posting or that evidence of Ghomeshi’s propensity for rough sex, was not before the court.

However, if Ghomeshi had testified that none of the incidents occurred or some of these incidents had occurred, but there had been prior explicit consent, then it would have been his word and against the words of the complainants.

If Ghomeshi was credible, ( and admittedly, that is a big “if”) it is my humble opinion, then he would have had a better chance of being acquitted on all these counts.

Personally, based upon what I have read and what has been reported, I do not believe that Henein’s cross examinations sufficiently undermined the credibility of all the complainants and raised a reasonable doubt against all the complainants with respect to all the incidents.

I believe that the Crown has made the case that Ghomeshi has sexually assaulted at least one of the complainants if , not more, beyond a reasonable doubt.

CBC’s Ghomeshi Report Rejected as Whitewash

In October of 2014, Jian Ghomeshi, long time CBC host of the popular CBC culture/entertainment radio show, “Q”,  was fired by CBC for allegedly sexually harassing certain women both within and without CBC.

In the wake of the Ghomeshi scandal, CBC hired an outside Toronto employment lawyer, Janice Rubin, to investigate the Ghomeshi affair and report back to the Corporation her findings and her recommendations.

The Rubin Report was just released.

Frankly, the report is nothing but a whitewash. This report totally fails to do anything to eradicate the cancerous “star or host” culture that has spread throughout CBC. As a result, the CBC/Ghomeshi scandal is still eating away at the core of the CBC and public support for the CBC continues to decline, out of disgust for CBC’s continued efforts to cover up this scandal. And its failure to thoroughly investigate itself and cleanse itself.

Before I launch into a criticism of the Rubin Report, a little background information is in order.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation ( CBC) is Canada’s major public broadcasting network. It is supported by Canadian taxpayer dollars well in excess of $1 billion dollars annually.

One of the mandates of the CBC is to tell Canadian stories to Canadians.

Well, one of the biggest CBC stories of 2014 and 2015 was the CBC/ Ghomeshi story and how he, for years under the eyes of CBC management and CBC employees, allegedly emotionally abused and sexually harassed CBC female employees. And CBC did nothing.It turns out that CBC not only turned a blind eye to Ghomeshi’s deplorable conduct, certain CBC middle managers, Chris Boyce, executive director of radio and Todd Spencer, executive director of human resources, under the guise of investigating employees’ complaints against Ghomeshi, failed to properly investigate Ghomeshi and hold him to account. In effect, they apparently covered up Ghomeshi’s misdeeds.

Then when some of Ghomeshi’s deplorable actions came to the attention of CBC’s most senior executives, in the summer of 2014, these senior executives initially failed to act on the information, presumably hoping that these allegations would disappear into the ether.

CBC senior brass only acted later in October of 2014 to fire Ghomeshi when they learned that the Toronto Star was about to publish an explosive expose of a multitude of allegations against Ghomeshi by over a dozen women, some of whom were CBC employees and former employees.

In order to forestall a more comprehensive investigation of Ghomeshi and the whole of CBC by truly independent outside investigators, CBC hired Janice Rubin, a Toronto lawyer, who had had a previous contractual relationship with the CBC and had been a guest on several CBC panels.

Basically a friendly investigator.

Though Ms. Rubin was technically an outside independent investigator, there is an appearance of lack of impartiality, objectivity and independence.

Furthermore, the CBC had severely restricted her mandate to investigate and had constrained her investigatory powers.

Rubin was limited to investigating Ghomeshi and the two CBC shows with which he was involved at the CBC. Rubin did not have subpoena powers.  Nor did she have the power to grant immunity to prospective witnesses.

Accordingly, Rubin was not able to talk to many relevant witnesses, who feared that anything they disclosed could be used against them in subsequent proceedings.

As a result, according to well-known Toronto employment lawyer,  Howard Levitt, writing in the National Post, the Rubin Report was a dismal failure.

The Rubin Report did not disclose any more information that had not already been discussed and disclosed already in numerous Toronto newspapers, prior to the report.

Though the report talked about a cancerous “host culture of impunity” in the CBC, that had been endemic to the CBC for years and years, the report failed to deal with any other CBC hosts or stars, both past and present.

The report just limited itself to Ghomeshi and to two managers who were responsible allegedly for permitting Ghomeshi to continue his conduct- unfettered, unrestricted and unpunished.

As Levitt wisely noted, “Jian Ghomeshi did not act alone. His predations were countenanced by a plethora of managers and people in human resources – people who, but for two, still remain.”

Employment lawyer Daniel Lublin, who also reviewed the Rubin Report, made a similar point.

Lublin stated, “The four executives who were participating in that conference call (Lacroix, Conway, general counsel Maryse Bertrand, and vice-president, people and culture, Roula Zaarour), of course, are still there, and this all happened under their watch, and yet it’s the other two (Boyce and Spencer) who were cut,” he said.

“Someone had to go. It wasn’t going to be the CEO or Ms. Conway. Why? Because they call the shots. (Leafs president Brendan) Shanahan didn’t fire himself, he fired everyone else. That’s because when you’re the boss, you get to call the shots.”

Howard Levitt was also particularly disappointed at what the investigation and report failed to do. Specifically, Levitt argued,

“What the report did not do is make the recommendations that the public most wanted to know and which are most needed to cleanse the organization. Who exactly said what to whom? Who should be disciplined? Who should be fired?

What disciplinary procedures should be put in place going forward? What is the specific line for unacceptable conduct in the workplace? What are the lines for reportable misconduct and what are the consequences for crossing them?

Howard Levitt wisely concluded,” That investigation should properly have been done by an independent body with power to subpoena and get to the bottom of problems we have come to learn were endemic at the CBC. Of course, that would have resulted in a revamp of the entire organization, doubtless many dismissals, and threatened the existing CBC establishment.”

I totally agree with Mr. Levitt. A truly independent body with teeth, authority and subpoena power needs to investigate the CBC from top to bottom.

Otherwise, the CBC will never eradicate the cancerous culture of entitlement and host culture of impunity that continue to course through the CBC body.

Certainly, Canadians’ hard-earned tax dollars should not be used to fund a toxic environment where apparently senior male CBC hosts emotionally and sexually prey on vulnerable female employees.

CBC In Trouble Again – Make Room for AmandaGate

Investigative journalism is not dead in Canada. It may be comatose in the mainstream press which is hamstrung by its own political correctness, groupthink and inability to self-critically look at itself in the mirror. But it is alive and well and firing on all cylinders, driven by the very tenacious, smart, aggressive and determined independent blogger, Jesse Brown.

Brown is the fellow who blew the doors off the Jian Ghomeshi “alleged” sexual harassment and assault scandal in which Ghomeshi, one time progressive/feminist/multicultural boy wonder ruled the airwaves of CBC, while he allegedly preyed,  for many years, on vulnerable women both within and without CBC. Apparently to the knowledge and in the plain sight of CBC employees, poobahs and Toronto’s elitist chattering and creative class.

This time Jesse Brown has turned his laser-like focus on Amanda Lang, CBC’s senior business correspondent and “odds on favorite” to be heiress apparent to the anchor desk of Peter Manbridge, senior news anchor of The National and CBC’s chief correspondent.

But I am afraid that now, for Amanda Lang,  all bets are off for her easy ascension to the throne.

Because Amanda has been caught in serious conflicts of interests, which have undermined her journalistic credibility and called into question her integrity and her future at the CBC.

You know Lang has stepped into serious journalistic doo doo, when the shots are coming fast and furious, not only from outsiders, ie Jesse Brown, but from angry and disgusted journalists within CBC.
Here are the facts as reported by Jesse Brown.

Amanda Lang , as CBC’s News senior business correspondent, hosts CBC’s flagship business news program, The Lang Exchange, which frequently covers the Canadian insurance company.

In the same blog, Brown provided written evidence that Lang had received payments from Manulife Insurance Company, one of Canada’s largest insurance companies, to moderate two public discussions sponsored by Manulife in July and August, 2014.

Subsequent to these paying gigs, Lang, then had on her show, the CEO of Manulife in September, 2014 who talked very favorably about the acquisition of one of Manulife’s competitors.  Which Lang supported very positively and uncritically.

Brown believes that both CBC and Lang were at fault, because neither CBC nor Lang disclosed during the show that she had been previously paid by Manulife and neither suggested that Lang alternatively should have recused herself from this show. Brown clearly suggests that there is an appearance of bias, and that Lang’s favorable treatment of the Manulife CEO on her CBC show, may be related to Lang having been previously financially compensated by the company.

Similarly, in the same year, Lang entered into a contract with Sun Life, to be paid for a speaking gig at one of Sun Life customer appreciation evenings.  And subsequent to entering into such financial contract, Lang had the Sun Life’s CEO on her business show to promote Sun Life’s products for retirement.  Again with the knowledge and consent of CBC. As above, Brown suggests that Lang and CBC should have disclosed Lang’s prior financial arrangement with Sun Life, or alternatively, recused herself from this show.

Brown’s suggests unfavorably, that Lang’s uncritical and cheerleader-like interview with Sun Life appears to have been related to her financial arrangement with Sun Life.

According to Brown, these two incidents with major Canadian life companies,  appear to taint Lang’s reputation and integrity and call into question CBC’s own judgment and integrity for permitting Lang’s shows with Manulife and Sun Life to proceed.

Brown suggests that Lang earns about $20,000-30,000 per speaking gig and therefore she earns about $300,000 annually with these speaking engagements, which ain’t chump change. Together with her non-publicly reported, taxpayer-supported CBC salary of about 300,000, Amanda Lang, public servant, is not suffering financially.

But that’s not all, folks.

Brown reports,  that according to multiple anonymous sources in the CBC, in 2013 Lang tried to sabotage the brilliant expose by fellow CBC colleague, Kathy Tomlinson, of Royal Bank’s abuse of Canada’s temporary foreign workers program.

The objectives of this federal program are to permit Canadian companies to import foreign workers temporarily to fill seasonal positions that cannot be effectively filled by existing Canadian workers ( i.e. itinerant farm workers) or to fill highly specialized jobs, where there are not sufficient Canadian workers who possess the required skills or knowledge ( computer engineering, information technology).

In a series of CBC reports, Tomlinson reported that the Royal Bank, Canada’s largest bank had abused the system, by using an outsourcing firm to bring in temporary workers for its Canadian IT employees to train… in order to sack those Canadian employees and ship their jobs overseas.

Amanda Lang, to her discredit, according to Jesse Brown,” lobbied aggressively within the CBC to undermine Tomlinson’s reporting on the foreign worker scandal at CBC…..When that failed, Lang tried to deflate the story by having RBC CEO Gord Nixon on to the National for a softball interview in which he criticized the CBC’s reporting and dismissed the scandal as trivial. During the interview Lang did not challenge Nixon.”

Amanda Lang then took her campaign to the Globe and Mail, where she penned a dismissive opinion piece defending outsourcing and making light of the abuses at the heart of the RBC scandal. In effect, she called RBC hiring temporary workers “ a sideshow”. And then Lang has apparently lied about her unusual Globe involvement, when she stated that the Globe had approached her to write such an article. When in fact, the Globe now admits that Lang approached the Globe.

But the story gets worse.

When Lang initially tried to derail this story on a CBC conference call with Tomlinson, in which she questioned Tomlinson’s facts and integrity, Lang failed to disclose that she had put herself in a very serious conflicts of interest.

According to Brown, Lang, prior to her unusual meddling in the Royal Bank scandal, had been paid by Royal Bank on 6 separate occasions for speaking engagements ( estimated $15,000 a crack). Prior to having RBC CEO Gord Nixon on her show, to defend RBC’s foreign workers program, Nixon has publicly written a laudatory blurb on Lang’s most recent book. Lastly, also unbeknownst to CBC staffers at the time, since 2013, Lang had been in a serious relationship with Geoff Beattie, a RBC board member.

In sum, Lang was conflicted every which way to Sunday.

To date, as the chop suey continues to hit the fan, and CBC’s Kathy Tomlinson, has come forward publicly to support Jesse Brown’s version of the events, the CBC executives continue to stand by, protect and coddle its high profile, celebrity star.

Sound familiar?

Just as the CBC brass continued to stand by Jian Ghomeshi, when he too had come under constant and persistent criticism by fellow CBC colleagues for his “conduct”.

Amanda Lang is further evidence of the cancerous celebrity culture that has infected the CBC. Where such celebrities appear to operate within CBC’s halls, in disregard of journalistic standards and normal, ethical moral behavior. But yet are protected and promoted by the CBC.

According to CBC lifer, Linden MacIntyre- this culture of celebrity is endemic to CBC.

Jian Ghomeshi and now Amanda Lang.  Will CBC ever get its act together, or is it finally the time for the Canadian taxpayers to pull the plug on the CBC?

Jian Ghomeshi Is The Canary in the Collapsing Mine of Canadian Progressiveism

In a recent Toronto Star commentary, notorious leftist Rick Salutin, tried and failed miserably to come to grips with the public face of progressive, feminist Ghomeshi which apparently hid Ghomeshi’s very real manipulative, physically abusive, female-hating, egotistical self.

Basically, Salutin’s article completely missed the mark.The fact is that Ghomeshi, the popular CBC radio host of Q, a daily entertainment/cultural radio show,  was the poster boy and symbol of the Canadian progressive movement. He Q talked the talk. And red carpeted the walk, at the Scotia Bank Giller Prize, TIFF, Canadian tv and film award shows, Canadian music award shows. You name the Canadian cultural event and Ghomeshi was front and centre.

He was multicultural, a progressive, a feminist, hip, cool, edgy and internationally popular. Leading Canadian feminists: Elizabeth May, Sheila Copps, Margaret Atwood, all sung his praises. Even Barbra Streisand and Barbara Walters, (no shrinking violets, those two) were wowed by his professionalism, empathy and sensitivity.

Richard Florida, the uber urban theorist, thought Ghomeshi would be a great progressive mayor for a new and improved artistically and culturally-based Toronto.

In short, Ghomeshi was a gift to multicultural, feministic, Canadian progressives, much like federal Liberal leader Justin Trudeau.

And Canadian progressives fell for and bought Ghomeshi- hook, line and Big Ears Teddy bear.

But it was all a sham.

It appears Mr. Multicultural, exhibited the dark side of Canadian multiculturalism

The feminist, Mr. Sensitivity, has been charged with four counts of sexual assault and one count of choking. Over 15 women have come forward alleging that this sensitive, progressive, feminist allegedly beat them, choked them and sexually assaulted them.

It appears Mr. Multicultural, exhibited the dark side of Canadian multiculturalism. Ghomeshi appears to have also internalized a non-Canadian hatred for women. A feeling of superiority towards women. A view of women as beneath him, literally and figuratively. As things to be used, abused, dismissed and discarded. A view of women native to certain foreign countries where women are third class, barbarically genitally circumcised, raped and then punished for being raped or honor killed for disobeying the males in their families.

So if Ghomeshi, the Canadian progressive ideal is a sham, perhaps the very concept of Canadian progressiveism is a sham.  Perhaps, behind the smiling, sensitive, Canadian male progressive, is in reality a woman-hating, female abusing, manipulative, egotistical tyrant.

Those are the harsh and cruel Ghomeshi lessons that bred in the bone progressives, like Salutin, refuse to face squarely, honestly and openly.

Because if Ghomeshi is a sham, then what about the sensitive, feminist, multicultural Justin Trudeau, who one day preaches “open nominations for Liberal candidates”, then the next day engages in down and dirty manipulative politics, throwing under the Liberal bus, long time Liberal candidates, in favor of his chosen people?

Trudeau, who also one day beats his breast about the injustice of missing and deceased aboriginal women and the next day, caters to certain Canadian religious groups whose radical members abuse, torture, and demean women as chattels.

In sum, Ghomeshi, is no mentally deranged lone wolf. He is the canary in the collapsing mine of Canadian progressiveism.

CBC Engulfed in New Payola Scandal

The reputation of Canada’s public broadcasting television and radio network, the CBC, took another hit this past week.

The ongoing investigation of the now disgraced Jian Ghomeshi,  the former host of Q, the popular CBC radio entertainment/music/cultural program, has exposed another ugly can of worms.

Recall Ghomeshi has already been charged with four counts of sexual assault, and one count of choking, by women who formerly associated with Ghomeshi. These charges have yet to be proven in a court of law.

However, this time, CBC and Ghomeshi are being accused by the Toronto Star, that the CBC had received the sum of $5,000 from Warner Music, to help pay for Ghomeshi’s travel and hotel costs, when he flew especially to Malibu, California, to do a personal interview with well-known musical artist, Tom Petty for a Q show “Canadian exclusive.”

Folks, we are talking about good, old fashioned, “payola”- that is, cash bribes ( or related forms of financial benefits) to CBC employees in order to promote artists and their music on CBC.

But you have to hand it to those sharp American executives at Warner Music. For five grand,  they not only secured an interview for their client Tom Petty on CBC’s Q show, which is also broadcast in over 140 American public radio stations, but they also obtained an 18 minute Ghomeshi/Petty filmed interview on CBC’s flagship nightly news show, “The National”.

Talk about a great bang for the American buck!Unfortunately, for CBC’s “ The National”, this show and its journalistic reputation became collateral damage, as this supposedly very reputable daily news show failed to disclose that Warner Music had paid Ghomeshi’s travel costs in order to secure this interview. Thus calling into question the journalistic objectivity of the interviewer, the interview and “The National”, in particular.

Since Warner Music paid for Ghomeshi’s Malibu trip, it is very unlikely that Ghomeshi is going to bite the hand, that so very well fed him.

I sincerely believe that this minor payola incident is just the tip of a much larger and more corrupt iceberg.

This Toronto Star article also alluded to other financial benefits that Ghomeshi enjoyed- ie.  free hotel rooms and airline services and possibly many other services and benefits.

Note also in an earlier Toronto Star article, Ghomeshi showcased and promoted musical guests on his popular show, Q,  who were also clients of his own agent and entertainment lawyer. Thus raising the obvious question, did Ghomeshi financially benefit directly or indirectly from these efforts?

Recall the payola scandals in the US in the 1950s and ‘60s, where money, drugs, trips,  women, and all sorts of gifts, were given to DJs by agents and studios, in order to secure valuable and regular radio play of the studios’ artists, records and songs.  There were congressional hearings and offending radio stations were fined, their licenses threatened or revoked, and offending DJs lost their jobs.

We are not at that stage yet in this very public CBC psychodrama. But we are fast approaching a complete moral and morale breakdown in the CBC and enormous public disgust with the CBC by many Canadian taxpayers who ultimately fund these morally questionable CBC operations.

There should be a total cleaning of house at CBC- of all senior managers and executives who were culpably involved with Ghomeshi.

I know I sound like a broken record or CD.

But now, more than ever, there should be a federal bipartisan government inquiry into CBC- dealing with sexual harassment at CBC and now apparently and potentially illegal if not unethical “Payola” practices at CBC.

This Ghomeshi cancer continues to spread unabated throughout the whole of CBC.

Unless this cancer is rooted out and surgically removed, preferably by an outside and effective government inquiry, once and for all,  this cancer will continue to metastasize and ultimately, destroy from within the whole of CBC.

CBC Fifth Estate exposes apparent CBC Ghomeshi cover-up by CBC Honchos

In Canada, we are witnessing the very odd and exceptional spectacle of Canada’s public broadcaster, the CBC, critically investigating itself over CBC’s initial internal investigation of the Ghomeshi affair.  Or CBC’s apparent cover-up of the rise and fall of its most prominent radio and television star, Jian Ghomeshi.

Confused about who is zooming who?


Bottom line. Kudos to Gillian Findlay of CBC’s ‘Fifth Estate’ for her exposing the truth and her take down of CBC Radio Head Chris Boyce. And for Findlay indirectly undermining the CBC career of her boss, Heather Conway,  executive vice president of English services and potentially many other miscreants at the morally and journalistically challenged CBC.In addition, to Gillian Findlay and her “Fifth Estate” team, the other CBC heroes in this sorry CBC saga, are Sean Foley, a former CBC “Q” producer and Brian Coulton, still a “Q” guy. Both worked and survived at “Q” under Ghomeshi, and had the stones to come forward and tell the “Fifth Estate”, what they knew about Ghomeshi and when they knew it.

(Note that Jian Ghomeshi, the star of CBC “Q”, a very popular radio/ entertainment/music show, was fired by CBC and has been charged with four counts of assault and one count of choking)

I urge you to go on the CBC “Fifth Estate” website and watch and listen to this masterful “Fifth Estate” documentary, “The Unmaking of Jian Ghomeshi”. Here is the link.

This is history in the making, folks. Journalism schools and media types will be studying this Ghomeshi scandal for years to come. The meteoric rise and precipitous fall of this media star. The coddling , promotion and the alleged cover up by CBC of this dangerous guy. The non-existent investigation of Ghomeshi by CBC. The apparent public cover up of Ghomeshi’s known activities by CBC. And the ultimate exposure of Ghomeshi by investigative blogger Jesse Brown, Kevin Donovan of the Toronto Star and the takedown of such CBC honchos as Chris Boyce and Heather Conway by CBC’s very own investigative team, “The Fifth Estate”.

The strongest part of “Fifth Estate” program was the interview with “Q” employees Brian Coulton and Sean Foley and Findlay’s takedown of Chris Boyce.Here are some new facts that we learned.

In early spring of 2014, while the “Q” team was on location in Winnipeg, Ghomeshi told Coulton and Foley that he liked rough sex and an ex girlfriend with whom he had rough consensual sex, was threatening to go public with this story.

Ghomeshi was worried he would be tried in the court of public opinion. He also wondered whether CBC would back him up.

In retrospect, this is all BS. Ghomeshi apparently was trying out this story on his fellow employees in order to develop a narrative to insulate him from the real story.

A few weeks later, Ghomeshi told Coulton that there was a Twitter feed, known as @bigearsteddy (refers to Ghomeshi’s live-in to teddy bear by the same name) The existence of the Twitter feed with a reference to his private life had troubled Ghomeshi. As a good journalist, Coulton located this Twitter feed and was shocked to learn that it discussed how Ghomeshi hurt a series of women- ie allegedly physically assaulting them without their consent, including, punching, choking and causing visible bruises.

He made copies of these tweets and showed them to his colleague Foley.

In June, 2004, Coulton received an email from Jesse Brown, the investigative blogger, who had been on the Ghomeshi case for months. This email also disclosed that there were a series of women who also claimed that Ghomeshi had allegedly physically assaulted them without their consent and that Ghomeshi had also engaged in some inappropriate behavior in the CBC workplace.

On the Canada Day week-end, Coulton and Foley met with Chris Boyce, head of CBC Radio and another CBC senior manager. They showed the Brown email and the “big ears teddy bear” tweets. Coulton recalled that Boyce was aware of something, but this was also new information. Boyce promised Coulton/Foley that CBC would do a full investigation.

Now this is where things get real interesting.

According to Heather Conway, in her only TV interview on this matter, with CBC’s Chief Correspondent Peter Mansbridge, (Here is the link to the full Mansbridge/Conway interview )
after receiving the Brown email, CBC launched into an investigation, which was actually quite limited in scope.

According to Conway, HR ( human resources) dived into Ghomeshi’s personal file looking for any allegations of sexual harassment or violence in CBC. CBC allegedly did a cross section survey of Ghomeshi’s bosses and employees in order to determine if any one had been physically abused by Ghomeshi, or were they aware of any incidents at CBC in which Ghomeshi abused anyone, or whether there had been any complaints of sexual harassment in the CBC workplace.

According to Conway on the Mansbridge show, there was nothing in Ghomeshi’s file and none of the people questioned by CBC knew of any problem.

This is the public story that has been put out by Conway, Boyce and Chuck Thompson, head of CBC’s Public Affairs.

However, there are serious holes in this story. The “Fifth Estate” surveyed 17 “Q” employees who were working at “Q” in the summer and none had been approached by CBC Boyce or any one inquiring about Ghomeshi.

When Boyce was asked about this blatant lie, his only response was that the outside investigator Janice Rubin will be looking into this matter.
That is a terrible, non response.

In short, there was no investigation into Ghomeshi.

Accordingly, on the basis of this bald-faced lie told several times to the Canadian people, the perpetrators of this sham: Conway, Thompson and Boyce should be fired from CBC, or at minimum, suspended.

We know from a previous Toronto Globe and Mail article, that in 2012 there was a “Red Sky memo” in Ghomeshi’s file drafted by six then “Q” employees (or there should have been), which detailed what a cruel, insensitive and abusive boss he was.

So for Conway to suggest on national television that there was nothing in his file of concern is another lie.

Conway also lied when she said that until she learned of the video and photos of Ghomeshi physically causing injury to a woman (having a cracked rib) in October,  2014, she thought she was only dealing with Ghomeshi and “rough sex”.

Jesse Brown’s June, 2014 email, (of which Conway acknowledged receiving)  clearly spoke of a series of women who had been allegedly abused through choking and punching, in other words, non-consensual physical assault. All which clearly went beyond rough sex and was closer, to allegedly criminal assault.

The short answer is that CBC, led by Conway, Boyce and Thompson, upon receiving the damning information from Coulton and Foley, tried to bury the evidence and allegedly cover up for Ghomeshi, in the hope this matter would blow over.

And Conway et al are still trying to cover up and ride out this scandal as they are hiding behind outside independent legal investigator,  Janice Rubin’s so-called investigation. Which is another ruse to try to make this scandal go away.

Gillian Findlay, Coulter, Foley and of course Brown and Donovan are the true journalistic heroes of this story. Conway, Boyce,  and Thompson, not so much.

GhomeshiGate – Part 3: CBC’s Ongoing War Against its Female Employees

Who would have believed that CBC, Canada’s national public broadcaster- Canada’s conscience- the home of such beloved Canadian icons as Wayne and Shuster,  Barbara Frum, Peter Gzowski, Knowlton Nash and Lloyd Robertson, could have fallen so far and so fast?

Two words. Jian Ghomeshi. The former host of “Q”, CBC English Radio’s flagship cultural/media/entertainment program. Where all the cool/ hip Canadian stars of the music/tv/film/literary/media world (dubbed by self-promoting Toronto social cultural rock star Richard Florida as the “cultural class”) hung out.

Hey, Florida, are you still touting Ghomeshi as your ideal pick for Toronto mayor?

The Toronto Grid, in July 2012, reported that Richard Florida, in addition to looking down upon the hundreds of thousands of mostly non-white working class voters in the Toronto suburbs who supported Mayor Rob Ford, opined, “ I would like to see a younger person and someone who is not a usual suspect. Somebody who looks and acts like Jian Ghomeshi.”

With each passing day and with each new revelation and allegation of Ghomeshi’s horrible conduct towards women both within and without the very offices of CBC, the reputation of the CBC,  now known as the Creepy Broadcasting Coverup, keeps falling and falling into the bottomless abyss of public disgust.

(Please note that no charges have been laid to date and accordingly, nothing has been proven in court)

Mounting evidence that CBC female employees were allegedly victimized by Ghomeshi

New and disgusting allegations against Ghomeshi are coming out so fast and (Moxy) Fruvous, that CBC’s Executive VP Heather Conway’s disastrous PR spin, is ironically contributing to CBC further spinning out of control and down the rabbit hole, where reputation and public trust are irretrievable.

For those keeping score. Nine women have complained about Ghomeshi. Two women have gone public and three women have filed complaints against Ghomeshi with the police.

In addition, Roberto Petri, a former “Q” producer,  ( 2009-2010) admitted on Jesse Brown’s podcast, CanadaLand (kudos to Brown, the freelance blogger for initially breaking the Ghomeshi story), that he witnessed Ghomeshi, while a female “Q” producer was bent over her desk in CBC,  pressing his pelvis several times against her backside. In effect, humping her.

This is the same female “Q” producer who brought her complaints to Ghomeshi’s executive producer, and this executive producer, ignored these complaints of sexual harassment and abuse, protected Ghomeshi and blamed the victim and suggested she improve the atmosphere at “Q”.

Roberto Petri also admitted on this same show, that another female executive producer of “Q” confided to Petri that she was aware of a young Canadian actress, on a date with Ghomeshi, was choked by Ghomeshi without her consent, in an apparent and alleged effort by Ghomeshi to engage in autoerotic asphyxiation sex.

In short, there is mounting evidence that CBC female employees were allegedly victimized by Ghomeshi. According to former “Q” employees, many CBC employees (either producers or executive producers) either witnessed these activities or knew of these activities being carried on by Ghomeshi within CBC and without CBC.

But according to Petri, no CBC management did anything to report this behavior because Ghomeshi was the brand and he was considered a valuable asset. And apparently, CBC had to protect this valuable asset by permitting Ghomeshi to get away in plain sight with allegedly physically, emotionally and sexually abusing CBC female employees and other female “dates” Ghomeshi had acquired through his CBC work and CBC-related media work.

Culture of Fear

The Globe and Mail unearthed another piece of damning evidence against Ghomeshi and the CBC. In a valiant effort to minimize Ghomeshi’s reign of terror, in July, 2012,  six “Q” staffers met secretly outside of the CBC and the prying eyes of Ghomeshi and his fiercely loyal second in command,  “Q” executive producer, an alleged enabler,  Arif Noorani. Shades of the infamous Shah of Iran and his brutal secret security force, Savak.

This group of six drafted and provided to the above-noted Noorani, and Linda Groen, director of network talk show, the now famous “Red Sky” memo, denoting the fact this document had to be drafted in secret as opposed to an open, “Blue Sky” environment.

“Just the fact that we had to present [the proposals] in this way speaks to the culture of fear – that these things weren’t things that we felt we could address on an ongoing basis,” said a staffer who was involved in drafting the proposals.”

The document described the work culture of CBC as being unsustainable and unsafe. The document specifically criticized Ghomeshi for creating a culture of terror– ruling “Q” at his whim-punishing staffers who opposed him or crossed him. Specifically, this document demanded that Noorani and CBC management should hold the “host to account, rather than operating out of fear of ‘stirring the beast. Also that CBC should set boundaries on Ghomeshi to protect staff members.

CBC was complicit and contributed to this war against women

CBC staffers did the right thing. But as the Globe reported, CBC did nothing and nothing changed.

You do not need an expensive, former CBC commentator and work law legal specialist to connect the dots.

Though allegations of sexual harassment were not noted in this document, it is very clear that Ghomeshi created a culture of fear, dominance and intimidation. He controlled the careers and lives of these poor vulnerable mostly female staffers. He clearly mistreated his female staffers horribly with the knowledge and consent of CBC management. In such an environment, CBC stands rightfully accused of permitting this “beast” to prowl the halls allegedly abusing and preying on female staffers and guests. And thus CBC is also complicit and accessory to Ghomeshi’s alleged crimes and war against women.

In effect, Ghomeshi’s own private war against women. And because it is apparent that CBC management knew of this war against women and did nothing, I strongly argue that CBC was complicit and contributed to this war against women.

GhomeshiGate – Did CBC Permit A Culture of Sexual Harassment and Entitlement?

To date nine women have accused former CBC star, Jian Ghomeshi, of alleged sexual harassment and physical and mental abuse, occurring before, during and after sexual encounters. Two of these women were former employees of CBC.

(No charges have been laid and accordingly, none of these allegations have been proven in court).Of these nine women, two women have gone public with their experiences of allegedly being physically beaten and/or sexually assaulted by Ghomeshi. One such woman is Lucy DeCoutere, an actress on a popular Canadian film and television comedy, ‘Trailer Park Boys’.

As of this writing, according to the Toronto Star,  three of these nine women have filed complaints with the police in connection with these allegations of physical abuse and/or sexual harassment.

I believe that CBC is in serious trouble because it is being alleged by the National Post and Toronto Sun, that CBC managers and staff must have known about Ghomeshi’s unacceptable conduct towards young CBC women staffers and his apparent attempt to use his powerful CBC position to pursue his personal sexual conquests.  And by turning a blind eye to Ghomeshi, CBC has to take some responsibility for permitting a culture of sexual harassment and sexual entitlement to emerge around CBC’s golden boy.

The following are two allegations, as reported in The Toronto Star and National Post, which if proven true,  may seriously impair CBC’s image and reputation and force a serious restructuring of CBC.

Ghomeshi’s lurid life, including accounts of his hitting and choking dates during sex

According to one of “Q”’s female producers in 2007, when she had first accepted a job at “Q”,  Ghomeshi’s popular CBC’s   late morning entertainment/cultural radio show,  she had heard of Ghomeshi’s lurid life, including accounts of his hitting and choking dates during sex.

Notwithstanding, she accepted a job at “Q”. She alleged that Ghomeshi had created an environment of tyranny. No one stood up to him and everyone enabled his behavior. Specifically, she revealed to a CBC manager and “Q”’s executive producer, Arif Noorani, in 2010, that Ghomeshi told her that he wanted “to hate f…k her, grudge f…k her and he had groped her buttocks.”

Noorani’s response was to ignore this behavior and in effect blame the victim. This woman stated that Noorani stated that Ghomeshi was never going to change and that this woman should try to make this environment less toxic.

This woman concluded that Ghomeshi was too huge and powerful and no one at CBC wanted to take him on or rock the boat.

In another instance, in 2012,  a 20 something CBC producer met Ghomeshi in Montreal on one of his book signings.

After expressing an interest in working at “Q”, Khomeshi allegedly lured her back to his hotel room on the pretense of needing to remove his contact lens. Back at his hotel room, Khomeshi threw her roughly against the wall and kissed and fondled her forcefully. She admitted that she fellated him just to get out the hotel room.

Ghomeshi promised her an interview with his executive producer for a job at “ Q”. The producer did take a meeting with Ghomeshi and her executive producer, but then never pursued this rather distasteful CBC opportunity.

Ghomeshi apparently used his CBC role to pursue his sexual conquests and disturbing sexual behavior

In another instance, the Globe and Mail reported than one of “Q”’s key producers and directors, Matt Tunnacliffe, admitted that they had a code word for female guests whom they suspected had slept with Ghomeshi. This is further evidence that Ghomeshi apparently used his CBC role to pursue his sexual conquests and disturbing sexual behavior. And apparently with the knowledge of many “Q” staff.

In Monday’s Toronto Star, a female University of Western Ontario journalism graduate has come forward and alleged that in 2012, after a “Q” taping in the downtown Toronto studio,  while alone with Ghomeshi, he improperly hugged her and then as she was leaving, she alleged that Ghomeshi came up behind her, grabbed her waist and pressed himself against her backside. He then texted her and suggested to this Western student that he was not interested in a personal friendship, clearly implying that any future meeting would be for sex.

This Western student reported this matter to the Western journalism department and this department has since forbade its students from interning at “Q”.

In last Sunday’s Toronto Star, very well-respected writer, journalist and broadcaster and recently nominated for Governor General’s Award, Noah Richler, wrote that he too had heard rumours of Ghomeshi’s “penchant for a choke hold”. And Richler wrote that he would never permit his daughters in the same room as Ghomeshi.

Clearly, Ghomeshi’s alleged disturbing and physically violent sexual conduct was known both within and without CBC.

So CBC’s classic Sargent Schultz defence, “ I know nothing. I see nothing.”  Does not fly.

CBC culture of sexual harassment and sexual entitlement

Evidence is piling up that CBC knew about Ghomeshi’s unacceptable treatment to women both within and without CBC and it did nothing about it. In fact, CBC apparently enabled this conduct. It did not want to kill one of the few golden CBC geese laying the golden eggs.

For me, CBC has lost all credibility.

It appears that many CBC staffers are directly or indirectly involved in this disgusting Ghomeshi affair.

The Ghomeshi scandal is to CBC what the sponsorship scandal was to the Federal Liberal Party in the early 2000s.

The only way to repair CBC tarnished image and reputation is for CBC to turn over this matter to an objective and impartial judicial inquiry, a la the Gomery Commission. With serious legal power to subpoena and compel witnesses and provide judicial protection to the many people who have been adversely affected by Ghomeshi and his CBC enablers. The objective is to bring all wrongdoers to account and thoroughly eradicate this CBC culture of sexual harassment and sexual entitlement.

Otherwise CBC will continue to rightfully lose public, political and financial support from the Canadian people.

The ball is in your court, so to speak, CBC. Tempus fugit. Because the Canadian public is rapidly losing all confidence and trust in the CBC.