A contrarian view: Ghomeshi will be convicted because his defense counsel screwed up

Contrary to my fellow Rebel Lauren Southern, I predict that former CBC broadcaster Jian Ghomeshi will be convicted on at least one charge of assault, if not more than one.

Ghomeshi’s lawyer, Marie Henein is possibly one of the best defense lawyers in Canada.

But she is human. The last time I checked, she wasn’t able to walk on water in her trademark five-inch heels.

Her strength is evident in her enormous self-confidence, but that is also her weakness.

I have followed her career closely over the years, and believe that her arrogance has sometimes led her astray.

I also 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 narcissistic client is on trial for 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 actress 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 assaults did any one of them consent to this 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.

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 in this case 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 court room. 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 also neglected to mention that she’s sent Ghomeshi her bikini photo subsequent to the alleged assault in Ghomeshi’s house.

The second complainant, Lucy Coutere, neglected 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 **** your brains out”.

DeCoutere also neglected to disclose that she had spent the next day with Ghomeshi and subsequently sent him a six-page love letter.

The third complainant omitted to disclose that subsequent to the alleged choking on the park bench, they had met a second time and shared a consensual sexual encounter.

In her concluding remarks, Henein 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 have faulty memories, omitted crucial facts and provided inconsistent statements which undermined their credibility.

The Crown countered that just because a complainant may be fuzzy on peripheral facts, that does not mean that their statements of facts relating to the actual incidents 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.

Of course, there were great dangers to Ghomeshi testifying.

If he had, 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 and other 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 that he would have had a better chance of being acquitted on all these counts.

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

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

What the Ghomeshi scandal reveals about CBC’s leftist culture

So remember when the CBC spent months covering the Duffy trial, with the expressed purpose of bringing down the Harper government?

Well, what goes around, comes around. It’s payback time, you slimy, feather-bedding, taxpayer-supported biased CBC miscreants!

The Ghomeshi affair is symptomatic of the CBC’s leftist culture.

After all, CBC discovered and promoted the multicultural, nonwhite, hip Ghomeshi, who is of Iranian descent.

I have studied, read and written about all of Ghomeshi’s behavior towards women both within and without CBC. And his behavior was quite well known for years to CBC superiors, including his immediate boss, who was also of apparent Mideast background.

The CBC knew about Ghomeshi’s treatment of women but permitted Ghomeshi’s alleged abusive actions in the name of political correctness.

In CBC and in other leftist cultures, as we saw in Cologne, Germany, the lives of Ghomeshi’s women were sacrificed on the altar of political correctness.

According to that narrative, Mideast nonwhite folks like the hip, progressive Ghomeshi, could do no wrong. It is always the fault of the old or young white dudes.

Well, for CBC, the chop suey has really hit the fan.

Ghomeshi is the hip tip of the iceberg — of a CBC corporate culture that turned a blind eye to vulnerable women both within and outside the organization, because Ghomeshi was a progressive multicultural hero to the left.

This may be CBC’s culture, but this is not Canada’s culture, which treats women equally and with respect.

Ghomeshi is not only on trial for allegedly sexually assaulting and choking women. CBC is on public trial for indulging a multicultural-based sex assault culture in its own halls.

End times? Toronto Star’s Michael Geist questions CBC’s “relevance”

Is the end of the world nigh? Are pigs circling the CBC “white elephant” on Front Street?

I only ask this because one my favorite columnists at the Toronto “Tsar,” Professor Michael Geist, has come down heavy on CBC.

Sounding almost like our own Brian Lilley, Geist writes:

While disagreement over CBC funding is as old as the broadcaster itself, the more uncomfortable discussion for the CBC is its coverage of the current election campaign — particularly its approach to national debates and political party advertising — which raises troubling questions about its relevance in the current media environment.

The most puzzling decision has been its refusal to broadcast debates hosted by other organizations. The CBC may be disappointed with the debate approach adopted by the political parties in this campaign, but that does not change the sense that if the national public broadcaster does not air programs in the national public interest, it calls into question the very need for a public broadcaster.

Those of us on the right have been ranting and raving about this for years: Why are hard-working Canadian taxpayers stuck paying $1 billion of our hard-earned taxpayer money every year to prop up a heavily biased, incompetent organization — CBC English TV — which has been losing thousands of viewers every year, right across the board, in all categories:

* Its entertainment division. Consider the viewing options: This Hour Has Twenty-Two Viewers; The “Should Have Been Cancelled Years Ago” Rick Mercer Report; The Horribly Unfunny Mr. D, to name but three.

* Its sports division. Losing Hockey Night in Canada and replacing it with Canadian award shows (in which heavily-subsidized artists award each other awards for unread books, unheard music and unwatchable TV shows and films) wasn’t a programming change bound to attract regular hard-working Canadian viewers. (That is, the people who are paying the bills.)

* Its news and documentary division. Petey Mansbridge’s The Notional has been irrelevant for years, except to the dwindling elitist mob south of Bloor, who believe Naomi Klein and her sock puppet husband Avi should speak for all of Canada. And ironically, if CBC’s Marketplace was forced to compete in the free marketplace of ideas, it would go the way of home mail delivery.

Which brings us all back to the election debate issue.

CBC did not just shoot itself in the foot, as Geist claimed. It shot itself in both feet. Then it shot itself in the face. Then it committed harakiri on the steps of Front Street. For many Canadians, left and right, CBC’s refusal to air federal election debates has pushed them into the “defunding” camp.

The Canadian people are doing just fine without the CBC. There are still hundreds of solid print and online newspapers. Hundreds of TV networks. Hundreds of online TV networks, podcasts and blogs.

We Canadians have access to tons of news and information from sources more reliable than the highly biased CBC, which has geared all its anti-Harper reporting to side with any party that might throw it a financial lifeline.

I hereby predict the biggest loser of this federal election:

The CBC, by a landslide.

A CBC Without Don Cherry Isn’t Worth Watching

For 60 years CBC (English) TV had an iron grip on the venerable institution of ” Hockey Night in Canada.”
Throughout the hockey season and the playoffs, CBC was the go-to Canadian television station for Canadian NHL Hockey.

Over the last few years CBC’s broadcast of Hockey Night in Canada (HNIC) represented about 330 hours of programming and generated about $200 million in advertising revenue for CBC. Which revenue CBC used to fund original arts and cultural programs.

CBC also used HNIC’s large Canadian audience to promote its other prime time news, drama and comedy shows.

Recently, Rogers Communications, with a very generous bid of $5.2 billion, without warning stole the NHL puck from CBC, skated the length of the ice and scored in the five hole on the unsuspecting CBC executive. And Rogers won the exclusive right to broadcast NHL games for the next 12 years.

CBC will still broadcast Hockey Night in Canada for the next 4 years, but HNIC will be under total editorial control of Rogers.

Effectively, this is the end of the road for CBC HNIC. In four years, CBC will have little to do with HNIC.

The biggest loss to the CBC is that it will no longer be able to access a working-class crowd because this very important Canadian audience only gravitated to CBC for HNIC and the presence of Don Cherry.

I always thought the combo of the bombastic Don Cherry and the politically correct CBC was truly odd.

I actually like Don Cherry a lot.

He is macho, politically incorrect, pro-hockey violence, pro-Canadian military, anti-European, chauvinistic and opinionated. And with his outlandish “in your face” clothes, he is a first class shirt disturber.

Cherry has a very loyal following. He is truly a Canadian original, reminiscent of a certain rotund and controversial Toronto Mayor who also has a very loyal following.

In short, Cherry is everything that CBC is not. And everything that CBC abhors.

I think CBC does not understand Cherry’s appeal, because CBC does not really understand, appreciate or respect the large audience who is attracted to HNIC.

Hockey Night in Canada attracts true hockey dads and hockey moms. Tim Hortons coffee-clutching life-long hockey players and fans. Hard-working men and women, mostly from Canada’s small towns and suburbs, who love everything about the game of hockey. The fighting, the swearing, the spitting.

The sweat, the blood, the body-checking, the missing teeth and broken noses. The down and dirty, elbows to the head, in the corner, when the ref’s not looking. The multiple battles in the corners and in front of the net. The harsh physicality of the sport. Its earthiness. Its speed. Its artistry. Its laser-like passing. Its rink to rink rushes. Its winner-takes-all mentality. Its balls against the boards brutality.

These people get Cherry. They love him. And Cherry understands and respects these people. Cherry speaks to them in a language and in a manner, alien to CBC.

For many hard-nosed HNIC fans, this is their only contact with CBC. The same could be said of the CBC brass.

Still CBC never “gets” these fans. As CBC does not understood “Ford Nation.”

Cherry and Hockey Night in Canada provide CBC with a rare window into Canada’s heartland. Into the working class and hard scrabble small Canadian towns and communities, and struggling outer suburbs outside of Canada’s elitist and white shoe cities of Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver. Where small town and suburban Canadians shop at Wal-Mart and Canadian Tire, instead of Whole Foods and David’s Tea.

Where Canadians drive through Tim’s for a double double, instead of strolling Pusateri’s Fine Foods with a Starbucks latte, arguing over the merits of wild Pacific salmon versus farm-raised Atlantic salmon.

The loss of Cherry and Hockey Night in Canada is a lost opportunity for CBC to escape its uptight Waspish politically correct, elitist/urban/sophisticated Toronto-centric shtetl (ghetto), still being firmly led by the omniscient Pastor Mansbridge.

But I digress.

I predict that Cherry will leave CBC’s pared down HNIC and instead find a more accommodating home on a Rogers channel broadcasting NHL hockey.

The CBC Blew Jack Layton’s Biopic, Big Time

After watching “Jack,” the biopic of Jack Layton broadcast on Sunday night on the CBC, I realize once again why CBC is such a mediocre television network. It should stick to what it does best: news, current events, Evan Solomon, Rick Mercer and broadcasting “Hockey Night in Canada.”

Every time this made-for-TV movie got rolling, picked up a bit of steam, had a bit of momentum, CBC would interrupt the flow and the story with annoying ads for Rogers wireless products or AXE deodorant.

This was supposedly CBC’s version of “must see TV”.

This was a film about a good politician who, for a brief time, caught political lightning in a bottle. And transformed a third-place loser into the Official Opposition. It is a great story of politics and political smarts and courage.

CBC, the least you could have done, was have the show sponsored by a few corporate heavyweights and limited ads to the beginning, middle and end of the show. This was not some third-rate American TV sitcom. You could have broadcast this smarter.

But I digress. (Sorry about the anti-CBC rant. I have to get back on my pro-Canuck happy pills.)

As to the TV film itself: “Jack” focused on NDP Leader Jack Layton’s amazing 2011 federal election campaign, in which against all odds and the pundits’ predictions, Layton — played by Rick Roberts — led the “Orange Crush” NDP to a thrilling historic political breakthrough in Quebec and a second place finish, ahead of the Liberals.

The film also depicted Layton’s very warm and close relationship with his spouse and political and life partner, Olivia Chow, and his heroic battle with cancer during this penultimate campaign.

There were a few nice touches. I thought Sook-Yin Lee was excellent as Olivia Chow. She came across as a smart, funny, witty, politically astute, very devoted to her mother and, of course, to Jack.

In real life, Jack and Olivia supposedly had a very loving relationship. In the TV film, there was a very brief scene of Jack and Olivia in bed, which seemed very natural.

But the film ultimately failed because of a few glaring defects.

Rick Roberts was terribly miscast as Jack Layton. Physically, Roberts is too tall, and too baby-faced. He made the tough, street fighting Jack Layton, look like a tall, gangly, always sweet and slightly goofy Disney comic character. Roberts reminded me of Sheldon on “The Big Bang Theory.” The Jack Layton role called for a more macho, mustached, shorter Tom Cruise-like character. Part fighter. Part salesman.

Jack Layton in real life had rough edges and flaws. Those made him an interesting person and a compelling politician. As a city council man, he was arrogant, full of himself, and, to some voters, extremely unlikable. At times he came across as a smarmy used car salesman. That was one of Layton’s major problems. To many Toronto voters, he appeared untrustworthy. Recall Layton lost by a huge margin to June Rowlands in the 1991 Toronto mayoral race. And June Rowlands was one of the most mediocre Toronto politicians and mayors in the city’s history.

This film should have shown Jack Layton in his early political career, warts and all. It should have exposed his flaws — even his alleged arrest in a Toronto massage parlour in the 90s. Then his incredible, though brief, transformation into the most successful federal NDP politician in history would have been more dramatic, thrilling and real. And authentic.

The film sanitized Jack Layton. He was sweetness and light and Mr. Positive at the beginning. He was canonized at the end. As a result, the film lacked conflict. It lacked resolution. It lacked honesty. It failed to show Layton struggling and fighting to overcome obstacles, and his own personality defects, thus making his ultimate success, that much sweeter. Even the portrayal of the thrilling 2011 election campaign lacked tension and drama when in reality, the actual campaign was a wild and exciting ride.

In short, by sanitizing and canonizing Jack Layton, the TV film did a disservice to the man. And it was mediocre TV.

Sadly a missed opportunity for CBC.