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article imageOp-Ed: On taking no pleasure in watching once mighty Jian Ghomeshi fall

By Marcus Hondro     Nov 27, 2014 in Crime
There is a phrase that almost came to mind as I watched the news last night and saw a tight-lipped Jian Ghomeshi being lead from the courtroom by his lawyer. I can't quite remember it though but the gist of it is that we like to watch the mighty fall.
Jian Ghomeshi: Suddenly silent
It sprung to mind because in this instance at least, in the downfall of Jian Ghomeshi, it is not fun to watch the mighty fall. There is, yes, something compelling that draws me to it, but it's not fun.
Here's this: he looked so pathetic, forlorn, and the man with such a gift of the gab, the man so clearly talented when it comes to talk, was just as clearly not about to speak.
Doubtless his lawyer, Marie Henein told him not to. But he did not need to be told, it was apparent the man who has out talked politicians and entertainers, even Jon Stewart and Barbara Walters, wanted nothing to do with opening that famously loquacious mouth. I winced. I cringed. Yes, I even felt pity.
Media and court of public opinion
This now comes to mind: there is the notion of innocence until proven guilty. He has been tried in the media and, subsequently in the court of public opinion, where he has already been found guilty. That doesn't really fly, does it? That's not what we're about. I expect that it's also not what the women who have complaints against him want, either.
Is there anything to say in his defence though? Is there a defence? There doesn't seem to be. It may be suspect that it has been so long since these alleged attacks occurred and that some of the women saw him again following them. But in a court of law that will likely be explained to the satisfaction of most.
Now before you post that he didn't seem to care about these women, there are at least nine now, let me say this: you're right, he arguably did not seem to care. I quite naturally do feel bad for every one of those women, and others who have been attacked by men. And that is unreserved and unconditional. But I still have doubts about how all of this is going down.
Jian Ghomeshi: Is there redemption?
Look there must come a time where we are willing to, and I said this a month ago when the news of all this came out, when we are willing to offer him an olive branch. Maybe a poor choice of words. Offer him a chance to redeem himself.
That could happen one day, Ghomeshi sitting down with media, even the CBC, who are in attack mode right now (Rex Murphy, The Fifth Estate, etc.) and talking about what he did. It would surely be valuable, coming from a guy with a gift for talking (Lucy DeCoutere: "Jian, if he's nothing else, he's absolutely charismatic...easy to talk to") and who knows about Canadian culture and violence toward woman, from both his work as a broadcaster and alleged experiences as a perpetrator.
His dark and secret compulsions must have haunted him. So would it not be of value to have him speak of what was going on? Of the compulsion that drove him? Even offer advice to other men who've traveled the path he, allegedly, has, and to any that might be fighting similar compulsions?
Because I believe Jian Ghomeshi loves Canadian culture and now wonder if his biggest contribution to it couldn't turn out to be helping us learn more about something that has plagued women, and our country, seemingly for ever.
In the meantime, just for the record, while I recognize sometimes the mighty must fall, I think that in this case perhaps the fall does not have to be irreversible. And regardless, I take no pleasure in watching it happen.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about jian ghomeshi, ghomeshi scandal, ghomeshi charged, Lucy DeCoutere
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