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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Kink or crime—loss of hope and trust is the result

Last week I heard some stunning news break over the airwaves; CBC had broken off their relationship with long-time radio host Jian Ghomeshi. I had been a fan of Ghomeshi's since he started his flagship morning radio show Q and I could not believe what my ears were hearing.

As the day went on more news broke on the story and then there was the famous/infamous Facebook post that Ghomeshi published in order to get the jump on the upcoming media storm.

My first thought when I read Ghomeshi's post was, 'Well at least he is straight-- all be it with a few kinks.' Because with a voice that a girlfriend of mine described as 'chocolatey' I doubt I am the only woman who thought it would be nice if he was available in the heterosexual supermarket. A visceral if not enlightened reaction.

After that it was disbelief. This man, who I had gone to bed with night after night via the radio waves, could not possibly be a sexual predator. A criminal.

I did not want to believe that I had once again put my trust in some one only to find it blasted to pieces like some kind of pumpkin drop on Late Night with David Letterman-- another case in point for disappointment.

How could it be that a man that I had heard arbitrate a discussion on rape culture had suddenly become the poster boy for the topic?

And then there is the other thing, a very unfair thing but nonetheless a truism-- Ghomeshi is Iranian and he personified what it means to be Iranian to most Canadians. It is a very heavy burden that he certainly should not be weighted with but through his openness we learned about Iran and the wonders that are hidden behind the country's not-so-loveable leaders. Through him we have been given a glimpse of a culture that we otherwise would not have had and no doubt would not have gone in search of. He's done more to make Canadians see Iran and its people for what they really are; people, than any other person or cultural outreach effort I can think of. How much of that progress will now be lost? I hope not much.

At this point I have stopped reading the Ghomeshi media coverage. There have too often been people in the public eye that we looked up to only later to find out that they were secret monsters.

Constantly misjudging people in the public eye has left me feeling jaded. I know that as listeners to radio we feel an intimacy with the voices that enter our lives and this is part of the beauty of the medium. But I also know that this feeling of knowing the voice that comes out of the box is misplaced. We don't know them any more than they know us; the listener.

No matter what happens now with lawsuits and accusations, the cultural life of Canada has been dealt a serious blow and once again the publics' trust has been waylaid.

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