“We often see what we want to see and hear what we want to hear”
I recently read an article about the Jian Ghomeshi vs the CBC mess, his unceremonious dismissal and the $50+ million lawsuit that has been threatened by Ghomeshi and his ‘people’. Now it has become about how this Ghomeshi guy is ‘getting out in front’ of all this bad press in order to skirt the inevitable outcome of being found guilty of something that may or not be true. The media sure wants it to be true, it seems, and now it’s become a David and Goliath type struggle and . . . and my freakin’ head hurts with all this posturing and rankling and accusing.
The truth is no one knows, yet, what really happened and the point is the only folks who really know are the ones directly involved. Should we not allow the legal system, the one we have chosen to live by, to do its job and gather information about the charges that have been made. Involving the public, in my view, does not ensure honesty and but rather fear. Scrutiny can and will come when the facts are produced and then the media needs to swing into high gear. Now they can go to work to prove or disprove the facts as they have been prepared and presented. The legal system needs to be free to gather evidence without pressure or bias and present that information when it can be done in a way that leaves no doubt about the need for a trial or hearing. Shouldn’t that information be presented in a court room instead of a newspaper. Papers should print the news not make the news. Shouldn’t that info gathering be done quietly and professionally thereby creating an environment of respect, dignity and protection for the women who were courageous enough to bring forth their charges instead of enduring the media frenzy and the circus that is sure to follow when the public has gotten its taste for blood in the water tweaked? In reality the public can be much more harsh on the ‘victims’ than on the so called perpetrators. The public will always want to know and believe the worst. Think about the ‘rubberneckers’ that slow down at an accident site hoping to get a glimpse of blood and gore only to say ‘Oh isn’t that awful’ when they witness death or carnage of some kind. Why do so many go to hockey games? Not always for the game itself but rather for the fights and violence that often breaks out.
According to this blog that I read the women who brought forth the charges are claiming that Mr.Ghomeshi struck them with a closed fist or an open hand, bit them, choked them, impaired their ability to breath and verbally abused them during and after having sex with them. But by making all of this ‘news’ public at this time diminishes the chances of either side receiving a fair hearing and the information being proven. It becomes a ‘he said/she said’ situation with both sides revving up the rhetoric. Of course he will deny it and of course they will claim its truth. So who knows for sure? The author of this article talks about Mr. Ghomeshis’ PR team working at full tilt thereby, somehow, suggesting his guilt. There would be no need for a PR team to be involved if the ‘circus’ hadn’t come to town but here we are. The PR guys are as bad as the media sometimes. Both salivate at something like this happening because one gets employed and the other gets to stay employed.
Another of the authors concerns is about how powerful people always seem to get away with things that the regular folks always get nailed for. Is this a personal or professional opinion? I would agree this can happen and does. But I would also say that it often doesn’t work that way. Just ask Bill Clinton, Richard Milhous Nixon and Conrad Black how their power managed to free them from public scrutiny and accountability.
The other major point to the authors article revolves around consent. Was consent given and rescinded? Was consent given at all? Was it completely ignored? There is no question in my mind that it can be rescinded at any time and needs to be respected immediately–bar no excuses or pleadings.. That’s just part of the rules of the game and, make no mistake, this is a game. A very serious one to be sure but still a game that is played out for stimulation and pleasure. Perhaps those who want to participate in the game need to be better versed about just what it is they are agreeing to. Perhaps this is no place for amateurs to tread until they know more. Perhaps there needs to be more discussion shared between what each would-be participant likes and doesn’t like so there can be no misunderstandings about what is about to happen and where the boundaries lie. This is not something that should be taken lightly nor with an attitude of ‘Oh this sounds like fun-let’s do it’.
If things got out of hand and things happened that weren’t discussed nor was there any consent to certain behaviours given then it most certainly was criminal in its essence and that is that. But no one knows for sure what happened in this case. All we have heard is what has been said by each side. However, now that the genie has been let out of the bottle there is no turning back. The reputations of all involved here are at stake. No one has more to lose than the other unless you reduce those losses to just money.
In the end isn’t it up to each of us who we decide to spend time with, doing what, when, where and under what circumstances. If we make the choice and it doesn’t work out well and laws were broken then someone needs to be held accountable for what happened. But at what point do we each become solely responsible for the decisions we make no matter how reckless or callous or risky? But because they didn’t turn out so well we can’t, then, point fingers at the other person for the choices we made. I am not suggesting that we blame any one side or that one side is more to blame than the other. As we move toward an egalitarian society part of what we need to accept is taking responsibility for what we say, what we do and who we do it with. We all have a right to pursue our freedoms and above all to preserve our safety and our right to make our own choices. Let’s just remember that door swings both ways for all of us.
Anyways, that’s how I see it–Jim
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