He said he didn’t do it

The CBC show The Fifth Estate last night was about…Jian Ghomeshi.

Imagine the awkwardness! Ghomeshi was a CBC star, his show was a CBC show, his bosses were CBC bosses, the institution that fired him was the CBC, the institution that didn’t fire him sooner was the CBC – and there was Gillian Findlay on The Fifth Estate discussing the whole mess.

It makes for a fascinating program, which is frequently squirmy to watch. The Executive Director of CBC radio, Chris Boyce, is deeply uncomfortable to watch. He’s also terribly familiar. There are so many echoes in this whole show, and especially in what Boyce says. Findlay asks him why he didn’t act sooner, and he says with great earnestness: “Jian told me he didn’t do it.”

Did it really not occur to him that Ghomeshi might be saying he didn’t do it because he preferred not to deal with the consequences of being known to have done it? Did he really think that if Jian said he didn’t do it that meant he in fact didn’t do it? Was he really not aware that Jian had an obvious motivation for telling his boss that he didn’t do it?

But at the same time, it sounds so familiar. Have we not all heard it a thousand times over the past year and a half or so.


  1. sonofrojblake says

    The whole “broadcasting organisations beating itself up” thing is an echo of what happened on the BBC re: Jimmy Savile. “Newsnight” spiked a feature about him, allegedly because there was shortly to be a Christmas special about him (he was dead by this time). When the spiking came out, Newsnight itself reported on how Newsnight had fucked up.
    Check out this clip, and in particular the expression on Eddie Mair’s face at 0:13.

  2. says

    As an American who has spent a lot of time in Canada the last 25 years, I’m always pleased to see how often Canadian news shows do news. (And not just the CBC.). At the same time it’s distressing because its a reminder of how seldom American news shows do actual news.

  3. resident_alien says

    “He said he didn’t do it”
    Oh, well, that settles it then.
    Holy Canoli, people are so stupid.
    Remember when they did that Wikileaks movie (also called The Fifth Estate I think)
    and the guy who played Julian Assange claimed the rape charges against Saint Julian
    were “character assassination”? Because he had talked to him and he said he didn’t do it,
    plus CIA, honeytraps, lying bitchez, and Illuminati at Bohemian Grove. Or whatever.
    When will people learn how to think?

  4. says

    And Shermer. People have said that about Shermer. Straight-up: that very thing. “He said he didn’t do it!” “He denied it!”

    Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh well in that case.

  5. Dunc says

    I am once again reminded of the timeless wisdom of Mandy Rice-Davies: “He would, wouldn’t he?”

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