Well, Hi There: Jian Ghomeshi, live and off the air
Jian Ghomeshi’s climb to the top of the CBC required plenty of ambition, glad-handing, star-chasing, stubble maintenance and serial dating, plus a couple of workplace meltdowns
One day, roughly five years ago, Jian Ghomeshi got a severe headache and felt sharp pains in his chest. “I thought I must have a brain tumour or be experiencing a heart attack—that I must be dying,” he says now. A few days later, he started to feel dizzy, had trouble breathing and headed for the nearest emergency room. The doctor took note of his symptoms and asked if he’d done any coke (he hadn’t). It turned out to be a panic attack, and he was eventually diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. He now visits a midtown psychologist once a week. When the demands of hosting Q, Ghomeshi’s CBC radio show, don’t allow him to leave the office, he and his shrink talk over Skype. The sessions help him cope. “I’ve worked through a lot,” he says. “Feeling like an outsider because of my Iranian background, trust issues. A lot of not feeling good enough.”
Like so many performers, Ghomeshi has an outsized ego to match his insecurity. He interviews some of the world’s biggest celebrities on his show, and often he’s the diva in the room. Last fall, Q staff were on lockdown as they prepared for an interview with Drake, figuring out how to pull something fresh out of a guy whose every Twitter feud makes international headlines. Without warning, Ghomeshi went quiet, then announced he was going for a walk. The show’s producers freaked out—no one knew where he’d gone, or when he planned to return. Minutes before Drake was scheduled to arrive, Ghomeshi slipped back into the studio as though nothing were out of the ordinary. The interview was a good one: Drake talked about the demands of success, which is something the guy asking the questions could relate to.
Q airs at 10:06 every weekday morning, right after the news. Ghomeshi opens every show with the same salutation: “Well, hi there,” delivered in a raspy growl. It’s a calculated transition from the gravity of the news broadcast into a program that’s his personal fiefdom. To say that Ghomeshi has extended the reach of a Canadian public radio host is an understatement, like saying Justin Bieber has heightened the aspirations of tween buskers from Stratford. Q is one of the most popular radio shows in Canada and is syndicated by 160 U.S. stations. A weekly televised version of the show draws 300,000 viewers, the Q YouTube channel averages 1.5 million hits per month, and the podcast gets about 250,000 downloads every week. He manages to unite an unusually diverse audience of indie-loving university students, retirees and every age in between with a programming mix that is broad yet curated (a recent broadcast featured an interview with former prime minister Joe Clark, a Martha Wainwright song and a segment on why the majority of Icelanders believe in elves). Ghomeshi’s radio fame helped his memoir, 1982, debut at number one on the bestseller lists when it was published in 2012.
At the youth-starved CBC, he has become the go-to cool guy. His bosses put him in front of a mike or camera whenever possible. This month he will be part of the broadcast team in Sochi, offering a side of politics and pop culture with his athlete interviews. (“From Putin to Pussy Riot,” is how Ghomeshi put it during a promotional event marking the start of the 100-day countdown back in October.) In March, he will host Canada Reads, a reality contest where prominent Canadians advocate for prominent Canadian books. For a guy who has always felt like an outsider, he has managed quite deftly to plant himself in the centre of everything.
Ghomeshi’s office is on the second floor of the Front Street CBC building. When I visit, he apologizes for the mess—piles of books and CDs, papers stacked on every available surface. The room is steps from the Q studio. He is dressed in his usual uniform: a slim-fit V-neck, black blazer, distressed denim and haphazard stubble that is in fact deliberately maintained using the level three setting on his electric beard trimmer. Much of Ghomeshi’s wardrobe comes from GotStyle on King West. He’s 46 years old but, like George Stroumboulopoulos, Jorn Weisbrodt and other middle-aged Toronto arts and media power brokers, he dresses young. It’s important for him to appear hip and connected to emerging culture—getting mistaken for an establishment figure would be fatal.
He tells me that if we’re going to spend time together, we should book it in ASAP. The schedule on his computer resembles a game of Tetris right before the Game Over message—coloured blocks cramped one on top of the other with only the tiniest gaps. In this case the colours mean something: red for the time he is on air or onstage, plus high-priority meetings; orange for travel (in the last couple of years, Q has taped live shows in Montreal, New York and Chicago); grey for regular meetings and show prep; yellow for unconfirmed bookings; blue for personal maintenance (thrice weekly workouts, weekly therapy sessions, twice monthly haircuts with celeb stylist Jie Matar); purple for post-workday social engagements.
His time is managed mostly by his executive assistant, a smiley 27-year-old Feist look-alike named Ashley Poitevin. “It’s her job to try and create more white space,” Ghomeshi explains, meaning waking hours that aren’t colour blocked. His evenings are filled with parties, openings, concerts, screenings, debates, awards ceremonies, panels. He gets dozens of hosting requests every month: high-profile literati events like the Giller Awards, as well as small functions within the Iranian community. Those ones, he says, are the hardest to turn down. “I feel like a jerk telling some guy from the Persian community paper to call my publicist, but that’s how it is,” he says. For Ghomeshi, being out in public is always a matter of brand building and relationship management. When he goes to a hockey game, he’s a guest of Molson; when he’s at a concert, he’ll end up backstage, arranging for the band to appear on his show.
One night last fall, Ghomeshi took me to the opening party for a David Cronenberg exhibit at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Even before we cleared the entranceway, he fielded hellos from three people. The upside of being the random woman with Jian Ghomeshi at the Cronenberg party: you get to talk to David Cronenberg. The downside of being the RWWJG: you must also talk to everyone else. Over the course of an hour he has conversations with more than 30 friends, diehard fans and people who recognize him from his 20-foot-tall likeness on the side of the CBC building. Even people who don’t know him approach with chummy familiarity, which is why Ghomeshi goes with “Nice to see you,” when he isn’t sure if he’s met someone before. It’s a tiny trick, and he’s certainly not the first to use it, but in this context it seems like part of a bigger production. During our time together he is unfailingly charming, thoughtful and funny. If we had been on a first date it would have been a good one.
After the party, Ghomeshi heads back to the office to work for a couple of hours before heading home, where he’ll read more interview prep material before bed. He recently sold his Cabbagetown house and bought a century-old home in the Beach. He says living in a low-key, less-than-hip neighbourhood was his way of creating a sanctuary outside the madness of his job. For a month after he took possession, it was still full of unpacked boxes.
Ghomeshi has always been a Type-A personality. When he was growing up, the Ghomeshi household was full of love, along with incredibly high expectations, summed up in his father’s go-to parenting motto—you have done well, now do better. Jian was born in London, England, where xenophobic white schoolmates nicknamed him Blackie. In the mid-’70s, his parents, Frank (a civil engineer) and Sara (an accountant), moved Jian and his older sister, Jila, now a professor of linguistics at the University of Manitoba, to Thornhill. The late ’70s and early ’80s were not an easy time to be an Iranian immigrant—the 1979 Iranian revolution resulted in the presumption that brown skin meant ties to terrorism, among other stereotypes. In 1982, Ghomeshi tells stories about kids asking where he kept his turbans and machine guns. He remembers when a cover of the Beach Boys song “Barbara Ann” was released with the new lyrics “Bomb Iran.” Even within his own family he stood out for his darker skin. His mom made him stay out of the sun to keep him as light as possible. The memoir covers Ghomeshi’s puppy-dog crush on a girl named Wendy, his obsession with New Wave music and his desire to be his idol David Bowie. Ziggy Stardust represented everything young Jian was not—confident, cool, white. The book is funny, at times poignant and undeniably self-mythologizing.
Early on he had his eye on the prize. As a grade schooler he had two paper routes—one for the Globe, one for the Star. At Thornlea Secondary, he was that kid who did everything: student body president, co-host of the fashion show, creator of an open-mike folk music night in the cafeteria. After graduating, he majored in political science at York. He became the president of the federation of students and co-chair of a pro-choice network that sprang into action whenever anti-abortionists tried to intimidate women visiting the Morgentaler clinic on Harbord Street.
Music was always a big part of his life. Ghomeshi joined bands in elementary and high school. While at York, he formed Moxy Früvous with his high school friends Murray Foster, Mike Ford and Dave Matheson. The band started off as a satirical comedy group with some music in their act. Ghomeshi wore his hair long with blond streaks. Jack Ross, who has been Ghomeshi’s agent since the Früvous era, first found the band busking under the marquee at the Bloor Cinema. “I thought they had something different,” he says. “I left a two dollar bill and my business card. The next day I got a call from Jian.” Moxy Früvous didn’t have an official front man—all four members sang and played instruments—but they certainly had a leader. Ross jokes that managing a band with Ghomeshi in it was like working with a co-manager. Moxy Früvous peaked in the mid-to-late ’90s with Barenaked-Ladies-meets-Beastie-Boys singsongy rap tunes like “King of Spain” and “My Baby Loves a Bunch of Authors,” which was commissioned by the CBC for the Toronto Authors’ Festival (sample rhyme: “I’ve been flirtin’ with Pierre Berton”). Their eponymous debut tape sold over 50,000 copies, and their first full-length album, Bargainville, went platinum in Canada. The sound was earnest, energetic, unapologetically brainy and about as far from the apathetic grunge of Kurt Cobain as you could get. The band toured non-stop for most of the ’90s. They developed a big following in the States and played regularly in the U.K. Foster says the gruelling schedule was fuelled almost entirely by Ghomeshi’s ambition. Denise Donlon, who would later be Ghomeshi’s boss at CBC Radio but was then in charge of programming at MuchMusic, recalls how the band would send their videos in for play. “Some of them were great, some of them not that great, but if I didn’t play one I would get a call from Jian,” she says. Their hard-core fans—Früheads—followed the band from show to show and attended annual conventions.
In 1999, the other three members of Moxy Früvous were desperate to escape the road warrior lifestyle. They had earned good money by this point (at his dad’s insistence, Ghomeshi bought a house in Riverdale in 1996, which he maintains as an income property). Ghomeshi was the only one who wanted to keep going. A year later, the band’s members talked about announcing their retirement. Then Ghomeshi came up with an alternate strategy. “I remember Jian saying it wouldn’t do any of us any good to say we were former Moxy Früvous members,” says Foster. “It was his idea to say we were on hiatus, but still current members of the band. It was a smart move.”
Today Foster tours with Great Big Sea and is also in a band with Ford called the Cocksure Lads. When I ask if he was surprised by the professional ascent of his former bandmate, he laughs. Foster says he wouldn’t be surprised to see Ghomeshi get into politics. “I don’t know the ceiling of his work capacity. It is extraordinarily high. Matched only by his ambition.”
In 2001, Ghomeshi toured the U.S. as a solo artist, singing antiwar anthems in the Freedom Fries era. He wrote a travelogue for the Globe and Mail about his experience. It was called “A Dove in the Land of the Eagle” and got the attention of a CBC Newsworld producer who was looking for someone to host a new TV show. Play was a square peg on the sober channel. “You had all of this serious programming,” Ghomeshi recalls, “and then, at 11, a pop culture show broadcasting from the bar at the Mövenpick.” In 2005, Play won a Gemini for best general/human interest program. A year later, the show had been reduced to a series of segments on The Hour.
Around the same time, CBC Radio was attempting a revamp, devoting resources to new shows and talent in an effort to appeal to a younger audience. Chris Boyce, then head of radio program development, remembers his first meeting with Ghomeshi. “He told me he wanted to be his generation’s Peter Gzowski. He had never done radio at the time, but he said, ‘Okay, this is where I want to be, and I want you to tell me what I need to do to get there.’ ”
Q launched in the spring of 2007, following a study examining how the nation’s broadcaster might attract the country’s under-50 set. At the time, listeners older than 50 made up 70 per cent of Radio One’s audience. In its first year, Q featured indie bands like Holy Fuck, the Hidden Cameras and MGMT. The show’s audience grew steadily over each ratings period, and the network moved it from the afternoon to 10 a.m.—Gzowski’s former Morningside slot. From the start, Q was available as a podcast. It was the first CBC radio show to make cameras in the studio a standard, all the better to capture its screen-ready star.
Ghomeshi’s speedy rise didn’t sit well with everyone. When word got out that Q would also become a weekly TV show, the Globe and Mail’s television columnist, John Doyle, wrote, “It seems that somebody thinks Ghomeshi’s narcissistic natterings are the future of CBC.” Around the same time, This Hour Has 22 Minutes aired a skit called “Strombeshi,” painting both hosts as douchey, self-satisfied twits who sit around fist bumping and waiting for text messages from Bono. The skit tapped in to a suspicion, both inside and outside the CBC, that the leather jacket–wearing, punk rock–loving, self-promoting stars of the new generation lacked substance.
The sneering diminished as the accolades piled up and his show surpassed every conceivable record. The basic format has changed little since it launched. Ghomeshi opens with his scripted thoughts on some topical subject, then transitions to a series of guests. Q’s most distinguishing feature has always been the in-depth interviews. “Jian has really good conversations,” says Boyce. “That might sound like, well, duh, but that’s the thing every radio host aims to do, and it’s a hell of a lot harder to do in practice than it is in theory.” Barbara Walters agrees. In 2008, the esteemed interviewer and notorious tear elicitor went on Q to promote her memoir, Audition, telling Ghomeshi on the air that he was a “very good interviewer”—the ultimate compliment. In 2009, Q beat Gzowski’s audience record and soon became the CBC’s most popular radio show.
One particular segment, in April 2009, changed everything. Even people who have never heard of Q or Ghomeshi know about the time Billy Bob Thornton flipped his biscuits on a Canadian radio show. (The YouTube clip has been viewed more than three million times.) Quick recap: Thornton was touring to promote his secondary career as a musician with his band, The Boxmasters. Before beginning the interview, Ghomeshi gave an introduction, explaining his guest’s current project, while also providing some context—in this case, the fact that one member of this otherwise unknown band was the world-famous actor and screenwriter Billy Bob Thornton. What followed was the 10-car pileup of live interviews. Thornton was nonsensical, petulant and standoffish when Ghomeshi asked him when the band formed. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said. When questioned about his music, Thornton spat back, “Would you say that to Tom Petty?” before finally explaining (with limited coherence) that he was pissed because Ghomeshi had mentioned his acting career even after his producers had been instructed that the interview would be about the band. The big moment came 12 minutes in, when Thornton called Canadians “mashed potatoes without the gravy.” Ghomeshi retorted, “Oh, we’ve got some gravy,” and became a national hero.
The days after the interview were crazy. Thornton and his band were booed at Massey Hall before cancelling the remainder of their Canadian tour, and Ghomeshi couldn’t go anywhere without fielding high fives (even now, it’s a rare day that someone doesn’t mention the double-B-word). “I remember the next day my phone ringing at like 5:30 a.m.,” says Ghomeshi. “I picked it up and I was live with a Dallas morning show.” He stopped giving interviews after a few days, even turning down a chance to talk with one of his radio heroes, Howard Stern. “I didn’t want it to define my career,” he says. “That was probably a bit naïve.”
For Ghomeshi, the notoriety was a confidence booster. He has since scored Q interviews with Leonard Cohen, Jay Z, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Joni Mitchell and Ai Weiwei. He is especially proud of an interview he did with the famously prickly Lou Reed a few years before his death. He tells me it’s a good example of how he attempts to mirror his guests’ tone and cadence as a way of manufacturing intimacy. “People connect with people who sound like them,” he says. “Not to be too Machiavellian.”
He cares about ratings but also understands the value of staying out of the mud. He instructed his staff not to chase Charlie Sheen during the actor’s mid-meltdown visit to Toronto in 2012 (he felt that capitalizing on what appeared to be mental illness was crass). When Kim Kardashian was passing through town, he squashed his staff’s plan to invite her on the show.
He’s a demanding boss. The very fact that he’s even considered “the boss” speaks to the amount of power he has amassed at the producer-driven CBC. (“There is no one on staff who can rein him in,” says one CBC Radio producer who has worked on Q.) Several Q alumni have told me Ghomeshi isn’t overly involved in the daily sausage making of the show and will often disappear at key moments. “He won’t answer emails, producers can’t get in touch with him, then if someone makes a call he doesn’t agree with, he’ll flip out,” one former producer told me. There’s a running joke among Q staff that if they want to get in touch with their boss, they should try tweeting him—Ghomeshi is a compulsive tweeter, maintaining flirty relationships with his followers. He is also wary of sharing his chair. One source told me Ghomeshi freaked out and left the office for the day when he found out that Jamie Oliver would be on Q while Jonathan Torrens was filling in as host. Another time, when a clip of guest host Brent Bambury interviewing Cloris Leachman went up on the Q website, Ghomeshi stormed into a senior manager’s office and demanded that the clip be removed. It was, and since then, guest hosts are never filmed.
One drawback of having a famous voice and your face on a 20-foot-high poster is that you’re never free from scrutiny. Last year, Ghomeshi was the subject of a blind item blog post on the website XOJane titled “I Accidentally Went on a Date With a Presumed-Gay Canadian C-List Celebrity Who Creepily Proved He Isn’t Gay.” The writer is a Canadian journalist named Carla Ciccone who offered a detailed account of a horrible date she had with a well-known Canadian radio host named “Keith.” She says he was very handsy and incapable of taking a hint. Ciccone describes her outing as emotionally scarring. To me, it sounded more like something you would tell your girlfriends about with eye-rolling disgust. The post became a hot gossip story, the sort of Page Six item that generally doesn’t get reported in the Canadian media.
Ghomeshi says he heard about the XOJane post from a friend and immediately called his manager, Ross, and his publicist, Deb Goldblatt. They advised him that it wasn’t libelous and not to read it, which he claims he hasn’t (Q staff have reportedly bet on whether or not this is true). Ghomeshi says he has never contacted Ciccone, and the post is still searchable. He doesn’t deny that he went on a date with her, but says from what he has heard of the blog post, it’s largely untrue. Ciccone didn’t return my emails asking for comment.
The blind item incident was Ghomeshi’s first official tussle with the rumour mill, though certainly not the first time anyone has expressed interest in his private life. “He went on a date with my friend,” is a common refrain in downtown media circles. Ghomeshi is aware of the fascination with his relationship status. “I go to a lot of events and get photographed with a lot of women. People will see that and draw conclusions, but that doesn’t mean I’m dating these people,” he says. After a pause: “Do people ask the same questions about Strombo?” Today, he is single, though he has had a few serious relationships. He dated Rebecca Davis, a B.C. actor who appeared in Atom Egoyan’s Where the Truth Lies. According to one former Q staffer, he has also dated Feist, Christina Hendricks and Sarah Polley. More often than not he dates 20-something media and culture types: pretty, bright young women who are likely impressed by his status. He says he wants a life partner, wants to be a father, but for now his personal life seems like another opportunity to win over an audience.
The last time I met with Ghomeshi, he drove me out to Thornhill to visit his parents. Their home is lovely and warm and not lacking in photos of Jian and Jila. A blow-up of one of Jian’s Q promo shots hangs in the front hall. His mom tells me she would rather have a grandchild than see her son push for his next professional milestone, though she clearly relishes being the parent of a household name. “We are almost like film stars,” she says. His dad tells me about a trip to Japan, when the man sitting beside him on the plane didn’t believe the guy on the in-flight screen was his son.
On the drive back downtown, Ghomeshi says the trip was like one of the home visits on The Bachelor, where prospective mates meet their could-be in-laws. I laugh, because he’s right—and also because I wouldn’t have taken him for a Bachelor viewer. We spend the last minutes of the drive discussing favourite characters: Desiree the dream girl, Sarah-with-one-arm and the little one with the twitching eyebrow…what was her name again? He pulls over and we go iPhone to iPhone, racing to google her name. “Tierra!” We get it at exactly the same time. Later, when I’m alone, I replay that last conversation in my mind, trying to decide if he was imitating my voice.
121 thoughts on “Well, Hi There: Jian Ghomeshi, live and off the air”
Mr Ghomeshi is doomed to be single for life as he is, by his own admission in a previous interview, “very picky” and no mere mortal is good enough for him (except maybe David Bowie, but he is already spoken for). The XOJane article sheds light on Mr. Ghomeshi’s habit of objectifying his dates to satisfy his needs at the expense of their own. They are all here for his entertainment.
Wow, considering how dark this gets on page three and four, it’s concerning that the rest of this piece is so puffy – also why did you bury the stuff about his ego being so out of control on page three and four?
I don’t believe Mr. Ghomeshi’s assertion that he hasn’t read the XOJane blog. This is a man who prides himself on his knowledge of Machiavelli which demands that one keep one’s enemies closer than one’s friends. Being a cad isn’t a crime, Jian, just don’t think you’re going to be admired for being a womanizing jerk.
I live in the U.S., and love listening to Q. Jian has a wide and appreciative audience here. He covers an interesting range of topics; he is an articulate host and “tuned-in” interviewer. It is a treat to be introduced to Canadian athletes, musicians, directors, writers, etc……what a fascinating group of people he brings into our lives. It is good to be reminded that America isn’t the only spawning ground for creative excellence. And that includes Jian. Whatever his faults are……a big ego, a “gropey” date…..his contribution far outweighs his personal shortcomings. If, indeed, those shortcomings actually exist. I fully agree that Carla Ciccone was making a mountain out of a molehill……a molehill any reasonably attractive woman has been on MANY times. And she should have just gotten drunk with a girlfriend and laughed about it instead of launching a smear campaign….it’s THAT insignificant.
who were his connections
that is how you get ahead in Canada
Is he so fragile and cowardly that he can’t read a negative article about himself? He can dish it out but he can’t take it! If he can’t take the media heat, he should get out of the kitchen.
Wait a minute! He WASN’T the one “dishing it out”. Carla was, and BIG TIME. She is the one who isn’t answering the emails. I get that he is probably a jerk…..but so, no doubt, is Jake Gyllenhaal. The story NO DOUBT would have never been written if the person groping her was Jake Gyllenhaal. Jian just wasn’t a big enough star for her. Her punishment doesn’t fit the crime. I think this article presents a balanced view of Jian’s strengths and weaknesses. Carla’s did not.
He aint that bad. He can only hurt people if they let him. He’s just trying to be someone really great (which he is) and to do so he surrounds himself with great people. He’s not that bad deep down. People just take him too seriously out of insecurity. Just appreciate him for his show and his intelligence if you can’t handle his personality. He’s a a good guy.
A 46 year old who doesn’t date anyone under 30. Is this a requirement at the CBC for its personalities? Treasures. I can separate the oiliness from the work because the work is good for Mr Ghomeshi. Can’t say the same for the rest.
Or to be really great, he exploits great people? And he is a good guy, to other guys.
The ends justify the means?
IF he is exploiting them then they simply shouldn’t let him. It happens, man. He’s a smart guy and smart guys can be really crafty manipulators because of their intelligence.
I only care about his show and what I can learn from it. I don’t believe rubbish like these silly articles.
Karma comes around. May he be exploited as he exploits. In the grand scheme of things, all media is silly (including this article).
You may feel different if he was “dating” your 22 year old daughter.
That’s not the point. I think it’s petty to write this kind of stuff about him on the internet for everyone to see. I just wouldn’t say anything. I would keep it all private. Also, if he loves the ladies like everyone says he does I’m sure he gets some satisfaction from knowing he has this kind affect on women. Stop giving him the satisfaction and forget him and move on.
Perhaps the ladies get some satisfaction warning each other of being exploited by him and they share the information on the internet so that they can forget him and move on.
I have reread Carla Ciccone’s piece, and I can’t find a consistent thread of logic. One minute he is predatory, another he is pathetic and needy and acting like a teenager. In fact, that is mostly how he seems in the piece. Like an insecure teenager. The one consistent sense that I get is that she wasn’t attracted to him, she didn’t get what she intended to get out of their night together(contacts), and she wasn’t going to let him get away with that. I don’t know Carla and I don’t know Jian, so I am not sure it is possible to judge either one of them. I do know, from Carla’s tweets, that very few of her dates “pass muster”. I’m not surprised. And I only know Jian from my daily dose of Q, which I love. I do think that you can tell some things about his personality from the way that he conducts his interviews, and I am impressed. I hate to seem naive, but he seems like a nice guy. We benefit from that personality, good or bad……I remain a fan.
That’s his thing. He doesn’t seem to date under 30. Yet to the 20 somethings he is dating, claims he can’t show them public affection because they’re ‘young looking’ and he doesn’t want people talking…
What I got from this article is that Jian Ghomeshi is a vain, self absorbed, superficial, vapid, repulsive creep who gets twice monthly “haircuts” (translation : dye-jobs) and, judging by the main photo, has a face that requires a lot of photoshopping.
You are correct. He is also very quick to pick apart beautiful women, but God forbid you say anything (remotely) negative about him. I speak from experience.
Absolutely. I’ve had my experiences with him, and I would love to warn any women who might consider dating him.
Beware of confusing the persona with the person, or the performance with the performer.
I’m not. I don’t idealize him. He’s a celebrity…..and, from where I view it, much more than a C-list celebrity.(If he appears on Dancing with the Stars, maybe then I’ll believe he’s C-list) He obviously has a big ego. He needs it. I’m never going on a date with him…..I just like his interviews. There is nothing like his program in the States, because he celebrates Canadians as well as Americans. I love hearing about Canada and Canadians. We have so many things in common…..SO many things. But we are also different. Those little differences are what make Q so much fun to listen to. Canada is cool, and Q reminds us of that.
It’s also dangerous for one person to place themselves publicly on higher moral ground than another person.
Here’s a deal. We’ll take Jian and you can have Justin Bieber back.
Judge not lest you be judged? We’re all sinners in that regard. One hopes that Mr. Ghomeshi learns from his mistakes (as we all do), makes amends, and practices better judgement in the future. As a public figure working for a tax-payer funded corporation, it is in his best interest to do so.
The author of this piece did an awesome job. This is way, way worse for Jian’s rep than any of Carla’s XOJane blather. Will Jian claim to have not read this too?
I take it this picture is a CBC promo picture? They lightened his skin significantly. I also can’t see any pores. There’s telltale photoshopping marks on the right side of his face under eye and lower cheek next to his nose making it look like he has vitiligo. Funny thing is….. Jian probably approved this photo.
It’s sad to see a man trying so desperately hard to hang on to his youth.
Be proud of the success stories in your lovely country.
There is more to life than success at any cost.
And trying desperately for other people’s youth as well. Ever notice he especially singles out only young white women for slavish attention on Twitter? It’s REALLY creepy.
It’s also creepy to see him use celebrity deaths to promote his show. Does he have any scruples?
All his ‘friends’ are attractive, young, white females as well. He seems to think nobody catches on to this. It’s a sad existence.
Can’t be ‘all’. Or do you mean on Twitter?
I wanted to ask you since you know him [allegedly ;) ] – why is he like this? Is it that he’s shallow? Is he that insecure? Why is a seemingly intelligent 46 year old behaving like a juvenile?
Coz I started listening to his podcast etc and then followed him on Twitter and read his book blah blah…and while the world did and does separate the work from the person…the whole xojane thing and even this article made me uneasy.
also, while I get the points you’ve made elsewhere re masking his ego with humour, on radio, he sounds very nice etc etc. Or is that an ongoing effort? Which then seems all the more…well ick. that this guy is THIS different when the camera’s off.
I don’t mean twitter. The majority of his friends/people he spends time with are young women. He can be nice, but it’s largely a facade. He is manipulative and knows exactly what to say to win people’s affection. He’ll say one thing on the air or in public and say the complete opposite behind closed doors. He is a ticking time bomb on a personal level. You never know when you’ll do something that will set him off. He angers easily and is hypersensitive. He did not break my heart, so I’m not saying this as a ‘scorned woman’. I feel he pulls the wool over the eyes of many.
You don’t sound as angry as some of the comments do – I’m sure they have their reasons.
His behaviour sounds like the initial warning signs of domestic abusers. But why is he like this? Why his manipulation or anger? I mean, were you able to figure a root? Or is that question on the level of why do birds fly?
I feel sad for the young women who might end up thinking its their fault…as I once did. It takes a long time to accept that it wasn’t your fault or something you did…which is why I understand the anger in some of the comments.
And also, he works with a lot of young women – Lights, his assistant – consistently over years now. I wonder how differently he behaves with them….?
Wow. I hope his weekly therapist appointments are fixing that.
Eden, thank you for your replies and patience. I’m sorry you went through whatever you did…but I’m glad you seem to have perspective about it.
If you ever want to share gory details on a sympathetic shoulder, give me a shout! ;)
I don’t know how to get ahold of you! But I would if I could.
did you get that? not sure why you’ve taken your comments off.
Met him once. Once was enough.
Jian Ghomeshi is an intelligent and thoughtful interviewer (and how great was Canada Reads this week!) It is obvious that he takes an immense amount of time and energy to get prepared for his guests, so the comments below inferring he is narcissistic and shallow …. he “exploits” people are bizarre to me. Q has fantastic and varied guests/topics and is a treat to listen to, for me anyway.
Seems like there are some very jealous or…. I don’t know, just bitter and unhappy people commenting on this article. Why bother attacking him so much? If you don’t like his show or him, don’t listen.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how
the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them
better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena,
whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly;
who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort
without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the
deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends
himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph
of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails
while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold
and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”―
Genuinely enjoyed reading this, and I love the way you finished the piece.
because he is overly scripted, earnest (requirement for CBC) and instead of saying I will be talking to / interviewing so and so, says so and so will be here for a “feature chat”. this “internal” branding is so lame that it turns me off all the good work he does. needs to lighten up.
For a self-professed workaholic, Mr. Ghomeshi certainly has a lot of time on his hands to chase the ladies (or girls): “I was volunteering at a music festival in Canada where he was the MC once and he kept hitting on me. I met him the first day of the festival and I had no idea who he was but the older ladies I was volunteering with were positively swooning over him. He was flirting like crazy and asked how old I was, I truthfully told him that I was 16 and he was like wow you look like you are in your 20’s but he kept talking to me, I am 22 now so this wasn’t too long ago but he looked younger than he was so I didn’t think it was too weird that he kept talking to me because I thought he was like late 20’s/early 30’s and honestly I liked the attention of an older guy (I had no idea how much older). He tracked me down the second day at my second volunteer location and would not stop talking to me, again asked how old I was, again I told him I was only 16, and again he said that he thought I was at least 20 (even though I had told him the day before) but he kept on flirting. On the third day he AGAIN asked how old I was and again I said 16 and he pretended like we had never had this conversation before, once again stating that I looked to be 20 (for context, people often think I am in junior high now and I didn’t wear makeup at this music festival so no way did I look 20). He asked for my number and I gave it to him because I was dumb and 16 and although I had no idea who he was, everyone around me was giving me the impression that he was kind of a big deal. He asked me back to his hotel room and I was like ohh my friends are waiting for me at the campground byyeee. Then the festival ended and that’s when the texts started. He was texting me like craaazy, I wish I had kept that phone because holy smokes, like 40 texts a day. I was flirting and texting back because I was young and dumb, but keep in mind I had told him 3 times that I was 16. Finally one day my mom asked me who I kept texting, and because I have never been able to lie to my mom, I told her. She flipped out, told me that he was 40, and told me to stop talking to me because that shit is hella creepy. I didn’t believe her so she pulled up his wikipedia page and everything. I stopped replying to his texts but he kept saying if I was ever in Toronto we should “go for coffee” we all know what that means Jian. Whenever he’s going to be in my home town he emails me to ask if we can meet up, and whenever I mention on facebook that I am going to Toronto he messages me. The last time he was here I scored free tickets to a concert he was promoting that my sister wanted to go to so it worked out well for me I guess!”
WORKING TO BRING CANADIAN WOMEN TO PLAY HOCKEY IN DPRK .
CBC WOULD NEVER HAVE THIS STORY ON AIR NOW, IT’S NOT “SENSATIONAL “ENOUGH.
Perhaps it is what it has been since time immemorial, a simple continuation of
misogynistic, sociopathic, ambitious men that can only behave in the manner that they are able to which contributes to their ability to climb to the top of their desires and support each other who share a common bond of such characteristics and desires. These type of personalities drive the entertainment and media world because they absolutely know how to look, behave and sound to create a response in their subjects, that is what makes them so good at what they do. This is why this little entertainment posse resembles one another so deeply and it is not by any fault of the bystander for the way they have been treated by such a member of this type of posse but an unfortunate circumstance as to running into the course of any of these personalities. Let them do what they do best and entertain you but steer clear from their path of real life personal despoliation. (Do you like that word…despoliation…the act of taking something valuable…don’t let them take anything of value from you, such as your dignity or spirit. Do you think Jian would like that word!? lol)
Like the 16 year old right!? She got satisfaction out of it. It is a moment of empowerment and taking back power over the situation in her ability to share or did you want to ask her over three times how old she was and then see how she feels about the exploit over coffee!
Why is this showing as an article from today? Are you suggesting this is the reason he was let go? Because the comments are from 9 months ago.
This firing occurring so soon after the “Ottawa Shooting” makes me wonder if Mr. Ghomeshi was not, in fact, fired over a refusal to deliver scripted material about the shooting on the air.
The official reason given just seems a weak pretext cynically intended to be adjudicated and settled out of court at a convenient future time.
I personally am open to the the theory of the “Ottawa Shooting” being a staged false flag operation carried out by elements associated with the RCMP and CSIS.
I believe Mr. Ghomeshi to be a person of genuine personal and professional integrity who would refuse to deliver on air scipted material that would amount to propaganda to advance NWO Luciferian interests — material that would, result in the demonizing of a specific faith group or ethnic minority in Canada.
The evil Harper government, fully aware of Mr. Ghomeshi’s principled nature, simply decided to get rid of a CBC journalist who would not obey orders to just stick to the provided scripts and to ignore any contrary evidence.
That’s what I cynically believe is really going on here.
Jian screwed it up for himself.
If he wants to be successful broadcaster and be honourable in the eyes of the public, then he has to be an example of a respectful person with a respectful personal life.
When someone is at his level, then promiscuity and fooling around is not respected. Ei. Clintons affair ruined his reputation and career. While others who do drugs also don’t get any respect (ei. Mayor Rob Ford).
Get serious, especially when you are a successful professional broadcaster you stand as a role model and representative of the ppl of the nation of Canada.
Same goes for Politicians.
Who cares about these third-raters, these passing media flies?
You’re a moron.
men who want to be ‘punished’ during sex have a terrible case of self loathing.
his very picky BS is just a symptom of his self distructive behavior.
now that you have been outed jian, you need to take a good look at why you treat women the way you do , I think it has something to do with your own mother
he loves the attention and admiration they give him, this his mother did not
You should seek professional help.
“At the youth-starved CBC, he has become the go-to cool guy. ”
Uh, isn’t he 47? I’m not sure he qualifies as a ‘youth’.
Given the demographic in question, I cannot say I am surprised. There is a reason that the term ‘slav’ is used to refer to eastern european women, and the white slave trade flowed toward the middle east. Not much has changed.
i find it hard to believe that Feist, Christina Hendricks and Sarah Polley would be impressed with his status lol
He is not a household name. I’ve seen his face on commercials, but did not even know his name until reading it here, after seeing a thing on the news about him being fired for some sex stuff and suing CBC.
Carla Ciccone’s post on Ghomeshi, who I have never met and do not know, is an example of the female predators at work in the urban jungle. She is an ambitious, aspiring writer who went on a date with this guy, and used the date to write an attention-seeking, self promoting piece that violates every rule of human decency I can think of. She refers repeatedly to the “overwhelming stench” of his cologne, and claims to have vomited after the date, apparently because he briefly put his hand on her backside, and made some flirtatious small talk. If a man referred to the “stench” of his celebrity date, and claimed to have vomited after going out with her once because he didn’t care for her personality, he would be considered psychologically disturbed, or a liar, or a cynical, self-promoting creep. Carla is all of the above.
I think he displays attention seeking behaviour – full of himself. He is his own biggest fan. I fail to see what attracts??
If the allegations are true, that he likes to use physical violence against women…then I’m guessing getting canned by the ever lame CBC is the least of his problems. Tried listening to Q a long time ago, came to the conclusion that the only person Jian loves…is himself. So lame, and now that he’s written a rambling explanation of what happened, imagine being a parent and reading of your child’s sexual preferences in the mainstream media (Hi Jian, it’s mom–how’s it hangin’, did I catch you in the middle of anything?). Wow.. only a smug 47 year old fool would broadcast to the entire world how they get their rocks off. Is nothing sacred anymore?. I guess we could say…he’s kind of whipped for now—-no wait, that was Jian’s idea of a date last night.
I’m sure this controversy will help his book sales, though the reviews don’t look too favourable. There are a few 5 star reviews though. Has anyone read the book?
According to the Toronto Star, he doesn’t get “punished”…he does the “punishing.”
Carla wrote about (no name) in 2013 . He could have cleaned up his Act,now he has lost it all. Word is his townhome is for sale.
For those women claiming serious personal trauma at the hands of Mr. Ghomeshi, I don’t see what’s stopping them from filing civll suits.
The standard of proof is much lower than in criminal law. All that they would have to do is present verifiable documents indicating real damages post-trauma (lost income, required psychological services and medication costs, etc) and show that alleged abuse at the hands of Ghomeshi, in the balance of probabilities, was the cause of those damages.
Of course, anonymity in civil cases is waived, unless there is an unresolved criminal matter related to the civil action.
I doubt whether he has lost it all. His townhome may be for sale because he is disgusted with a top-down society like Canada where certain immigrants better know their place. He could be moving to the US or wherever. In any case, he didn’t have any act to clean up, as far as I’m concerned. The premier of Ontario is a woman whose “wife” is a woman. Now that is something I would regard as a situation that needs cleaning up. If a woman is so full of herself that she cannot put up with the touch of a normal man, the problem is with her, not with him.
So, no women want to be punished in BDSM?
Only the men?
He doesn’t, but the audience he is attracting is.
Um, I think the problem is with you.
Spoken like a true Canadian. What a crowd!
I was referencing the last part of your comment, beginning with “the premier of Ontario”. Obviously, you have a problem with her sexual orientation, about which this whole piece is not.
why would I want to read a book written by “Jean, the self-absorbed ahole”.
Cool? This guy is about as cool as a politician. I’ve always hated his pretentious persona. And no, this isn’t some hate that has just come about because of a scandal, I have never liked his interview style, or that horrible band he was in Moxy Fruvous, and yes, a lot of people in Toronto have known he is a perv.
Then let’s hope these women come forward–if the allegations are true, then Jean needs to be held accountable for what he did to these women.Getting fired from the almighty CBC is the least of his issues…
And if, if you’re going to put your private life on display for the entire world to read about…then you get what you get. If you don’t want people passing judgement on you…then for c’sakes, don’t take to social media and post some gawd-awful rambling rant. Only a self-absorbed loser who loves themselves to death does this kind of crap.Wonder if his mother read his rant…”hi mom, there’s something I forgot to mention to you?” What a loser Jean is….
So you’re painting all Canadians with the same brush Chad? Nice…
At 22 they are not children either
Its very hard to find one person with all the qualities Mr Ghomeshi seeks. Intelligence ,youth and women as sex toys.That requires multiple partners.
Ahhhhh! Hope this article begins to get traction again. Very foretelling of this talentless fidget’s current and permanent fall-from-grace.
And now that the truth is coming out, and at least one of his victims have agreed to be identified (and tell her story), the tide is turning on the abuser–the hunter has now become the hunted.
Jian? Career OVER…you need some serious mental help.
Well, so much for that better judgement part, eh?
If you still have this account, do you feel the same way today?
Wow, way to be in favor of equality for all.
Ghomeshi, who turns “big ears teddy” away so he doesn’t see him beating on women probably thinks your insane.
There is no conspiracy. Every youtube video and message board has some dude going on about the Illuminati/lizard people/psy-ops/false flags/ freemasons/NWO, etc. It isn’t that the “information” is being supressed, it’s just that nobody cares.
Once he was the King of Pain, now he eats humble pie…
He was in Moxy Fruvous. I saw them perform a “musical” reenactment of “Green Eggs and Ham” by Dr. Suess in front of a bunch of “hip” music industry types who clapped like trained seals. I knew at that very moment that Satan walked on the earth.
From hero to zero so fast….
The king of pain was very intelligent.Much more than all this bunch put together. Why did these women go back for more punishment ?
“Karma comes around. May he be exploited as he exploits…” and Karma certainly has… Cracks have been wide for him over the years. Coming forward, those who can -underlined-, heads up, will finish this, help others and make him face himself. But more importantly, may help the many many many that would never step forward, because they can’t -underlined-. Well said mimi, and thank your mom!
Wait… this comment is from 5 months ago, and now we’re finding out even worse things? Cripes… that’s just horrific.
He is very talented, puts Canada on the map! We have to wait and see. He is worth keeping!!
Does anyone not notice that the OP put the story in quotes ” “? That means it’s not her story. And it could have been edited to make it look like a post from five months ago. And if you read Mimi’s other quotes, you can see she clearly just has straight hatred for him for a long time. I’m certainly no fan of Ghomeshi’s, but I think Mimi is just a sad “hater-troll” looking for attention.
Wow. Um, yes. We’ll have to “wait and see”. You read all the current news regularly, no? (btw, he put Canada on the map? What map was that, exactly?)
Apparently the only thing Jean’s talented at..is beating the snot out of women. Put Canada on the map Teri? Don’t make me laugh.He’s a class “a” loser and an unemployable pervert. Career over. Worth keeping? Nope.
It’d be interesting to find out if the other members of MF have any recollections of Jean’s early days as a serial beater.
Who are you talking about, Jean? Who is that?
That is the other spelling for his first name…Jean. (seriously). The other is John. I came across that tidbit on another website–I think it was an article by the (Toronto) Star.
He’s not a good guy.Anyone that would use physical violence against women, is a mentally defective loser that needs to be held accountable for their actions.3 women have come forward to speak with the police…god knows how many more are out there that Jian/Jean/John Ghomeshi has beaten up for his own weird self gratification. And yes..he IS that bad “deep down” as you put it.People are dropping him faster than sh** through a goose. His career is over,and the parasite needs to acknowledge the fact that he has a huge problem, and needs to seek help to deal with his problems with beating-up women.
Ghomeshi? <~~ D/L
Does “Radio Q” stand for “Radio Queer”? Is it possible Jian Ghomeshi is down/low secretly
gay like Canada’s
Prime Minister Stephen Harper is? Self-loathing
repressed homosexuals who live lives of bitter, crazy unexplained angry rage?
Some people with sexual dysfunction or who are secretly gay
but repressed use #BDSM as a place to hide their dysfunctions. That is, they play instead of “do”; do meaning sexual intercourse, vanilla sex as
I feel sorry for you,someone must have really hurt you. You can get help just like Jian was….but you could join him back in Iran
Maybe you should get over yourself, bob. Obviously you envy Jian because he got more of whatever he wanted than you will ever get. Unfortunately, because of weak, servile men like you we have a society where women have most of the rights and men are stuck with most of the responsibilities.
Has he killed himself yet?
Seriously, he has a radio show on the CBC…. the author of this article wrote a pure ego piece for him.
“HAD” a radio show on the CBC.
Right, I also think it’s going to be quite evident he wasn’t such a big shot when he isn’t able to hide out on his Malibu compound like Mel Gibson and let the storm pass for a few years, he probably has to work and earn money like most people.
so sharing what happened to her and not naming names “violates every rule of human decency I can think of” ??? suuuuure
And now..as of Nov. 26/14, our little woman beater, the one and only Jian Ghomeshi has to live with…MOMMY. Wow–probably put a crimp in his lifestyle, can’t engage in “non-consentual rough sex” with MOMMY around. Maybe Jian/Jean/John can take to FB and post another 1500 disgusting,self-incriminating ( “Why I luv The Weaker Sex”, by mr. airwaves) rant, and explain why he can’t have a “hobby” with mom in the same house.Hey–knock yourself out Jian…or was that last Friday’s date-night?
What a loser–but hey!, at least when the news media showed him exiting court today (looking forlorn without a cellphone or cell number within 5 miles) it looks he actually invested more than 5 bucks for a shave and a haircut.
The losers in this case are Canadians, who no longer have the country’s best radio show. When a country penalizes heterosexual males for “rough” behaviour, and celebrates lesbians with top leadership positions, you know it is morally squalid.
And who should he be seeking out? Only women from his Middle Eastern ghetto? Is his ethnicity not good enough for white women? This is Canada. People can choose to be attracted to any kind of person they want to be. Also, he is white. He may be more darkly shaded, like Greeks, or Italians or Portuguese, but Persians, like Arabs and Jews belong to the Caucasian race — which is white. To say that he should stick to his own kind and not Europeans sounds a little racist.
Well his persona and interview style made Q the most successful radio show in CBC history. Record numbers of Canadians listened to it and it was broadcast on NPR, another very classy radio network, and was scheduled to be broadcast internationally. As the article says the Q podcast was very, very successful. And if you didn’t like him on the air you were part of a small minority because I think that if the CBC, or any American network could roll back the findings that led to Oct 26 they would kill themselves to keep him employed. The man may have all sorts of personal problems, but being shallow, stupid, repulsive, pretentious or unprofessional on air weren’t some of them. And Moxy Fruvous was a fantastic, fun and very talented band. They never had problems with popularity.
Hey Erromy. I made this comment almost a year ago – after observing his constant slavering over young women on Twitter – and realising that the haters were right – and more often than not, it was almost always white women.
Nowhere did i suggest that he “stick to a race”. I highlighted this tendency of his as his comments were icky as hell and not at all dignified.
Be it Canada or anywhere else, it is very creepy when an older man, whatever his race, hits only on young women of a certain demographic and race – and regardless of what Canada’s values are, that doesn’t prohibit anyone from noticing these things.
I’m not getting into a misguided race discussion with you – because there’s no point now. The man is a scumbag sociopath and any discussion about him, apart from discussing his hopefully long prison term, is pointless. Thank you.
I am sorry, but Moxy Fruvous are the height of awful, they are worse than Barenaked Ladies which puts them very low IMO. I don’t mean to offend you if you like this band, but the style of music is so freaking nerdy, cringe-worthy and not funny at ALL to me.
And I didn’t call Jian shallow or stupid, but WILL stick to pretentious. From his fake and practised radio voice to the ass-kissing of his guests (and him basking in any compliment he could get from guests in order to boost his already out of control ego), it all makes me want to vomit.
I am sorry, I have never been a fan of this tool, it isn’t suddenly brought on by the scandal… though like I said, it was common word on the street this guy was pervy long before the scandal broke.
And as much as you think CBC would “kill themselves” to keep him employed, I have to say that is a ridiculous statement. Just because someone is popular, doesn’t mean they should be allowed to keep their employment no matter how horrible they are, and this guy was known to be a total tool inside the CBC, and not just because he was a complete perv off the clock. Nobody is indestructible, and everyone is replaceable.
Guess what, he may have had an extremely popular radio show, but there is still plenty of people who’ve never heard him. So with all of this said, good riddance to this loser!
Jesus, the things Canada have been put on the map for lately… crack smoking politicians, and sleazy ego-maniac radio hosts who beat women… we should be such a proud nation!
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