11.05.2014 08:09 AM

John Doyle, writing about Ghomeshi but really about Canada’s politics

Yesterday, Carl Wilson served the chattering classes a pious, self-involved – and exceedingly poorly-written – piece about how he knew Jian Ghomeshi was abusing women, and how he didn’t do anything about it. It was despicable. (Interestingly, immediately afterwards, the Globe’s Leah McLaren posted this online: “I’ve just read a piece full of high-minded moral outrage and disgust about the Gomeshi scandal written by a male journalist who groped and harassed me as an intern [his identity will not be any secret to good friends of mine]. Just…amazing.”)

Anyway, that was yesterday. Today, something that isn’t as loathsome as Wilson, or his defence of the indefensible.  It’s about Ghomeshi, too, but it really has something important to say about the country, and the country’s politics.  It’s from John Doyle, a terrific writer about TV and soccer, also for the Globe.  His words ring very true with me:

One issue that needs examination is the hierarchy and influence of major Canadian media. My feeling is that Ghomeshi’s importance and influence in Canada was highly overestimated, just like his own sense of importance. Charles Adler and what unfolds on his radio show is vastly more relevant in grasping the country. If you’re in the PMO and keeping tabs on what Canadians think, you’re paying attention to Adler, not to CBC Radio’s Q.

Time was the PMO paid close attention to CBC’s The National, CTV National News and to The Globe and Mail. Now it pays closest attention to Adler and the most-watched TV newscast in Canada, which is the local CTV News in Toronto. Analyze that.

And it’s why, by the by, I go on Charles’ show far, far more than I go on any CBC radio show – because he reaches real people North of Steeles, and South of the Queensway.

He also, I note, treats women with respect, and he’s a gentleman.

8 Comments

  1. sezme says:

    John Doyle knows way more about this stuff than I do, but I’ve never heard of Charles Adler, which undoubtedly shows how out of touch I am.

  2. Rob says:

    I was also puzzled by the Adler reference. Hasn’t Adler been reduced to only the Winnipeg market since last year? It seems like Doyle should have explained who he is.

  3. doconnor says:

    “Time was the PMO paid close attention to CBC’s The National, CTV National News and to The Globe and Mail. Now it pays closest attention to Adler and the most-watched TV newscast in Canada, which is the local CTV News in Toronto. Analyze that.”

    PMOs only listen to media that agrees with them.

  4. Warren says:

    I would of course prefer a John Daly Show!

    • John Daly says:

      Well, that one is already on the air, twenty-four seven, but unfortunately the ratings won’t allow for a second season 😉

  5. Tired of it All says:

    Warren, do you have any thoughts on this from a journalist writing about journalists angle – I refer to the link, not the Ghomeshi disaster which is really power, predation, and overturning gender politics around sexual violence (in my opinion).

  6. patrick says:

    Adler? He serves a small core of people who live in a state of terminal outrage, fear of ink not on newsprint and communists hiding in their underwear. Further no one is as important as they think they are and the proof is that the world doesn’t collapse if you’re fired, go on holiday or die.

  7. Shawn Mullin says:

    I’ve personally never thought of city people as not real people. What matters to a person in Toronto is just as important as what matters to a person here in Swift Current and vice versa. No talk radio is a true indication of the will of the people. Most people don’t listen to it, far fewer listen passionate and those who actually interact with the show are so engaged they aren’t representative of the masses at all. On top of that most people who listen to those shows either automatically fit their demo and agree with everything they say, or listen because they like to complain about what the host says.

    I love talk radio and yet I don’t find it a valuable judge of society’s leanings in any way.

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