Jian The Journalist

Why is Russell Smith trying to ingratiate himself with the CBC?
He writes a piece in The Globe touting the tougher standards of journalism here in Canada and at the CBC than most celebrities may be used to during promotional appearances.

Is this a joke?

Journalism, as an art and as a public service, is generally thought to be characterized by two key elements: probing questions that elicit new information.
Smith goes on record, in reference to the Billy Bob Non-Blow-Up appearance, to say …

that interview should strengthen the reputation of Jian Ghomeshi as a serious interlocutor on questions of art

That’s over-the-top to the level of being absurd.
Did he listen to the same interview as the rest of us?
Are these the questions that Russel Smith would have asked? Apparently so, if he were as skilled as Jian:

( already knows and states the answer )

~ you guys formed only in the last couple of years , right?
~ and you’ve made three records in that time?
~ and you’re currently on tour with Willie Nelson?

and continues

~ Have you done shows with Willie Nelson before?
~ What do you learn from Willie Nelson?
~ Did Willie choose you guys to come on tour with him?
~ Tell me about the decision to include an entire record of covers.
~ (did the fusion of the two genres) always seem natural to you?
~ do different audiences react to you in different ways?

Easy with the probing there, Jian.
Russell considers these to be serious questions, coming from a “tougher journalistic culture”.
Nonsense.
The questions, one could almost term them a script, are obvious and predictable.
The same ones the group would be asked anywhere by anyone.
No new information.
Not even, “tell me about your backgrounds”, or the standard “why did you choose that name for the group, The Animals?”

Whoa.
Did I just come up with some obvious questions?
How about that. I’m qualified to be a tough CBC “journalist”!

37 comments:

  1. Fake Ouimet
    Posted April 21, 2009 at 3:07 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Thanks, FDD. Ghomeshïsm is on the wane, apparently, and anyway, blog posts arent like TV lineups: They dont get snarled.

    Guest post?

  2. Fake Denise Donlon
    Posted April 21, 2009 at 2:36 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    “If you think that TM as it currently stands is a bit of a deterrent to in-house writers, Im not going to try to argue with you.”

    Yeah, don’t man. Because I’ve often thought of dialing in as good old Pseudonymous Lyon Mackenzie or similar shit and wrecking a bit of shop with some ribald, parodical inn-side shite (Teamakers Passim).

    But what’s the point when it gets snarled between a million TV-centric Ghomeshi-fests culled from rewritten newspaper articles?

    I think the day the music really died was when that Down Syndrome remark hit the comments section. I was all like, “welcome CBCwatch refugees”!

  3. Fake Ouimet
    Posted April 21, 2009 at 11:12 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Anonymoose, we know. However, there was a news angle with Prince Jian the other week. You may disagree with the extent of coverage, but certainly it had to be covered somehow.

    Post-lockout Tea Makers has been several things and will continue to change. Short of another lockout, though, it cant go back to its old self. We certainly could benefit from contributions from insiders, though I think a couple of the postings by Anonymous actually are.

    If you think that TM as it currently stands is a bit of a deterrent to in-house writers, Im not going to try to argue with you. But this isnt a house organ; it is what people make of it, and if pretty much anyone wants to write for it, including insiders, they may. (Longer-term requests should go straight to Alphonse Ouimet. And yes, you can use a pseudonym. Most of us do.)

  4. Anonymous
    Posted April 21, 2009 at 10:40 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    There are about 10,000 of us…. although a big chunk of that is going bye-bye very soon.

  5. Anonymous
    Posted April 21, 2009 at 9:57 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Might I just say, as a small CBC worker drone working in a small CBC station, which has seen cuts and astonishing, nonsensical changes in the past month, alone:

    This blog has really gone downhill.

    It used to be about us, the CBC worker. And a place for us to at least come together in our joint angst.

    Now, however, it is just a platform to attack Jian Gomeshi and George Strombo.

    Ya know what? There are 5,000 employees in our Mother Ship. The vast majority don’t care about Ghomeshi or Strombo.

    We care about whether the captain is going to stop the ship from sinking. Many of us feel he won’t.

    This blog now reminds me of the Titanic.
    If the Titanic’s official biographer spent his time focusing on the slight the Cello Player paid him at dinner, while we, the passengers, huddled on the rails.

  6. Allan
    Posted April 20, 2009 at 8:40 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Sorry you missed my interview with Johnny Cash in ’69, but you can still see part of it here.
    By coincidence, a man who would subsequently endorse Tod Maffin for his recent run at election, Chuck Davis, was there that night and also interviewed Cash, I believe for the CBC.
    But the filmmakers chose the quote from my interview.
    Yeah me!

  7. Allan
    Posted April 20, 2009 at 6:25 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Yes.
    Yes, I have.
    And not just a station but an actual studio!
    Of course it was not the CBC. They could not allow that. Far too great a risk involved if it turned out the audience actually took a liking to it.
    And CBC radio is produced differently.
    Reports always start with an on-location sound effect, then announcer … “the children are busy using their crayons to colour pictures of President Obama. What’s unusual about that is that this is a Grade 4 class in Venezuela …”

  8. Anonymous
    Posted April 20, 2009 at 5:59 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    OMG Allan!!!! stop pretending you know a single thing about doing a radio interview. Have you even ever darkened the door of a radio station?

  9. Allan
    Posted April 20, 2009 at 5:43 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    He could and he did.
    And Ghomeshi was moving forward in total compliance, or so he beleieved, with what had been agreed upon.
    The interview shows every sign of following the directions that had been given and agreed upon.
    Ghomeshi was indeed doing an interview without mentioning BBT’s acting career. Every Q-uestion was focused on the music.
    So it’s not surprising that Jian was taken aback.
    What tripped him up was a script that had been finalized before the “understanding”.

    You’ll never convince me that the CBC had not agreed to BBT’s “demands”.
    Had they not, the interview would have gone a lot differently, if at all.

  10. Dwight Williams
    Posted April 20, 2009 at 5:19 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Mr. Thornton believed his people could dictate discussion terms as if he were appearing on Entertainment Tonight or the like. And he still believed it as of the Massey Hall show.

    I suspect Mr. Ghomeshi was trying to keep his jaw from breaking through the concrete flooring when he heard that “you were instructed” stuff.

    I still don’t and won’t blame Mr. Ghomeshi.

  11. Allan
    Posted April 20, 2009 at 2:44 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Both sides? No agreement?
    Then what is Billy Bob referring to during the interview?
    What is Jian referring to when mentioning the producers telling him …?
    And what is Billy Bob referring to when speaking from the stage of Massey Hall?

  12. Anonymous
    Posted April 20, 2009 at 1:45 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    “violation of journalistic ethics”? Huh?

    “we don’t want an interview about acting” is miles away from “acting will never be mentioned”.

    Also, people from both sides have acknowledged that there was no agreement to begin with.

  13. Anonymous
    Posted April 17, 2009 at 12:44 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Oh, it’s not you that’s the hater in question.

  14. Fake Ouimet
    Posted April 17, 2009 at 9:39 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    If youre suggesting Im the critic, which is not fundamentally inaccurate, recall that my concern in this context is the violation of journalistic ethics that an agreement to keep certain topics out of an interview would represent.

  15. Anonymous
    Posted April 17, 2009 at 7:58 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    There’s a choice to be made by certain posters, either to be a critic or a non-stop hater.

    The hater will turn a silk purse into a sow’s ear. Jian did good for once and some people just can’t stand it.
    He was polite but firm and just a passing reference to acting made BB blow his top. BB blurted “would you ask Tom Petty that?”. He ain’t Tom Petty and the Massey Hall YouTube clip was very telling when BB refered to Jian as an asshole. Anybody who saw or heard the Q interview could spot the asshole in the room and it wasn’t Jian.

    Jian handled it well and was polite. He deserves props for once. Those who can’t see that are blinded by rage or jealousy. I’m sure Tom Petty would be happy to talk about his acting or his music next time through without going psycho.

    This blog used to mean something to people, especially during the lock out.

    Every childish tirade makes it less and less significant.

  16. Anonymous
    Posted April 17, 2009 at 4:27 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    This used to be an interesting blog…

  17. Anonymous
    Posted April 16, 2009 at 11:00 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Are you still carping about the CBC, Allan? For Christ’s sake, there’s bird shit all over the dock! Clean that crap up will you?

  18. Allan
    Posted April 16, 2009 at 9:53 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    GlobeMedia is losing sleep over the CBC?
    Is cleverly trying to outwit the CBC by cheering for them to become obscure?
    Isn't that being clever to the point of being silly?

    And isn't the problem the CBC faces is that it has become its own worst enemy.
    To where it can't do the job.
    It can't lead any more.
    It's grasping at the web to try and still seem relevant and useful to Canadians, because it's broadcasting efforts have tanked, despite a few good shows mostly on radio.
    And isn't the main issue it's low quality of journalism, for which it seems to have lost all enthusiasm now that anybody, J & G, can apparently do it.

  19. Anonymous
    Posted April 16, 2009 at 8:32 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Allan, I just watched THIS Ghomeshi/Cohen interview.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ugh8Xe6hX7U

    Allan. You are are an asshole.

  20. Dwight Williams
    Posted April 16, 2009 at 1:34 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    *cues the Imperial March, as a result of agreeing with Kev on the nature of the “trap”…*

  21. Kev
    Posted April 16, 2009 at 1:01 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    You do realize that this is a business, don’t you? And that all the stuff that’s been posted in Globemedia and Canwest properties about how the CBC should take the high road and focus on opera is, in the words of Admiral Ackbar, a trap?

  22. Allan
    Posted April 16, 2009 at 12:02 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    On the face of it, your “reading”, Kev, how does that make sense?
    CTV and Global should have all the gravy?
    CBC should disregard celebs?
    And miss out on all the fun?

    The whole point was to kiss up to Ghomeshi, and if anything he says that the CBC needs to be honest about how much they are willing to bend to accommodate “stars” in return for getting their brand name drawing power.

    At least your comment, Kev, contains more than just a booing.

  23. Kev
    Posted April 16, 2009 at 11:11 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    You might want to work on the ol’ reading comprehension. He’s arguing that the CBC shouldn’t do interviews with Hollywood types, and that they should be reserved for the “breathless and pretty red-carpet interviewers of the star-talk entertainment shows” – you know, the kind that CTV Globemedia do. That’s why he’s talking up the CBC’s journalistic chops, not because he actually believes it.

  24. Anonymous
    Posted April 16, 2009 at 10:22 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    “Should I stand idly by when someone insults the intelligence of of a national audience?”

    You’re absolutely right on this point.

    For the love of God Allan, will you please stop insulting our intelligence.

  25. Fake Ouimet
    Posted April 16, 2009 at 10:09 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    The difference is McGrath only occasionally manages to be honest about what hes doing. We usually manage same.

  26. Vigilante
    Posted April 16, 2009 at 9:09 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Jesus, 10:32. You sound like one of my snooty cousins. Your name wouldn’t happen to be Andre, would it?

    You’re talking in shades of grey, honey. This blog ain’t no big thing compared to some sites out there. I’m not offended by anything Allan has said. He’s entitled to his opinion even though it might be “petty personal bile”. The only people who may be offended by what’s said here are the ones being discussed. And if they’re offended, well…they’re awfully thin skinned, then, aren’t they?

    And class? What does class have to do with anything? It’s the internet, man. People are acting like children all over the damned place. If McGrath and Brioux aren’t trolling around under pseudonyms in some dark corner of the ‘net then it’s their loss, ain’t it?

    Unless you can vouch for McGrath and Brioux’s every keystroke, unless you can swear that they’re absolute saints, then I don’t think you can say with any degree of certainty that they aren’t acting like children. Somewhere.

    And why the Hell should anyone act like an adult 100% of the time, anyways? I’m tired of being an adult. It sucks. I want to put on a tinfoil hat and rub people the wrong way. Is there something terribly wrong with that?

  27. Anonymous
    Posted April 16, 2009 at 8:32 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    To Vigilante: Touche. Whatever.

    My point stands, this blog is just a dumping site for a lot of petty personal bile.

    Say what you want about McGrath & Brioux; they have class. They don't talk & act like children.

  28. Anon. from last night
    Posted April 16, 2009 at 8:28 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    “Would it really take a forensic genius to figure out that it’s Tod Maffin?”

    Ha Ha!!!!!! Narcissistic Personality Disorder at its finest. You pay so much attention to Tod, so he must think about you all the time, right?

  29. Vigilante
    Posted April 16, 2009 at 7:56 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    “Ugly foul people”? 7:24, you meant other than yourself, right? Because you started off saying you come here often…

    Meh. “Ugly foul” is at least a change from good ‘ol “Fat and Ugly”.

    And what is the deal with picking on Marina Cleaners? That’s really how you guys pick at him? With some kind of elitist inside joke? Seriously? Holy frig, you guys need some skills.

  30. Anonymous
    Posted April 16, 2009 at 5:24 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I keep waiting for this blog to be fun and informative. Apparantly, a waste of time. This is an ugly foul blog frequented by ugly foul people.

  31. Allan
    Posted April 16, 2009 at 4:43 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    It was the Globe’s choice to bring the issue up yesterday.
    Should I stand idly by when someone insults the intelligence of of a national audience?

    You’re entitled to your opinion, Bob.
    I’m not exactly going out of my way here to win fans.
    I have to take whatever comes if I’m just going to say what I think, and not, like Russell, what Ghomeshi wants to hear.

    Were “instructions” given?
    I’ve read Ghomeshi’s statements, and those of his producer…

    Just to clarify questions around ‘preconditions’: the producers and host did NOT agree to any preconditions to not mention his acting career. As Jian Ghomeshi said in the interview, he was interested in talking to Billy Bob Thornton and the band about their music as well as having them perform. That’s what we were aiming to do.
    Thank you,

    Arif Noorani
    Executive Producer
    Q on CBC Radio One
    But more importantly, to me at least, are the statements made by Billy Bob from the stage at Massey Hall as can be heard clearly and conclusively in the video posted in The Link Farm.
    I accept BBT’s statement without reservation.
    I think you’ll find that the other two gentleman choose to not fully address the issues.

    As for for Anonymous commenters, I don’t consider “them” anonymous any more.

  32. Bob
    Posted April 16, 2009 at 4:09 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Wow. This is really… mature. Since I have no idea whether your assertion about this anonymous commenter is accurate, I’m not going to address him or her. You identify yourself, so I’ll address you.

    My perception is that you have a chip on your shoulder about Ghomeshi for some reason, and that you think that BBT got a raw deal from Q. I’m in no position to know whether “instructions” were given, and I disagree with your perception of the incident (while still not being sold on Ghomeshi as a great broadcaster).

    My opinion (worth approximately nuffing): You’re beating a dead horse. Shurely there’s something more interesting happening than a week-old interview with a faded hollywood star on CBC.

    And flame wars with anonymous commenters are juvenile.

  33. Allan
    Posted April 16, 2009 at 12:06 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Would it really take a forensic genius to figure out that it’s Tod Maffin?
    Leaving a long trail of Anonymous insults, to annoy people who want to read thoughtful comments, and have to waste time reading your childish rubbish, Tod?
    This is the best the master of social media can come up with to spoil someone else’s blog?
    Did you really think that you weren’t making yourself obvious, Tod?
    You’re history is pretty deep here, and always using the same repeated references.

    Do you now want to sign in under your own name, and deny that it’s you?
    Be our guest.
    Concoct some story to explain the obsession with immediately commenting on my posts at 1 and 2 in the morning?
    Do you actually think other bloggers can’t put 2 and 2 together?
    Come on, tell me that it’s not you.
    I’ll be happy to accept whatever you say and take your word for it.
    Of course, other people reading this are free to make up their own mind.

  34. Allan
    Posted April 15, 2009 at 11:41 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    That’s what I thought.

    Now who would be posting comments at 2:30 in the morning from Toronto?
    More likely someone on West Coast time.
    Now who could that be?
    Who could possibly be so insanely angry with me as to just post insult and never analysis?
    And who is hung up on the word “stalker”? Having used it in direct reference to me?

    I wonder who that Anonymous person could be?
    242

  35. Anonymous
    Posted April 15, 2009 at 11:14 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    You mean that I’m an angry stalker with a huge chip on his shoulder?Or is that you? I can’t remember.

  36. Allan
    Posted April 15, 2009 at 10:40 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    You reveal more about yourself than me with that remark.

  37. Anonymous
    Posted April 15, 2009 at 10:11 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

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