Noah Richler’s blog regarding Jian Ghomeshi’s arrogance is informed, comically, by his own over-arching arrogance. The article is about him, and how he never succumbed. How he’s so above all this kind of thing, so immune to all the things that others so easily fall prey to. Hmm.
My one interaction with Richler was a call he made to me about an intern position at, while it hadn’t yet been named, the National Post. He said “I’m calling from the new Conrad Black paper” or something like that, to which I said “Okay.” It could have been a polling company calling for all I knew. Well, that’s the only word I ever said to him. He went off like a rocket, saying that he’d expect more enthusiasm than that from someone who wanted to work at the paper, blah, blah, blah. And then he hung up. Needless to say, if I’d only told him to hold the line for a moment as I seemed to have peed my pants in excitement, I may well be working there today. Instead, he trashed someone that he perceived was beneath him, or who wasn’t appropriately impressed to be receiving a call from a Richler. I never got an interview — which is why I suspect he may have been calling — or an internship.
He says that his first reaction to the Ghomeshi story was “pity.” Balls it was. He’s just zigging when others are zagging in order to imply distance and wisdom. Further, who cares what he felt? What possible interest could it be to me or indeed any of the others who read this piece? Yes, it’s a blog, so it doesn’t require any journalistic integrity, or so the thinking goes. But The Star published it, so I would think that they’d feel the same standards should be kept in all aspects of the brand, both print and digital. Perhaps they do, sadly. Richler, as much as Ghomeshi or anyone who has found success in journalism in the past decade, is wise enough to know that the story, above all, has to be about him. Certainly his surname doesn’t hurt either.
Humility, sensitivity, massive egos—change the names and the article could be about Richler himself. Those half-hearted feints at modesty are achingly transparent. He talked to a woman to help him understand!? Gee, what a nice idea. I hope he didn’t talk down to her, though the fact that he calls her “a very bright young woman in her 20s” feels a bit backhanded. Would he refer to a man in the same way? I doubt it. He finds that being both a woman and bright is worthy of remark, and indeed, I guess that’s why he remarks on it.
I don’t know what Richler does in his bedroom, but I know what he does on the phone. As he says about Ghomeshi: What a charmer.