I have no interest in talking about this incident, because the interview speaks for itself. But I spotted two user comments that sparked my attention.
I guess I’m the odd one out on this because I thought it was funny of BBT and I understood where he was coming from. He was obviously ticked off, but also right in the middle of an interview and handling that anger how he felt he wanted to at the time. He had instructed them what he didn’t want to talk about and the guy brought it up anyway-and trivialized it like this was some silly little pet project of his and he was just an actor with a hobby of music. Music is something he’s been doing a long time, takes very seriously and it’s not just a lil hobby. I’d be ticked off too if someone tried to diminish me that way. He made it clear he wanted his music seperate and to just be there in that capacity. In that aspect, the interviewer was out of line and got what he risked getting.
What about the intro where Jian says, and I quote:
“While Billy Bob Thornton’s name is most often linked to his cinematic endeavours, the Boxmasters is anything but a diversion from the silver screen. He’s always intended to make music, but just got sidetracked. These days music is a major priority in his life and it’s something he’s obviously embracing.”
Doesn’t sound to me like Jian said anything about it being a hobby. He acknowledged that it was a lifelong interest. You know, the interesting thing about people who have even the slightest twinkle of stardom in their eyes is that they start to think they can control. The “Do you know who I am?” attitude doesn’t work. When the hell will they learn this? It frustrates me to see celebrities especially giving interviewers a contract to sign that states what they will and won’t talk about (cue in Angelina Jolie… who oddly enough was married to Billy Bob). Any good journalist would shoot that down. This isn’t China. You don’t tell people what they can and can’t say. Free press, assholes.
Jian didn’t disobey the request. He didn’t ask BBT any questions about his acting past, which would have credibly distracted the purpose of the interview. He simply briefed the listeners on his background, since not doing so would be like ignoring the elephant in the room. I’m positive there are listeners thinking to themselves, “That lead singer’s name sounds familiar… who is he?” That’s the reason why he answers it for them. That’s what you do as a journalist. You can’t assume people know.
Ghomeshi’s actually quite articulate. This world is too full of interviewers who cower and jump when a guest tells them to. That’s not what this business is about. You’re supposed to be hard-nosed so that people don’t manipulate you and walk all over you. You’re going to fault him for doing his job?
The CBC is great. I have always loved it. And part of the allure of that station is the unique personalities running it. Half the fun is in the hosts. Eleanor Wachtel, George Strombo, Shiella Rogers, Sook Yin, and of course Rick Mercer. It’s a great way to gain viewers/listeners. Nobody likes a boring host. Attacking that quality is a cheapshot.
That being said, I loved how Jian handled it. He was very composed. Call him arrogant all you want, but I and any other interviewer would have done the same. It’s a matter of dignity, professionalism and self respect. It’s not all about the guest(s). He stood his ground and in the end BBT ended up cooperating. So he did a good job with it.
And BBT’s comment about Canada? You’re on the country’s national broadcaster and you’re insulting those you’re trying to appeal to? If any of you Canadians, whose tax dollars helped pay for his band’s free publicity, end up going to any of his Canadian shows… shame on you.