Conrad Black

Written by  //  January 28, 2010  //  Adam Daifallah, John Moore, Justice & Law, Media, Politics  //  2 Comments

Conrad Black addresses McGill students via prison phone
Conrad Black has published a thousand-page biography of Richard Nixon, but as he spoke to students at McGill University on Wednesday, he had all of 15 minutes to convey his thoughts on the former U.S. president. Anything longer, and the warden would have cut the call.
The rapid-fire lecture, delivered over the phone from within the walls of a Florida prison, touched on the late Mr. Nixon’s Quaker upbringing, his views on race, the Vietnam War, the Watergate break-in and his years out of office. Through it all, the 20 undergraduates sat rapt, leaning forward to hear their guest lecturer’s voice coming through a BlackBerry speaker phone.
McGill lecturer Adam Daifallah, who helped research Lord Black’s Nixon book, arranged the call as a surprise to students in his political science course on the Conservative Movement in North America. They submitted questions without knowing who would be answering. “You are the first people to hear his voice in more than two years, because he’s in prison,” Mr. Daifallah said after the call.
7 December 2009
Conrad Black’s fraud conviction questioned by top court
Several justices, at an hour-long hearing Tuesday, asked whether the federal law under which Lord Black was convicted is too vague. The justices expressed concern that the law could be used to prosecute people merely because they aren’t always working their hardest and acting in the best interest of their employer.
11 June
(CBC) Supreme Court turns down Conrad Black bail request
21 May
Diane Francis: Conrad Black’s excellent moment
Conrad Black’s success in getting an appeal before the U.S. Supreme Court will help define an important point of law as to how business can and should be conducted south of the border.
18 May
U.S. Supreme Court to review Black’s fraud conviction
TORONTO — The wheels of American justice finally started to turn Conrad Black’s way Monday when the U.S. Supreme Court said it had agreed to review the fraud conviction that helped to put the disgraced media baron behind bars in 2007. The garrulous, bombastic Lord Black of Crossharbour, whose role as chairman and chief executive of the Hollinger International media company made him both a fixture and a polarizing figure in Canada and around the world, was convicted two years ago for his role in an alleged scheme to defraud shareholders of the company he founded. The fact that he can now see a glimmer of light at the end of his dark legal tunnel came as a surprise to legal experts familiar with the case, which culminated in one of the most sensational and closely watched trials in recent Canadian memory.
4 April 2009

The final act of a corporate travesty
The Sun-Times Media Group declared bankruptcy this week. Conrad Black offers his thoughts on who is to blame
Ah, he has desisted from the attack on John and has set his sights on someone far less able, we are sure, to exchange witty ripostes – Richard Bredeen, the ‘chief architect of this outrage”. One almost feels sorry for Mr. Bredeen, who is the subject of a libel suit brought by Lord Black. “When the Bushes were out of office, Breeden set himself up as Mr. Corporate Governance. He arranged to be the special counsel or monitor for repeated special committees… . In this capacity, he was a trailblazer in tearing companies apart, filling his own pockets with the shareholders’ money, and then, in enriched livery, departing the wreckage of the interests he was hired to champion, claiming moral victory. He became the massively paid bloodsucker-in-chief of some of America’s most succulent corporate blood banks, including KPMG, WorldCom, and Fannie Mae.” Lest the readers of the National Post  be left in doubt as to Mr. Bredeen’s sins, loyal George Jonas has a companion piece in support of his friend, Conrad.
27 March
Up to now, it has been quite amusing, however the tone is becoming decidedly unpleasant. It would seem that our friend John has seriously annoyed His Lordship, who takes issue once again with John, but this time quickly shifting the grounds for the exchange from defense of Ann Coulter to proclamations of his innocence of all things criminal. “Ann Coulter, who is an accomplished American lawyer, was denigrating this mockery [the trial] as the travesty that it is before I ever had any contact with her, while John Moore, with whom I had also had no contact until this exchange, was telling his listeners of my life of secret (to me and everyone else except him) crime. I am philosophical, averse to solemnity [??] and seek no one’s sympathy”. Tittering at that which he does not understand
24 March
Jonathan Kay joins ranks with John Moore
“I can’t help but wade into the high-flown feud between Conrad Black and John Moore about the journalistic worth of Ann Coulter, which recently played out on these pages. For what it’s worth, I’m on Moore’s side: With her right-wing shock-shtick, Coulter bears as much blame as anyone for the race to the bottom among talking heads. (As I’ve noted in the past, Coulter’s various witticisms include referring to Al Gore as a ‘total fag’ and John Edwards as a ‘faggot’, and advising Americans, in the wake of 9/11, that they ‘should invade [Muslim] countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity.’)
Like Coulter herself, Black defends this sort of nonsense on the grounds that she is secretly engaging in clever parody. Folks such as Moore don’t understand ‘what a grand and successful send-up and put-on much of her career has been,’ Black claims.
Yet just a paragraph earlier, Black had told us that Coulter ‘really differs only marginally from standard, respectable conservative views on most subjects.’ ”
23 March 2009
We call your attention to the enthralling exchange between sometime-Wednesday-Nighter John Moore and Lord Black, with which, we are told, the National Post is thrilled,  given the immense, and highly partisan,  reader response . So far, this is a three-part series:

1)      John Moore: The audience has gone home, but Ann Coulter raves on

2)      Conrad Black: Ann Coulter, John Moore and Me

3)      John Moore: Conrad Black, Ann Coulter and Me

The exchange is entertaining, well written and full of barbs, however, we would raise another question. Having glanced at the comments following the columns, we are becoming increasingly concerned by the venom of the commentators on both sides, the ad hominem remarks – we would not dignify them as arguments – and general lack of any original thinking. What is the usefulness of the Comments threads? And who are these people who have nothing better to do than post their opinions in the middle of the day, when they should be at work, or if not, perhaps brushing up on their spelling and writing skills (not to mention general information) at the local library. Does this new form of commentary by readers do anything for anyone? Letters to the editor are usually thoughtful, witty or at best, thought provoking. Why do our newspapers encourage this largely meaningless internet-fuelled drivel? Is this in the interest of freedom of expression, or does it simply encourage the nut cases?

3 March 2009
Prison’s not so bad after all, says disgraced Lord Black
(Times Online)Lord Black of Crossharbour, who completes his first year behind bars in the United States today, says that prison has “expanded” his social circle.
The disgraced Telegraph group chairman, serving six and a half years for fraud and obstruction of justice, has described his life inside in a lengthy e-mail interview with the Canadian newspaper he founded, the National Post.
The once-swaggering press baron, formerly Conrad Black, now Prisoner No 18330-424, says he starts his day with granola for breakfast and ends it with a cup of “coffee well-made by Colombian fellow residents”. He also reveals that he has started to learn the piano – something his mother did not let him do as a child.
20 November 2008
Conrad Black seeking clemency from President Bush
Deposed media baron Conrad Black is hoping George W. Bush will grant him clemency during the U.S. president’s final weeks in office.
The Department of Justice in Washington has confirmed that Montreal-born Black requested that his 6½-year sentence be commuted.
21 February 2008
Black asks appeal court to delay prison sentence
Former newspaper baron Conrad Black, who’s set to begin serving a 6 1/2-year prison sentence on March 3, has asked a federal appeals court for a brief delay, Bloomberg News reported late Wednesday.
February 16
Black’s acquisitions compensate for lack of love
(Canwest News Service) OTTAWA – To the reams of analysis dissecting what makes Conrad Black tick, add one more theory – that the disgraced media baron was addicted to acquisition because he was an awkward child who was compensating for the pain of being unloved.
December 10, 2007
(CBC) Conrad Black sentenced to 78 months in jail

Must report to begin sentence on March 3
Canadian-born Conrad Black was sentenced Monday in Chicago to 6½ years in prison for his role in the misappropriation of millions of dollars from the newspaper empire he once headed.
17 April 2007
Conrad Black in his own words: A journey into the trial exhibits
The prosecution has been posting many previously unseen documents on its website within a day or two of them being introduced in court. You can see them all here. Note: They’re all PDF files.
Together, the private e-mails, cashed cheques, and details of big-money deals provide a fascinating glimpse of the inner goings-on at the time Hollinger International — the media empire Black used to head — was busy selling off its newspaper assets.

2 Comments on "Conrad Black"

  1. ZBC March 28, 2009 at 2:06 pm · Reply

    “Join the fray by commenting, tracking what others have to say, or linking to it from your blog.” No, we don’t say that here.
    You encourage readers to comment on your rantings but bitch about newspapers doing the same thing? Get with the program. Writing letters to the Editor is history.

    Editor’s Note “Rantings”? Point made.

  2. cathi January 29, 2010 at 10:34 am · Reply

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