Monday, March 19, 2007

Conrad Black 24/7

Posted By on 03.19.07 at 10:10 AM

If you can't get enough of Conrad Black, aka Lord Black of Crossharbour, aka the former Hollinger International  press baron in the crosshairs in United States v. Black, there's a new blog up and running that promises all Black all the time. Blacksjustice.com was launched by freelance reporter Susan Berger, who was a Pioneer Press staffer when that suburban chain was one of the more profitable elements in Black's media empire. Berger plans to attend Black's fraud and racketeering trial, which just got under way in federal court, and she promises ongoing commentary plus links to media coverage beyond Chicago. The volume of Canadian coverage in particular is staggering, and here's a taste of it, an ingenious attempt by the Globe and Mail, Canada's foremost national newspaper, to concoct a think piece out of pretty much nothing. If you thought his lordship had nothing in common with the blue-collar rabble that will be judging him -- a notion the Canadian media  can't express often enough -- well, it seems he has nothing in common with Mies van der Rohe either! 

And also from the Globe and Mail, here's a stylish rant by a former Hollinger editor in Canada that asks, Was it really necessary to destroy the company in order to save it? Joan Crockatt begins: "Conrad Black's trial is a classic case of pride and prejudice. Even Jane Austen couldn't have written a better commentary on the excesses of U.S. society in the post-Enron, post-WorldCom, Iraq-war era. In a nutshell, Lord Black exudes a kind of British aristocratic pride that offends modern-day America. America rails at it. Prejudice grows. Charges are hurled. Blood spills."

The trial's expected to last about four months. 

UPDATE: Want to be a juror in a famous federal trial? Jurors in the pool for United States v. Black had a 45-page questionnaire to fill out before they could even be considered. Go through it yourself. See how it's skewed toward teasing out how strongly you feel that those big shots making millions in complicated corporate maneuvers are all a bunch of crooks.

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