Ice Storm II

Ice Storm II

Scads of breathless gossip in the Star and Sun as (gasp!) Conrad Black attends a book launch at Massey College for Amiel’s second husband, George Jonas. According to several observers, the air rushed out of the room as Black and his beloved appeared at the door in the midst of an introductory speech by fantasy writer Guy Gavriel Kay, who, in the midst of the tumult, struggled to hold his audience. The ever-helpful Master of Massey College, John Fraser, parted the peons whilst ushering the great man to the front, where he deigned to say a few words.

As for the reporting in the morning press, the Sun’s Joe Warmington, who writes like Jimmy Olsen on speed (referring to himself in third person as The Scrawler), reported the following:

“‘I know I am vermin,’ I told Babs as I crashed their party.

It pays my bills. The Lady laughed.

‘It’s crazy,’ she said of her well-quoted outburst in Chicago where she reportedly called one journalist vermin and another a slut. She didn’t think it was such a big deal, but she didn’t deny it. ‘But it was directed toward two specific people who did something horrible,’ she said.

‘They know who they are and what they did.’”

What? Got on an elevator? So much for last week’s non-apologetic apology. Describing Black and his wife as looking “every inch the Lord and Lady,” the Star’s Martin Knelman reported that Conrad, notably tight-lipped in Chicago, felt free in his (sort-of) native land to hold forth to his heart’s content:

“He gave a speech comparing Jonas with two literary giants, Joseph Conrad and Samuel Beckett. ‘What George has in common with them is that he writes brilliantly in what is for him a second language.’”

The love-in (with Ice Storm overtones) might have gone on even longer if Eddie Greenspan—who has co-authored books with Jonas and had planned to toast the author at his launch—had attended. He decided to stay in Chicago while court is adjourned.

Meanwhile, back on earth, the Globe’s Paul Waldie writes about Black’s involvement in a media company he used to co-own with David Radler—which, if the defence can get past the prosecution’s objections to its even being mentioned, may mitigate Black’s culpability in the non-compete kerfuffle.

Black defence thwarted on raising Horizon [Globe]Lord and Lady Black hold court in Toronto [Star]Conrad Black attends book launch [Toronto Sun]

Images by Nathan Whitlock (Quill and Quire)