Black Watch: Today’s Top Stories

Black Watch: Today’s Top Stories

The idea that a free press is available to anyone who can afford it is one of those too- clever-by-half throwaways that sounds clever the first time you hear it and cynical the second. And yet, this morning we see in the National Post a couple of headlines that beggar credulity and draw the gimlet eye:

“Radler lacks ‘credibility,’ Black says” and “Radler was a flop with jury, Black believes.” Black is a columnist for the National Post and its former owner. The Post is covering, chapter and verse, the proceedings of his trial. The Post’s prejudice is apparent. Fair enough. Still, for the sake of appearances, for the sake of putting paid to exactly the sort of undergraduate cynicism that pervades the public’s view of the press, wouldn’t you think somebody at the Post would have suggested that citing Black in a headline questioning David Radler’s credibility and assessing his performance on the stand was, maybe, just that one bridge too far? Still, for all Black’s arguably deserved triumphalism, there are still a few soothsayers counselling Caesar to beware the ides of something or other. The ever-probative Paul Waldie, quoting Chicago lawyer Hugh Totten, notes that:

“[T]he prosecution’s repair work began immediately after Mr. Radler left the stand with the testimony of Jonathan Rosenberg, a New York lawyer who worked on an internal Hollinger investigation in 2003.Mr. Rosenberg told the jury that two of Lord Black’s co-defendants, Mr. Kipnis and Peter Atkinson, acknowledged during the internal investigation that some payments they received were not legitimate. Mr. Totten said more witnesses like Mr. Rosenberg could hurt Lord Black and the others.”

More witnesses meaning Paul Healy, who is already on the record as having warned Black to keep the audit committee better informed as to the manner in which he was siphoning money from International to Inc. Presumably Healy will help rehabilitate Radler by corroborating the alleged conspiracy.

Still, you can’t blame Black for crowing the way he did yesterday on the courthouse steps. “I don’t think any jury in the world would convict anybody on the basis of what he said… I repeat my long-standing view that this was never a criminal case, except possibly against him.” That Greenspan told Black straight away to pipe down only indicates his lawyerly instinct to leave well enough alone.

Radler: ‘I pled guilty because I am guilty’ [Globe and Mail]Witness: Ex-VP admitted deceit [Chicago Tribune]Black says Radler failed to nail him [Toronto Star]Black bullish as court’s star witness steps down [Times of London]Judge limits testimony in Black trial [Financial Times]Radler admits he took deal for light sentence [Chicago Sun-Times]