Black Watch: Today’s Top Stories

Black Watch: Today’s Top Stories

Elements of the American press lit into Conrad Black this morning, reflecting the worst aspects of that nation’s dull-normal puritanism. Andrew Harris from Bloomberg’s led the charge of the bland brigade, digging up former federal prosecutor and first-class pedant Steven A. Miller (what is with professional Americans and their impossibly pompous middle initials?), who warns anyone who would do other than tremble in humiliated fear before the mighty power of “the people.” “Book signings and comedy shows are not likely to net a low sentence for anyone. Criminal defence lawyers usually advise clients who have been convicted and are awaiting sentencing to do charitable work and engage in activities that benefit the community.”

Miller’s comments are in keeping with a self-righteous, unself-conscious literalism that has suffused the judicial proceedings against Black from the start. Whether it’s Amy St. Eve’s sanctimonious Oprah-like divining of Conrad’s “character” in keeping him from returning to Canada while awaiting sentence, or the sniffy private horror (masked by haughty public indifference) that prosecutors evince at Black’s combative utterings, the puritan aspect is all of a piece. Let’s, as Americans are wont to say, “get real.” Conrad Black committed a crime for which he should and will be punished. After that, the entire performance is a Mayan sacrifice. What earthly good is achieved by putting Black in prison for 10 years, other than to reassure the great American rube that the people still rule and the game isn’t rigged? What other nation on earth would look down its nose at a man (however strayed from the path of righteousness) who writes a book or makes a joke and tries to sell it? Shame.

Convict comedian Black’s last laugh: Source [New York Post]

Conrad Black appears in TV comedy bit: Source [Daily Herald]

No leaf unturned to plug new book: Source [Chicago Tribune]