Black Watch: Today’s Top Stories

Black Watch: Today’s Top Stories

The end is finally and irrevocably nigh. Today the limber-faced Ron Safer, acting for Mark Kipnis, finishes off the summary arguments for the Hollinger four. Then, either late this afternoon or first thing tomorrow, lead prosecutor Eric Sussman gets two hours for rebuttal (the judge has already warned the loquacious one in open court that he’s on the clock). This will be followed in short order by St. Eve, who will charge the jury. Et voilà. The 12 jurors and three alternates will then retire, the fate of Mark Kipnis, Peter Atkinson, Jack Boultbee and Lord Black in their hands. Thereafter, for as long as it takes, the principals and the press must wait. The judge has decreed a half-hour warning time before a verdict is announced, creating a virtual Guantanamo for all concerned.

The weekend coverage included a feature by the Trib’s Susan Chandler on Barbara Amiel. It featured one of this trial’s weirder quotes to date—a variation on Stockholm Syndrome:

“She looks like a deer in the headlights,” said Margaret Wente, a columnist with the Toronto Globe and Mail who has followed Amiel’s career and been critical of her in the past. “You really feel it is sort of abusive to try to talk to her.”

Remember, that’s one journalist talking about another journalist, one of whom referred publicly to the other (at least by association) as “vermin.” Strange days, indeed. Beyond that, Peter Worthington offers the usual exculpations in the Sun. The Times of London offers, by way of comparison to Black, a profile of ex-con and former Sotheby’s chair Alfred Taubman. In the same pages, Jonathan Aitken offers a rave review of Black’s Nixon bio, one that incorporates Black’s current travails as part of his assessment:

“As Black says, he wrote this riveting tome ‘in very distracting circumstances as I prepared to deal with serious judicial problems.’ To have done so under such pressure and done it well must surely rank, in the author’s terminology, as a boffo performance.”

It looks good for Conrad [Toronto Sun]Richard Milhous Nixon: The Indomitable Quest [Times of London]To the slammer, by Gulfstream jet [Times of London]Lawyering down [Maclean’s]Amiel fully immersed in supporting role [Chicago Tribune]