Guy Walks Into a Mac’s…
What with Fred Creasey supposedly flip-flopping around like a landed bass on the bottom of the boat, I thought I might change the subject (I would, wouldn’t I, convinced as I was by Creasey’s performance yesterday). To date I’ve avoided writing about Christie Blatchford’s coverage of the trial. In fact, until today I’d more or less avoided reading her altogether. Christie Blatchford is, like the weather, one of those subjects in which there is little percentage in taking a position. You might not like it, but the weather couldn’t care less, and neither, given the inevitability of it all, does anybody else. An editor at the Globe wrote me early on in the trial after Christie’s first effort from Chicago:
“What the frig is going on here!?!? Completely straight-faced about Christie at morning meeting. It’s almost an emperor wears no clothes thing. What ever happened to ‘conflict of interest,’ unbiased journalism, not to mention…good writing.”
I wouldn’t go that far, but it points out that, when it comes to Christie, conventional standards simply don’t apply. Until today. I got a call this morning from a famous satirist who asked me whether I could write about anything I wanted on my blog. I said I could. He then asked me if I’d read Christie’s column. I said I hadn’t. He then read me the last line of the column. Speaking of Conrad Black, Blatchford asks (rhetorically, one suspects), “Is it a criminal offence to be so visibly entitled?” The satirist then suggested that I read the rest of the column and imagine that instead of a description of corporate greed, Blatchford had appended her question to an article about a guy who walks into a Mac’s, points a loaded gun at the owner, spews abuse at him, then steals his money. (Which also happens to be the analogy trotted out by the prosecution in its opening remarks.) “You should write about that.” Then he hung up. Having read the article, I take his point. It doesn’t really matter what Black might or might not have done; the point is Christie’s more or less made up her mind and the editors who count at the Globe are treating her like a naked empress. Several years ago, Blatchford described her affection for her then employer, the National Post (and, by association, Conrad Black), as “stupid with adoration, thick with loyalty, blind to the exigencies of the world.” Fair enough, but is this who you want covering the man’s trial for his life?