Reaction roundup: the media weighs in on the decision that might send Conrad Black back to prison

Reaction roundup: the media weighs in on the decision that might send Conrad Black back to prison

The news broke Friday that Conrad Black might be heading back to prison. When the U.S. Supremes vacated his convictions in June, there appeared to be a chance that the Lord of Crossharbour would stay out of prison indefinitely. Those chances are slimmer now that the appeals court to which he was sent has decided that Black is still guilty of two of the four counts against him. The finding means Black remains a felon—something many of his friends and media hawks had probably thought he’d avoid. As is always the case with Conrad Black, those friends and hawks had plenty to say about it. Here, a quick roundup of the ink that was spilled.

• Toronto Sun columnist and Frum Forum contributor Peter Worthington waxes sympathetic, writing, “A fraud case in which the ever-malevolent prosecution’s battery of 17 charges was reduced to 13…indicates persecution as much as prosecution.”

• Conservative Mark Steyn agrees and tries to rally Canadians around the flag, telling CBC that it’s horrible for the U.S. to prosecute Black for things he did in Canada. Where is our touchy nationalism when Conrad needs it, Steyn wonders? (Hint: it’s reserved for people who didn’t trade their Canadian citizenship for a British peerage.)

• Apparently Black has developed a taste for professional masochism: he’d like to get back into the newspaper business. On behalf of all Canadian press watchers who’ve been so entertained by Black’s rise and fall over the past decade, we can only say yes, please.

• Inquiring minds want to know: how should we feel about the judge who has re-re-guiltified Black? According to Maclean’s, he’s a jerk. In a piece from last August, the mag noted that Judge Richard Posner is “callous.” We sort of got that impression when he said Black “just barely” deserved a retrial.

• Finally, there’s the question of what this re-conviction means for Black’s defamation suit here in Ontario. As Steve Maich, the editor of Canadian Business, tweeted on Friday, “Key question: with two felony convictions, does [Conrad Black] still have a reputation to protect?” We look forward to Black’s “Yes, I was guilty, but not that guilty” defence.

• Of course, Black says he looks forward to his “complete vindication,” which may mean he’ll keep fighting until every legal option is exhausted, or until he is. If he wants to risk dying on that hill, we doubt anyone can stop him.

• Black still seeks ‘complete vindication’ after 2 of 4 convictions overturned [Winnipeg Free Press]
• Black Back in Court [Frum Forum]
• Mark Steyn on Newsworld [Youtube]
• Conrad Black leaves door open for media return [MediaSpy]
• Judging the judge in Conrad Black’s appeal [Maclean’s]
• Steve Maich [Twitter]