The Tedium is the Message
The abstruse litany on non-competes having reduced journalists to glazy-eyed indifference (or maybe that’s just me), the sideshows dominated the weekend’s print bilge. The Observer served up former Black protégé Martin Newland getting off a plane in Toronto and passing through immigration, where—get this—a colonial customs officer tells him he thinks Conrad’s going down. I don’t want to spoil the rest of the article for you, but here’s a hint: Newland is skeptical.
Kelly Toughill, a journalism professor from somewhere or other, attacked Maclean’s and the National Post and most especially Mark Steyn for failing to sufficiently disclose their relationship past and present with Conrad Black—which in turn she supposes compromises their objectivity and “contribute[s] to the decline of public faith in the entire profession.” Steyn, responding on his Maclean’s blog, tore his tormentor a new one, and deservedly so. Toughill’s objections were all of the po-faced parochial variety, and Steyn scored a KO without a count. If Toughill rebuts, it’ll be the bravest show since Frazier got off the deck against Foreman in Jamaica.
More to the point, CP reporter Romina Maurino suggests that it will be at least two weeks before the prosecution gets to David Radler and that they’ll want to take a week with him on the stand. The danger, says James Morton, president of the Ontario Bar Association, is that “once a jury starts to get bored, [it] is much more inclined to say: ‘I don’t even care if he did it’” and let him off. Either way, the prosecution won’t end on Radler, says Wayne State law prof Peter Henning. “He can’t be your last witness; you need someone stronger and certainly someone unimpeachable to end with.” In which case James Thompson, the former governor of Illinois and former head of Hollinger International’s audit committee (no doubt well known to the jury), will likely cap the prosecution’s case. Andrew Clark reporting in this morning’s Guardian on the ebb and flow of the press coverage gets the nod for line of the day: “The peer himself slumps in a courtroom chair giving a general impression that he is watching a tedious school play.”