A few of the most flattering things Conrad Black has said about Donald Trump
Conrad Black—financier, media baron, literal Baron of Crossharbour, erstwhile member of the Order of Canada and Queen’s Privy Council—has no trouble making enemies.
He has been frequently rebuked for his many strong opinions (usually showcased in the National Post, which he founded), and for his zealous exploitation of pretentious diction (a.k.a. thesaurus abuse).
But you don’t need many friends if one of them is the sitting president of the United States of America. On Wednesday, it was announced that Donald Trump had granted Black a full pardon for mail fraud and obstruction of justice—crimes for which Black spent three and a half years in prison after being charged in 2005.
And while it would be libellous to suggest that Lord Black was using his position as a newspaper columnist to sue for clemency from The Donald, it’s safe to say there has been a… mutual respect established over the years. How much praise has Black lavished on his POTUS pal? Let’s see.
Here’s something Black wrote last year in his book, Donald J. Trump: A President Like No Other:
“It was always the case that, in making billions of dollars, surmounting an acute financial crisis, being a great television star instantly and for fifteen years, revolutionizing the nature and potential for celebrity and seizing control of a great political party in his first real try at politics, Donald Trump accomplished more before he was president than had any prior president of the United States except Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Grant, and Eisenhower.”
Before Trump was elected (and just before the infamous “grab her” tape came to light), Black was quick to disabuse his readers of any notion that Trump might be a misogynist. Here he is in the National Post, on September 30, 2016, suggesting that the real sexist is Hillary Clinton:
“He has sometimes said rude things about some women, usually very obnoxious women, but never about the female sex. Clinton has scorched her fingers getting into this before, when Trump has responded that she was the greatest facilitator of chauvinistic disregard for the sensibilities of women in American history by her toleration of the tawdry peccadilloes of her husband.”
After Trump was elected, the blandishments continued. In American Greatness, Black wrote that Trump is the only man equipped to deal with immigration to the United States:
“Only Trump of all the candidates on both sides appeared to be serious about stopping the flow of millions of illiterate peasants across the southern border, contributing to a deadly influx of lethal narcotics.”
That said, Trump is super not racist, you guys. Or, at any rate, that was Black’s contention in an April piece for the Post:
“He’s continually accused of being a bigot, despite being prouder of nothing more than the fact that unemployment rates for all groups of non-white Americans are lower now and incomes higher than they have ever been.”
In fact, Donald Trump, Black assured an interviewer from the Financial Post, is barely even a conservative:
“Donald Trump is no far-right conservative. That was Ted Cruz. [Trump] is a centrist. And one of the objections to him from a good many of my fellow columnists in the United States…is that he isn’t a true conservative. And he isn’t. He’s a New Yorker. He’s for whatever works. He’s a common sense man.”
In any case, Black was quick to emphasize in his Wednesday column that his years of duteous knee-crooking had nothing to do with the pardon. Source? The president:
“ ‘We’ve known each other a long time,’ the president told me, ‘but that wasn’t any part of the reason. Nor has any of the supportive things you’ve said and written about me.’ ”
You can’t help but read that passage in Trump’s voice, can you?