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Conrad Black goes to jail, writes book about it

“Under a government which imprisons unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison.” And with those words from Thoreau, Conrad Black enters that “true place” today accompanied by a cacophony of media hoo-ha, some of it sensible, some sickening, some silly. A photograph of his house in Palm Beach is splashed across the front page of the Globe. A quote from his final address to the troops—published simultaneously in The New York Sun, natch—covers a third of the Post’s front page.

Black himself, in addition to dragooning Thoreau, told Theresa Tedesco on the phone last night that given his druthers, “I’d rather do something bookish than physical labour. I wouldn’t be the best guy they could have out mowing the lawn, but I could do not badly teaching French or something like that.”

Bonjour, Monsieur Chips!

The Star’s Rick Westhead engages in a fabulously tasteless exercise speculating on a list of possible bunk mates at Coleman FCI including mobsters, drug kingpins and a pedophile. Somebody or other writing on the Web site for Condé Nast’s Portfolio rises up on her hind legs and announces that “An author himself, not only of his own life but of biographies of Richard Nixon and Franklin Roosevelt, Black will likely not have the ability to begin an account of his fraud trial while at Coleman.”

This within minutes of The Guardian’s reliable Andrew Clark stating that “Black has submitted a manuscript to his Canadian publisher that recounts his fall from grace. While continuing to maintain his innocence, Black admits in the book that there are instances when his conduct could have been different. ‘His tone is very measured—it’s not strident,’ said Black’s publisher, Douglas Pepper. ‘He lays out the facts of everything that happened. He’s happy with his achievements, but certainly there are things that he might have thought of doing differently.’” As Ronald Reagan said, facts are stupid things.

The circus, it seems, is still in town.

My Faith in American Justice [New York Sun]• Lord Black Goes to Prison [Condé Nast Portfolio]• Conrad Black’s prison sentence begins today [Toronto Star]• Prison ‘not the end of the world,’ Black says [National Post]• Black, ever hopeful of acquittal, buries the hatchet in old quarrels [Globe and Mail]• Inmate 18330-424, aka Lord Black, admits he was unwise but protests his innocence [The Guardian]• ‘Ready for anything that lies ahead’ [Globe and Mail]

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