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I Think I'll Read This Book . . .

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by SoSueMe, Feb 20, 2007.

  1. SoSueMe

    SoSueMe Active Member

    . . . But I don't think print media's old pal Conrad Black likes it.

    Apparently Black has filed "the mother of all libel statements of claim," in response to a biography written by Tom Bower.

    In an article in London's Sunday Telegraph last October, Black said Bower's "key-hole, smut-mongering side-piece portrayal of my wife as a man-eating sex maniac prior to her marriage to me is disgusting."

    Black has suffered damage from the book that includes "hatred, ridicule and contempt."

  2. cranberry

    cranberry Well-Known Member


    The thread's just a little less useless now.
  3. JR

    JR Active Member

    He (Black) also alleges that Bower's book portrays his wife, Barbara Amiel Black, as "grasping, hectoring, slatternly, extravagant, shrill and a harridan."

    Met Ms. Amiel numerous times when she was dating the flamboyant travel agent Sam Blyth back in the late 70's/early 80's (after her marriage to Canadian journalist and co-author George Jonas.)

    I'd suggest the above statement is pretty much accurate.
  4. alleyallen

    alleyallen Guest

    For those of us not in the know about the goings-on in Canada, who is Black?
  5. SoSueMe

    SoSueMe Active Member

    I would venture to guess one of the most hated media moguls in this country's history.

    At one point in his career, he owned somewhere around 400 newspapers across North America (I believe he owned a couple in the Middle East and Australia, too). He owned Hollinger, part of the Chicago Sun-Times, the New York Sun and Canada's National Post. Anyway, he was a cost cutter, a slasher. Then he sold several newspapers from one of his holding companies to another of his holding companies in an extremely shadey deal. Some papers, it's been said, he sold for a single dollar. Then, he got out of the newspaper business all together, making fortunes selling newspapers to even WORSE ownership, if that's possible - which it is, as CanWest Global has proved. One of his holding groups filed for bankruptcy protection, yet he's one of the richest men in this country.

    The story is so twisted and tough to follow I'm not sure I did it justice here.

    In order to avoid white-collar criminal charges in Canada, he denounced his citizenship and fled to Britain. Now he wants his Canadian citizenship back so he can avoid charges in America, stemming from the Chicago paper deal.

    Anyway, I'm young(ish), and didn't pay close enough attention to him when I was in high school. I wish I had. It's an interesting story.

    If any other fellow Canuck can help clear up this picture - or point out my inaccuracies, please do so.

    The bottom line is Black is a crook (allegedly - I'd better say that, or he'll sue).
  6. ballscribe

    ballscribe Active Member

    I think he's Lord Black over the pond. The satirical press here calls him "Lord Tubby".
    The Blacks seems to have affected a number of poncy British mannerly ways since he was nobilized. Kind of like Madonna's, er, "accent".

    Vanity Fair did a big takeout on them last year.

    Huge shack in Palm Beach, completely over the top. The characterization of his trophy wife (although, she may actually be a well-preserved 2-3 years older than Tubby, probably pushing 65, so not technically trophy material) seems fairly accurate, from what I've read about her. Kind of like a geriatric Posh Spice.
  7. Ben_Hecht

    Ben_Hecht Active Member

  8. JR

    JR Active Member

    So Sue Me got it right. I'd add a couple of bits of useless information.

    His wife Barbara Amiel was a columnist at Maclean's magazine (our Time/Newsweek) I believe she also wrote for the Toronto Sun. Lady Black is so right wing she makes Hondo sound like Che.

    Conrad Black was born into an extremely wealthy family, so his sense of entitlement came early on. He was tossed out of Upper Canada College (THE Canadian private school based on the English version) for allegedly selling stolen exam papers.

    The jewel in his newspaper crown was the British paper The Telegraph. Tubby couldn't wait to become part of the English aristocracy so he could leave his hoser roots behind.

    The National Post was launched in a blaze of glory. He hired high profile columnists like Roy MacGregor & Christie Blatchford at outrageous salaries--I heard a couple of hundred grand in some cases but the paper was as phony as a three bob note.

    It tried to be what I can only call men's club conservative --smarmy as hell. He also brought over some English editors and writers --I guess to show the colonies how you put together a paper. One of the English snots wrote a column on what it was like attending a hockey game, for Christ's sake. Happily, most of the major writers have left the Post and it is now irrelevant, invisible and from what I understand, bleeding cash..

    In his defense (the only one I can think of) Black has authored two major biographies, one in the mid 70's on Maurice Dupplessis, the reactionary former Premier on Quebec from the 50's and more recently a doorstop of a book on FDR.

    He's a scumbag and I hope he ends up in Oz.
  9. JR

    JR Active Member

    Word back in the 70's was Barbara Amiel had a boob job--very uncommon back then.
  10. Double J

    Double J Active Member

    The only thing I can add is that he renounced his Canadian citizenship because the federal government tried to prevent Britain from giving him a peerage. He took out British citizenship instead and was subsequently ennobled as Baron Black of Crossharbour - Crossharbour being a neighbourhood of London near Canary Wharf, which is where much of the city's media are now located.

    Much as I don't like Connie Mack Black, the government really did overstep its bounds in preventing him from obtaining a peerage title. There is no law that actually prevents Canadians from receiving foreign honours, just a non-binding parliamentary resolution that has been ignored on numerous other occasions through the years.
  11. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    Sorry, I left my thesaurus at work. What the hell's a "slatternly harridan"?
  12. Double J

    Double J Active Member

    In layman's terms, a dirty bitch.
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