As Conrad Black's trial approaches, Maclean’s isn’t the only Canadian magazine that’s produced an issue about him. Another is the satirical biweekly Frank, whose Special Tubby Trial Edition, on Canadian newsstands tomorrow, owns up to creating supportlordblack.com, a satirical Web site I marveled at on this blog. Frank quotes me, but at least I had my doubts: “There’s a whiff of parody to supportlordblack.com, but it’s hard to say: there’s always been a whiff of parody to Black himself.” Is that skeptical or what? For the record, I consider myself libeled by the Toronto Sun, which in reporting on Frank's deception numbered me among its patsies.
The meat and potatoes of the Frank issue is an exchange of correspondence between Black and “Alastair Smith” of the “Ad Hoc Committee for Conrad Black.” Smith pleads for an audience and the grateful Black yields. But he thinks twice when Smith says his delegation wishes to wear black ribbons in solidarity. “I assume this is a prank,” Black replies, canceling the meeting. “It is very clever of you, and I would enjoy it as a joke, but you will understand that it is a bit distracting right now.”