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Caught in the Net

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Captured at www.blackenvy.com

A private citizens' group, "The Friends of Conrad Black," has been formed to enable views of [the chairman and CEO of Canadian-based Hollinger International, owner of the Chicago Sun-Times] the widest possible circulation.

Finally! A website for all of us who are profoundly envious of the Blacks--Conrad and Barbara Amiel-Black. And who could help but envy their prodigious power and political potency; personal pecuniary plentitude yet proprietorial parsimony; ponderous probity but perfervid plastic surgery.

The picture of Mr. and Mrs. Black that emerges from these web pages is of deeply complex individuals who are not afraid of personal contradictions. For example, Mr. Black declares that "our federalist and patriotic credentials are unquestionable," but he is also comfortable with his opinion that "most Canadians would prefer an American Canada to a socialist one."

One cannot help but share their deep admiration of the world's greatest living statesmen, including Ronald Reagan ("a 28 per cent top personal income tax rate qualified him in my estimation for Mount Rushmore") and Margaret Thatcher ("one of her most fervent desires is to do to the word 'compassion' what she says she has done in Britain to the word 'planning'").

Quote: There has been a general decline in the editorial role of the media proprietor and executive...the publisher has often become a local purser and paymaster....Journalists, as a group, and like all other powerful groups, require some protection from themselves and their own excesses. I will not labor this point, but the first line of defense is the concerned, informed, responsible publisher.

Reference: Conrad Black, The Financial Post, May 9, 1988.

Quote: We must express the view, based on our empirical observations, that a substantial number of journalists are ignorant, lazy, opinionated, and intellectually dishonest. The profession is heavily cluttered with aged hacks toiling through a miasma of mounting decrepitude and often alcoholism, and even more so with arrogant and abrasive youngsters who substitute "commitment" for insight. The product of their impassioned intervention in public affairs is more often confusion than lucidity.

Reference: Conrad Black, F. David Radler, and Peter G. White, "A Brief to the Special Senate Committee on the Mass Media from the Sherbrooke Record, the Voice of the Eastern Townships," November 7, 1969, p. 10.

Quote: Justice wears a blind. She does not peek to see if a man is black or white, rich or poor....[Nevertheless] in this day and age one might go as far as to say that to be rich and powerful is more a disadvantage in court than an advantage. While few judges or prosecutors would be afraid to exercise their perfectly legitimate discretion in favour of an ordinary man, not to mention a minority-group member, most would be terrified to exercise the same discretion for someone politically, financially or socially powerful.

Reference: Barbara Amiel, Maclean's, March 7, 1988.

Quote: Why have black activists trotted out this tired rhetoric about systemic racism in Canada? Canadians know themselves, and they know Canadian society is not racist. One can only conclude that some black activists want to incite as much dissension and unrest as possible among us all, in order to build a power base for themselves. One sees a parallel in the Nazis who exploited the very real problems in Germany to build up their power.

Reference: Barbara Amiel, Maclean's, May 18, 1992.

Caught in the Net welcomes interesting flotsam culled by its readers. Send E-mail to netfishing@chicagoreader.com. There's a T-shirt in it for you if we print it.

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