Friday, 20 July 2007

Jailbird columns?

Seth Lipsky's proposition for Conrad Black is if he goes to the slammer this fall, write columns for the Sun.

While that sounds like something the Toronto Sun would have proposed, Seth's Sun is the New York Sun.

Black was a founding investor in the conservative daily, which claims a readership of 150,000.

Seth, who is editor, told a gathering of New York Sun staffers the gate is open to the media mogul and convicted felon.

In his talk with staff, Seth expressed his feelings about Black and the jury's findings in great length. All of his comments were posted on the paper's web site this week.

In a nutshell, he says: "I don't mind saying that it is a sad turn. In my view, Conrad Black is one of the greatest newspapermen of his, or any, time - and, in my own career, he has been an inspiring partner and a friend."

He told Sun staff: "If he does go to prison, I hope he will be able to send us some columns. I don't know whether he will want to, or be permitted, but the invitation is out."

Seth also told his staff: "And to those of you who might handle his copy here at the Sun, I say this: Please treat any of his dispatches as coming from a man who made your newspaper possible and, when you edit his prose and put it into print, remember that the honor is ours."

Prison columns by Conrad Black? An excellent idea for Sun Media or any of the Canadian newspaper chains. Who knows, signing the fallen media baron to a newspaper column deal could could turn into a bidding war if he embraces the idea.

Perhaps Peter Worthington can talk Quebecor into making a bid.

Babs, a former Toronto Sun editor and columnist, will certainly need money for food and lodging if her hubby is sent to prison for a decade or so.

Columns from the slammer, humbly written with honesty and humility, would gain Black some respect from a largely unsympathetic public who know him only for his greed and power.

But prison cell columns by Conrad the con will probably never fly, not with his ingrained disdain for the media. Past behaviour suggests he would never lower himself to become a newspaper columnist.

Yes, as a TSF reader notes, Black dispatched columns here and there to the National Post, but they were optional and written from his comfortable loft, not from a prison cell.


  1. Never lower himself to be a newspaper columnist? What are you talking about? Black has been writing regular columns in the Post for ages.

  2. A trio of questions came to mind:
    Who at the New York Sun would be able to understand the orotund verbiage of this CONvicted felon and notorious gasbag?
    And should a man CONvicted of crimes involving newspapers be allowed to profit from his crimes by writing a newspaper column?
    And finally, were the owners of the NY Sun overcharged when they bought the paper from CONrad to fund the CONvicted fraud artist's non-compete payments? If so, one wonders if the owners of the paper hold the CONvicted liar, cheat and obstructer of justice in the same high esteem?