I noted Mark Steyn’s MacLeans article on the then upcoming trial of Conrad Black in “How to harry a millionaire.” The trial opened in federal district court in Chicago this week and Mark Steyn is blogging it for MacLeans from opening statements to verdict here. It is a great way to get a daily dose of Mark Steyn.
In today’s Wall Street Journal, Emily Steel and Douglas Belkin provide the ambivalent Canadian perspective (subscribers only) on Black’s ordeal. Here’s an excerpt of the Journal article that gives a flavor of the fare:
Mr. Black, along with three former executives of Hollinger International, is accused of skimming millions of dollars from the company through selling off newspapers and, without board approval, taking fees from the buyers in return for promises not to compete.
Mr. Black, who has written a biography of Franklin D. Roosevelt and another soon to be published of Richard Nixon, speaks and writes bombastically. “I am not prepared to reenact the French Revolutionary renunciation of the rights of nobility…We are proprietors after all, beleaguered though we may be,” he wrote to former colleagues in an email defending his use of a corporate jet. Even his Chicago lawyer, Edward Genson, told jurors this week that Mr. Black has an “arrogant attitude.” He went on to say, “Other than a bad attitude you aren’t going to find a single thing wrong.”
Asked why the trial is capturing so much attention in Mr. Black’s native country, Mr. Genson said in an interview, “possibly not very much happens in Canada.”