Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Man Angry, Potentially Violent

Conrad Black (the illustrious Baron Black of Crossharbour PC, OC, KCSG), continuously and hilariously outraged that people treat him like a criminal, has just come thisclose to bathing in the blood of the BBC's Jeremy Paxman. He goes rogue almost immediately, and the interview starts at 4:10. It is incredible.

He says "STOP THIS BOURGEOIS PRIGGISHNESS," you guys! He also invokes the United States' high incarceration rate, as though he were a young person of color who had been unjustly stop-and-frisked, as opposed to being a totally-guilty white collar criminal and member of the House of Lords (which was a whole other legal mess).

More importantly, if you're making a robber baron period film, THAT FACE AND MANNER, right?

"Children and their tiny, dextrous hands are our greatest natural resource." – hypothetical character to be played by Conrad Black

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I am loving that this event has led to Pinners being introduced to the wonder of Paxman!

(also, in further UK TV / Hairpin interests, a show about Tiny Houses starts on C4 tonight!!)


Must be one of Jeremy's best interviews.@j



(1) "Totally guilty" is possibly an overstatement but in any case

(2) our criminal justice system is vile and horrible and is designed to basically oppress young people of color! In order to do that one thing it does is occasionally give brutal prison sentences to rich old white guys! That allows it to discredit its critics! "What are you talking about criticizing our justice system for being racist and savage? See, we lock up rich Canadians too, what is the problem?"

Conrad Black is not a great guy or anything but having politically connected rich white conservative people run around yelling about the United States's horrifying incarceration rate is a *good thing*. Scoffing and laughing at him because he's rich and white and conservative and kind of evil and so hahaha it's great that he went to jail supports a system that sends lots of poor and black and young and not so evil people to jail for decades for no good reason.


Yes, thank you. Black could quite easily say, “I never did anything wrong, and so I don’t deserve to be here, but the rest of these scumbags do.” Instead, he says that the whole system is a horror. There’s plenty of nuance and qualification we could pile on, but basically it’s nice to have him saying that.


@Rock and Roll Ken Doll
Also, vaguely-written federal statutes mean that everyone (probably you, reader!) is avoiding federal criminal prosecution only by the present whim of federal prosecutors.

give cheese some pants

@thematt I'd have to disagree with your second point. I do think it would be nice for a *credible* rich white conservative man to publicly rail against the U.S. prison system, but Conrad Black is not that man. His outrageous and, yes, laughable claims of innocence shade his outrage at the system with deluded self-interest, which totally undermines his otherwise generally valid argument (well, somewhat; that 99.5% stat is a joke). If anything, viewers will take away from this that his claims of criminal justice corruption are just as bogus and overblown as his cries of innocence. He's hurting the cause, rather than helping.


@give cheese some pants
You may be right! I'll put some thought into it.


@give cheese some pants Too. right. He's likening himself to Nelson Mandela, fergawdsake.

Spooky Behaviour

@thematt I would agree except that Conrad Black still owns The National Post in Canada (a super right wing newspaper) in which he writes a regular column and he never uses his platform to talk about the industrial prison complex. He is still a libertarian-conservative even when it comes to those issues but being able to trot out (dodgy) statistics on the super high incarceration rates in the US helps his case that he was wrongly convicted. If he was in any way actually saying "yeah, I was a victim of the industrial prison complex but look at these stats on people of colour" or criticizing the war on drugs or minimum sentencing (Canada just passed a terrible omnibus crime Bill extending minimum sentencing and giving harsher sentences for young offenders that was criticized heavily by an American law panel and Black has not said anything in opposition to the Bill) then I'd be in total agreement with you. He's only out for himself.


@Spooky Behaviour You could not be more on point. Black and his newpaper have been 100% behind Canada's regression in terms of the criminal law and sentencing (a visiting European judge at my law school actually disbelieving out the Harper bill - like, refused to believe the direction we are heading in until he saw the bill itself).

This bullshit self-serving malarky hurts the cause of justice reform, not helps it.


"How noble the law, in its majestic equality, that both the rich and poor are equally prohibited from peeing in the streets, sleeping under bridges, and stealing bread!"


@thematt Actually, Black sold the National Post to Canwest, now Postmedia. He doesn't own any newspaper anymore.


He sounds and looks like John Goodman to me?

(sorry, I don't know much about the case so I can't comment on that, but for some reason I still watched the video? Goooood start to a Tuesday!)


@craygirl YES he DOES sound like Goodman!!


I love that Canada exists to the Hairpin.

Also, the relatiosnhip between him and his slavishly devoted, incredibly popmpus and judgemental and hyperbolic and snobbish wife (who may have been the inspiration for Zenia, in Margaret Atwood's "The Robber Bride") is even more car-wrck cannot look away horrifyingly fanstastic. Larger than life and so hateable.


@swirrlygrrl THIS PHOTO!! Everything that is wrong with the world.



@swirrlygrrl RIGHT? LOVE THE CANCON KEEP IT UP! (you can't underestimate how invisible Canadians feel, except we'll never tell you because that would be pushy)



I HATE READ THE SHIT OUT OF BARBARA AMIEL. Seriously. Seriously. Anybody who doesn't read Maclean's (most people my age) JUST OH MY GOD. I don't even know where to begin.

Oh my god I know where to begin. The FEATURE LENGTH STORY dedicated to Conrad Black's return from prison, written by Barbara Amiel, featuring pictures of them KISSING IN FRONT OF CHERRY BLOSSOM TREES.


Seriously. Barbara Amiel is a masterpiece of work.


@redheaded&crazie Barbara Amiel brings out the allcaps in me, sorry guys. Really just can't help it.


@redheaded&crazie Oh my god I forgot just how bad that article is. It starts with "My brave, sweet duck. The night is over." I MEAN. WHAT CAN YOU EVEN SAY TO TOP THAT.


@swirrlygrrl I know I'm amazed they didn't hire Nicole earlier -- I mean Canada, babies, horses, AND books? What more could you ask for in one person!


@swirrlygrrl My Dad has had a crush on Barbara Amiel for over 25 years. I remain baffled. My parents are divorced.


@EvilAuntiePeril why? Barbara Amiel made my blood boil in high school (when my parents still got Macleans). I have not read her since, for that reason.


@theotherginger I asked once and he told me, "She's a very classy lady. A real woman." Baffling.


@EvilAuntiePeril seriously? ack.


It must be nice to be so incredibly un-self-aware.

Hot Doom

@ragazza Yeah, no joke, I am a little envious. He's the kind of person I despise about the world, but I also sort of wish I could be him.

Miss Maszkerádi

Having no proper idea who this guy is, I was very disappointed to not get to hear "STOP THIS BOURGEOIS PRIGGISHNESS!" in a British accent.


What a gasbag.


He may not be a young person of color, but he is a Black. (Sorry, I'll leave)


@stuffisthings "Remarkable people the Blacks. Musical, very athletic, not very good swimmers, again, I'm talking about the family."


I'm getting a strong Philip Seymour Hoffman vibe from this guy (something about the shape of his mouth). Can't wait to see the movie!



99.5% of prosecutions in the US are convictions? OK first of all, cite your source. Secondly, cite your source because that is the most glaringly fragrant misleading bullshit I have seen today.

"You just misunderstood what was legal." <3 <3 <3 <3


@alannaofdoom Isn't it amazing how statistics mean less than nothing when you don't even vaguely allude to a source?! In this case, it smacks of a horrible combination of delusional self-belief and desperation.

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Edith, WTF is this?


Has anyone noticed lately that in various articles they always seem to mention that the person is friends with Conrad Black? I don't get it. Is that supposed to be some kind of endorsement? What am I supposed to think when an article tells me that so-and-so is friends with Conrad Black?


@coconuts don't read it, is what you are supposed to think.


Bathing in Jeremy Paxman's blood? I don't think so! This is Paxo's modus operandi - get the interviewee to look like a fool. Job done.

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