Monday, December 16, 2013

A Lion In Winter

Like a bloated, aging and wounded lion who realizes his hold over his pride is at an end, Conrad Black is lashing out. Still licking his wounds from lacerations received at the hands of the CBC's Carol Off, Black used his column in Saturday's National Post (which as a rule I do not read, but more about that later) both to justify his journalistic ineptitude and to strike back at his growing list of adversaries who include Star editor Michael Cooke, Star columnist Rosie DiManno, The Star itself, and well, just about anyone else who finds fault with him.

With false leonine pride, in his column Black maintains the fiction that it was not journalistic ineptitude but rather the show's format that explains his toothless interview with disgraced Toronto pretend-mayor Rob Ford:

As co-host of the Vision Channel television program Zoomer, I invite people to sit down with me in civilized conversation, which often included unwelcome questions. But I do not conduct an antagonistic debate. This is a format that viewers seem to enjoy, and it was on this basis that guests — including Mayor Ford, last week — have agreed to speak with me.

He goes on to dismiss the controversy over Ford implying that Daniel Dale is a pedophile as a sideshow, and then launches into what can only be described as a screed against The Star and its staff, most notably its most prolific and acerbic writer, Rosie DiManno, whom he describes as a feminoid who is so disconcerted by my wife’s timeless appearance that she refers to the frequent praise of her as a form of “necrophilia.”

Which brings me to how I wound up reading Black's piece. This morning, The Star's own lioness, Rosie Dimanno, still apparently in her prime, extrudes her own claws as she responds to the Black attack.

Here is her opening salvo:

Mrs. Conrad Black is the most gorgeous septuagenarian on the planet.

And, while hardly a kitten with a whip any longer, Barbara Amiel remains quite the dominatrix in print, a polished writer who can stick a stiletto heel into any subject’s jugular. A far better wordsmith than her husband, too. Indeed, Black isn’t even the best writer from among her five spouses.

I mention the Baroness only because hubby has specifically accused me of not appreciating her timeless beauty. I do. And maybe at some future date, Amiel can give me the name of her plastic surgeon.

Lest you think her column is simply a catty attack on Mrs. Black, she soon turns her attention to her real target:

We now know also why disgraced newspaper baron and felon Connie (Con, for short) devotes himself to producing remainder-bin biographical doorstoppers about dead people — because he doesn’t have to interview them. His singular lack of skill in this most basic reportorial function was on grotesque display last week whilst “chatting” — Black doesn’t call these puffball exchanges interviews — with Toronto Mayor Rob Ford on his Zoomer show, an excruciatingly embarrassing episode that should be shown to J-students as instructive lesson on how not to do it.

There is much more in her piece which, depending upon the exigencies of time and interests, you may wish to check out.

While there are admittedly much bigger issues that need to be addressed and pursued in the world today, sometimes there is an innate satisfaction to be had when bullies, whether of the physical or verbal kind, are soundly and roundly put in their place. And while many may lament the fact that age eventually diminishes all of us, we do no one any service by using that to excuse the effete roaring of a lion in winter.


  1. It is astonishing to witness how disconnected Mr. Black is, Lorne, -- the inevitable consequence of self absorption.

    1. Self-absorption and money - a deadly combination, Owen, when it comes to character.

  2. Conrad Black considers himself above the law. Americans proved it otherwise.

    That is the case with many rich people and they manage to get away with murder. In a recent case in Texas a 16 years old went free despite killing four people. He was driving drunk and speeding. His lawyers used the defense called "Affluenza" Defense - he comes from a rich family and did not know better. You can see NBC video here. It is simply incredible.

    1. Yes, I read about that case, LeDaro. It almost sounds like a satire, doesn't it?

  3. I was never fond of DiManno but full points for skewering this jumped-up felon. I recall that, while he was in prison, he became an outspoken defender of that segment of his fellow inmates banged up for drug offences. He would have great empathy for a coke head mayor.

    1. And he may yet prove to be a valuable resource to Ford in the future, should the later ever face being charged and convicted of a felony carrying jail time, Mound. But then again, I'm not sure if Black has coping skills that would be readily transferable to Toronto's pretend mayor.

  4. .. I apologize in advance for angry feelings your excellent observations & article stimulate and churn within me .. They may spill out with some VENOM ..

    Black ass of Blackamoor ?
    a loud lout peasant that MarkTwain has categorized.. and not favorably ..
    Lord Mayor Rob Ford - like Anthony Weiner & his junk ??
    hard to explain or differentiate the diagnosis.. but its not positive at all

    These are not lions or tigers .. not even jackals
    and truly speaking.. far lower than Dung Beetles .. the eaters/movers of shite

    And digressing from your assertions..
    may I add some other likely suspects.. James 'Full Bellied' Moore
    who just blew up his 'leadership' aspirations.. James Flaherty, who does not have a shred of 'leadership' within his biology.. and Jason Kenney, who seems to stand alone, or at home with his mommy..

    And how about Ms Jenni Byrne? The incredible recycled Dimitri Soudas aligned with Eve Adams.. (a power idiot couple?) Where is Tom 'Buffalo Jump' Flanagan? Earth to Peter Kent - the woodland caribou call out to you in their agony.. and the wolves you agreed to poison too. Where art thou, artful lying scumbags Clement, MacKay.. and the ridiculous John Baird - master chameleon (apologies to the chameleons)

    Christy Clark .. c'mon down.. you're the queen of the pipelines, along with Ms Redford of Alberta.. and surely Nigel Wright has played along with, or steered your games.. as Onex manages Canada's Pension Plan. Yo Ray Novak - consort to Stevie - Hi to Stephen Lecce too. What ho.. Ms Kellie Leitch? How goes your undeclared business enterprises.. outside of the House of Conflicted Commons?

    Hello Joe Oliver ! You need a kick in your sad assed & stuffed ethical pants.. for being a supreme sellout to anything oily.. regardless of consequence.. or reality.
    Good gawd man.. you suck up to Stephen Harper like a remora adapting to bottom feeding.. 2nd in line as Worst Canadian ever? You are a front runner.. asshat

    Good gracious.. the strategy of Stephen Harper is resolving... Flood the public perceptions with so many perps & transgressions, that we may never know the full extent of them.. the intent, the machinations, the duplicity.. the arrogance.. the omnipotent narcism ..

    Black n Ford are court jesters.. pomp n media sideshows

    They do not order the removal of fish habitat, drive the contents of toxic to democracy omnibus bills, nor do they control electoral fraud, spying on Canadians, obstruction of justice, denial of poverty, insult to the First Nations & attacks on their treaties, secretive agreements with China.. support for mining interests in South America or catering to multiple foreign energy consortiums who want our environmental laws erased.

    Black and Ford will not truly damage or take down Canada ..
    They're just the smelly, ugly, leaking garbage on the sidewalk evidence ..
    of what is really going on.. out of sight, at 'elected' civic, provincial and federal levels .. all to a great extent, aided, lipsticked & abetted by mainstream media

    1. As your commentary makes very clear, Salamander, there is a veritable rogues' gallery when one contemplates our current crop of politicos. And I agree, the Black and Ford show are but sideshow diversions to the real problems that confront the citizens of Canada.