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Dept. of Rage

Of Course.

He pardoned Conrad Black.

Of course he did. Black wrote a deliberately fawning book about him. He and Black had business dealings in the past, which probably didn't hurt, but it was undoubtedly the book that did it. 

Black looted the Chicago Sun-Times and its associated properties while he owned them. That's the correct term for it. Looted.. Robbed. Eviscerated. Because of his thievery - which, by the way, he did all while publicly disdaining the journalists he was robbing, and the journalism he dishonored - the company fell into a bankruptcy.

That bankruptcy ended when a buyer forced Sun-Times employees to take a "temporary" 15 percent pay cut before his group would buy the company. 

We never recovered from that temporary pay cut. Neither did the Sun-Times or its associated properties. The Sun-Times eventually sold much of itself to the Tribune, after another rich man with no integrity bought the company and wrecked it further. 

Still, some of us took at least a little comfort in knowing that Black, against all expectations of wealth protecting him, went to prison. It wasn't for long, certainly not nearly as long as he deserved, but he was a convicted felon. 

Neil Steinberg, in his column, says he has nothing against Black. He also suggests that Black and the man who pardoned him are much the same.

I disagree with the latter assumption. I imagine that Black would disagree, polysyllabically. He knew how to flatter the subject of his book, but Black's self-aggrandizing snobbery is such that I suspect he thinks very little of him, considering him no more than a particularly notable member of the hoi polloi. 

This may be why I think Robert Feder's column says it better. 

As for me, I hold much against Black. It rises in my throat like bile, the rage I feel about him, the hatred I hold for him.

I know we are counseled against hate, that we are told it is corrosive to ourselves more than to those we hate. And I know that's true. 

But I hate this man. 
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( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 17th, 2019 03:46 am (UTC)
What a fucker. And he did it knowing it would cause brouhaha, because of COURSE.

I have not directly had to deal with Black and the fallout from his theivery. But it affected you - and destroyed a newspaper that had been around a damned long time - and we NEED our newspapers.

No, we are counseled against hate. But there are some people...there is no other option. As long as it doesn't paralyze us, guide our thinking or immerse us within that emotion solely, I feel it can be cathartic to acknowledge hate - especially if it is justified, as it is here.

I hate the asshole who pardoned him. I try not to...but he has destroyed so much. And he will destroy so much more before he is dealt with.

*Hugs you hard*
May. 17th, 2019 11:08 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the support. I'm amazed that the Sun-Times has survived, and it's mostly due to the dedication of its unionized members, and some members of upper management who believe in a two-paper town (and who were willing to work with unions who rescued it most recently.)

Its survival has everything to do with those folks, despite the misery caused by Black, (and by one of his successors who I probably can't badmouth due to my buy-out agreement, but that's another issue entirely. Ahem.)

You're right about hate being the only option - at least, unless one is a saint. There are saints, human saints, out there, who could forgive this man. I mean, I've met Holocaust survivors who have somehow found it in themselves to forgive.

I can't.

*hugs you hard back*
May. 21st, 2019 03:53 am (UTC)
I may not have been there when Black was in charge, but I heard plenty of stories, and given that his looting not only hurt so many journalists, but five daily newspapers, Naperville Sun and more weeklies than I can count atop of my head - which, collectively, account for a pretty large chunk of Chicago media landscape... I don't blame you for being pissed off. I mean, given the state of print media overall, it's hard to say what shape Sun-Times and others would have been without Black's looting, but the fact remains is that it didn't have to be as awful as it did. And the fact that Trump's pardon was, as Feder lays out, clear example of quid pro quo, just makes it worse.
May. 24th, 2019 07:45 pm (UTC)
Everything you say is true, but I think it's safe to say that without Black's kleptocratic tenure at the ST, it would have been in a much better position to weather the economic downturn to which all print media fell prey shortly thereafter.

May. 23rd, 2019 06:37 pm (UTC)
Horrible. I'm so sorry.
May. 24th, 2019 04:39 pm (UTC)
I should never have been surprised, but it still left the taste of a sewer in my mouth.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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