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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. 
This entry was originally posted at https://kaffyr.dreamwidth.org/732900.html?mode=reply, where there are currently comment count unavailable comments. You can comment there or here, but prefer to read over on DW. You can comment there using open ID if you don't have a DW account.


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.

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