When Conrad Black speaks, people listen
Conrad Black is seen after his sentencing hearing at the Federal District Court in Chicago in 2007. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tom Hanson
A collection of some of Conrad Black's more memorable public statements:
"My experience with journalists authorizes me to record that a very large number of them are ignorant, lazy, opinionated, intellectually dishonest, and inadequately supervised. The ‘profession' is heavily cluttered with abrasive youngsters who substitute ‘commitment' for insight, and to a lesser extent, with aged hacks toiling through a miasma of mounting decrepitude. Alcoholism is endemic in both groups." — From the Winter 1979-80 edition of the Carleton [University] Journalism Review.
"All those who, by their docility or obsequiousness, legitimized the excesses of the school's penal system, the several sadists and few aggressively fondling homosexuals on the faculty, and the more numerous swaggering boobies who had obviously failed in the real world and retreated to Lilliput where they could maintain their exalted status by constant threat of battery: all gradually produced in me a profound revulsion." — On life at Upper Canada College, from which he was expelled for allegedly selling stolen exam papers, from his 1993 memoirs.
"It's like a club. And in the United Kingdom, if they ever brought back the death penalty, apart from cruelty to dogs and queue-jumping, it would be for bumptiousness in a club. I shall not commit that heinous offence." — From a 2001 interview in the National Post on the occasion of his joining the British House of Lords.
"I have no doubt that mothers in America use my name to frighten their children into finishing their vegetables." — From a 2005 interview with Fortune magazine.
"When the case is exposed as the unmitigated farrago of lies and defamations that it is, the exhilaration at having defeated the most powerful organization in the world — not just the so-called Justice Department, but the SEC, IRS, and their Canadian quislings as well — will be very great and I will resume my career fortified." — From a 2006 interview with the Globe and Mail.
"We just got back yesterday from a shambles of a trip to the South Pacific, where I came down with bronchitis and almost drowned snorkelling as a result. We felt like geriatric freaks among a sea of honeymooners — loutish young men and their perky wives." — From an email to New York Sun editor Seth Lipsky about a recent trip to Bora Bora, presented as an exhibit as his 2007 trial.
"It's war. I'm on an inexorable march to victory." — Black speaking to the media during his 2007 trial in Chicago.
"Mark Twain famously said that, 'A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth gets its trousers on.' It is very late in this case, Your Honour, but the truth has almost caught up with the original allegations.'' — From his address to the court during his 2011 resentencing hearing.
"I quickly developed alliances with the Mafia people, then the Cubans. I was friendly with the 'good ol' boys' and the African-Americans. They all understood I had fought the system, and I do believe I earned their respect for that.'' — From a 2011 interview with Vanity Fair magazine while Black was free on bail.
"I fell, and perhaps my downfall was partially deserved. But the heavy punishment I have received for crimes I did not commit was not deserved." — From his 2011 biography, "A Matter of Principle."
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