Maybe There Is No Justice in This World

Former Media Baron Conrad Black, whose Hollinger corporation holdings once included The St. Catharines Standard, receives full pardon from Donald Trump for decade old convictions in U.S.

A Commentary by Doug Draper

Posted May 17th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

“Dear Doug, Nothing is ever really lost, even if it disappears temporarily. One just has to keep bouncing back until sanity prevails.

“No one can work backwards into the future. You make a very special difference in the lives of those around you. Please don’t lose hear, Doug. Lynne.”

During Doug Draper’s years as an environment reporter at The St. Catharines Standard. When Conrad Black’s Hollinger corporation took ownership of The Standard and dozen of other daily newspapers across Canada, the environment beat disappeared at most, if not all of them, as newsrooms were hollowed out to fatten profit margins.

I received that nice note from a very nice lady named Lynne Matthews who was president of the Glenridge Landfill Citizens Committee, a community group in south St Catharines that played a strong role in shutting down the city’s dysfunctioning Glenridge Landfill site on the crest on the Niagara Escarpment and having it transformed into the naturalized park that it is today.

Lynne, who died in 2005 and had her name deservingly placed on what is now the Glenridge Quarry Naturalization Site for the role she played in this now popular recreational area’s creation, sent me the note after Conrad Black and his then giant Hollinger media corporation assumed ownership of The St. Catharines Standard, where I worked at the time, and dozens of other newspapers across Canada.

Black and the hand-picked hacks he put in place to run the newspapers proceeded to gut their newsrooms, including all or most of the environmental reporting beats at them – one of which was mine.

Suffice to say, I was feeling pretty blue about all of this at the time. The environmental beat at that newspaper had been my pride and joy for going on two decades, and from the readers’ view, I was always pleased to say, a well-received one too.

Lynne sent her note to life my spirits after the environment beat at the newspaper and I have always kept it tucked away in a safe place, close to where I where I work.

Conrad Black receives full pardon this May from U.S. President Donald Trump from decade old convictions that resulted in jail time in the U.S.

I took it out and read it again this May 16th after learning that the now 74-year-old Conrad Black, whose Hollinger corporation had roots in the U.S. and who spent more than three years in a U.S. prison after being found guilty in 2007 of siphoning millions of dollars from the sale of at least some of the corporation’s newspapers, was granted a full pardon by none other than Donald Trump, who Black has frequently written supportive columns about  and who he recently published a glowing book called ‘Donald J. Trump: A President Like No Other.’

“We’ve known each other a long time, but that wasn’t any part of the reason,” Trump is quoted to have told Black about the pardon. “Nor have any of the supportive things you’ve said and written about me.”

Of course not!

Anyone who has been paying any kind of attention to the madness and megalomania that, in no small part, defines the Trump presidendency knows how ready he is to (as he puts it in his own childish way) ‘do nice things for people who are nice to him’, even if the people he is being nice to make many others cringe.

Just ask Kim Jong-un (alias “Rocket Man”) of North Korea and Vladimir Putin of Russia.

So now Conrad Black, who was deported from the U.S. after his release from jail and who was permitted to return and live in Canada even though he denounced his Canadian citizenship in 2001 to accept some bloated “Lord of Crossharbour” title from Britain,  has his full pardon .

Conrad Black and, to the left, the cover of his flattering book on Trump, published in 2018. Trump reportedly says that Black’s good words about him had nothing to do with the pardon.

I am no longer interested in any re-litigating of the circumstances that land Black a jail sentence in the first place.

All I think about is the many newsrooms at dozens of good community newspapers that were hollowed out after Hollinger’s hatchet men and hatchet women got their hands on them.

And I think about all of the good, dedicated journalists across the country who were treated like gnats and freeloaders and who could never find a decent job in the field again because of media monopolies like Hollinger that put the relentless greed of shareholders above operating newspapers that had the recourses they need to serve their communities well and that could continue making a decent profit at the same time.

The gutting of so many newspapers may not be a crime in the legal sense, but it is certainly a tragedy for the communities they served.

And when I am reminded of all of this in the wake of the news of Black getting a pardon, I can’t help but wonder where the justice is in this world.

To read a CBC story on this, click on – https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/conrad-black-pardon-trump-1.5137985

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“A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders

 

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4 responses to “Maybe There Is No Justice in This World

  1. i want to know who fixed his status as a Canadian to allow him to live here. Maybe he applied for refugee status….yeah that’s it, Black is a refugee living in rented space. I notice that the US news outlets referred to him as Lord Black.

    Like

  2. Sheila Krekorian

    I dont know where the justice is in the world Doug. But I know where to look when I want to read the truth. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Gary Screaton Page

    Is this just one crook pardoning another?

    Like

  4. Hi Doug – “You do well to question if there Is any “Justice in This World” any more. When we consider the irreparable damage done to the free press by unscrupulous individuals like Conrad Black and Rupert Murdoch it is chilling to realize how two men, completely lacking any semblance of ethics or a moral compass, could deliberately dismantle entire chains of hitherto reliable sources of information and monitoring essential to the public.
    Each in their own mercenary way destroyed one of the foundations of a democratic society, opening the doors for the “fake news” which now serves only those who can pay for their personal, self serving “versions” of what they want the public to see.
    It goes without saying that it is no surprise that an equally morally bankrupt
    person like Trump would manipulate the headlines by granting Black a
    “contrived pardon”. The very idea is repugnant to me – as are Trump, Black
    and Murdoch. Niagara at Large is a beacon of integrity on this climate of
    ethical bankruptcy. Thank you for staying “true” and authentic.”

    Bless you and thank you
    Linda

    *”Doubt less ~believe more, complain less ~appreciate more, worry less
    ~dream more, fear less ~trust more, control less ~flow more.”*

    Like

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