Huffpost Canada ca
Conrad Black Headshot

Come at me, Bro

Posted: Updated:

The Huffington Post asked Conrad Black if he would like to reply to Andrew Mitrovica's blog criticizing Black's high-profile supporters; he obliged with the following:

The writer attacks a number of Canadian cultural and journalistic figures a good deal more renowned than he is, for the offense of being publicly well-disposed to me. It is not clear what right are they exercising that he challenges. This seems to be just the hackneyed effort of a minor personality seeking some grandeur for himself by slinging obloquy at more famous professional colleagues (Margaret Atwood, Margaret Wente, Rex Murphy, and Brian Stewart). He apparently objects to their stated view that I was rightfully readmitted as a temporary resident to Canada and so presumably contests that opinion. If that is his grievance, and he thinks I should not have been permitted to enter this country even for a visit, let him say it -- though by now, it is a very stale topic.

Dusting off the worm-eaten chestnut of libel chill is seriously contemptible. I have endured, in comparative tranquility, one of the most prolonged and vituperative campaigns of defamation in the modern history of advanced countries, as the allegations against me evaporated from the theft of $500 million to the receipt of $285,000. It is uncontested in the judicial evidence that was approved by the directors. It was a charge unanimously vacated by the U.S. Supreme Court, but self-servingly retrieved by a notoriously megalomaniacal lower court judge whom the high court excoriated, but sent the case back to for his own assessment of the gravity of his previous errors.

This is not a conviction by any Canadian jurisprudential standards.

The authors of the original $500 million theft charge have agreed to the largest libel settlement in Canadian history by a multiple of almost four -- in my favour. All I am seeking in the case objected to here is recognition that I was not one of the "thieves of Bay Street" (whose behaviour offends me as much as it does the author of the book).

I am not seeking monetary damages, nor seeking to pulp the book or discourage or gag the author in any way, but merely to be discharged, in gentle terms, that I composed and offered (or any similar wording) from the allegation of theft, and to require Random House to take responsibility for the contemporaneous publication of this book, defamatory of me whatever its other merits are, and for my recent book -- now in its sixth printing, generally well-received and profitable to Random House -- which documents the unmitigated fraudulence of the charges against me.

I am defending my reputation against published falsehoods and corporate hypocrisy by Random House in the U.S., in the gentlest way available to me; not chilling anyone. If the respondents won't take the painless resolution I offered them, or make a serious counter-proposal, the courts will decide.

Unleashing the sophomoric, attention-seeking posturings of this writer will not achieve anything for them. He has now inflicted himself on the Huffington Post (perhaps the Canadian Dental News will be next), since he sank without a ripple in the Ottawa Citizen, apart perhaps from the brackish waters of my pathological critics where he seems to circulate.

This is not investigation, not news, nor rigorous comment, nor a legitimate subject of his gelatinous sanctimony, and will have no impact on the resolution of the important principles involved.