Conrad Black: A trending topic

He no longer owns any newspapers but Conrad Black managed to inspire a lot of writers this week. His early release from a prison prompted a flood of tweets, blog postings and opinion columns in Canada and around the world.

Some offered rare words of support for the former head of a newspaper empire.

Paul Wells, a columnist for Maclean’s posted the following tweet.

I’m glad Conrad Black is sleeping at home tonight. Or will later; he’s a night owl. Whatever else he’s been, he was a wonderful boss.

Other tweeters were less kind. And, as always on Twitter, many just poked fun. 

@ Del_UncleRalph Hard not to respect Conrad Black. Arrogant jerk that he is – still impressively articulate, intelligent, thoughtful and tough.

@huttj: Before the internet threatened the existence of newspapers, there was Conrad Black.

WesFromCanada: I came back from camping. I left early because I can’t sleep outdoors knowing that Conrad Black was released from jail.

Others used more than 140 characters to share their views.


John Miller, a former editor at the Toronto Star and former director of the Ryerson School of Journalism, reminded people in his blog post  that Conrad Black had little respect for journalists.


“To paraphrase Conrad Black, who was talking at the time about journalists: Ex-cons these days just seem so ignorant, lazy, opinionated, intellectually dishonest and inadequately supervised.”

Miller speculated that Black would likely spend his time now “preparing for court, writing a second volume of memoirs and perhaps toiling away at a trade that his plundering of newspapers, and the layoffs that helped pay for it, have made increasingly chancy.”


The National Post’s Terrence Corcoran, on the other hand, wrote in his column  that Conrad Black’s critics should brace themselves for what’s to come.


“The people who are really in trouble are the legion of tormentors, prosecutors, journalists, executives, hacks and slanderers who made life hell for him over much of the past decade.”

In his column in The Guardian, Douglas Haddow pointed out that Conrad Black, a Canadian who renounced his citizenship to become a British Lord, only to be imprisoned in the U.S. he has become a  “persona non grata” around the world. He speculated about where Black would end up living.


“The odds are he will attempt to reclaim his Canadian citizenship, and if the legal system permits, he will almost certainly be allowed to return there. The country Black once described as a “third world dump run by raving socialists” now has a prime minister more in tune with Black’s politics.”