Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Media Roundup: The Importance Of Being Absent

The media reports, webbed overnight and today, about the Conrad Black trial focused on one of three developments yesterday: the absence of Donald Trump; the requested presence of David Radler; and/or Conrad Black's old renovation bills - with one exception:

1. From Crain's Chicago Business, an abridged Reuters report on the decision by Eddie Greenspan not to call Donald Trump to the stand.

2. The Vancouver Sun has webbed a report from Mary Vallis, which opens with the not-calling of Donald Trump but spends more time on the proposed calling of David Radler. After reviewing the testimony of Kenneth Whyte, it ends with the disclosure that two of the "several" prosecution witnesses that the defense plans to recall are Fred Creasey and Monique Delorme.

3. The Amherst Daily News has an abridged Associated Press report highlighting Lee Williams' testimony about the money plowed into the Manhattan apartment. So does the Calgary Sun.

4. The New York Times has webbed an in-depth report by Richard Siklos on why Donald Trump was first subpoenaed and then not called. The guess that Mr. Siklos attached most credence to is the fear that including Donald Trump would have made the trial too much of a circus. As far as Mr. Trump himself is concerned, he "declined to comment on his role in the case or what he would have testified but said he was pleased to be in New York with a clear calendar. 'I’ve caught up on all sort of stuff,' he said in a telephone interview. 'I have a free day — I haven’t had one of these days in a long time.'" (The end of the report contains a muttered remark in the hallway by you-know-who.)

5. The New Zealand Herald has webbed a report by Stephen Foley of the Independent, which deals with the help from Mr. Trump to Mr. Black, as well as those renovation expenses.

6. LawFuel.com has excerpted the Financial Times report on the testimony of Mr. Williams. The same report has been posted in FT's own "Alphaville."

7. A CP item, webbed by CBC News, also discusses the attempted substitution of David Radler for Donald Trump by the defense, and mentions tentative plans to "call several expert witnesses as well as Black's butler and former pilot."

8. Ameet Sachdev's report for today's Chicago Tribune takes up the same substitution. It ends with a recap of Mr. Williams' testimony.

9. Another report by Ms. Vallis, as webbed by the Ottawa Citizen, recounts the circumstances that have led Csr. Greenspan to recall Mr. Radler.

10. The Globe and Mail has webbed Paul Waldie's own take on the impending recall of Mr. Radler. His report also recaps the testimony of Mr. Williams, and the end of Mr. Whyte's under cross-examination - specifically, about the $100,000 bonus he had received in 2003. "Lord Black arranged the bonus even though he was bound by a five-year agreement with CanWest not to induce or recruit National Post managers, Ms. Ruder said."

11. Rick Westhead of the Toronto Star focuses upon the substitution of the renovation expenses for Donald Trump's appearance as the item of the day. Regarding those expenses, the report notes that "Hollinger had agreed to reimburse Black for 'capital improvements' that would increase the value of the property."

12. The reporter that was the original conduit of the speculation on Donald Trump testifying, the New York Post's Janet Whitman, has written a report headlined "Trump Is Fired." (CBC correspondent Mike Holbrook, on a CBC News: Morning clip aired at about 9:05 AM, confirmed that the original scoop was real at the time.)

13. The second report of the morning by Mr. Waldie, also webbed by the Globe, focuses upon a motion to dismiss all charges against Mark Kipnis: "The judge in the Conrad Black trial said she will seriously consider a legal motion that seeks to dismiss all of the charges against [Mr. Kipnis.]" The motion in question, a "rule 29," is a type that is frequently filed by the defense and rarely granted by the judge; it claims that the prosecution failed to meet its burden of proof. All four defendants have filed one, but "Judge Amy St. Eve singled out filings by Mr. Kipnis's team for special attention. She indicated that they are among those she is most interested in reviewing." The prosecution, of course, has objected to it.

14. A report by the Chicago Sun-Times' Mary Wisniewski has the second-most complete itemization of the expenses for the Manhattan apartment amongst the stories linked to in this entry. The last mentioned is "[o]ne invoice detailed accommodations for interior decorators, including a $200 lobster dinner." It's subtitled "Closing arguments could start this week."

15. Sun-Times columnist Stella Foster mentions a dinner that Conrad Black had in her latest column: "EMBATTLED LORD CONRAD BLACK, on trial in Chicago, apparently took some down time to dine with Cardinal Francis George May 21 at the Holy Name Cathedral's Rectory on North Wabash. Others in attendance at this small and private dinner: the Rev. Dan Mayall, pastor of Holy Name; Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus Timothy J. Lyne; businessman Joseph Fosco, and attorney Robert DeMeo."

16. The Daily Mail's report on the absence of Donald Trump claims that Mr. Black had made a "pledge last February that he would personally testify as a 'freedom fighter to clear my name.'" It suggests that the prosecution has asked for an "ostrich instruction" in retaliation for Mr. Black's bad attitude. As you may expect, it also reviews many of Mr. Black's expenditures revealed in the trial.

17. Yesterday's part of the trial garnered a mention on Chicago Public Radio.

18. The two-page report by Times Online reporter Jenny Booth takes the cake for the most complete itemization of the money plowed into the Manhattan apartment of all the reports linked to from this entry. The second page reviews the rest of yesterday's testimony.

19. Ms. Vallis has also wrote about the Kipnis story, in a Financial Post-webbed report entitled "Charges against Kipnis could be dropped." Like Mr. Waldie, she notes that Judge St. Eve will give the motion to dismiss the charges special consideration: "yesterday, Judge Amy St. Eve indicated she is particularly concerned about Mr. Kipnis because he is 'differently situated than the other defendants.'"

20. A two-page report in The Age of Melbourne has all three of yesterday's main events. It starts off with Donald Trump being let off the witness hook.

21. The Melbourne Herald-Sun has webbed an abridged Bloomberg report - the part that focuses upon the Radler item.

22. The blog "Media Bistro" has stripped away the surrounding wordage to distill a partial list of the items that Mr. Black bought for the apartment.


The Sun-Times also has a report today on the current status of the charges against R.Kelly, which makes me wonder how long before "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" will be picked over for hip-hop sampling. (A related Onion-esque joke: "Yesterday, a new witness was called in the criminal trial of 'Big X' for statutory rape: his and the alleged victim's eldest son, now seven years old....")

Also, an editorial in the Canada Free Press compares Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty to David Radler, through drawing a parallel to Mr. Radler's testimony and Premier McGuinty's pledge back in 2003 not to raise Ontario taxes; the editorial claims he both broke that promise in 2004 and covered it up through dissembling. Reading that editorial after going through Premier McGuinty's "initiatives" may very well prove to be instructive.

Douglas Bell of the Toronto Life Conrad Black trial blog was quoted at the bottom of Shinan Govani's latest report, whose subject is "Will one Gore gore the other?" Mr. Bell himself has a new entry in the blog, entitled "Ken and Barbie," that continues on the Maclean's conflict-of-interest theme.


Joseph Fosco said...

I have taken the liberty of compiling a list of offenders from the Chicago-land area (the same are in which Conrad Black was indicted, tried and convicted). Jurors and/or Judges have found these offenders guilty of felonies. All of them have served their time and are now home with their loved ones. Be advised that most of the offenders on this list have served less than half of the time that “arrogant” Conrad Black can face.
The offenders are as follows:

1) Ceaser Brock, attempted murder of a child (served 9-years).
2) Terrence Campbell, attempted murder of a child (served 8-years).
3) John Coleman, attempted murder of a child (served 9-years).
4) Santiago Collins, attempted murder of a child (served 9-years).
5) John Compean, MURDER of a child (served 14-years).
6) Erwin Feyrer, MURDER of a child (served 16-years).
7) Neftalih Garcia, attempted murder of a child (served 6-years).
8) Maurice Graham, MURDER of a child (served 15-years).
9) Willie Hallom, MURDER of a child (served 16-years).
10) Charles Jackson, MURDER of a child (served 8-years).
11) Marc Johnson, MURDER of a child (served 17-years).
12) Thomas Latham, MURDER of a child (served 12-years).
13) Fredrick Luckett, MURDER of a child (served 8-years).
14) Daniel Manzo, MURDER of a child (served 10-years).
15) Jorge Matos, attempted murder of a child (served 6-years).
16) William McClinton, MURDER of a child (served 13-years).
17) Cary Mixon, MURDER of a child (served 8-years).
18) James Craig Moore, MURDER of a child (served 14-years).
19) Eric Patterson, MURDER of a child (served 8-years).
20) Sherod Phillips, MURDER of a child (served 14-years).
21) Matthew Przybylowski, MURDER of a child (served 13-years).
22) Donte Quinn, attempted murder of a child (served 14-years).
23) Michael Quinn, attempted murder of a child (served 8-years).
24) Adrian Renteria, MURDER of a child (served 8-years).
25) Lisa Richmond, attempted murder of a child (served 5-years).
26) Deshawn Robertson, attempted murder of a child (served 7-years).
27) Quantis Robinson, MURDER of a child (served 14-years).
28) Ismail Rodriguez, attempted murder of a child (served 10-years).
29) Oscar Rosales, attempted murder of a child (served 7-years).
30) Raphael Smith, MURDER of a child (served 13-years).
31) Elvis Stevens, attempted murder of a child (served 14-years).
32) James Taylor, MURDER of a child (served 15-years).
33) Enriquez Valdez, MURDER of a child (served 14-years).
34) Ronald Ware, MURDER of a child (served 12-years).
35) McNeal Watts, MURDER of a child (served 16-years).
36) Dariell Wells, MURDER of a child (served 7-years).
37) Mark Wertschnig, MURDER of a child (served 13-years).
38) Leshorn Williams, MURDER of a child (served 15-years).

Sadly, all 38 of the offenders that I have listed here, who are all now home with their loved ones, are convicted of additional crimes (sex-crimes), therefore, requiring all of them to register on the Illinois Sexual Predators Web Site. Please note; their sex-crimes are all against children. The Illinois Sexual Predators Web Site and the Illinois Department of Corrections Web Site are my sources of information for the purposes of compiling my list.
It is an outrage that white-collar defendants face longer (or as long) jail terms than child killers (not to mention, white-collar cases, in large, are a wealth-redistribution mechanism; see Conrad Black’s recent comments in Men’s Vogue Magazine).
Some other thoughts: My lists of 38 offenders, like Conrad Black, are considered felons, the 38 offenders are widely thought of as “child killers,” and Conrad Black on the other hand, is widely thought of as “arrogant;” the one word that is most often used to describe Conrad Black, “arrogant.” I suppose people are saying about Conrad Black, “you arrogant person, you deserve more jail time than any of these 38 child-killers.” I have never been more conscience-stricken about being American than I am right now. Thankfully, Conrad Black and I have our religious bond.
Conrad Black’s brother-in-Christ, Joseph Fosco

Daniel M. Ryan said...

That's one of the peculiarities I saw, too. If you're interested, the only modern parallel I cam across was from Switzerland, where "crimes against a bank" rates serious jail time. The recently-deceased Paul Erdman was convicted under such a law, though for a lot less time than Conrad Black faces.

It would actually say volumes about America if the federal criminal code was amended to include "crimes against a public company."