23 November 2003

Citizen Black

How the mighty are fallen: "Black with his back up against the wall." Conrad Black is, of course, the man who started up the National Post five years ago as Canada's second national newspaper before relinquishing it two years later in a bid to be called "Your Lordship." Our own Hamilton Spectator was owned by him, as were numerous newspapers throughout North America. The Chicago Sun-Times is still, for the moment, one of his publications.

I must admit to having been ambivalent for some time about Black. On the one hand, I always appreciated the early National Post for putting Christianity in a favourable light when the other major papers in this country were quite overtly following a secularizing agenda and taking every opportunity to portray, e.g., the Roman Catholic Church as an oppressive, male-dominated, and mean-spirited organization.

On the other hand, it is difficult to love someone with more than an air of self-importance and even outright arrogance hovering about him. I was especially put off by his repudiating his Canadian citizenship just so he could acquire a life peerage in Britain's House of Lords. This amounted to selling his birthright for a mess of pottage.

We still need a major national publication that would skewer the pretensions of Canada's secularizing élites, but, to be honest, I would prefer someone other than Black to be running it, thank you.

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