The Barbershop has re-located

The proprietor has moved the shop to ChicagoNow, a Chicago Tribune site that showcases some of the best bloggers in the Chicago area. You can logo on to the Barbershop home page here. The ChicagoNow home page is here.

You'll still be able to post comments with the same ease as in this location. The proprietor also will keep this web site alive if you wish to review old posts.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Chicago jury convicts a British lord

Chicago juries are in the habit of sending their own politicians to prison for a startling variety of corrupt acts, but none that I know of has had the pleasure of sending an esteemed member of the British House of Lords to the jug.

This will be a shock to their lordships, but Chicago juries recognize a fraud when they see one, even though the British peerage doesn't. It also will be a great shock to conservatives, especially in Canada, who insisted that Black was a victim of a politically motivated trial. Black was esteemed by certain conservatives, and managed to dupe some of them, such notables as Henry Kissinger and Richard Perle, to serve on his board.

But this is one conservative who is not lamenting his conviction. I leave to others to comment on whether the jury was right or wrong; I believe I shouldn't because I wasn't in the courtroom to hear all the evidence nor in the jury room to listen to all the arguments. I followed that practice and kept my mouth shut about the acquittal of O.J. Simpson. So, without saying the jury was right or wrong, I can t say I don't feel sorry for a man who made my life, and that of so many others who had worked for him, miserable.

Black took a struggling, but fine newspaper, the Chicago Sun-Times, and worsened its struggles. Cutting budgets, demeaning the staff and imposing his sense of what a newspaper should be on a publication in the nation's best newspaper town, brought the Sun-Times to new lows. Well, at least we presume so, because under his proprietorship the paper's official circulation figures were jiggered to make things look better than they were. Black also subjected the paper to the nastiest man I ever knew in this business by appointing David Radler as the Sun-Times publisher. Only the dedication of a determined and talented staff kept the paper afloat while it was being torpedoed by Black and Radler.

Radler turned on Black and got a reduced sentence in exchange for his testimony against his former boss. What now would be sweet is if the two had to share the same cell. They deserve each other.

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