Sunday, January 13, 2008

Will Connie the Con Continue to Pen from the Pen?


Much as I find Con-victed Felon Con-rad Black the egomaniacal equivalent of ten pounds of solid waste in a five pound, soggy paper bag, I do find his journalism at times amusing. I found myself dwelling on that as I read Lord Crossharbour's pre-incarceration op-ed piece in the National Spot endorsing John McCain as the next president of the United States.

Having recently torn a strip off two former friends, Henry Kissinger and William F. Buckley, it appears Con Con is in the mood to lay waste to all and sundry who may have the misfortune to catch his eye.

Here are a couple of his observations from primary night in New Hampshire:

"Though quite enterprising, Wolf Blitzer, when he worked for us at the Jerusalem Post, was one of the most avaricious journalists I have known. After about 40 assertions from him in 20 minutes on New Hampshire night, that CNN has "the top news team on television," I had either to change channels or find a sick bag. Prevention prevailed over convalescence, but the other channels weren't much better."

On, "... the greatest American political myth-maker of the last 35 years, Bob Woodward":

"He it was who first gave us the story of the cloven-footed, horned, trident-tailed Richard Nixon, (undoubtedly, in fact, one of America's 10 greatest presidents, despite his ethical and stylistic frailties). Woodward completely fabricated a visit to the hospital room of dying CIA chief William Casey, after the Iran-Contra side-show in 1987, in his supposedly non-fiction book, Veil. But Last Tuesday night, he not only admitted error, but volunteered what he had expected to say when Obama had won. He was the only honest commentator that I saw in hours of almost prayerful channel-surfing in search of one."

On Michelle Obama:

"With trepidation, but not embarrassment, I offer the thought that Mrs. Obama, a formerly disadvantaged alumna of Princeton and Harvard, to judge from her well-strategized appearances on national television in exiguous dresses and trousers, is as callipygian as Jennifer Lopez. (That is my only concession to political correctness for 2008; you look it up if you must.) I saw her on YouTube saying that, "Reform must be from the bottom up." In her well-favoured case, this could be a double-entendre."

On the glory of a commander-in-chief of proven, military mettle:

"In 29 of the 43 U.S. presidential elections prior to 1960, someone best known as a senior army officer was a serious nominee for national office and winner of electoral votes; successfully in 19 of those elections. These included some of the greatest names of U.S. history: Washington, Jackson, Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, Eisenhower, (successful, as a group, in 10 of 12 national elections.) Being demonstrably patriotic, brave, successfully commanding in crises and untainted by political log-rolling has never lost its appeal to Americans.

Since the Second World War, the only popular and successful war the country has had, the first Gulf War, yielded a hero who did not choose to run, General Colin Powell, (though he probably would have won if he had run). So since 1960, the parties have usually nominated men proud of their military background, but not in high command positions: Kennedy, Nixon, Johnson, Goldwater, McGovern, Ford, Carter, Bush Senior, Dole, Gore and Kerry (not to mention George Wallace's 1968 vice-presidential running mate, Air Force General Curtis "Lob one into the men's room in the Kremlin ... and turn North Vietnam into a parking lot" Lemay)."


"McCain, an authentic hero, though irascible and burdened with a bogus campaign-finance bill and unacceptable views on immigration, is in the best of the military-political tradition of integrity. He doesn't speak in clich├ęs or adjust his views for the fluctuating polls, and he does have a sense of humour. If he is the presidential nominee, the genius move would be to invite Bloomberg to be his running mate. At this early point, if the office, in a phrase from Washington's time, is seeking anyone, (i.e. being successfully sought by anyone), it is John McCain."

It's easy to understand Con Con's attachment to McCain. As Conrad's own appointment behind bars approaches, the Arizona senator's years of captivity and torture at the hands of the North Vietnamese must be enormously inspirational. For McCain made his imprisonment an ordeal endured in great nobility. Doubtless Mr. Black aspires to nothing less for himself.

What I wonder now is whether mister/inmate/Lord Black will continue to deliver himself of his views via the National Spot whilst a guest of the US penitentiary service. He'll undoubtedly have access to newspapers and television, even the internet perhaps. What a grand opportunity to extract revenge on those who have slighted and wronged him and to show the rest of us lesser mortals the true light of his brilliance?

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