Is This Asshole Less of an Asshole Since He’s Been to Prison?

It matters so much, guys, that Conrad Black is sorry:

Brian Stewart said Black now believes that many people — including himself — have been wronged by the U.S. justice system, giving him a sense of sympathy for those who have had the “roughest rides in America.”

“Once he saw the real injustice around him like that, which in his past life he wasn’t really in a position to see, he reacted,” said Stewart, who visited Black three times in prison while he served the first part of his sentence.

“Everyone who knows him that I’ve talked to — who’s known him for a long time — says the transformation has been impressive.”

It’s not that I’m not interested in the lasting changes prison might have wrought upon Conrad Black. That’s a fascinating topic, especially in a journalistic climate that mistakes celebrity feelings for actual, you know, stuff. However, for the benefit of those of us who saw newsrooms owned and controlled by his company decimated while he fudged the numbers and raided the safe, here are some questions that aren’t being asked while we debate whither Lord Black of Crossharbour:

Are the people unemployed as a result of his thieving and general fuckwittery any less unemployed, or broke, since Conrad Black went to prison?

Are the communities that lost their major or in many cases only watchdog on public fraud and waste when Mr. Black’s papers were contracted or closed any better off?

Are the stories he and his minions demanded remain uncovered — or demanded be covered in contravention to common sense and facts — any less true, or any less false?

Is he planning on liquidating every single one of his assets in order to make right what he did?

And if the answers to all of those are no, why should we give a flying pinkfuck how his personality has changed? What does that profit any of us, if he’s sorry or even if he isn’t, if he cares more for the wrongly convicted (hey Conrad, you weren’t) or if he doesn’t? How does that change anyone’s situation? What are we supposed to do, give him a cookie? We have to get past this thing where people’s feelings are put on a level of significance with their actions, where if he’s sorry then that matters to anybody except him and his therapist.

During the same court appearance, Black’s wife, Barbara Amiel, fainted when the judge ordered him to return to prison. Black’s release will end a separation that has been “terribly tough” on both of them, Stewart said.

“I think he’s interested in a productive, somewhat sedate existence and nowhere near as controversial, in terms of feuds and that, as it used to be.”

Call me when he does something significant to demonstrate his remorse. You know what, don’t even call me then. Call me when he invents a time machine and finds a way to not have been such a stupendous fuckhole in the first place, because that’s pretty much the only thing he could do to make up for what he’s already done.

Not that, beyond improving the language in his press clippings, he has any intention of making anything up at all.


5 thoughts on “Is This Asshole Less of an Asshole Since He’s Been to Prison?

  1. Ah everyone loves a redemption story! And we thought this was a mere American invention! Lookie, the UK has them too! Those Jack Abramoffs, Chuck Colsons and G. Gordon Liddys, America’s stupendous fuckholes who sold the nation down the river for their crackpot ideology, only to see the light once they’re incarcerated and emerge to … continue to sell the nation down the river for a different crackpot ideology.
    The only shocking thing here is that Black didn’t find Jesus. But hey, there’s still time!

  2. As the old joke goes — a prison reformer is a conservative who’s been to jail.
    Didn’t like Black before, don’t like him now and I’m seriously pissed that Harper has let him back into the country.

  3. How is it that when someone from the upper rungs of society goes to jail, the public comments and the web pages (as well as the press stories) are about how they’ve done enough/ they’ve served their time / they’re really a good person that made a mistake / they will be exhonerated when the real truth comes out / don’t crticize them too harshly in consideration of their families / they’ve found a moral system such as God or the need for reform (as Beqauzeaux remarks).And when released, they’ve done their time and deserve a hearty welcome back?
    Yet when someone from the lower socioeconomic strata is accussed, the bulletin boards erupt in a flood of vindictive comments of how they are scum / don’t deserve to be on this earth / need to act like countries that cut off body members / etc.

  4. Conrad Black is the guy who said that one of my favourite writers (Linda McQuaig) should be “horsewhipped on national television.” Absolutely nothing redeems that kind of crap, especially when it comes from a guy with as much money and power as he has. Harper never should have let him back into the country, but it was sort of inevitable.

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