Tuesday, March 20, 2007

They Know Who They Are


Oh, my:

If it had been hoped that the play-within-a-play that is the Conrad Black trial would proceed with a measured sense of decorum, those hopes have been vigorously dashed not by any of the main actors, but by the marquee supporting cast member.

For as Barbara Amiel Black, in the company of her husband and stepdaughter, advanced into an elevator in the federal courthouse here in Chicago, she turned on two journalists, Stefani Langenegger of CBC Radio News and Joanna Walters of The Daily Express, and, clearly losing track of the script that she should be following in the many weeks ahead, snapped.

This is what she said: "You are all vermin."

The "you" in question would be the throng of media assigned to cover the fraud and racketeering trial of the downfallen media baron, Conrad Black. According to the two journalists in question, Amiel, just seconds before the doors closed, lashed out at a television producer with an even more ill-starred choice of words. Or rather, word.

This is what she said: "Slut."

Which just couldn't be allowed to lay there like like a blob of still, but nonetheless quivering, goo the middle of Chicago's Division St.

So the good Lord's Lady started it spinning her web of goo almost immediately:

Barbara Amiel Black won't confirm or deny using harsh language to describe a female journalist covering her husband's fraud trial.

But the wife of Conrad Black says remarks were made in a private conversation with her stepdaughter and about "specific journalists" who "know who they are." Amiel Black reportedly referred to some reporters as "vermin" and called one a "slut."

Now a scant couple of days ago we wondered, only half-tongue in cheek, but certainly not mockingly, if Ms. Black, with her ever present reporter's notebook, was playing the part of Harper Lee and/or Truman Capote as she covers her husband's trial and the role that his former business partner, and now arch nemesis, Boo! Radler will play in it.

But with this new turn of events some may instead wish to ponder the possibility that Lady Black is actually doing her best play the part of a very different pundit/character from a very different opera.

However, it would be a grave mistake to suggest that Lady Black has suddenly decided make like a raven-haired version of, oh say, Ms. Anne Coulter.

Unless, of course, the latter suddenly starts wearing much better clothes.

And/or jewellery.



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