Conrad Black: Don’t Blame Murdoch

Don’t blame Murdoch—or rather, don’t let the establishment off the hook, former Canadian media baron Conrad Black writes in a column Thursday. Black—who should know something about lawbreaking in the media, as he is about to return to jail for it in Sept.—calls Murdoch a perfect villain, a “great bad man,” and the most successful media owner ever. And he says that while Murdoch likely didn’t break laws, News Corp. should lose its satellite telecasting license if it “is reasonably found guilty of institutional criminality.” But the real blame, Black says, belongs with the British establishment, which has pretended to revile Murdoch for decades even as it shamelessly toadies to him—despite his repeated betrayals of allies. “There must be a reckoning with decades of establishment cowardice towards someone whose nature has been well known throughout that time. The fault is the British establishment’s and it must not be seduced and intimidated, so profoundly and durably, again.”