Saturday, July 14, 2007

Jeff Randall, Idiot.

For an example of the atrocious reporting of the Conrad Black case look at Jeff Randall in the Daily Telegraph, Black's former paper.
In short, when he sold Hollinger newspapers to rival media groups, some purchasers paid a fee to guarantee that the vendor (Hollinger) would not return to the market with new titles to compete against those it had just offloaded.

These payments should have been shared out among all of Hollinger's investors. Instead, Black and his cronies trousered millions.

His defence, in many ways, summed up the arrogance of Black. For, instead of denying that he had received the money, Black willingly conceded that he and his close chums were the beneficiaries of a king's ransom in "non-compete" fees. His argument, however, was that he was entitled to them.
The problem with this is that Black was entitled to them, as the jury found in most of the cases. If you had bought a newspaper from Hollinger, and then forked out again for a non compete fee, you'd be pretty pissed off if Black had created a fresh company to launch competing publications. In other words non compete fees would be absurd if the only went to the legal entity of Hollinger, rather than the individual newspaper men who ran it. Apparantly this is 'arrogance'.

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