Lord Conrad Black and Mark Steyn

Most Chicago natives will know the name Conrad Black well, and those beyond Chicago will most certainly have heard the name. In addition to being a publisher of major newspapers, he’s also a fine journalist and historian. Among the many matters discussed on this recent program was his great historical entry, Flight of the Eagle.

Mark Steyn is no stranger to lovers of talk radio. As a regular substitute for Rush Limbaugh, he is a remarkable journalist. He has recently turned his attentions to ‘The Hockey Stick‘, and has just published an excoriating criticism of much of the faulty science perpetrated to support Global Warming/Climate Change entitled A Disgrace to the Profession.

Both Canadians, Black and Steyn have keen eyes for political analysis. Along with Milt they covered a tremendous amount of ground in many fields beyond politics. Science, history, geography, energy, publishing and media, etc.

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There are 13 comments.

  1. LC Member
    LC

    Fascinating conversation. Apocalyptic stand-up, love it.

    • #1
    • August 20, 2015, at 4:47 PM PDT
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  2. Aaron Miller Member

    Steyn: “There’s nothing to show for the money except bureaucracy and paperwork. …You spend 9 trillion dollars and there’s nothing but a few more thousand bureaucrats and a few more government forms to fill in. There’s nothing to show for it.”

    It’s a wonderful point. But Mark is wrong on this one.

    Those new bureaucrats and new forms are not nothing. They are everything if the goal is to advance the liberal cause of a more powerful centralized government. Bureaucrats, programs, agencies, regulations, laws — They are all very difficult to repeal. And no single law promotes the fascist/socialist vision as much as a new institution that can be expanded in authority or application year after year.

    Suppose that the EPA establishes a new rule about water pollutants. That rule will be subdivided into further rules. It will be eventually be applied to liquids other than water and involve “toxins” of ever more dubious definition. New administrators and enforcement officers will be hired to apply these rules. Funding demands will increase.

    Each new rule and each new position is like a foot in the door. Good luck ever closing that door again. 9 trillion dollars worth of new laws and bureaucracies? That’s a degree of political change that can’t be rivaled by anything in American history since the New Deal.

    • #2
    • August 20, 2015, at 5:53 PM PDT
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  3. Aaron Miller Member

    I don’t exactly disagree with Black about the newspaper industry, but I’d humbly amend his industry forecast in at least one respect. Sure, site subscriptions will help many companies transition to online profitability. But that is a very limited view of profit potential for news companies.

    There are many other avenues such companies can and will take. Micro-transactions, add-ons, and merchandising are a few examples. For example, a consumer who is not interested in a $15-per-month subscription might like to gain access to a single article or buy a single day of access to the whole site for a buck. Online interactions are amenable to a much wider array of monetization options than a paper billing service. When billing can be automated, the sky’s the limit.

    Also, division between wire services and reporting services will be blurred as professional standards change and technology reduces barriers to content production.

    • #3
    • August 20, 2015, at 6:07 PM PDT
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  4. Benjamin Glaser Member

    This was phenomenal.

    Conrad Black and Mark Steyn’s comments on Trump and the other candidates needs cut out and laid out for separate listening.

    • #4
    • August 20, 2015, at 7:37 PM PDT
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  5. MarciN Member

    Nice to hear an accurate description of Nixon’s accomplishments and the nonsense that Watergate was.

    This was an excellent discussion. Thank you.

    • #5
    • August 20, 2015, at 11:12 PM PDT
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  6. Mr. Dart Inactive

    Benjamin Glaser:This was phenomenal.

    Conrad Black and Mark Steyn’s comments on Trump and the other candidates needs cut out and laid out for separate listening.

    Reading and listening to Steyn daily I knew his position but Conrad Black’s view as someone who knows Trump personally was very interesting. Milt’s long form interviews are usually very illuminating and this one was no exception.

    • #6
    • August 21, 2015, at 7:44 AM PDT
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  7. Wolverine Coolidge

    What a great podcast. Conrad Black’s book on Nixon was phenomenal. I love hearing him defend Nixon and bashing Woodward and Bernstein. Would love to hear John Dean get taken down one of these days. Was also pleasantly surprised to hear Black defending Trump.

    • #7
    • August 21, 2015, at 7:48 AM PDT
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  8. Aaron Miller Member

    I’ve heard Nixon called an effective President before. But I had never heard that the Watergate case was fraudulent. Did I understand Black correctly about that?

    • #8
    • August 21, 2015, at 8:28 AM PDT
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  9. Wolverine Coolidge

    Aaron,
    You should read Geoff Shepard’s recent book about Watergate. Short book making case that the Watergate defendants got shafted. Bear in mind he is a Nixon insider but he makes good case.

    • #9
    • August 21, 2015, at 11:54 AM PDT
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  10. Mikescapes Member

    Aaron Miller:I’ve heard Nixon called an effective President before. But I had never heard that the Watergate case was fraudulent. Did I understand Black correctly about that?

    Me too.

    Black is wrong about the criminal justice system. I’ll take his word on Stevens and Libby, but plea bargains are a necessary element. Court dockets are jammed and need to be expedited. Based on experience as a criminal defense attorney, African Americans are indeed a substantial population of the justice system. And the reason they plead in high numbers is because of guilt. They are represented and not coerced by prosecutors. They fear a jury trial, a finding of guilt and longer incarceration. And not because of all white juries like in the movies. This process may even be reversed in inner city trials where prospects of a successful verdict are greater.

    • #10
    • August 21, 2015, at 12:39 PM PDT
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  11. Aaron Miller Member

    The abundance of plea bargains might be preferable to an even more clogged trial system, but it remains a symptom of dysfunction.

    A just system proves guilt or innocence before assigning the prescribed punishment for the particular offense. When someone pleads guilty, there should be no eagerness to cut him a deal.

    The case overload could be addressed by many ways. We could repeal our over-abundance of laws and regulations. We could reform our penal system to scare those it should scare and hold those it should hold (without parole — another unjust but necessary pressure valve). The need of rampant plea bargains is an injustice.

    And the rate of conviction is troubling. I can believe that our police and prosecutors generally practice good judgment in determining when evidence is sufficient for successful prosecution. But flawed human nature and uncontrollable circumstances factor into any industry. We should see a Bell Curve in results. If we don’t, the game is rigged.

    • #11
    • August 21, 2015, at 1:17 PM PDT
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  12. Benjamin Glaser Member

    As an addendum I would recommend reading Conrad Black’s book on Statement of Principle.

    • #12
    • August 21, 2015, at 1:26 PM PDT
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  13. skoook Inactive

    Audio gold

    • #13
    • August 22, 2015, at 1:13 PM PDT
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