Rick Mercer Report : Celebrity Tips with Lord Conrad Black
Tonight, embattled former press baron Conrad Black appeared on the Mercer Report in the segment called “Celebrity Tips” where the likes of Tie Domi and Stephen Harper have previously self-deprecated before the cameras.
In the piece, we see, among elegant surroundings, a lone figure walking authoritatively toward the camera, silhouetted by sunlight shining through large French windows. The camera zooms in, and it’s Lord Black of Crossharbour!
Black muses philosophically about the seasons and the perceived inability to preserve the beauty of red maple leaves, delivered in the sophisticatedly high language associated with Black’s haughtiness. Purposeful or not, he seems to be emulating Martha Stewart when he demonstrates that the leaves must first be pressed between two (of his own) books before ironing them between two pieces of wax paper.
Self-deprecating humour like this is funny because it comes from a previously powerful individual who has fallen from grace, someone who tends to view himself in only the most favourable light. When he is seemingly at his weakest, he lets you laugh at him.
From my perspective as a Canadian, one of Black’s major betrayals was abandoning his citizenship in return for a House of Lords peerage, and I think this appearance was a chance to atone for that move. Regardless of whether he was pushed by arch-nemesis Prime Minister Chrétien, Canadians know that citizenship is something worth fighting for and is one of the most valuable things someone can hold—more than riches, more than being Lord-of-something.
Will this appearance resonate with Canadians? Maybe. Is it part of a larger campaign to get his citizenship reinstated? Who knows? But for his legal appeal, it doesn’t really matter because jurisdiction lies in a US District Court in Illinois.
In a CP-Decima poll conducted last July, Canadians didn’t think too highly of him, so Mr. Black’s only hope appears to be that the court of law in the US will be more relenting than the court of public opinion in Canada.
To watch the clip, go to the site and do a search for “Conrad Black” in RMR videos. It’s October 2nd, Season 5. http://www.cbc.ca/mercerreport/backissues.php?season=5.
(cc flickr photo by Larry Coor)