the view from the top of the pyramid of power
Trustworthy Freedom Fighter
Joined: 04 May 2014
|Posted: Mon Aug 18, 2014 4:49 pm Post subject: Conrad Black/Bilderberg
|Interesting extract from Mitch Diamantopoulos`s thesis being an account of the Rise of the New Right published in Dec 2000...
Inheriting seven million dollars and a lucrative handful of corporate directorships
and contacts from his father, Conrad Black rose quickIy through the ranks of the
Canadian corporate establishment. At 21, he was the youngest member ever of the
exclusive Toronto Club (Newman,1982:41). He had acquired his first newspaper at 22
(BIack,1993:229). At 32, he was declared Man of the Year by the Globe and Mail's
Repofi on Business (SikIos,1995:6. He was the youngest CIBC director in history
(Black, 1993: l42), had published his memoirs by the modest age of 49 (Black,1993), was
heading the fastest growing press empire in the world and launching a new national daily
newspaper in Canada al1 by the age of 54. According to Black, however, it was at the age
of 37, when he attended his first Bilderberg Club meeting, that his horizons expanded
beyond the confines of Canada. Bilderberg was Black's first contact with several future
Hollinger directors and International Advisory board members. "Not having very
satisfactory recollections of school days, nor being a very enthuusiatic or observant
alumnus, Bilderberg has been the closest 1 have known to that sort of camaraderie," Black (1993) recounts. While forma1 inclusion in the inner sanctum of the =lobal corporate elite
reaffirrned and renewed BIack's ideological cornmitment, the sudden expansion of
contacts also extended the horizon of his ambitions. "It was from Bilderberg that Our
cornpany's eventual vocation as an international newspaper organization arose," he claims
Just as Black's purchase of Satzcrday Night magazine in 1987. secured at a
Bilderberg meeting, commanded respect with the domestic elite, his acquisition of the
Daily Telegraph granted him the "stature to live the kind of life he had always envisioned
for himself -- not just an acquaintance of the international elite, but one of them"
(Siklos,1995:157,173,385). It was also through Bilderberg that Black was approached
with the Daily Telegraph proposition (Black,1993:334).
The acquisition of the Daily Telegraph, frequently referred to as the 'Torygraph'
in Britain, also brought Black into the commanding heights of British conservative
politics (Black,1993:417), According to former British Prime Minister Margaret
Thatcher's senior foreign policy advisor Charles Powell, the first meeting of Black and
Thatcher was "Love at first sight -- in a political sense" (Siklos,1995: 157). Thatcher was
the keynote speaker at Hollinger dinners in 1988 (Black, l993:39O) and in 199 1, She and
her husband were among twenty guests at Black's wedding to Barbara Amie1 Black
Although Black's modest holdings in the U.S. didn't earn him the same familiarity
with President Ronald Reagan, he admired him a great deal. In 1984, Black happily paid
$2,000 when the president spoke to a fundraising dinner at Palm Beach
(BIack, 1993: 84,248,25 1). B lack had been spending winters in Palm Beach since 1978. Reagan travelled to speak to kindred spirits in Canada on the Hollinger company plane
and addressed a Hollinger dinner in 1989 (Siklos,1995:211).
Black's interests in the US. gradually increased through American Publishing,
which was launched in 1987. By 1995 it was ranked the twelfth largest U.S. chain by
circulation and second Iargest when measured by the number of newspapers operated.
The Blacks had been spending an increasing amount of time in Manhattan before
American Publishing bought them a rent-free apartment there for US. $3 million in 1994.
This, combined with the purchase of a $1 million Chicago apartment for David Radler on
the company tab, suggests that the U.S. will be the next target for major acquisitions by
Hollinger. As Black puts it, "In my position 1 move around according not exactly to what
municipality I most like the public parks in, the theatres or the skyline. 1 go where my
essential econornic interests lead." This theory is further supported by the make-up of the
Hollinger International Advisory Board, launched in 1990. A Bilderberg-style think-tank,
it includes luminaries such as Margaret Thatcher, but also Americans Richard Perle, Paul
Volker, Zbigniew Brzezinski, David Brinkley, William F. BuckIey Jr., George Wi11 and
Henry Kissinger. The Board also includes former Canadian arnbassador to the US. Allan
Gottlieb (Siklos, 1995:228-229, 3 83-389). As Black describes his recruitment strategy,
"load (these boards) up with people who can be helpful to you ... I'm not just interested in
trotting these people around" (E3 lac k, 1993:230).
Clearly, corparate ownership and controt of the mass media - particuIarty daily
newspapers - has played an important role in the efforts of the corporate elite to build
their agenda-setting and legitimation capacities in recent decades. As the New Right
revolutions demonstrate, it is an important organizational fulcrum in the transformation of economic power into ideological and political dominance. Popular classes, their
defense organizations and leaderships continue to ignore the politics of mass media, and
the development of an alternative media strategy, at their peril.
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