Sunday, November 23, 2003


So, a business interest which profits greatly from the war machine is going to help bail out the corrupt steward of a media empire which has been very good about promoting it:

A powerful banking group with close links to the Pentagon, which has also invested money on behalf of the Bin Laden family, is in talks to bail out beleaguered Daily Telegraph owner Conrad Black. The revelation suggests that Britain's bestselling broadsheet - coveted by rival newspaper barons because of its political influence - may not go under the hammer after all, as Lord Black tries to quell a shareholder rebellion in the face of allegations that he and several acolytes pocketed millions of dollars that was not theirs to take.

Daily Express owner Richard Desmond and the Daily Mail & General Trust, which owns the Daily Mail, are keen to buy the Telegraph titles, despite the fact that questions over the concentration of media ownership would be raised.

The Carlyle Group, known as the Ex-Presidents Club because of the number of former world leaders it employs, is considering taking a stake in Hollinger International, which owns the Telegraph titles, the Jerusalem Post and the Chicago Sun-Times, according to those close to the firm.

'It's unusual for a group of assets to come to the market like this. We would look to sell off the Jerusalem Post and Hollinger's stake in the New York Sun. Conrad [Black] would have to step out of management, but that does not mean he would have to let go of his equity stake,' said a Carlyle source. 'Ideally, we would look to take a 25-40 per cent stake. That would allow us to put people on the board,' the source added.

The move would represent a coup for Black, who is desperate not to sell the Telegraph titles, which have given him considerable influence within British politics and earned him a close friendship with Margaret Thatcher.