The editor of the New York Sun invited media mogul Conrad Black, now a convicted felon, to write for the newspaper from prison.
Seth Lipsky, who previously founded and edited the English-language Forward newspaper, on Monday called together his entire staff at the Sun, a conservative daily that claims a readership of 150,000, for a 4:05 p.m. meeting at which he delivered a rousing defense of Black. Lipsky stopped his speech several times to urge reporters not to answer the phones, according to a source.
A Chicago jury last week convicted Black, a founding investor in the Sun, on three counts of mail fraud and one count of obstruction for carrying out fraudulent business deals totaling up to $60 million.
“I don’t mind saying that it is a sad turn,” Lipsky said in a piece published Tuesday in the Sun. “In my view, Conrad Black is one of the greatest newspapermen of his, or any, time – and, in my own career, he has been an inspiring partner and a friend.
“If he does go to prison, I hope he will be able to send us some columns. I don’t know whether he will want to or be permitted, but the invitation is out,” Lipsky, known for his loyalty to underlings and friends, told his staff. “And to those of you who might handle his copy here at the Sun, I say this: Please treat any of his dispatches as coming from a man who made your newspaper possible and, when you edit his prose and put it into print, remember that the honor is ours.”