Owner Asper Described as Best Friend of Abortionist

TORONTO, Aug 24, 2001 ( – The National Post, which came on the Canadian scene in 1998, giving conservatives in Canada a major national media voice for the first time in recent history, has been completely overtaken by a notoriously liberal media mogul. Last summer, Conrad Black, the conservative founder and owner of the Post, sold a 50% share in the Post, along with all his other Canadian newspaper ventures to CanWest Global magnate Israel (Izzy) Asper in a $3.5 billion deal. Today the Post reports that Black has sold the remaining 50% of the paper to CanWest.

After last summer’s 50% sell out, Black responded to the concerns of conservatives who lamented that the relative fairness in coverage provided by his papers in Canada would be lost to the liberal monopoly in the print media. “The editorial position of the National Post … will only change if the editors wish them to, unless relations between the Aspers and ourselves change drastically after 2002,” said Black. Black noted that the liberal media “have used their virtual monopoly of the working press in the Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, CBC and Macleans these many years to impose a self-serving orthodoxy and strangle and ridicule all opposition.” Black said the “jubilation” of political opponents was “premature” and said “we have not changed our views, given up the fight, or handed over our newsrooms to political adversaries,” as he insisted on maintaining his 50% ownership and became publisher of the Post.

The Post reports that the current deal was made yesterday but the sale price was not disclosed. Black will leave his post as publisher on Sept. 1. Black expressed sadness but made a lame attempt to suggest that the paper would continue to offer views differing from the liberal media monopoly. “It’s sad. That paper was really our baby,” said Black. He said the paper would continue to provide news coverage “outside the Toronto media cartel that was serving up a fairly uniform diet.”

Black’s reassurances however are less than convincing. Israel Asper, was, last summer, reported to be a “best” friend of abortionist Jack Fainman. The Globe and Mail reported that “Izzy is the biggest media magnate in Canadian history” and suggested that that is “very bad news for Stockwell Day” since “Mr. Day is obsessed with abortion; one of Izzy’s best River Heights friends is Dr. Jack Faiman (sic), who has been threatened and shot at for performing abortions.” The Globe also noted “Izzy is fervently opposed to public funding of religious schools.”

For their part, CanWest is not wasting any time to take over at the Post. Leonard Asper, chief executive of CanWest, said CanWest will immediately take a much more active role in National Post management, even though the purchase of the balance of the Post does not close until March 31. Asper would not reveal the coming alterations. He offered, “At this hour, we have no intention of making some grand move to change the paper’s stance.”

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