That Michael Bloomberg would wish to support Hillary Clinton is perfectly unexceptionable. Not so pardonable is his shabby, ad hominem attack on [Donald] Trump. He didn’t have to be so nasty and self-demeaning … His speech against his fellow billionaire [was] contemptible.
–Tubby Black, National Post, July 30, 2016.
Tubby Ad Hominems Through the Ages
On Black biographer Tom Bower, 2012. “He was a minor pestilence who had festered and pustullated on the edges of journalism and trash books and emerged like the expectant undertaker whenever any prominent financier was under siege. We’ll take the fillings out of his teeth and the roof off his house when we finally get round to dragging him into court. He’s a dead man.”
On Peter Newman, former Black confidante, 2011. “This putrefied gossip’s preoccupation with such lurid public ruminations was apparently inexhaustible.”
On Marie Josée Kravis, former friend, onetime Black trophy board member with Hollinger Inc., 2011. “She appeared to be embalmed. So white and taut was her face… Her rather high hair appeared to be set with magic glue, and her wax works face was not well served by dollops of red lipstick like Anne Hathaway’s in The Devil Wears Prada.”
On Warren Buffett, 2012: “History’s wealthiest useful idiot (in political matters) . . . the apotheosis of that unique American phenomenon, the very rich know-it-all.”
On John Ralston Saul, 1988. “A familiar and somewhat pitiful figure who has hovered and festered for some years on the fringes of Canadian government and fiction writing. Those who would retain his services should confine him to subjects better suited…to his sniggering, puerile, defamatory and cruelly limited talents.”
On Norman Mailer, 1969: “The bedraggled warhorse of American blowhardism.”
On recently deceased Canadian historian Ramsay Cook, who penned a critical review of Black’s biography of former Quebec premier Maurice Duplessis, in 1976: “A slanted, supercilious little twit [with] the professional ethics of a cockroach.”
On his trial prospects, Maclean’s magazine essay, 2007: “Those with any interest will soon be able to determine whether the braying, hideous tricoteuses among my accusers, especially in the British press, the prosecutors’ most obedient cheering section, or my supporters and I, have spoken the truth. It will be a relief to expose my accusers and their parrots and their false charges.”
On film critic Roger Ebert, ex-Black employee who supported Chicago Sun-Times employees in a labour dispute, 2004: “I vividly recall your avaricious negotiating techniques through your lawyer, replete with threats to quit, and your generous treatment from (Black lieutenant) David Radler, which yielded you an income of over $500,000 (U.S.) per year from us. …Your proletarian posturing on behalf of those threatening to strike the Sun-Times and your base ingratitude are very tiresome.”
On Paul Healy, Hollinger’s vice-president for investor relations, 2011: “has a little porcine face … so puffy it made his spectacles seem smaller, like those of a Stalin apparatchik … a maladjusted, scheming courtier, alternately fawning and snarling at the hand that fed him for so long.”
On press photographers, 2011: “Terribly overweight, faceless louts … There is something primitive and barely animate about them, and in swarms they are like a great mass of Jurassic rodents, grunting and heaving.”
On Judge Richard Posner of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, who lead the appeal panel that ruled against Black, 2011: Has a “sociopathic personality” and is “a dreary, unreasoning pustule of animus.”
On Phillip Slayton’s review of A Matter of Principle, Literary Review of Canada, 2012: “I can’t help wondering, briefly, where Canlit finds crabby, obscure reviewers like this; perhaps there is a home for hobbit ogres with literary pretensions somewhere in Canada. Or maybe this is a Mr. Hyde to an otherwise house-trained Dr. Jekyll who can be induced to come snorting out of the undergrowth snapping and gibbering on special occasions. Whoever this reviewer is has serious cognitive problems and apparently suffers from a merciless personality disorder as well. I have, he writes, forfeited his sympathy (which is the last thing I ever sought), but assure him that he has mine.”