Feature

Rod Blagojevich's TV blitz

The Illinois governor skips his trial, and makes his defense on the air

What happenedThe impeachment trial of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich enters its second day on Tuesday, with lawmakers getting their first chance to listen to audiotapes prosecutors say will prove corruption charges against him. (The New York Times) Blagojevich went on a media tour instead of attending the trial, telling CNN’s Larry King he was the victim of a “witch hunt.” (Chicago Tribune)

What the commentators saidBlagojevich doesn’t know when to quit, said Dana Milbank in The Washington Post. “His lawyer has quit, the mayor of Chicago calls him ‘cuckoo.’” But instead of taking this scandal seriously he makes a fool of himself on The View and tries to deflect charges that he tried to sell Barack Obama’s Senate seat by likening himself to a wrongly accused criminal in “Jimmy Stewart movie.”

Instead of “yukking it up,” said the Chicago Sun-Times in an editorial, Blagojevich should try explaining all those “incriminating conversations recorded by the feds.” The governor claims he’s boycotting the trial because the Senate rules prohibit him from calling witnesses, but if that’s so he should protest the rules in court. If he’s innocent, “he has nothing to fear.”

Blagojevich may be guilty of “brazen self-promotion,” said Bill Press in The Huffington Post, but he has yet to be convicted of any crime. The trial in the legislature is unlikely to go his way, since he won’t be allowed to respond to any charges made by prosecutors. “In other words, he will be impeached not because he's guilty, but because he's unpopular,” which hardly seems fair.

Recommended

10 things you need to know today: July 27, 2021
Biden and the Iraqi prime minister
Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: July 27, 2021

The nicest Olympics ever
Olympic rings.
Picture of Jeva LangeJeva Lange

The nicest Olympics ever

This teen pilot wants to be the youngest woman to fly solo around the world
Zara Rutherford.
the sky's the limit

This teen pilot wants to be the youngest woman to fly solo around the world

Biden ends another war — sort of
President Biden.
Picture of Bonnie KristianBonnie Kristian

Biden ends another war — sort of

Most Popular

Tom Brady's 'gentle' roast of Trump at Biden's White House: 'Deeply vicious'?
Tom Brady, Joe Biden
Quotables

Tom Brady's 'gentle' roast of Trump at Biden's White House: 'Deeply vicious'?

GOP's Portman says mass transit holding up Senate infrastructure deal
Rob Portman.
sunday shows

GOP's Portman says mass transit holding up Senate infrastructure deal

Melania Trump reportedly tried 4 times to block an election night party at the White House
Donald and Melania Trump.
should have listened to her

Melania Trump reportedly tried 4 times to block an election night party at the White House