The [Friday] Papers
BREAKING: Blago to give press conference at 2 p.m. A Beachwood door prize to any reader who correctly predicts which poet he recites.
LIVE-BLOGGING BLAGO . . .
* It's all about keeping him out of prison at this point. But will the jury pool remember when the trial won't happen for two years?
* Contest entries so far include Emerson, Poe, and Henley ("Invictus").
* Cable news can't get enough. Fox is all over Daley calling Blago cuckoo.
* On WLS, Blago apologized for his "salty" language captured on wiretap. As if this isn't the way they all talk - and many of us - in private. Please, people.
* On Fox News, they're calling it Planet Blago.
* "I've come up with some creative defenses in my career, but this is unique," a lawyer-pundit just said on Fox."It's a big pile of cuckoo."
* I'm watching Fox because they've consistently had the funniest coverage of this mess.
* "This is Planet Blago," Chris Wallace says. "No rules, no logic that makes sense anyplace else."
* The second 2-minute warning. "You know how time works on Earth," Shepherd Smith begins to explain. "Every 24 hours . . . " As he explains how time works different on Planet Blago.
* "They don't call the sun that Planet Blago revolves around the sun, they call it the star." Goes on to explain. Starting to get tortured, Shepherd.
* He's on!
* "This is not an act of defiance, it's just the opposite." Bizarro Blago!
* "I'd like to also say how much I'd like to be there [in Springfield for his trial]." Is there a lie detector in the house?
* "They're not allowing me to participate in that process." Sure they are; you're the defendant they're about to convict.
* "It is a trampling of the Constitution." In what universe?
* "If they can do this to a governor, they can do this to any citizen in Illinois." Any citizen who trades political favors for campaign contributions, heh-heh!
* Rules 15F and 8B are the problems. Don't ask.
* Tells a parable about the cowboy who stole a horse and was about to be hanged without a fair trial. I guess his advisers said no more poems.
COMMENT: Who had Zane Grey in the pool?
- "Some people call me the space cowboy . . . "
* I don't believe I've ever seen a such a political Hail Mary as we are watching now.
* Calling on major newspapers and editorial boards across Illinois: "Get involved. Write editorials. Urge the state senate to change those rules . . . I can't do it unless the editorial boards weigh in." The irony meter just exploded.
* "I call on the Chicago Tribune editorial board." Have that McCormick guy write it!
* Prediction: The editorial boards will (again) invite Blagojevich to appear before them - and he will refuse unless he can limit the questioning.
* Says he can show he's done things right. But he's always had that chance. He can answer every question reporters have for him.
* It's true: he's muddling the procedures of a criminal trial with those of an impeachment trial.
* "If you're going to undo the will of the people . . . " The will of the people right now is for Blago to go.
* "This guy is trying to get the rules changed, he owns every cable network, he's got a live platform, it's kind of gross," Shepherd Smith says. "But it's too good not to listen."
* Jay Levine: If you think this process is unconstitutional, why don't you go to court? Blago: Uh, um, er, um . . . I'm not . . . [a lawyer?] . . . Ed Genson or Oliver Wendell Holmes or anyone like that . . . uh, that is still something that is under discussion.
* Arguing again that this is about taxes.
* Shepherd Smith's head just exploded. "As the mayor of Chicago said, this is cuckoo! This is the governor of Illinois! Are you kidding me?!"
* "I'm saying that if I'm removed from office, there's a big tax increase coming to the people of Illinois." To pay for the cost of prosecuting you?
* "He's talking to the potential jury pool, which is exactly why no local Chicago television station is carrying this live," Smith says. Not true. I've got it on WGN, CLTV and Fox News Chicago.
* "There's not a single news station in all of Chicago that's running this thing," Smith says again. And again. He's just wrong.
* I'd have to say Channels 2, 5 and 7 totally blew it. This is history, folks. The jury pool is not your concern, if that's really what this was about. Every local station should have had it live.
* "I wonder what color the sky is on Planet Blago."
* The national Fox is still on the air with this, but everyone else has bailed or is in commercial except WGN, which is carrying state Sen. Matt Murphy's response. Good for WGN. He's saying that some witnesses could be called, despite what Blago claims. "The most non-partisan experience I've ever had in the state legislature was putting these rules together," Murphy says. Largely based on Clinton and Meacham impeachment rules.
* "It's brilliant performance art," says Chris Wallace, back on Fox. Says it's an effective way to influence a jury pool, but you know what? After a jury hears the abundance of evidence laid out against Blago, he'll be convicted. A jury will be hearing much more than what is in the criminal complaint; the national media doesn't seem to understand the enormity of the indictment to come, resulting from a federal investigation that dates back to the beginning of the Blago administration.
That's enough. We now return to Planet Beachwood. Don't forget to tip your waitresses.
UPDATE: I've posted a comment and reply to item No. 19 below.
UPDATE: From my Facebook feed. Names have been removed to protect the unwitting.
* R cannot follow blago's complicated cowboy analogies.
* D thinks Blago's Frank Capra film would be called "It's a Wonderful Lie."
- Or "It's a wonderful 15 to life sentence . . . "
- Teacher said every time a bell rings Blago is lying.
- What is it you want, Patty? What do you want? You want the Cubs to pay up? Just say the word and I'll throw a lasso around it and pull it down. Hey. That's a pretty good idea. I'll give you the Cubs sale, Patty.
- Senate Candidate #5 cabled you need cash, stop. My office instructed to advance you up to twenty-five thousand dollars, stop. Hee Haw and Merry Christmas!
* J is looking forward to seeing my media friends at the Gov's presser today. Yes, there will be a 2-minute warning.
- Ah - but you avoid the real question . . . There may be "a two-minute warning." But it will be only one of how many?
- i say three two-minute warnings.
- My money is on a bakers dozen.
The [Friday] Papers
1. "Google Reports Drop In Profit For 1st Time."
Implores nation to do more searching.
2. I'm pretty upset about the Oscar nominations. How could Bobby Rush not get a best supporting actor bid?
4. Now that Obama has announced a policy shift regarding Freedom of Information Act requests, I hope news organizations file FOIAs about the Obama report on contacts with the Blagojevich administration. And also: all strategy memos about Tony Rezko.
Will he advise Mayor Daley to follow suit? They do share a media strategist, you know.
Or do they? Axelrod reportedly has closed up shop here in Chicago. Does that mean he no longer works for Daley?
5. Oh, and someone please FOIA the Yo Yo Ma scandal!
6. "Playboy Magazine is moving back to Chicago with a new editorial director after a six-year stint in New York failed to rejuvenate its sagging circulation," the Tribune reports.
7. "Asked by Politico how he could reconcile a strict ban on lobbyists in his administration with a deputy defense secretary nominee who lobbied for Raytheon, Obama interrupted with a knowing smile on his face.
"'Ahh, see,' he said, 'I came down here to visit. See this is what happens. I can't end up visiting with you guys and shaking hands if I'm going to get grilled every time I come down here.'
"Pressed further about his Pentagon nominee, William J. Lynn III, Obama turned more serious, putting his hand on the reporter's shoulder and staring him in the eye.
"'Alright, come on' he said, with obvious irritation in his voice. 'We will be having a press conference at which time you can feel free to [ask] questions. Right now, I just wanted to say hello and introduce myself to you guys - that's all I was trying to do'."
Maybe the reporter should file a FOIA request.
10. If Obama had to re-do the oath, does that mean everything he did before that on his first day isn't valid?
11. I'm pretty sure Daley has never said his oath correctly. Does that mean we can re-open Meigs and tear down Soldier Field?
12. Or does that mean Ed Burke is really mayor?
13. Nah, I think Daley amended the line of succession to run through each of his brothers after him.
15. "Daley Suggests U.S. Follow City's Lead, Lease Assets."
Isn't that what you do when you're running out of money? You know, sell your stuff?
Oh, yeah. America is out of money.
So we should just cash out?
Daley wouldn't say which assets Obama should lease/sell, but what is there besides federal highways and the military? National parks?
Rich Daley: Libertarian.
Didn't the U.S. government sell itself to the highest bidder years ago?
16. "Kids Beg For Better Schools."
Sorry, we broke them into parts and sold them to the highest bidder. Most will be converted to condos, the rest to streets with parking meters.
17. Blagojevich Balls
(via Capitol Fax Blog)
19. A Cellini guy isour new Transportation Secretary and nobody said a thing.
LaHood and Emanuel! People, don't you see?!!! All those calls for how we should no longer tolerate our sleazy political culture . . . what a farce.
Similarly, the education blogs were afire the last few weeks debating Arne Duncan's nomination for Education Secretary, but if you only got your news from the daily papers and local TV news you'd never know that he actually went through confirmation hearing.
I'll try to bring you some of the debate - which was mostly about the performance of Chicago's schools, you know, nothing we'd be interested in here - next week.
COMMENT: An anonymous e-mailer identifying himself or herself as "Sun-Timeser" writes:
the education blogs were afire the last few weeks debating Arne Duncan's nomination for Education Secretary, but if you only got your news from the daily papers and local TV news you'd never know that he actually went through confirmation hearing.
But I seem to recall a pretty detailed op-ed by Deborah Lynch in the Sun-Times last week . . .
REPLY: If you don't see how pathetic that is, you don't belong in the news business.
20. The Great Train Story
The Beachwood Tip Line: Spectacular vistas.
Posted on January 23, 2009
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