Blagojevich Trial, Radio Silence Start Tomorrow
It's been a grim week so far -- oil continues to spill out into the Gulf, the Israeli Army fought a Gaza aid flotilla and Al and Tipper Gore are separating -- and it's about to get grimmer. Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, who has been going to hilarious lengths to protest his innocence, to university students, on Celebrity Apprentice and more recently on his weekly radio show on Chicago's WLS radio, has gone on hiatus.
Jury selection for Blago's federal corruption trial begins tomorrow and, in anticipation, top brass at WLS announced this morning, just before Blago appeared on the station's Don Wade and Roma Morning Show, that the former governor would be deprived of his bully pulpit until the trial is over.
Oh, Rod, we will miss you!
Fortunately, the former governor was in top form with Don and Roma this morning. You can listen to him here.
Among other things, Blago appointed himself the show's special correspondent from the trial (the two hosts apparently had no choice but to acquiesce), somewhat gracelessly evaded Wade's questions about the upcoming trial (and was called on it), explained that he had been unable to present convincing evidence of his innocence because his lawyers had advised him to keep quiet until the trial, declared his dislike for Illinois House Speaker Mike Madison and his daughter State Attorney General Lisa Madigan (who many believe will take over from Blago appointee Roland Burris, once that controversial Senate seat comes up for election), called the government prosecutors "sinister" and criticized President Obama for having a backyard cookout last weekend instead of visiting the Gulf.
He did, however, resist baiting questions about why Obama neglected to visit him during his Memorial Day visit and whether the President was conducting secret meetings with Blago's political enemies while he was in town.
As for his regular callers, Blago had a special message: "I want to thank our station for the opportunity it gave me through this sort of wilderness period to be able to express my views and talk to listeners and one of the things I'm really going to miss during this hiatus are my callers....I'm gonna miss 'em, but I can't wait to see 'em again when this is all over."
Right back atcha, Rod.