Rod Blagojevich, the embattled Illinois Governor whose name everyone now knows how to pronounce incorrectly, has been seen on some 20 or so talk shows lately. This is odd in the first place because his name is hard to pronounce, but in the second place he's undergoing impeachment right now. Well, maybe it's not really odd. It seems to me he has given up on any chance of not being impeached, so he's concentrating his efforts on the forthcoming criminal trial. Whatever his purpose or strategy, he has never been convicted of any crime. Someone should tell David Broder, punditorum praefectus, who cannot believe his colleagues would talk to a person such as Blagojevich. He writes:
But even as Blagojevich has abandoned any pretense of mounting a legal defense of his actions, he has launched a full-scale public relations campaign, hitting the morning talk-show circuit to parade his impudence under the guise of proclaiming his innocence.
It's as if there were no bill of particulars filed against him and approved almost unanimously by the members of the Illinois House of Representatives, who have endured six years of his misgovernment.
By simply asserting the claim that the state Senate trial on those charges is a "witch hunt," Blagojevich has tried to duck responsibility for his foul words and deeds while cloaking himself in phony martyrdom.
When Blagojevich was interviewed on TV and cable networks, the first — and maybe only — question should have been: "Why the hell are you here in our studio instead of where you belong: testifying under oath in the Senate trial in Springfield?"
Instead, he was allowed to charge, falsely, that the rules of the trial prevented him from calling defense witnesses or making his own case.
To my chagrin, the PR offensive seems to be working, not only with TV talkers who often confuse celebrity with more serious attributes, but with journalists who ought to know better.
Pardon my being direct, but what a numbskull–Broder I mean. (1) Blagojevich is going to proclaim his innocence (guilty people sometimes do); (2) they will pretend there are no credible charges against them; (3) they will claim the trial is politically motivated; (4) they have a right not to incriminate themselves so they don't have to testify or even show up; (4) people are allowed to lie constantly on TV (cf. ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, MSNBC, CNN, CNBC, ESPN); (5) the blame for believing Blagojevich falls on those who believe him, if he's lying.
Most of all, however, Blagojevich has been accused of foul deeds, despite David Broder's prudishness, it's not illegal to use foul words.