Blagojevich Arrested

Well this is a fun way to start the day.

The crux of the matter seems to be that Blagojevich was trying to get a bribe in exchange for an appointment to Obama’s vacated Seante seat, and may have even been trying to trade it for some sort of Presidential appointment. So far as that goes, I find it to be incredibly uninteresting. It certainly looks like the Obama people ran away for Blago as quickly as they could, and I very much doubt that any politician’s of note were dumb enough to get entangled in such a stupid, obviously illegal scheme with a Governor who was already under investigation and surveillance. The whole thing says alot for how stupid Blagojevich is but not a lot more.

From a substantive matter though, this is interesting:

ROD BLAGOJEVICH talked with JOHN HARRIS. ROD BLAGOJEVICH discussed the Tribune editorials suggesting that ROD BLAGOJEVICH be impeached, and told HARRIS that they need to have a conversation with “[Tribune Financial Advisor]” (as noted above, Tribune Financial Advisor is believed to be a top adviser to Tribune Owner who played a significant role in Tribune Owner’s purchase of the Tribune), Cubs Chairman, and Tribune Owner and explain that the Tribune is writing editorials criticizing ROD BLAGOJEVICH for taking actions like those Tribune Owner wants ROD BLAGOJEVICH to take “on this Cubs deal at the IFA.” ROD BLAGOJEVICH stated that because of the impeachment articles, “we don’t know if we can take a chance and do this IFA deal now.”[…]

HARRIS said he told Tribune Financial Advisor that things “look like they could move ahead fine but, you know, there is a risk that all of this is going to get derailed by your own editorial page.” HARRIS said that he told Tribune Financial Advisor that they need to have a discussion on how they might tone things down and change the focus of “that page.” HARRIS said that Tribune Financial Advisor said that is a delicate issue, that Tribune Financial Advisor wanted to come in and talk to HARRIS about it, and that Tribune Financial Advisor will talk to Tribune Owner preliminarily about it.[…]

During an intercepted call on November 11, 2008, ROD BLAGOJEVICH talked with JOHN HARRIS. ROD BLAGOJEVICH asked HARRIS about the Tribune issue. HARRIS said that he met with Tribune Financial Advisor the prior day (November 10, 2008), and that Tribune Financial Advisor talked to Tribune Owner and Tribune Owner “got the message and is very sensitive to the issue.” HARRIS stated that according to Tribune Financial Advisor, there will be “certain corporate reorganizations and budget cuts coming and, reading between the lines, he’s going after that section.” ROD BLAGOJEVICH responded, “oh, that’s fantastic.”

Every now and then someone points out the inherent conflict that comes with corporate ownership of media outlets, but rarely do you see the wages of the situation laid out so starkly. It’d be nice if someone might take the time to look at potential conflicts in reporting vs. the various holdings of its corporate owner, but who’s going to be able to do it?

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