Price to Play

Since Steve lives in Chicago, I’m sure the news coming out of there comes as little to no surprise to him.  He makes a very good point; the media is, for the most part, saying, “Rod WHO?!?”  But because of their blatant refusal to look this in the face right now this instant, I’m gonna pitch a fit.  I’m so sick of hearing about how biased FOX News is from liberals that I’m about ready to scream, and FOX is the only news outlet that is putting this scandal at center stage, where it belongs.

Why should the rest of the media be honest and unbiased about it?  It might just hurt the image of their precious Obamessiah.

Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich has been arrested today on federal charges of bribery and corruption in a “pay to play” political scandal that could put him in prison for a very long time.  His wife and one of his deputies was in on it, too.  The biggest accusation–and this was all confirmed by wiretapped conversations–was that he was trying to sell President-Elect Barack Obama’s now-vacant senate seat.  He was caught saying this several times, in a variety of ways: “it’s a f—ing valuable thing.  You just don’t give it away for nothing.”

Next is the accusation that he attempted to influence the staffing at the Chicago Tribune.  The Tribune Company, the business that owns the Trib, had requested state funds due to their slouching sales; Blagojevich, angry over editorial columns in the Trib that were critical of him and Obama, basically told them they’d get their money if they got rid of the offending writers: “fire all those f—ing people, get them the f— out of there and get us some support.”  His wife chimed in on this one, too: “f— them,” she said during a conference call with the deputy and a Tribune Co. representative during a call about selling Wrigley Field and the Cubs, “hold up that f—ing Cubs s—!”

He was also involved in soliciting high-ranking government jobs for the highest bidder.  Chicago socialites such as Tony Rezko, Stuart Levine and Ali Ata were doing business with the state and giving political donations.  In return, Blagojevich was trying to secure state jobs and funding, as well as appointment to government commissions and boards.

What’s most disgusting to me, though, is the governor’s threat to yank back $8 million in state funding for a children’s hospital.  His reason?  He didn’t get the $50,000 political contribution that he wanted from the hospital.  That disgusts me more than I can say, because children’s medical issues and funding is a huge issue for me, particularly pediatric oncology research.  The hospital he threatened has a top-notch pediatric oncology team.  It also has the leading research on ADHD and has won awards for it’s treatment of cystic fibrosis.  That was what the governor was threatening, and it was all over a piss-ant political contribution.  He was caught on the wires literally saying on several occasions, “I’m in this to make money.”

Obama has denied being in contact with Blagojevich over his empty senate seat.  That’s funny, because Obama’s spokesman, David Axelrod, said something completely different about two weeks ago (something he’s now trying to recant–convenient).  Blagojevich was trying to use that senate seat to secure $300,000-a-year jobs for himself and his wife with unions and nonprofit organizations.

Obama involvement or no, the mainstream media’s attempt to fight tooth and nail to keep Sarah Palin in a negative spotlight any which way they can (as per Steve’s post today) is unbelievable.  ABC didn’t post this as big news until the evening edition, when it became clear that everyone wanted to know about it, and some other stations have yet to put it on the front section.  Blagojevich is facing a possible 30-year prison term and a $500,000 fine, and Yahoo! news is trying to slough it off.

Fair and balanced?  Puh-leeeeeze.  Of the past six Illinois governors, four have been convicted of corruption (the last one was sentenced to seven years in the clink).  28 Chicago aldermen have been convicted in the past decade.  I’d say this screams to put a stop to Chicago politics.  It also scares the hell out of me to find out what we’ve got in store for the next four years.  Obama has already shown his propensity for this kind of dirty game.

(Oh…and by the way, I am NOT calling in gay tomorrow.  That is just about the stupidest thing I have ever heard in my freakin’ life.)