Barnum and Blago

As the Illinois Senate prepares to try him, and likely remove him from office, Gov. Rod Blagojevich's media circus rolls on.

By Alex Koppelman

Published January 26, 2009 5:35PM (EST)

Memo to Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich: Comparing yourself to Mohandas Gandhi, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela is one thing. But to say you feel like Jimmy Stewart's character in "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington"? Well, that's going a little too far.

OK, admittedly, everything about Blagojevich's latest foray into the national media spotlight is over the top. While he's being interviewed on what seems to be every possible channel, his trial in the Illinois state Senate is starting -- and he's skipping it, complaining that "the fix is in" and saying, "I'm talking to Americans to let them know what's happening in the land of Lincoln. If they can do it to a governor, they can do it to you." Also, he's now claiming that his impeachment isn't about, say, his alleged effort to sell President Obama's Senate seat -- an effort that the feds caught on tape -- but about the Legislature's desire to raise the income tax. Oh, and he's driven away his lead attorney. Then, last but certainly not least: He said Monday that he considered appointing Oprah Winfrey to Obama's seat.

Unfortunately for Blagojevich, while the media has been more than happy to give him airtime, there was only so long interviewers would let him ramble on without actually calling him out, and that time appears to have come. On "The View" Monday morning, Barbara Walters took the governor on, hitting him repeatedly with tough, uncomfortable questions. And once the real interview was done, the show's other hosts simply made Blagojevich look silly --  one, Joy Behar, even asked him to do an impression of Richard Nixon saying, "I am not a crook." (He declined.)

At this point, the only thing that could make this whole spectacle even weirder is if Blagojevich did a live interview with Geraldo Rivera. Which is, presumably, why Blagojevich is reportedly doing a live interview with Geraldo Rivera on Fox News at 2 p.m. ET Monday.



Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

MORE FROM Alex Koppelman

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Rod Blagojevich War Room