A federal judge has ruled that former Illinois governor and loony pseudo-celebrity Rod Blagojevich can indeed appear on "Celebrity Apprentice" in March. U.S. District Judge James Zagel decided on October 20 not to block Blagojevich from appearing on the show, though he expressed concern that the former governor, whose corruption trial is set for next June, may cause problems by saying too much on the show about his case and thus opening the door for prosecutors to use his words against him.
"There are significant confessional elements on that show," said Zagel during a status hearing in the case. (It wasn't clear if he had watched it for purposes of the case or if he is just a fan.) "People do say things about themselves."
Surely not Blagojevich, though, just because he appeared on every talk show in the known universe during the 48 hours before his impeachment to say things about himself, who not too long ago subjected innocent members of the public to his Elvis impersonation, and who now is voluntarily appearing on a show run by Donald Trump. Surely he of all people will keep a low profile and exercise good judgment. Frankly, the chance that Rod Blagojevich might say something deeply incriminating on national television is the only thing that could get me to watch Celebrity Apprentice, although the possibility of a shoving match between him and Trump is also appealing.
The judge asked the two sides to confer and see if they could agree as to what Blagojevich could and could not say on the show, and maybe they will, for whatever good that might do.
After the hearing, one of Blagojevich's lawyers argued that his client should be free to say whatever he wanted and that the idea it would "open the door" was ridiculous. "Open the door to what?" he said. "These people [prosecutors] tape-recorded the inner sanctum of the governor's office, tape-recorded conversations he was having on the telephone." Yeah, we call that a "wiretap," and for this one they probably even had a warrant, quaint as that may be. Besides, what's the argument there? That he couldn't possibly come up with anything worse than what he's already said on tape? Granted, they did tape him referring to the opportunity to appoint a senator a "gold mine," but I have faith that he can come up with something much worse than that. Don't underestimate this man's ability to come up with stupid things to say.
Blago apparently did not bother to show up for the hearing to determine whether or not he could be on the show, because he was already in New York taping the show. Low profile, good judgment, you're fired.
Link: Chicago Tribune