Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Explaining Blagojevich

The only thing creepier than Rod Blagojevich himself is the way TV hosts have been warmly welcoming him to their shows, as if he were a bona fide celeb. "Today, ladies and gentleman, we have Joseph Goebbels on the show! Herr Goebbels, what a pleasure to have you with us! So, how has the balmy Paraguayan climate been treating you?"

Scumdog Million-hairs (as The Daily Show calls him) received a warm welcome from Aaron Brown on CNN ("So, governor, welcome. It's good to have you here.") but the subsequent interview was interesting because, for the first time, someone tried to aggressively and relentlessly cut through the delusion and bluster. Not that it did any good, of course.

He's certainly not crazy. Understanding that impeachment and an end to his political career are foregone conclusions, Blagojevich is taking "any press is good press" to an extreme, sopping up coverage and generating buzz - any buzz! - for himself. He's only 53, and needs to stake out some sort of future for when he gets out of jail, so he's using the predicament to pump up his brand. If he could go on these shows and just say "Blah blah blah blah", he would. It's not about coherence or content, it's about raw national camera time. Hence the Kipling and the random blatherings about Gandhi and cowboys. He's simply marking time; filibustering, even. It's the single purest example of media whoring in the history of mass media.

When Obama's senate seat opened up, Blagojevich's famous quote (captured on FBI tape) was: "I’ve got a fucking gold mine here, and I’m not gonna let it go for fucking nothing!" The publicity value of his current notoriety constitutes yet another "fucking gold mine," and the ever-opportunistic governor is mining as aggressively as he can.

And it will work. He'll grab himself a talk radio show, a column, a career doing self-effacing cameos in satirical movies. Something. If you're iconically famous enough, there's always some way to be whored out. 

1 comment:

Chuck said...

I just can't believe no one has talked him into a Twitter account yet. He'd make a bigger splash there than Shaq. Maybe he could even keep it up while in jail.

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