Blago is The New Media Pinata. A Whacky Devil. Great Fun!

02/27/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Blake Fleetwood Former reporter for the New York Times and Daily News; taught Political Science at NYU

Blago Should go Directly to Gitmo!

Guantanamo is not US soil and people there have a long tradition of being judged guilty without the possibilty of any kind of trial.

Granted Blago's antics -- and his expletive laced insider glimpse of the political process -- are a boom to the owners of newspapers, blogs, television anchors and media of all kind -- a political Paris Hilton.

Maureen Dowd loves him. Quote, "I love his beady little eyes. I love his Serbian shock of hair. I love his flaring nostrils."

Blago is the new media pinata -- a whacky devil who lives in a trees. Great fun.

But this should not blind us to the reality that serious democratic and common sense rights are being casually trampled in this media-political feeding frenzy.

The Illinois Attorney General took the unjustified -- and eventually unsucessful -- step of seeking the Illinois Supreme Court to remove Blagojevich.

Today, after being impeached by the Illinois House, the Senate is hearing evidence to remove him, which it will probably do in the next few days.

Dangerously, the Illinois legislature has the right to impeach and remove officials "for any reason" they want, with a two thirds vote. You don't have to be convicted of "high crimes and misdemeanors " as is required under federal law. Any reason will do.

Surely, this is an unconstitutional invitation to Mob rule.

As Blago has been busy pointing out all week on Good Morning America, The View, Larry King Live, and Nightline. he is not allowed any meaningful opportunity to defend himself. He can't see the evidence against him, nor can he subpoena evidence that the US Attorney has.

Patrick Fitzgerald's case seems a little iffy. He arrested Blagojevich before indicting him -- an unusual move in political cases -- and is taking four months to go to a grand jury... The word is that he doesn't have enough right now, and is hoping that the worms will turn on Blagojevich by the time of a trial.

Let Fitzgerald bring his evidence and his case.... let Blagojevich be tried...Fitzgerald probably will win, and if he does, Blago will resign.

But for the time being, he is innocent until proven otherwise, and the legislature should not use rumors to overturn the 12 million voters who twice elected Blagojevich.

Is it possible that Blago is just a jackass .... and not a criminal?

Government by Media Mob rule -- a relatively new byproduct of our 24/7 culture of "scandal de jour" -- has been rampant of late.

Bill Clinton's impeachment, was a travesty. Other easy examples come to mind,Gov. Elliot Spitzer, and Jim McGreevey.

The salacious media Inquisition -- usually ignited by puritanical religious zealots -- becomes so overwhelming that the victims usually resign. But sometimes, the high profile targets are innocent and democracy suffers.

Alexis de Tocqueville warned that the greatest threat the United States faces is the tyranny of the majority. But even he couldn't have anticipated the fury of a technological firestorm, flashing back and forth though interconnected blogs, internet, cable, television, and newspapers.

De Tocqueville's prescient account of his travels through America in the 1830s, Democracy in America, is both an admiration of American democracy, and a cautionary tale about its fragility.

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