Headline in Wednesday’s Chicago Sun-Times: “Day 2 in jungle: Patti gets immunity.”
Obviously I wasn’t the only person who noted the irony of Patti Blagojevich being granted immunity on “I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here!” The headline I wrote for my Tuesday night review of the former Illinois first lady’s second day as a reality TV contestant: “Blagojevich granted immunity on ‘I’m A Celebrity.'”
As for Wednesday night’s episode of “I’m A Celebrity,” Blagojevich once again laid low. That seems to be her modus operandi. Too bad she can’t convince her husband to adopt that same philosophy — he appeared on CNN’s “Larry King Live” again Wednesday evening.
“It’s with mixed feelings that I watch her on this program, because on the one hand, I want her to do well. On the other hand, we’d like to have her home,” the former governor said.
Rod said “these are the sorts of things that happen sometimes when you’ve been knocked down and you’re trying to rebuild and pick yourself up.” He also said “she’s making a sacrifice because she loves her kids, and eating that tarantula like she had to is an act of love. It’s a sign that this is a mother who loves her children.”
Note to mothers: If your children ever question your love for them, eat a tarantula. It’s an act of love.
King asked Rod about Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation refusing to accept a donation made by NBC on Patti’s behalf for her participation on the show. Rod said he understands why Bear Necessities rejected the offer, but …
“We chose Bear Necessities because children’s health care was the central part of what I was, uh, about as the governor of Illinois,” Rod said.
Uh, sure, Blago. Whatever you say.
It is worth noting that Bear Necessities is affiliated with Children’s Memorial Hospital, which the former governor is accused of trying to shake down for a $50,000 campaign contribution in exchange for a state grant. I don’t blame the group for rejecting any money connected to the Blagojeviches.
Now Children’s Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla., is set to get the money. And now we know Patti is being paid as much as Rod would’ve gotten if His Hairness was in the Costa Rican jungle instead of his wife. (All contestants are paid salaries and NBC donates money to the charities of their choice. MSNBC afternoon anchor Tamron Hall apparently doesn’t realize this. On the air Wednesday afternoon, Hall told fellow MSNBC anchor David Shuster, “I’m still confused because she said she was doing it for charity, but then she said she needed the money for her family. Was she going to split it with the charity?” In the future, Hall should try harder to learn all the basic facts about a story before talking about it on the air.)
Of course, throughout his interview with King, Rod defiantly continued to maintain his innocence despite evidence to the contrary in wiretapped telephone conversations recorded by the FBI. But he also made a bit of news by revealing that convicted fundraiser Tony Rezko is “a central figure in this case,” which is tentatively set to begin in spring 2010.
“He sent a letter to a federal judge saying that neither President (then-Senator) Obama or me were involved in any wrongdoing with him,” Rod said. “Now suddenly he emerges in this case in a different light.”
Rod also said the Blagojeviches considered a wrongful termination suit against the nonprofit organization that fired Patti after Rod was arrested on federal corruption charges last December. He doesn’t think they will pursue it.
King asked Rod about the recently released, taped conversation between Sen. Roland Burris and the former governor’s fundraising brother, Robert Blagojevich.
“I think that tape speaks for itself. It’s a fundraising call,” Rod said.
The former governor summarily dismissed the Burris controversy thusly: “He said no. I made him a United States senator. I mean, it’s just the opposite of what’s being alleged.”
Except Burris didn’t say no to writing a check and organizing a fundraiser for the man who would make him senator. (Click here to read an excellent commentary piece about that lying scoundrel of a senator, written by former federal prosecutor Ronald Safer and published Wednesday in the Chicago Tribune.)
Speaking of Burris, I’ll end this post with a Roland-related link. Click here to see how you can make your very own Roland Burris “Pinocchio” paper doll. Believe me when I tell you it’s well worth the few seconds it will take you to follow the link.