This Associated Press story should serve as a reality check for Rod and Patti Blagojevich:

Actor Stephen Baldwin’s foreclosed home in the suburbs north of New York City will be publicly auctioned. Baldwin paid $515,000 for the 1.4-acre home in Rockland County in 1997. In 2006, he tried unsuccessfully to sell it. County filings show Baldwin and his wife Kennya defaulted on more than $824,000 in payments to mortgage holder Bankers Trust Co.

The auction is set for June 24.

A representative for Baldwin couldn’t be reached for comment.

The actor has starred in movies such as “Bio-Dome” and “The Usual Suspects.” Recently, he’s appeared on reality television shows “The Celebrity Apprentice” and “I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!”

The moral of the story, as it pertains to the Blagojeviches, is that the salary of an “I’m A Celebrity” contestant doesn’t stretch very far. Ever since Rod got busted for corruption as governor (resulting in Patti losing her job, too), the Blagojeviches have done nothing but complain about the alleged unjustness of their situation. And with the exception of Rod’s book deal, I haven’t seen much from them that hasn’t amounted to pimping themselves out in the media for sympathy. If they are truly “fighting to keep our house and keep our kids in the school they’re in,” as Patti said on “I’m A Celebrity” earlier this week, then why don’t they find some honest work to help pay the bills? Obviously Stephen Baldwin’s “I’m A Celebrity” salary isn’t enough to save his foreclosed home, so I doubt Patti Blagojevich’s salary from the same show, alone, will keep the Blagojeviches residing in their Ravenswood Manor home.

Whether anyone would actually hire either Blagojevich to do honest work, and whether the Blagojeviches are capable of “honest work,” are other questions that are somewhat moot. Rod and Patti should concentrate on finding decent jobs that aren’t so publicly humiliating (of course, public humiliation doesn’t seem to bother them too much) so, if nothing else, at least they won’t further embarrass their children. (Of course, that’s who I feel sorry for in this situation — the Blagojevich children. Who doesn’t?)

One more thought on this topic: If the Blagojeviches lived in reality, they would be forced to sell their home and put their children in public school — if they truly have little money. But there’s a Catch-22 involved — putting the Blagojevich children in public school probably wouldn’t be good for them while their parents are laughingstocks. Yet many other parents face similar decisions, and they don’t get to put off making those decisions because they can earn some extra cash as contestants on a reality TV show.

Unfortunately for the Blagojeviches, it probably will take Rod’s conviction and imprisonment to get reality to set in — if that even does the trick.

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