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Blago in L.A. to promote reality TV show

April 24, 2009 8:34:09 PM PDT
Rod Blagojevich got a taste of reality on Friday despite a judge's order prohibiting him from traveling out of the country to be on a TV show.The former governor went to Los Angeles to promote that reality show.

Rod Blagojevich is doing his part to get plenty of publicity for the show. But whether that's good for him is another story. Experts say it's an unusual strategy for a defendant facing serious federal charges. But it's the strategy, staying in the spotlight, that he has followed since first being charged late last year.

California: the land of make believe. It's where Rod Blagojevich can be filmed to look a little like a superhero. On the screen no one will see the harness holding him up while the cameras roll. It's also where the former governor is apparently pinning his hopes on finding a new line of work.

"This is a chance to make a living and support my little girls and family," said Rod Blagojevich.

Earlier this week a federal judge denied a request by Blagojevich to be allowed to travel to Costa Rica to take part in the reality television show, "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Outta Here."

Nevertheless, Blagojevich took part in interviews to promote the show and shot a promotional spot. It's still unclear how he might be involved in the show. But to trial consultant Beth Foley it is clear that it's a bad idea.

"How he's presenting himself now in very kind of wacky ways is not going to serve him well when you have a group of jurors deciding if he has good judgment as governor," said Beth Foley, trial consultant.

The public's fascination with the former Illinois governor continues to make him a big draw in entertainment circles. The Second City spoof on Blagojevich was just extended another six weeks and a reality show run could give the cast material to keep it going well beyond that.

For his part, Blagojevich says he's enjoying it. Even if experts believe it will ultimately hurt him.

"What's really appealing about this is that it's an opportunity, a chance to be entertaining compared to the other things I have to deal with," said Blagojevich.

"It's a very risky thing to get in front of public and do these sporadic and strange things and hope that it translates as you want it to. I think he's doing more harm to himself than good," said Foley.

One actor on the show, Stephen Baldwin, is offering to ask the judge to change his mind and let Blagojevich travel for the show. Baldwin says the former governor would add intensity and spice to the show. And according to a statement, Baldwin may start wearing a pin that says 'Leggo my Blago'.


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