Blago trial so far a media circus

July 21, 2010 8:16:41 AM PDT
It is no exaggeration to say that so far, the Rod Blagojevich corruption trial has been a media circus.

The trial resumes on Monday.

It has centered around a defendant who almost daily greets supporters at the courthouse and publicly proclaims his innocence.

Inside the courtroom, there is no circus.

The judge is in command. The rules of evidence apply. It is all business.

Outside the courtroom - well, that's a different story.

Before arrival each day, metal fences go up to define his walkway.

On the way in one day, Blagojevich described the situation as "epic," "historic," and advised everyone to "keep an eye on the story."

Seldom is he without words, although prosecutors say he and his attorneys have been offering too many of them outside of court.

Prosecutors contend that the publicity could have infected the trial earlier this week when Blagojevich and his attorneys went before cameras and said government witness Lon Monk had lied on the stand, and that Monk's father must feel real shame.

Prosecutors asked for a gag order, but the judge challenged the attorneys on both sides to find a common ground on what can and can't be said outside of court.

But even a gag order won't stop the pictures, or predictions, or comments like the ex-governor's reaction to a sandwich briefly offered in the Dirksen cafeteria called "The Innocent - aka Blago."

The sandwich is no longer being offered in the Dirksen cafeteria, at least not under that name.

The lawyers on both sides were meeting Friday to figure out ground rules on what can be said outside court.

Defense lawyers often complain that the government controls the court of public opinion through press releases, and they'd like at least a chance to respond.

On Monday, they'll present their ideas to the judge.


Load Comments