Monday, October 22, 2012

Why did the Trib tip off Blagojevich?

Illinois Pay to Play blog gets a call out in Barbara Hollingsworth’s review of Jeff Coen and John Chase’s Golden: How Rod Blagojevich Talked Himself out of the Governor's Office and into Prison

At about 10:30 p. m. on December 4, Chase “was chosen [by the paper’s top editors] to contact the governor’s press team and try to get some kind of comment,” prematurely spilling the beans on Fitzgerald’s ongoing criminal investigation to its main target. Chase’s story, “Feds Taped Blagojevich,” which ran in the Tribune the following day, noted that Blagojevich aide John Wyma had been cooperating with authorities and that the federal probe had expanded to include the Senate seat. Four days later, the 40th governor of Illinois was arrested at his Chicago bungalow before actually consummating the deal.

Coen and Chase readily admit that their newspaper had been secretly cooperating with Fitzgerald’s office for months by not publishing certain information, and “was aware of the possible arrest date.” But such sensitive information could only have come from one source: the government. So why did the Tribune suddenly stop cooperating and tip off Blagojevich that he was being wiretapped days before his planned arrest? Incredulous bloggers, particularly those at Illinoispaytoplay.com, likened it to spending months watching a suspected drug dealer and then arresting him before he actually hands over the contraband and pockets the cash.

The Blago File | The Weekly Standard

Watch Pay to Play for updates on this still unfolding story.

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