Hot on HuffPost:

See More Stories

Rod, Patti Blagojevich Ponder Their Celebrity, Reality

6 years ago
  0 Comments Say Something  »
Text Size

WASHINGTON - I haven't seen Patti Blagojevich in person for several years, so when I watched her Thursday morning on NBC's "Today Show," I couldn't decide if she seemed grim or just gloomy about joining the cast of the reality show "I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!"


Patti is going to be on the show because her husband, ousted Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, can't leave the country and NBC offered her a role instead. Rod will also be making some appearances, staying stateside.

Rod, as many of you know, is facing federal criminal corruption charges, including trying to sell an appointment - Barack Obama's Senate seat vacated when Obama was elected president. Rod pleaded not guilty to the charges earlier this month.

The last time I talked to Blagojevich was Dec. 2, a week before he was arrested by federal agents.

He gave an "exclusive" interview to me for my Chicago Sun-Times column, which turned out to be, based on what we now know from federal wiretaps, a lot of baloney about how he was going about filling the Obama vacancy.

Rod's passport was yanked after he was arrested, so he needed, and did not get, a judge's permission to travel to Costa Rica, where the show will be shot. But she's free to fly there if she wants. The show debuts on June 1.

Patti flew to Los Angeles earlier this week to do a promo and other work for the show. Patti and Rod were in a hotel in Skokie, a Chicago northern suburb, early Thursday to hype the hype surrounding the premiere.

The show will air next month and NBC's publicity calls it the ultimate "Swiss Family Robinson.'' Ten celebs are dropped into a Costa Rican jungle "to face fun and comedic challenges designed to test their survival skills.'' Viewers decide which celebrities stay or leave. In the end a King or Queen of the jungle will be crowned.

"Today Show" host Meredith Vieira asked Patti if she was doing the show for the money. Neither Blagojevich is employed right now - or is employable. While Patti has not been charged, several schemes involving her are mentioned in Rod's indictment.

Before she answered the question, Patti told Vieira she had a bone to pick on the set-up piece that ran discussing her celebrity.

"I wanted to say that I kind of disagree with one of the people in this setup about saying that I'm a celebrity. I don't feel that I'm a celebrity.

"NBC wanted my husband on the show, and when he was unable to go they expressed interest in me doing it. I would say that first and foremost we'd like to keep our commitment to NBC. And in this, you know, in this terrible economic time I feel it's necessary to go to work and help support my family. So yes, that's a primary reason for doing the show."

It's a job, just a job.

Rod told Vieira, "I do want to say how proud I am of Patti, you know.

"She's willing to step up and do something like go into a jungle. Neither one of us are celebrities," said Rod.

Technically he is correct.

He has slipped from celebrity to notoriety.

"I prefer to be compared to people like Teddy Roosevelt and Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman and others in history, not some of these comparisons.'' On an earlier media blitz timed to the start of his impeachment trial, he compared himself to Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi, saying he thought about what they went through and "tried to put some perspective to all this.''

"I've been wrongly accused,'' he said Thursday. "I will be vindicated, I'll prove my innocence. But both of us have our responsibilities to raise our children and try to keep our family intact. And we've had a unique opportunity that most people in America who are losing their jobs don't get."

The federal wiretaps caught Patti, and the prosecutors portrayed her as a money-hungry, foul mouthed wife encouraging Rod in his schemes. In case she is indicted - it could happen - it doesn't hurt her to clean up her image.

Patti said a by-product of the exposure can be "an opportunity for people to see what I'm really like. I don't think those characterizations were fair at all. And I do look forward to people getting to know me, because that's what they'll see on the show."

FOOTNOTE

Rod, impeached and removed from office in January, landed a contract to write a book. On Thursday, the Illinois State Senate sent to Gov. Pat Quinn a bill banning any state official removed from office from making money off a book or movie deal.
Outbrain - The Most Trusted Content Discovery Platform

Get Your Content Discovered.

Promote your content on premium websites

Learn More ›

Outbrain Amplify:
Get your content discovered

Your content will be promoted on the web's largest and most respected media properties, including CNN.com, Slate and ESPN. We make sure it's seen precisely when people will find it most interesting.

Learn More

Outbrain Engage: The solution for a modern publisher

Outbrain Engage is a full stack software solution that empowers an entire media organization to more effectively manage its online content and programming experience.

Learn More

The world's largest content discovery platform

We bring together premium publishers and marketers of all sizes (including many of the world's leading brands) into the world's largest and most vibrant content marketplace. Learn more about Outbrain ›

561 Million

The global audience reached by Outbrain each month*

190 Billion

The total recommendations we serve consumers monthly

80%

Of the world’s leading brands use Outbrain

* Audience reach according to comScore, September 2014. Leading brands via Ad Age DataCenter / Kantar Media, 2014.

Andy Blau
We selected Outbrain not only because the revenues were higher than others, but because its engine drives better recommendations than others.
Andy Blau
Senior Vice President, Group General Manager
Time Inc.
Dan Horowitz
It's less about buying traffic than it is about reaching the right people with relevant headlines to get them to your content.
Dan Horowitz
EVP and Senior Partner
Fleishman-Hillard Digital
Katrina Craigwell
Our goal is always to deliver content that adds value to the conversations being held by the end user. Outbrain allows us to do just that.
Katrina Craigwell
Global Manager of Digital Marketing
GE
Bailey Foote
The fact that we’re able to drive these kinds of transactions with consumers at scale and with increasing efficiency has made Outbrain paramount to our marketing strategy.
Bailey Foote
E-commerce Manager
The Line
Neal Moore
You cannot leave it to chance that someone will find and engage with your content. Outbrain can put your content in the midst of the world’s most prestigious publications.
Neal Moore
CEO
Click2View
Zach Zavos
Having links to our content appearing directly on premium publisher sites helped us establish our brand.
Zach Zavos
Co-Founder
Conversant Media
Mike Brito
Outbrain is one of those [critical] components helping us deliver the right messages to the right contingent at massive scale and in real time to counter a crisis.
Mike Brito
Group Director
WCG

A global footprint of service

We operate offices in 11 global territories and we partner with publishers and marketers in over 55 countries, including the U.S., UK, France, Brazil, India and Japan. Come join us ›

Our New Approach to Comments

In an effort to encourage the same level of civil dialogue among Politics Daily’s readers that we expect of our writers – a “civilogue,” to use the term coined by PD’s Jeffrey Weiss – we are requiring commenters to use their AOL or AIM screen names to submit a comment, and we are reading all comments before publishing them. Personal attacks (on writers, other readers, Nancy Pelosi, George W. Bush, or anyone at all) and comments that are not productive additions to the conversation will not be published, period, to make room for a discussion among those with ideas to kick around. Please read our Help and Feedback section for more info.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum Comment Moderation Enabled. Your comment will appear after it is cleared by an editor.

Follow Politics Daily

  • Comics
robert-and-donna-trussell
CHAOS THEORY
Featuring political comics by Robert and Donna TrussellMore>>
  • Woman UP Video
politics daily videos
Weekly Videos
Woman Up, Politics Daily's Online Sunday ShowMore»
politics daily videos
TV Appearances
Showcasing appearances by Politics Daily staff and contributors.More>>