In my posting yesterday, I discussed how news media advocates across the political spectrum seemed to equally heap scorn on Rod Blagojevich, the disgraced and now convicted former Democratic governor of Illinois. As you recall, earlier in the week, Blagojevich was convicted on 17 counts of corruption in his second trial after his first trial resulted in a minor conviction and a hung jury on the remaining counts.
To my surprise, the morning crew at MSNBC, probably the most biased news network in the history of television journalism, decided to label the Blagojevich convictions as a “miscarriage of justice.” Yes. You read that correctly. Joe Scarborough, Mia Brzezinski, Willie Geist and Mike Barnicle all believe that the second trial was a violation of the Constitution’s protection against double jeopardy, being tried a second time on charges for which a person has already been acquitted. There is only one problem with their premise: “Blago,” as the former governor of Illinois is often named, was not acquitted of the same charges in the first trial he was convicted of in the second trial.
As I reported yesterday, after the first trial ended, several jurors made no mistake about the fact that Blagojevich would have been convicted of multiple counts, including some of the very serious charges involving the sale of the Illinois senate seat. The reason that didn’t happen was because of one lone holdout, juror Jo Ann Chiakulas, who refused to go along with the other jurors on a guilty verdict for all but one of the charges. In fact, there are some reports that Blagojevich would have been convicted of at least 11 more charges if it wasn’t for the reticence of one juror. Several of the jurors from the first trial have publicly questioned how this one person could ignore what they believed was overwhelming evidence of guilt.
Chiakulas is a retired director of the Illinois Department of Public Health. She was also known to be a political activist for the Chicago Democratic Party. She made no mistake that she was the lone reason that Blagojevich was not convicted on more counts in the first trial, and in retrospect, many court observers are wondering how she ever made it on the jury considering her background.
Now I don’t know if it is willful ignorance on the part of MSNBC’s morning crew, but having a hung jury on multiple counts does not equal an acquittal in any way, shape or form. Joe Scarborough actually has a law degree. How does he not know that? Did they just not review the fact of the first trial? Are they that biased about the conviction of a Democratic governor?
Unlike many of the liberal advocates in the news media, I can’t read the minds and hearts of the morning crew at MSNBC, but what they did on that show in reporting on the Blagojevich trials was an embarrassment to anyone who believes in true quality journalism. It is one thing to report facts in a biased manner. It is quite another thing to completely ignore or falsify the facts.
The corporate officers of MSNBC should be ashamed of what happened on their network. Something tells me they are not.