Blagojevich trial delayed, Retrial April 2011, Chicago Tribune feedback
From the Chicago Tribune.
“A federal judge agreed Friday to delay former Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s retrial until April to give his defense team — down to just two lawyers — more time to prepare.
U.S. District Judge James Zagel, who had tentatively planned for the retrial to begin in early January, postponed its start until April 20.
Prosecutors objected to the delay, pointing out that Blagojevich’s two remaining attorneys took part in the first trial. “The faulty premise is that they are starting from scratch,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Reid Schar.
But the defense said the two will have to take on much heavier roles in the retrial.”
From the Chicago Tribune.
“Those of us who work for the Chicago Tribune speak with our readers every day. That conversation survives on our credibility and your trust. We understand the humbling truth that neither of those is assured.
Today we need to talk with you about painful developments that have threatened that credibility, that trust.
On Oct. 6, The New York Times reported that the Tribune Co. had been engulfed by “a culture run amok.””
“Much of the New York Times story was disturbing, but one passage particularly troubled us: It called into question the independence of the newsroom and this editorial board.
In June 2008, according to the story, Tribune Co. Chairman Sam Zell approached then-Editor Ann Marie Lipinski at a meeting, “saying that the Chicago Tribune should be harder on Gov. Rod Blagojevich. … In a news meeting later the same day, she found out that Mr. Zell was in negotiations to sell Wrigley Field to the state sports authority.” Lipinski says, “It was hard to avoid the conclusion that he was trying to use the newspaper to put pressure on Blagojevich.””
“Blagojevich was arrested in December 2008. Among the charges: that he sought to pressure Tribune Co. to fire members of the Chicago Tribune editorial board. Tribune editorials had been discussing the governor’s removal from office since October 2007. At the time of his arrest, the Tribune reported that negotiations on Wrigley Field had resumed shortly after the company had rejected the state’s offer.”
“Zell has denied that he sought to use the newspaper for business purposes. No one from the editorial board was present for the conversation between Zell and Lipinski. We can, however, say with certainty that Tribune Co. executives — from Zell on down — have never tried to influence this editorial board. Their approach has been completely hands-off. Completely. They have had no impact whatsoever on our Blagojevich editorials. We realize that we cannot prove a negative. All we can do is tell you the truth and ask you to believe us.”
The Chicago Tribune has done a decent and sometimes excellent job of covering Rod Blagojevich. They can be faulted, along with the rest of the mainstream media for not covering the complete Obama stories.
The rest of the story.