Did PR save Blago from the slammer?
So Rod Blagojevich isn't going to prison--at least not for a while, perhaps not at all.
In the corruption trial of the former Illinois governor, the jury returned with one guilty verdict that he lied to the government. The jury deadlocked on the remaining 23 counts against him. This means the government can--and most likely will--try him again.
How did Blago manage to skate--for now--on 23 charges from the federal government? Charges that were bolstered by the ex-governor's own damning statements on tape. He might have public relations to thank for part of that.
Blago's attorney, Sam Adam, Jr.--the same lawyer who helped R. Kelly walk on charges that he did awful things with an underage girl--based part of his closing arguments on Blago's tendency to talk.
"If you put Joan and Melissa Rivers in the room, you wouldn't get that much talk," Adam said in his closing statement.
If the jury didn't believe that Blago was a talker--that he'd go on any talk show that would have him; that he'd blabber for hours on his own radio show; that he'd talk to any reporter, any time--then Adam's argument wouldn't hold water.
At this point, it's unclear if that is the real Blagojevich, or if the countless media appearances were a strategy of his legal team and PR counsel, led by Glenn Selig, or even if all those talk show moments swayed the jury at all.
But let's just say they did. And let's suppose Blago isn't the kind of guy who would shuttle to New York and back to be on The View--that instead his PR team talked him into this. And then let's assume the jurors all saw this and thought, "That guy sure likes to hear himself talk."
Suddenly, all that mouthing off the governor did seems brilliant.
Smart PR either helped an innocent man avoid the bogus charges, or it helped a guilty man cheat the system. Stay tuned.