Tuned In

Dead Tree Alert: Blago Talks!

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In the new print TIME, my Tuned In column looks at the now-former governor of Illinois’ media tour this week: 

It is somehow perfect that Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich would begin his media self-justification-and-jury-pool-influence tour at the same time that American Idol has returned to TV. Like the bad auditioners who spring anew from city and heartland every winter, Blago inspires the same questions every time he opens his mouth: Does he really have no idea how he sounds to other people? It’s gotta be an act, right?…

One thing that I was thinking, but only had room to generally imply in the column, is that the traits Blago displays (arrogance, self-pity, delusion) are in a way valuable traits (confidence, self-esteem, assertiveness) exaggerated to the point of obnoxiousness. Again, not unlike certain reality-show contestants. There’s a fine line between what makes a successful politician (or performer) and what makes someone seem totally unhinged.