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Blagojevich Calls Press "Stupid" and "Dishonest"

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Blagojevich Calls Press "Stupid" and "Dishonest"

Rod Blagojevich speaks at a news conference in May. (AP/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was out in Chicago today to make a low-key announcement about gas pump inspections. That event disintegrated into a contentious exchange with reporters in which the governor accused the press of being “dishonest” and asking “stupid” questions.

At first it was just about people buying gas.

BLAGOJEVICH: We want to be sure they get every last drop.

But soon the questions turned to recent comments by a spokesperson for House Speaker Michael Madigan—who implied that the governor was a sociopath.

BLAGOJEVICH: Am I offended by that, the answer is, of course I’m not.

Then the topic shifted to convicted Blagojevich fundraiser Tony Rezko—about his influence in the governor’s administration.

BLAGOJEVICH: I must have gotten that question 10,000 times, I’ve answered it 10,000 times.

Blagojevich pointed out that Tony Rezko contributed to lots of other politicians, denied wrong doing, and walked to his black SUV to make his exit.

Reporters followed him and continued to ask him about Rezko’s influence and whether he’s a target of the federal investigation of state government.

Blagojevich turned angry—first attacking the Chicago Tribune’s editorial board.

BLAGOJEVICH: You guys sandbagged me, remember how dishonest you were.

Then reporters in general who he accused of “exaggeration”

BLAGOJEVICH: It’s difficult to answer questions when people are not honest. And I’m not going to reward dishonest reporters who ask dishonest questions that aren’t factual or based on the facts.

Blagojevich insulted some reporters personally when they continued to ask if he is a target of the federal investigation.

BLAGOJEVICH: It’s a ridiculous question.
PHIL ROGERS: Why is that absurd and ridiculous?
BLAGOJEVICH: Because it’s stupid.
The governor said he thinks he’s picked on by the press in ways that other politicians like Chicago Mayor Richard Daley are not, and he said he is not a target of the federal investigation.

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