The last time Jim Laski found himself in a federal courtroom, the former Chicago city clerk was being sentenced to prison following his conviction for bribery.
Today, the ex-con and rookie talk show host will be back in federal court to begin covering the corruption trial of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich for Tribune Co.-owned news/talk WGN-AM (720).
“Over the weeks I plan to be in the courtroom as many days as possible, blogging and reporting on my evening radio show about the proceedings of the day and Blago’s theatrics,” Laski announced on his ChicagoNow blog Wednesday. “Hopefully my perspective will give you a sense of how it feels to be sitting in the federal courtroom on the hot seat — not that you want to have that nightmare.”
The very idea of a lowlife like Laski taking up a coveted seat at the trial (he called it “the hottest ticket in town”) must be appalling to any real reporters who work for WGN or the Chicago Tribune. But it’s precisely the type of cheap, attention-getting radio stunt his station’s current bosses are known for.
At least Laski is perceptive enough to acknowledge the irony: “It will be a little eerie — because almost four years ago on June 13th, 2006 — I was sitting where Blago was when Judge Norgle sentenced me to 24 months in federal prison for one count of bribery,” he wrote.
Laski wound up serving 11 months in a federal penitentiary in West Virginia. He now serves from 7 to 10 p.m. weeknights on WGN.