The WSJ's awkward attempt to hype the Blago/Obama "ties"

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

The Journal sure went huge with its Blago coverage on Wednesday, complete with mongo A1 headline and story. It's curious because the story has pretty much no business angle, yet the Journal treated the unfolding scandal, featuring a previously obscure pol, as monumentally important.

Part of that is the Journal's attempt to branch out and be a more national, general interest newspaper. But part of that, of course, is the fact that president-election Obama is connected with the story. (If a corrupt governor this week in Oklahoma, or wherever, tried to sell off a senate seat, would that Journal have treated that the same way? No.)

To its credit, the Journal in its A1 piece spells our rather clearly that Obama himself played no role in the story. The problem occurs in the overly excited sidebar on A16, "Obama Ties in the Spotlight," by Cam Simpson and Jonathan Weisman, where readers learn Obama "will be forever linked to the case." Yikes, sounds bad.

And what about those ominous Obama "ties"? Read this and weep [emphasis added]:

The matter also highlights ties between the disgraced Democratic governor and some members of Mr. Obama's inner circle. His top campaign strategist, David Axelrod - who will move to the White House for a senior adviser's job - lists Mr. Blagojevich on his firm's Web site as one of his clients, when the politician was a candidate for Congress.

Busted!

P.S. Bob Cesa reminds us that the Beltway press hasn't always been so insistent that politicians denounce and reject other indicted pols, especially when the GOP's involved.

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