Blagojevich-Rezko: Chicago Station Doesn't Name Party in TV Report

..... and waits until the 30th paragraph of its online story to reveal it.

The feds seem to be closing in on Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich -- and at least one Chicago television station seems determined to minimize exposure not only of his party affiliation, but of others who have received tainted campaign contributions.

Here are important excerpts from the report of Chicago's CBS Channel 2, WBBM (HT Hot Air and Hot Air commenters):

Rezko Pal, Ex-Aide To Gov. Pleads Guilty

CHICAGO (CBS) ― In an explosive development reaching to the state's highest office, a former high-ranking state official claimed Tuesday that Gov. Rod Blagojevich was on hand when he presented $25,000 in campaign money to now-indicted fundraiser Antoin "Tony" Rezko.

Ali Ata, 56, a former executive director of the Illinois Finance Authority, said Blagojevich then asked Rezko if he had talked to Ata about a job on the state payroll.

Ata said later, after he made a second $25,000 campaign contribution, Blagojevich again brought up the subject of a job and said it should be one in which Ata "could make some money."

..... The bombshell came in Ata's signed guilty plea to lying to the FBI about Rezko's role in getting him his state job. Blagojevich was not named in the plea, but it was clear from references in the agreement that Public Official A was the governor.

Ata's plea said Rezko was "very involved" in fundraising for Public Official A. Also, before his selection as head of the Illinois Finance Authority, Ata was told by Public Official A that he, the official, understood Ata would join his administration, it said.

Public Official A has appeared in numerous court papers surrounding the Rezko trial and been identified as Blagojevich .....

..... "If I was the governor, I would not be sleeping very well tonight," said CBS 2 legal analyst Irv Miller.

Blagojevich's ability to get uninterrupted sleep may be reduced, but the state and national Democratic Party can take some comfort that WBBM seemed to go out of its way to avoid applying the Democratic label to those involved.

It's pretty hard to do a story about campaign contributions without taking note of the political party involved, but the related one-minute, 45-second TV report at the link never mentions the Democratic affiliation of any of the story's subjects.

Additionally, the online story waits until its final three paragraphs (the 30th, 31st, and 32nd) to tell us the following:

Ata's ties to Blagojevich predate the Democrat's 2002 run for governor. Although Ata has given $65,000 to Blagojevich's state campaign fund since 2000, he also gave $3,500 to the former U.S. representative's congressional campaign from 1997 to 2000.

Among $18,000 in contributions to federal candidates, Ata gave $5,000 to Barack Obama, the Illinois senator who is the Democrats' front-runner for the presidential nomination. Obama donated that money to charity last summer after Ata's indictment.

Ata also has contributed $5,000 to Chicago Alderman Richard Mell, Blagojevich's father-in-law, or his 33rd Ward Democratic Organization, since 2002 and $1,000 in 2003 to U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., a Chicago Democrat.

Obama, Mell, and Jackson are not mentioned in WBBM's TV report.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.