Sun-Times columnist Michael Sneed does have a soft spot for imprisoned politicians.
Over the years, Sneed has written maudlin “exclusives” about the plights of former Gov. George Ryan and former Cicero Town President Betty Loren Maltese. Now, with Rod Blagojevich set to begin his 14-year prison sentence on March 15, Sneed seems to be positioning herself as the sympathetic journalist who’ll get all the scoops on his family’s suffering.
Today, for the second time, Sneed offers evidence that Blagojevich really does have a drinking problem, and isn’t just faking it to get a year knocked off his sentence. (Some folks thought it was suspicious that Blago didn’t claim a drinking problem until after former Ryan associate Scott Fawell suggested it as a ploy to knock time off a long stretch.)
Anyway, here’s what Sneed has to say about Blagojevich’s drinking:
The Blago beat ...
It’s not just a phony excuse to get out of jail early.
Translation: Sneed is told former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who is scheduled to begin his 14-year federal prison sentence in three months, is a serious drinker and that his family very concerned.
Upshot: “He doesn’t just drink to go to sleep as was reported earlier,” said a Sneed source. “He has a serious drinking problem, and the court has been told.”
Backshot: Speculation ran rampant shortly after Blago’s sentencing that his request for rehab while in prison — which could shorten his jail sentence — was just a ruse to get out of prison early. Not true.
Check back with Sneed in a year or so, for her exclusive interview with Patti Blagojevich about the family’s first Christmas apart.
Buy this book! Ward Room blogger Edward McClelland's book, Young Mr. Obama: Chicago and the Making of a Black President , is available Amazon. Young Mr. Obama includes reporting on President Obama's earliest days in the Windy City, covering how a presumptuous young man transformed himself into presidential material. Buy it now!