Nikki Muehlhausen: June 2010 Archives

Reporting with Natasha Korecki & Sarah Osterman

Rod Blagojevich and John Harris are floating names for the U.S. Senate seat on the next tape. Blago suggests Oprah Winfrey.

"That's crazy," Harris says.
"That's where you're wrong," Blago replies.

Blagojevich is increasingly out of breath while he's talking; the sound of weights clanging is audible in the background. It sounds like he is working out at home while discussing the appointment.

Rod: "She made Obama ... she's a Democrat."
Harris: "You're looking for a celebrity to be your friend?"
Rod: "She's so up there, so high ..."

Later, Rod keeps brainstorming: "Maybe a black Albert Einstein," he suggests. At that, one African American juror gently shakes her head.

Blagojevich is insistent that they "bolster the list" of potential candidates -- even if it means looking outside of Illinois.

"Who outside of Illinois might fit the bill?" he is heard asking Harris. He mentions Calif. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger as an example.

Harris tries to talk him out of it.

"Picking somebody outside of Illinois has a whole host of problems," Harris tells him. "(They'll say), 'There are 13 million residents (in Illinois), Rod hates them all.'"

Read more about the Blagojevich trial here.

Voters of the hopefuls trying to get their own show on Oprah Winfrey's new network are accusing the Queen of Talk of rigging the contest.

Winfrey's new cable channel, OWN, has been holding online casting calls for 'Your OWN Show: Oprah's Search for the Next TV Star.' The reality show will premiere next year and get a prime spot on Winfrey's channel.

Last week, fans started to speak up against Winfrey--stating that people were fraudulently stuffing the online ballot box, according to the New York Times.

Some fans have even suggested that Winfrey herself was behind the scam.

In a statement, the OWN channel spokesperson said that no "contestant has been favored in this competition," but that an investigation would be undertaken and that all votes would be verified twice. The five most popular online contestants will go before a casting director, but only one is guaranteed a spot on the reality show, though OWN could choose to add more than one. A total of 10 in-person and online contestants will vie for a spot; eventually the show's winner will be hired by OWN."

As of Sunday, the top two runners Zach Anner and Phyllis Wick-Turner were separated by two million votes.

zach_anner_world.jpg


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This page is a archive of recent entries written by Nikki Muehlhausen in June 2010.

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