Did Blago Help Push Tribune Into Bankruptcy?

Let us not, at this crucial moment, forget how much shit the Tribune Co. is in. Executives at the Tribune Co. are quite literally wading to work today through rivers of bad news—deep, deep rivers. Yesterday they freaking went bankrupt. Today they find themselves smack dab in the middle of Gov. ROD BLAGOJEVICH's outrageous corruption scandal—because gnomish asshole Tribune CEO Sam Zell allegedly agreed in principle to fire a troublesome editorial page editor in exchange for $100 million in state money. Obvious question: Did Blago's corrupt scheme help drive Tribune into bankruptcy? We examine THE FACTS for you below!

The editor of the Chicago Tribune has released a statement about the Blagojevich case, but all it says is that the paper may have held some reporting at the request of the US attorney. It says nothing about the allegations that Zell told Blago through an intermediary that he "got the message and is very sensitive to the issue," and indicated he'd be willing to fire a journalist critical of the governor so that a state deal to save the Tribune $100 million on the Chicago Cubs would be safe.

However! That editor, John McCormick, apparently wasn't fired, and is still employed by the Chicago Tribune. The real question is whether Blago somehow delayed the company from selling the Cubs—its most salable asset—enough to force it into bankruptcy.

Highly doubtful. Blago only hinted there might be trouble with the state deal. And remember that this all took place just last month. The Tribune has been heading towards bankruptcy much longer than that. Also remember that the Cubs were left out of the company's bankruptcy filing, so their plan to sell the team is probably moving ahead as normal.

No, mostly this Blago thing just makes Sam Zell look like an alleged scumbag.