Blago's Publisher Almost as Sketchy as Blago

Remember when we all got outraged that Rod Blagojevich got a book deal? Well we should've guessed it came from a shady Hollywood publisher with a history of lawsuits and bankruptcy!

Michael Viner is the guy who payed the disgraced Illinois Governor (probably) exactly $100,000 to write a book about how he is a victim of political persecution for not raising taxes or something, and everyone was all "he's obviously a lying scumbag and now we're sick of him again because he won't get off the TV."

So Viner "blogged" a "blog" for the HuffPo about why his company, Phoenix Books, did this terrible deed: because of a little thing called the constitution.

A lot has been said this week about Rod Blagojevich and about his book deal with Phoenix Books. It seems that the issue is the presumption of innocence is no longer with us. As a publisher who believes that there is more than one fascinating story here I am puzzled as to why we have been made part of the story.

Oh, we bet you're "puzzled," Mike. So puzzled! Why did this controversial public figure generate so much attention for his little old book publishing company? What happened? He is confused. Also he is breathtakingly full of shit:

When Harper Collins decided to pay $3 million to O.J. Simpson there was no public outcry until the book turned out to be a great hoax.

Hah. Ha ha ha. Right, there was no outcry about that, at all. No one batted an eyelash! The very next bit is pretty great too:

Little Brown paid Paula Barbieri $3 million for having accomplished no more in her life than having had a fling with the same Mr. Simpson. There were no lessons learned, there were no compelling reasons.

Ok, now let's do the thing where we make that statement look even more ridiculous. Here is the Times back in 2003:

Mr. Viner, a former music and TV producer, is best known for publishing books related to the O. J. Simpson trial, including Faye Resnick's recollections of Nicole Brown Simpson and the diary of a juror in the case.

That was back when he was the head of a company called "New Millennium Entertainment." They went bankrupt. Shortly after they signed up Jayson Blair for a memoir!

Here is famed hero publisher Michael Viner, again: "I cannot recall a book that delineates the pitfalls and the failings of any governor." You don't sound like much of a reader, Mike, so we'll just point you to the SparkNotes.