Live-Blag-ing the Blago Press Conference

3:05pm: Chris Matthews is co-anchoring, with David Shuster, MSNBC’s coverage of the soon-to-start Blagojevich press conference. (Anyone care to bet which of the three will be the first to make an obscure Elvis reference?) Matthews, bless him, gives up the ghost, admitting—seconds before his network stops its other coverage to focus live on the Blago press conference—that the Blago story doesn’t deserve the myopic coverage it’s received. “But here we are, on live television, talking about it,” Matthews says. “We’ll talk about it on Hardball tonight,” he continues, “because it’s a hot story.”

3:06pm: Blago, his (in)famous coif nearly covering his eyes (curtains to the soul?), wins the Melodrama award: “I intend to stay on the job, and will fight this. Every step of the way I will fight—I will fight—I will fight—until I take my last breath.”

3:07pm: Blago, surprisingly and rather awkwardly, quotes Kipling’s poem “If.” We might have recommended another bit of verse, but whatever. Either way, you have to admire the gumption of the guy: Not only is he strenuously defending himself, but he’s painting himself as the star of his very own Victim Narrative. (Guess who’s the oppressor?*)

3:08pm: Aaaaaand…scene. It’s over. Short and sweet utterly bizarre. (“WOW,” Shuster says, shaking his head in disbelief.)

3:09pm: Matthews on Blago’s poised, if melodramatic, self-defense: “This isn’t Jimmy Swagger, praising the Lord here. This is a guy wishing everyone Merry Christmas.”

*The Media!

Update: The Daily Beast has the video:

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Megan Garber is an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. She was formerly a CJR staff writer.