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Eliot Spitzer joins CNN, said he hopes people will look beyond the call-girl scandal

Spitzer-parker-updated

Disgraced former New York governor Elliot Spitzer and Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Kathleen Parker will take over the 8 p.m. prime-time spot on CNN.

The show is set to start this fall. Spitzer’s name has been floating around as a possibility for weeks. Parker has conservative leanings as a syndicated columnist. The show, based on the initial press release, sounds a bit like “Crossfire,” which CNN dumped in 2005 in a deliberate effort to get away from loud, opinion shows, the very shows that have helped bolster its competitors Fox News, MSNBC and sister station HLN.

“Other cable news channels force-feed viewers one narrow, predictable point of view; in contrast, CNN will be offering a lively roundup of all the best ideas – presented by two of the most intelligent and outspoken figures in the country,” said Jon Klein, president of CNN/U.S. in a press release. “Eliot and Kathleen are beholden to no vested interest – in fact, quite the opposite: they are renowned for taking on the most powerful targets and most important causes.”

In a brief interview Wednesday afternoon, Spitzer said he and Parker aspire to be “informative, challenging and entertaining. We don’t plan to be as linear as other shows. We hope to appeal to an audience that thinks about issues from multiple perspectives. The two of us will agree and disagree both civilly while designed to challenge and persuade.”

Though the ratings have shown people are increasingly desirous of hearing points of view that match their ideology, Parker said she still thinks there’s a vast audience who aren’t like that, “who seek broader discussions that provide them a greater understanding of the issues.”

The round-table discussion show, which does not yet have a name, will take over for Campbell Brown, who has left, citing her low ratings. The entire network’s prime-time programming has taken a major hit the past year, fueling speculation that Larry King at 9 p.m. might be a goner, too. (King’s telethon on Monday drew just 600,000 viewers and raised a modest $1.8 million for oil spill victims. WABE-FM locally here raises more in a given year for itself.)

Piers Morgan, the British judge on “America’s Got Talent,” is supposedly in talks with CNN to take over for King at some point.

Spitzer lost his job as New York governor in 2008 after a call-girl scandal but has recently been doing substitute anchoring at MSNBC. Parker won the Pulitzer this year for commentary.

Spitzer said he hopes people will be able to move beyond the scandal and see him as a viable political commentator. “I have addressed those issues openly,” he said.

He said he is not looking beyond the show to get back into politics and declined to respond to this commentary from a New York Observer story about him:

“In order for him to be successful, he has to be exciting and entertaining,” said longtime Democratic consultant Hank Sheinkopf, who ran Mr. Spitzer’s television advertising in 1994 and 1998, but no longer speaks to him. “If he is exciting and entertaining, he will appear idiotic as a politician who is serious and of consequence. Therefore, if he’s a successful television broadcaster, the probability of him being a serious person in public life again declines precipitously. That’s the danger he faces.”

36 comments Add your comment

Deke

June 23rd, 2010
12:26 pm

I can’t wait to never watch them!

levelhead

June 23rd, 2010
12:49 pm

If you think these two will beat Billy O, you are begging.

duke

June 23rd, 2010
2:45 pm

CNN is a joke and this just proves it even more.

jim

June 23rd, 2010
2:48 pm

Campbell Brown was like most of the media-Fawning over the current President and refusing to be what a journalist should be. A conduit of the news. Who, What, When, Where and Why.

Subrational

June 23rd, 2010
2:51 pm

Unless he is bagging her over the desk on air, I ain’t tuning in. Besides, he’ll probably only bag her off the air.

kkong

June 23rd, 2010
2:55 pm

Like, I’m not believin’ this…how dumb!

I'Joni

June 23rd, 2010
2:57 pm

“…Fawning over the current president and refusing to be what a journalist should be.” LMAO!! You know where they got that habit from? The last president.

Smokewagon

June 23rd, 2010
3:02 pm

Pretty stupid of Obama to be picking up habits from Bush! I thought he was the “intelligent” choice. LMAO!!

wagonwheel

June 23rd, 2010
3:19 pm

Now all CNN has to do is resurrect Adolph Hitler, and you’ll have Blitzer, Spitzer and Hitler.

A FOX NEWs WATCHER

June 23rd, 2010
3:34 pm

PRAY TELL………WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND….WATCHES THE MORONS at CNN….other left-wing morons….complete left-wing idiots.IDIOTs..

A FOX NEWs WATCHER

June 23rd, 2010
3:37 pm

LET’s FACE IT….PURE JOURNALISM OF THE EDWARD R. MORROW mold is a thing of the past..

Not A Big Deal

June 23rd, 2010
3:41 pm

CNN has become more of a modeling agency and tabloid like network instead of delivering hard hitting news 24 hours a day. The only people worth watching anymore are Anderson Cooper & Wolf Blitzer & Soledad O’Brien. Elliot Spitzer should retire from the public eye and stop using his immoralities as a method to further his career. Even Larry King needs to retire! He used to ask great questions but now it seems like this marital troubles (and age) are affecting his interviews!

A FOX NEWs WATCHER

June 23rd, 2010
3:43 pm

THE SMALL GROUP OF IDIOTs who watch lowly CNN will still watch CNN….they are nut cases..

Craig

June 23rd, 2010
3:52 pm

When you are losing to trash like MSNBC it is time to look into the mirror and ask what you want to be. If this is CNN’s answer then they are more ignorant then I thought. Face it, Fox News rules the airwaves every night because they report the news that the mainstream media will not. Just tune into the Grapevine M-F at 6:30 and check out their stories and then try to find them on the big 3 or CNN and msnbc. You won’t! People that say Fox does not tell the truth in their reporting can never prove it. Which just pi#*es off those on the left. CNN is heading into another bad year.

Robin Huud

June 23rd, 2010
4:04 pm

Poor CNN; when will they learn that the whole world cares nothing about the New York attitude and New York failures. Please bring Ted back and get it where it used to be – on top instead of on the bottom. It must be heavy there since it holds up every other station, being last in everything it does.

Eric

June 23rd, 2010
4:09 pm

Gotta love those Fox News viewers who call people who watch CNN (as well as anyone else who has a different viewpoint from them) “idiots” and “morons.” You forgot to say “Un-American.”

WOW

June 23rd, 2010
4:31 pm

You people need to get a life.

lisa ann

June 23rd, 2010
4:40 pm

They should have teamed up Spitzer with Boortz. Called the show Around The World With Elliot and Neal.

Idiots

June 23rd, 2010
5:02 pm

I can’t believe you people don’t believe in second chances. Spitzer has faults but he is a pretty smart dude. Way to go!!!!

Elliot Garcia

June 23rd, 2010
5:27 pm

They should have paired Spitzer up with the hooker for the new show….that is what liberals really want to watch…

I'll pass

June 23rd, 2010
5:38 pm

Say they’re paying Spitzer, oh, I don’t know…a million dollars. Why not take that same amount of money and hire 20 journalists and photographers (or 50 interns…) to report, write and produce actual news?

I don’t know why I keep being surprised and disappointed at how CNN squanders their influence and resources. I want to know what’s going on in the world. I couldn’t possibly care any less what these two *think* about what’s going on in the world. If I want to see a couple of people sit around bickering and not listening to each other, I’ll go visit my parents.

@ I'Joni

June 23rd, 2010
5:40 pm

Sorry but I Carly was more original than you. Time to get a new handle.

Sad that anyone who disagrees with anyone can’t state their opinion anymore. Sounds like I’Joni needs a lesson on how constructive political debate happens. But you will get that in a few years when you get to high school.

Gwendolyn

June 23rd, 2010
6:36 pm

IT is a sad testament when a leader can cheat on his wife with expensive call girls and be rewarded with a highly visible job. I like CNN but I do have to question their ethics.

Chief Wiggum

June 23rd, 2010
6:57 pm

Kathleen Parker as the token conservative? That’s like Frank Rich as the token conservative at the NY Times. He’s their lapdog, and I expect Parker will be one for CNN. I guess in their far-left minds, she’s some type of conservative.

Oh, and Spitzer? Like anybody ought to take him seriously about politics? He’s the ultimate hypocrite. Yet another reason nobody watches CNN.

Gloriay

June 23rd, 2010
7:19 pm

Although I am a fan of Eliot Spitzer, I will NOT be looking at CNN at 8 pm. I do not look at CNN and will NOT, even though one of my favorite persons will be hosting a program on that network. Eliot’s place is MSNBC and NOT CNN. He should never have been teamed up against Keith.

Jeff K

June 23rd, 2010
8:45 pm

I’m glad to see Elliot make a comeback.

The One

June 23rd, 2010
8:45 pm

Why do people hate so much. This guy is going to kill the competition.

Susan Smith

June 23rd, 2010
8:47 pm

I think Elliot could hold the show by himself. He doesn’t need the female to help but I will give a standing O to CNN for its bold moves.

TV Viewer

June 23rd, 2010
9:59 pm

I guess it’s true. Cheaters always win.

no comment

June 23rd, 2010
10:46 pm

#teamAC360 LOVE HIM and Roland Martin would have been a better host.

scott

June 23rd, 2010
10:55 pm

This should be great, will it air on Cinemax, or CNN?

Between MSNBC and CNN they might have about 100 viewers a night, so I am not sure why this is a story, although I bet Elliot’s wife is glad he is out of the house again…HA!

Confused

June 24th, 2010
10:26 am

Why would someone as “pristine”as Kathleen Parker want to host a show with a “phony” like Spitzer who was consorting with prostites. Does she really need the money?

Jim

June 24th, 2010
2:54 pm

“Not a Big Deal” Wrote:
“CNN has become more of a modeling agency and tabloid like network instead of delivering hard hitting news 24 hours a day. The only people worth watching anymore are Anderson Cooper & Wolf Blitzer & Soledad O’Brien.”

Anderson Cooper???? Really???? Only CNN would take the former host of “The Mole” and market him into a legitimate journalist, and have people really believe it. The other 2 you mention are ok, if you must tune into CNN. I guess if it works for Lady GAGA…

oldfart

June 24th, 2010
8:01 pm

They should have hired Ashley Dupré. If you aren’t going to use real journalists you may as well go with the real thing.

peter tinkham

June 25th, 2010
6:25 am

I wonder what Mr. Turner thinks of CNN now? Or, is CNN now the Cartoon Network of News?

Spider

June 29th, 2010
8:46 pm

Does the prevalence of blond hair among women reporters suggest that, from a camerman’s point of view, it’s easier to photograph?