'CBS This Morning' Yawns at Latest Spitzer Scandal; ABC, NBC Cover

CBS This Morning was the sole Big Three morning newscast on Monday to not cover the assault allegation against former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer that emerged over the weekend. By contrast, NBC's Today aired a full two-plus minute report on Spitzer "facing another potentially embarrassing scandal," as Kristen Dahlgren put it. The correspondent noted that "Spitzer attempted a career in television...before a failed return to politics — losing to his opponent in the Democratic primary for comptroller of New York City in 2013." ABC's Good Morning America gave a brief on the story, but didn't mention Spitzer's party ID. [video from the NBC report below]

Dahlgren led her report with her "potentially embarrassing scandal" line, and soon trumpeted that "Eliot Spitzer [is] back in the tabloids — the former New York governor, who famous resigned after being caught paying for sex with a high-end escort, is now under investigation for assault." She summarized the circumstances of the alleged crime: "Spitzer and a woman in her mid-twenties entered New York's iconic Plaza Hotel, and headed up to one of the rooms. Inside, Spitzer is being accused of choking the woman — the NYPD investigating him for assault, but not for sexual assault."

The NBC journalist also pointed out that during his "attempted...career in television," Spitzer was the host of "short-lived shows on CNN and Current TV." On his CNN show (which got cancelled in July 2011), the former Democratic governor actually denied that had any kind of bias during an April 2011 segment with Media Research Center president Brent Bozell.

Dahlgren reported at the end of her segment that "overnight, the woman traveled home to Russia; so still a lot of questions in this case. There is no question though, it's getting a lot of attention. Within hours of the story breaking, guys, Spitzer was a trending topic on Twitter."

Tell the Truth 2016

It should be pointed out that CNN itself, on the Monday edition of its New Day morning show, offered a full segment and a news brief on the assault allegation against its former host.

On Good Morning America, ABC's Ryan Smith offered a 18-second news brief on the Spitzer story:

RYAN SMITH: And former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer is denying allegations that he assaulted a woman. Sources say a 25-year-old woman claims that Spitzer choked her inside the Plaza Hotel. Now, the pair apparently had a romantic relationship before she tried to break it off. No charges have been filed. Spitzer resigned during a prostitution scandal in 2008.

The full transcript of Kristen Dahlgren's report from the February 15, 2016 edition of NBC's Today:

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Also this morning: former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer being investigated for an alleged assault at a hotel right here in New York City.

NBC's Kristen Dahlgren has more on this. Kristen, good morning.

KRISTEN DAHLGREN: Yeah; good morning, Savannah. He was once governor of this state. Now, he's facing another potentially embarrassing scandal after the alleged incident here at one of New York's swankiest hotels.

DAHLGREN (voice-over): Eliot Spitzer back in the tabloids — the former New York governor, who famous resigned after being caught paying for sex with a high-end escort, is now under investigation for assault. Sources familiar with that investigation tell NBC News that on Saturday night, Spitzer and a woman in her mid-twenties entered New York's iconic Plaza Hotel, and headed up to one of the rooms. Inside, Spitzer is being accused of choking the woman — the NYPD investigating him for assault, but not for sexual assault.

A source familiar with the investigation says after the alleged incident, the woman slit her wrists, but the wounds were not life threatening. No charges have been filed; and a spokesperson says, 'There is no truth to the allegation'

In 2008, a prostitution scandal forced Spitzer to resign as governor — just 14 months after being sworn in.

[NBC News Graphic: "Eliot Spitzer Under Investigation: Disgraced Ex-NY Gov. Denies Chocking (sic) Woman"]

ELIOT SPITZER, FORMER NEW YORK GOVERNOR (from press conference): I have acted in a way that violates my obligations to my family—

DAHLGREN: But he was never charged with a crime.

Spitzer attempted a career in television—

SPITZER (from CNN's Parker/Spitzer): The politicians are sprinting.

DAHLGREN: Hosting short-lived shows on CNN and Current TV—

SPITZER (from Current TV's Viewpoint with Eliot Spitzer): We have a right to respond on the other side.

DAHLGREN: Before a failed return to politics — losing to his opponent in the Democratic primary for comptroller of New York City in 2013. Following that loss, Spitzer divorced his wife, Silda; and later started dating the spokesperson for his failed campaign.

DAHLGREN (on-camera): Now, sources tell NBC that overnight, the woman traveled home to Russia; so still a lot of questions in this case. There is no question though, it's getting a lot of attention. Within hours of the story breaking, guys, Spitzer was a trending topic on Twitter.

GUTHRIE: All right. Kristen Dahlgren on the latest on that investigation, thank you.

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center