Eliot Spitzer Prostitution Scandal
The establishment press appears determined to downplay the visibility of the bombshell news of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's resignation, and to avoid referring to him as a Democrat. The Associated Press avoided tagging him as a Dem in one story, and saved the tag for a very late paragraph in another. Meanwhile the Los Angeles Times found a unique solution to the problem in its Tuesday print edition: Despite being on the West Coast, it didn't cover the Schneiderman story at all.
An epic example of fanciful, fatuous liberalism featured in the most recent New York Times Sunday Review, a screed from Times food writer Mark Bittman that tried to tie in every single current event into a neat package labeled Republican Evil: "The police killing unarmed civilians. Horrifying income inequality. Rotting infrastructure and an unsafe "safety net." An inability to respond to climate, public health and environmental threats. A food system that causes disease. An occasionally dysfunctional and even cruel government. A sizable segment of the population excluded from work and subject to near-random incarceration. You get it: This is the United States, which, with the incoming Congress, might actually get worse."
Less than 24-hours after former Governor Bob McDonnell (R-VA) was indicted on 14 charges including conspiracy and fraud, all three network morning shows immediately identified McDonnell as a Republican. While McDonnell’s potential crimes are serious, the media failed to uphold the same party ID standard when it involved a scandal plagued Democratic governor.
NBC led their January 22 coverage of the McDonnell scandal with Today host Savannah Guthrie introducing the segment by saying, “And now to that bombshell indictment of the former governor of Virginia, Bob McDonnell, a one-time rising star in the Republican Party.” ABC provided an on-screen graphic identifying McDonnell as a Republican and CBS This Morning’s Nancy Cordes said that “McDonnell was once considered a possible presidential contender for the GOP.”
Bill Maher on Friday attacked the media – particularly MSNBC’s Chris Matthews – for hypocrisy concerning how they handle sex scandals based on whether or not they like the politician involved.
The HBO Real Time host correctly pointed out that the Anthony Weiner-bashing Matthews absolutely adored John F. Kennedy and Bill Clinton who were both involved in far worse sexcapades than the New York City mayoral candidate (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Would Eliot Spitzer be getting such a boost from CNN if he were a Republican? The former Democratic New York governor resigned in 2008 over a prostitution scandal, but less than three years later he snagged a prime-time show on CNN. On Wednesday night he enjoyed a nice promotion from CNN's Piers Morgan as he runs for New York City comptroller.
Morgan largely avoided Spitzer's 2008 scandal – except to use it for his "comeback" narrative. "This is all part of a comeback. You are the 'Comeback Kid.' Do you like being the 'Comeback Kid?'" he asked Spitzer.
For the second day in a row, the journalists at Good Morning America failed to identify prostitution patron Eliot Spitzer as a Democrat. Yet, in a story on the politician's comeback, reporter Claire Shipman made sure to highlight former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford as a Republican. Regarding Spitzer's bid to be the New York City comptroller, Shipman enthused, "A new political lesson for Eliot Spitzer: Infamy might work to his advantage."
She continued, "It certainly brought the former New York governor crowds he could not have imagined before his prostitution scandal cost him his job in 2008." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] What the reporter conveniently ignored is that Spitzer was mercilessly heckled on Thursday. A Manhattan man screamed at the Democrat, "Why were you late? Were you with a hooker?"
CNN mentioned Eliot Spitzer's prostitution scandal in every single report on his comeback bid in politics on Monday and Tuesday, but hid that he was recently a CNN prime-time host in five of the seven reports.
Spitzer was originally hired by CNN as a liberal voice, to co-host a prime-time show with "conservative" Kathleen Parker that debuted in October of 2010. When Parker left the show months later in February of 2011, Spitzer – originally hired for his liberal bias – became the sole host of In the Arena, which was canceled later in July. Yet CNN only disclosed this information twice in its seven reports on Spitzer's candidacy for New York City comptroller.
As defenses go to the charge of having lied to the people of New York about illegal activities, Eliot Spitzer's was feeble at best. Hey, politicans lie all the time about all sorts of stuff, was the essence of Client #9-turned-Comptroller-candidate's response.
Spitzer's lame defense [he literally said: "I think we all know that politicians dissemble all the time about negotiations, on substantive issues and probably on personal issues as well"] came in response to some serious grilling by Mark Halperin on today's Morning Joe. The Spitzer segment was set up to feature Mika Brzezinski as chief inquisitor, but it was actually Halperin who subjected Spritzer to the closest scrutiny. View the video after the jump.
Hardball guest host Michael Smerconish on Monday was so gentle with reformed prostitution patron Eliot Spitzer that even the former governor seemed uncomfortable. Talking about Spitzer's new run for New York City comptroller, Smerconish enthused, "Governor, does running now mean that resigning was unwarranted?"
He continued, "Would a Spitzer victory mark the of end of the sex scandal as we know it? And I'm asking, really, have we become too intrusive into our elected officials' and candidates' private lives?" This appeared to be too much for Spitzer. He allowed, "Look, I'm not sure I'm the right person to ask, because I have a perspective that is so tailored to what I've been through." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The journalists at Good Morning America on Monday offered an assist to liberal politicians trying to avoid being associated with the scandal-plagued former Governor of New York. While announcing Eliot Spitzer's return to public life, news reader Paula Faris avoided any mention of the fact that Spitzer is a Democrat. As she noted his bid to be New York City's comptroller, Faris simply referred to the "disgraced former governor of New York."
Over on NBC's Today, correspondent Kristen Dahlgren hyped Spitzer as "the next comeback kid." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Comparing the ex-governor to Anthony Weiner, Dahlgren enthused, "2013 may go down as the year of the second chance." Despite connecting the two New York Democrats, Dahlgren also skipped any ideological label. It wasn't until the 8am hour that co-host Natalie Morales alerted, "The Democrat stepped down in 2008 over a prostitution scandal."
I say "political integrity expert," you say "Eliot Spitzer." I say "you're kidding me, right?"
Rachel Maddow actually got off to a good start last evening in her segment on political sleaziness, ripping politicians both Dem and Republican for a variety of venal sins. But of all the people to bring on as your expert to discuss how to raise the moral bar . . . Client 9? Surely you make mirth, Ms. Maddow! View the video after the jump.
CNN's Howard Kurtz on Sunday mocked the hiring of sex scandal plagued former governor Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) by Fox News.
Hypocritically, the "Reliable Sources" host neglected to mention his own network's prior relationship with the prostitute loving former governor Eliot Spitzer (D-N.Y.) (video follows with transcript and commentary):