No sign of desperation at CNN these days. Nooooooooo. After all, what TV producer wouldn’t jump at the chance to premiere a new prime-time political show this fall with a disgraced former attorney-general/governor-turned-high-end-john?
Yes, that’s right–CNN jumped first. They’ve just announced their new hour-long show with “conservative” 2010 Pulitzer Prize winner Kathleen Parker and 2008 Booby Prize winner Eliot Spitzer. This program has class writ large all over it. It’s low class–but it’s still class.
Once details of his secret life as “Client No. 9” in a haute-poitrine call-girl business emerged back in March 2008 (and after he subsequently resigned as New York’s governor), no doubt the TV offers just poured in for Eliot Spitzer. “The usurer hangs the cozener,” complains King Lear. And in Spitzer’s little tragedy of pimp and prejudice, the john hangs the hooker.
So now, two years later, flailing, failing CNN decides it needs Spitzer’s “well respected political mind and a take-no-prisoners” attitude to rescue it from its ratings sinkhole. Say what you will about Larry King’s flaccid, Cialis-craving ratings, at least the Suspendered One had the Old World decency to actually marry a few of his dalliances. Spitzer, in comparison, had the two-faced Molierian lack of testicular fortitude to go after the bosses (as A.G.) while simultaneously chasing after the candy.
Spitzer’s second-act reprieve is reminiscent of Mackie Messer (“Mack the Knife”) at the end of The Threepenny Opera. Just when the crook is about to be hanged, he not only gets a stay of execution, but a plum post in the royal bureaucracy, complete with lifelong pension.
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But at least ol’ Mackie had charisma. Spitzer’s got the likeability of an IRS agent having a bad week. The sad picture of his pretty and loyal wife, Silda, standing by his pathetic philandering side at that resignation press conference was just one more act of male hubris on the “Sheriff’s” part. Betrayal of uxorial faith wasn’t enough for Spitzer; he had to add humiliation to injury.
So what’s an outraged would-be viewer to do?
Well, since CNN hasn’t yet titled the new Eliot Spitzer-Kathleen Parker roundtable program, let’s help CNN come up with a winning name for the program. Below are my top ten titles for the new show.
I have no doubt the CNN marketing staff will be most receptive to anything we collectively come up with. We will eventually submit the best title candidates to Jon Klein, president of CNN/U.S., who will no doubt give our suggestions a most diligent and fair-minded assessment (just ahead of papering the floor of his birdcage with them.)
With that in mind, here’s my list, in no particular order:
1. Spitz and Spats
2. Client Number 9 at 8
3. Sure Riff with the Sheriff
4. The Pimp and the Pundit
5. The Touchables (Starring Eliot Clueless-Ness)
6. Parker and the Porker
7. Eliot, the Extra-Terrestrial
8. Spitzer and Blitzer: The Tiger Meets the Wolf
9. If the Shoe Spitz…
10. Mister Spitzer Comes to Washington