CNN’s Jake Tapper gave former New York Governor and candidate for New York City Comptroller Eliot Spitzer absolutely no moment of peace during a blistering interview Thursday on his afternoon show, “The Lead.”
If Spitzer thought he was going to get an easy time from his former network, he was sadly mistaken. The hardball started right out of the chute and Tapper didn’t let up.
A sample of the line of questioning:
“I want to start back in 2008. What you did was incredibly reckless and perhaps more importantly, it was very illegal, as you know, a class E felony, paying for sex, a law you signed, bumping it up to class E. When was the last time you broke that law? 2008?”
“The New York Times reports that you and your wife still live in separate apartments. Now you have slapped down any rumors of divorce and you say she’s supportive of your run. If you win — and you’re ahead in the polls — can we expect to see Silda by your side on election night?”
“Why do you think that you’re ahead in the polls? Do you think it’s name recognition? Do you think people are willing to forgive this tremendous scandal or do you think there’s something more to it than that?”
Tapper then turned to the hypocrisy of Spitzer never having faced criminal charges over a strict anti-human trafficking law that he violated. He framed the line of questioning from the perspective of Kristin Davis, Spitzer’s former madam who served three years in prison for procuring prostitutes for Spitzer. Ironically, Davis is running against Spitzer in the Comptroller race:
Tapper: “What do you say to her?”
Spitzer: “Well, the decision was made based upon the standards set by the Department of Justice and made by the U.S. attorney’s office. They looked at the office and dealt with me the way they dealt with everyone else in my situation.”
Tapper: “You really think that? I think a lot of people might think, look, you’re somebody with money, you’re somebody with power, and this is a perfect example of how people like you don’t end up doing the time the way the average person does.”
When CNN hired Tapper we were hoping to see hard-hitting interviews of politicians like Spitzer, who generally get a pass by sycophantic journalists more interested in rooting for their team than holding politicians accountable for their actions. It’s great to see Tapper delivering. More, please?
Watch the entire, glorious segment here: