After letting it wither on the vine for a while, CNN has canceled the nightly television program hosted by disgraced former New York governor Eliot Spitzer.
The show, known as "In the Arena," had initially paired Spitzer with moderate conservative Kathleen Parker who proved no match for her much more vociferous liberal counterpart. AP reports on the lineup shuffle:
Spitzer lasted less than a year at the network. He began on CNN's prime-time lineup last October paired with conservative columnist Kathleen Parker, who exited in February. The show never made a ratings dent in a tough cable news time slot dominated by Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly.
CNN is moving Anderson Cooper's news program, which now airs at 10 p.m., into the 8 p.m. time slot. Former CNBC personality Erin Burnett will host a show that is scheduled for 7 p.m. Eastern time.
After Parker's departure from the program, "In the Arena" was one of several CNN shows that had been hosted solely by Democratic politicians in contrast to zero programs hosted by former Republican politicos. Around the turn of the millennium, the network gave far-left racialist Jesse Jackson a show laughably called "Both Sides With Jesse Jackson." The network also continues to employ Fareed Zakaria as an ostensibly "objective" host despite his admitting to being a foreign policy adviser to President Obama.
Spitzer was given the opportunity to host the show despite his involvement as a customer of a prostitution ring which led to his ouster as governor. But since he was a liberal Democrat, that wasn't sufficient to keep him from getting a prime-time television show. Is Anthony Weiner getting ready for his close-up?
Speaking of Weiner, though, aside from his show's anemic ratings, Spitzer had become a bit of a liability for the network during the former congressman's recent public immolation. During a recitation of recent politician sex scandals, CNN conspicuously omitted its now-former host from the list. That prompted the network's media correspondent Howard Kurtz to criticize his employer. Even the notoriously partisan Chris Matthews of MSNBC criticized the network for hiring him.
As would be expected from such a partisan host, "In the Arena" was far from non-partisan in its programming. Spitzer was a strong proponent of liberal economic policies and got into an on-air scuffle with conservative pundit Ann Coulter over it. Spitzer also routinely criticized Republican fiscal policy, once stating on the air that the GOP was "balancing the budget on the backs of the poor."
For his part, Spitzer denied a bias to his programming, taking exception to criticism of him on NewsBusters during an interview with our publisher Brent Bozell. Watch video of the exchange he had with Bozell below: