Washington Post media reporter (and CNN host) Howard Kurtz reports on CNN today, offering pre-show publicity for tonight's debut of Parker Spitzer, starring Democrat partisan Eliot Spitzer and "pragmatic" Kathleen Parker. They're not "natural antagonists," wrote Kurtz in extreme understatement:
Spitzer defends Bill Clinton; Parker didn't think he should have been impeached. Spitzer thinks the Democratic Party has sold out to Wall Street; Parker believes Anita Hill was telling the truth. At one point, she tells executive producer Liza McGuirk: "It's going to be hard to pin me down on a right-wing position."
Translation: it's going to be hard to pin down a right-wing viewer on CNN. Kurtz doesn't try to pin down for the Post reader whether Parker believes Clinton shouldn't have been impeached for lying about illicit intern sex, but Anita Hill's unproven tale of oafish sexual harassment should have derailed the Supreme Court nomination of Clarence Thomas in 1991.
Parker, who loathes the religious right and Sarah Palin (which led to a Pulitzer Prize for commentary and Strange New Respect all over Liberal Medialand), is now credited by Kurtz with "risking" all that liberal praise about her "credibility" to rescue a liberal's career.
Why is Parker, whose husband remains in South Carolina while she commutes, willing to lend her Pulitzer Prize-winning credibility to a role as half of a fondly bickering couple? When Spitzer stepped down, "I remember making a conscious decision not to write about it," she says. "We all struggle in our lives. . . . I didn't need to pile on."
"There's a maturity to her," Spitzer observes from across the room.
As if Spitzer, the one buying the high-priced prostitute with a musical MySpace page, would know anything about maturity.
Was Kurtz making a sly joke or a rhetorical fumble about Parker when he called her Spitzer's "escort"? "Parker, the right-leaning columnist syndicated by The Washington Post, is, in television terms, his escort back to polite society."