The rumors were true. CNN is without shame. They are hiring disgraced Democrat Gov. Eliot Spitzer, the hypocritical “Sheriff of Wall Street” who hired high-priced hookers, as a talk-show host. Spitzer’s co-host will be pseudo-conservative columnist Kathleen Parker, who won the Pulitzer Prize for being a conservative-basher. CNN’s press release on their Political Ticker said “she describes herself as a ‘rational’ conservative.”
That’s a nice way to endear her to the “irrational” conservatives who might have considered watching this show. It's set up to be Liberal Lion vs. 'Rational' Lamb.
Jon Klein, president of CNN/U.S., the man who canceled the long-running left-right show “Crossfire” after Jon Stewart lamented they needed to "stop, stop, stop, stop, hurting America," has reinvented the format as just the latest liberal-media attempt to rehabilitate Spitzer’s career.
Klein said in a statement: "Eliot and Kathleen are beholden to no vested interest - in fact, quite the opposite: they are renowned for taking on the most powerful targets and most important causes." They're actually spinning this "unbeholden" Spitzer as a moralist and guardian of the public interest.
CNN’s press release suggested that little prostitution thing is hardly a disqualification for such a “well-respected political mind.” They even re-used the ridiculous “Sheriff” moniker:
With all the conservative columnists out there, if you were looking for an author to represent the right-wing view in a new Crossfire-like program, would you choose Kathleen Parker who lately has largely presented herself as a Republican In Name Only?
According to the New York Post, that's exactly what CNN is considering.
Not only that, but her liberal opponent is rumored to be -- wait for it! -- disgraced former New York governor Eliot Spitzer.
Here's what the Post published Friday concerning this matter:
On Monday’s Joy Behar Show, after a segment on long-time journalist Helen Thomas’s recent outburst that Israeli Jews should "get the hell out of Palestine" and "go home" to Germany and Poland, host Behar held over guest and comedian Robert Klein to talk about his comedy show, titled Robert Klein: Unfair and Unbalanced. After Behar asked if the title was meant to be a jab at Fox News, Klein referred to the false premise that liberals are not included on FNC, and cracked that there have not been any liberals since on FNC since former host Alan Colmes was "sent back to Poland," which could be interpreted as a Nazi joke about Fox News: "They haven`t had a liberal on that thing since Alan Colmes was, you know, sent back to Poland. ... Emotional scars that boy has on that network." Behar added that Colmes and Helen Thomas are "on the train right now." Klein concluded that FNC’s "Fair and Balanced" theme is "pretty ludicrous." Colmes, notably, still appears regularly as an analyst on FNC.
Klein also made it known that he prefers to attack conservatives over sex scandals because of the hypocrisy issue, while the treating sex scandals of Democrats as less important because they are not "values guys" anyway:
Today, the Associated Press generally did what is supposed to do when reporting on scandal-plagued politicians. Here are the first five paragraphs of the AP's brief report on Indiana Congressman Mark Souder's resignation announcement (link is dynamic and will probably be updated; "where's the worst one we can find?" picture of Souder at top right is via AP):
In the 7:30AM ET half hour on Monday's CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez lobbed softballs to disgraced former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer about his college friend and Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan: "She's been labeled as moderate. If you had to put a label on her, would you say that one is accurate?" A headline on screen read: "Who is Elena Kagan?"
Spitzer replied: "I guess you could say moderate....it's very hard to pigeon hole her." Rodriguez's question was prompted by his insistence that Kagan "is not an ideologue of the Left or the Right and that is clear from what she did as dean of Harvard Law School. Just a perfect temperament to be a justice." Of course, during Kagan's tenure as dean of Harvard Law, she pushed for military recruiters to be barred from campus because of her opposition to 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy.
Rodriguez wondered about Kagan's college days: "Can you think of a story or an anecdote from back then?" Spitzer recalled: "a friend and I were going back and forth about who could eat more, she goaded us into having a spaghetti eating contest." Rodriguez looked for the best way to spin the story to make it relevant: "I'm trying to take something from that, could it be that she's persuasive, can bring people together, which is what the President is hoping?" In response, Spitzer declared that once on the Supreme Court, Kagan "will get the fifth vote."
Cheering some Republican support for Democratic financial reform legislation on Wednesday, CBS Early Show co-host Maggie Rodriguez declared: "encouraging news out of Washington, that after a week or so of attacking this financial bill that the Democrats are proposing to regulate Wall Street, Republicans are changing their tone and they seem to be wanting to come on board."
Rodriguez turned to business correspondent Rebecca Jarvis and wondered: "Does it look, this morning, as though a bipartisan bill will emerge?" Jarvis replied: "Well, Maggie, it looks this morning like Republicans are warming up to the idea of a bipartisan bill on financial reform." She added: "With Obama, the President, coming here to Wall Street tomorrow to push the agenda forward, it looks like there will be a political expediency to getting the deal done." An on-screen headline read: "Financial Reform Push; Obama & Senate Take on Wall Street."
On Tuesday, the Early Show had on disgraced ex-New York Governor Eliot Spitzer to discuss financial reform. Co-host Harry Smith introduced him as "the sheriff of Wall Street."
Get caught with your pants (but not black socks) down consorting with hookers after hypocritically spearheading investigations of prostitution rings? No problem if you are a liberal. There is always a chance for political redemption with the aid of the mainstream media. Such was the case this past week with Client # 9 aka Eliot Spitzer. First Spitzer lets us know about the terrible pain of irrelevance in a Fortune magazine article:
...But he also says he is "in unceasing agony" and "incredibly frustrated" over no longer being "where I would like to be" -- finishing his first term as governor of New York. "Anybody who says disengaging from it in any way is easy is not being straightforward," he says. "Obviously, removing myself the way I did is that much more painful."
While discussing the Democrats' latest version of health care reform on Monday's CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith asked GOP strategist Ed Rollins: "Are the Republicans better off just saying let the Democrats burn in hell with this, we're going to stay on the sidelines and win the House back this fall?"
The segment also featured disgraced ex-New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, who Smith earlier asked about an upcoming health care summit: "...this whole notion that the Republicans were saying 'well, we might not show up, now Mitch McConnell over the weekend, the minority head of the Senate, says 'we're going come, but we think the Democrats are arrogant.' Is this doomed from the get-go?" Spitzer proclaimed: "the Democratic Party and the President know they must get something done. The internal discipline within the Democratic Party will be what makes this a success."
Spitzer later argued: "The Republican Party's been the party of no, the party of nihilism. The President should stand up and say 'here's what's good for America. We have the votes, we're willing to do it.'" Smith followed that logic: "So is this then the real test for the President?...To say 'I have control of the people in my party, I can do this thing and it will benefit the American people.' And in the end, push back to everything that's been pushing up against him?" Spitzer replied: "This is the moment when either he says we are leaders, we will get it done, or if they fail this time, then it really is debacle for the Democratic Party."
Former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer's high-priced call girl Ashley Dupre has landed herself an advice column at the New York Post:
Sure, she's made some mistakes. But now Ashley Dupre, the former escort who brought down Gov. Eliot Spitzer, is sharing what she's learned in her new sex, love and relationship column -- exclusively in the New York Post. Is your husband cheating? Is your daughter on a dangerous path? Our readers asked -- and Ashley fired back with her no-nonsense advice.
I guess all of Tiger Woods' mistresses should take heart, for it appears in America today being the other woman can really pay off.
The Post even created a video to advertise its new columnist (video embedded below the fold, h/t Mediaite):
On Sunday’s Reliable Sources, CNN's Howard Kurtz brought up the scarcity of media attention paid to the revelation that high-profile Democratic Senator Max Baucus nominated his girlfriend to be a U.S. attorney for his home state of Montana, as the CNN host even took to task CNN for ignoring the scandal, calling it a "stunning lapse in judgment," and recounted that he had monitored the news channel on Saturday and did not see Baucus mentioned. Kurtz: "Washington Post has it on page three, New York Times has it on page 33. I watched CNN all day yesterday. I didn’t see any mention of this story, which I thought was a stunning lapse in judgment."
When Kurtz questioned why there was so little media attention, guest Chip Reid of CBS News asserted there was "no scandal" in the story. Reid: "I don’t think it has legs because there’s no sex scandal, and it’s not like Vitter. It’s not like Ensign. There’s no scandal here."
While discussing the appointment of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court on MSNBC Monday, guest Eliot Spitzer made a startling observation: "Democratic presidents nominate very centrist justices to the Supreme Court. The Republican presidents over the past 10-15 years have nominated very extremely conservative justices and that’s why the court has eschewed to the right."[audio available here]
Spitzer, the former Governor of New York who resigned from office in 2008 amid a sex scandal with a prostitute, went on to lament the unwillingness of Democratic presidents to appoint more liberal justices: "And the role of the Democratic judges – justices – has been to play the middle... And that is, I think, at a larger ideological point, a discussion we should have, because Democratic presidents have been hesitant to put really liberal justices on the court."
MSNBC anchor Dylan Ratigan, who was premiering his new show "The Morning Meeting," did not challenge Spitzer’s absurd assertions, but rather turned to Washington Post editorial writer Jonathan Capehart and asked: "Yeah, Jonathan what do you think about that? That the Republicans have papered it with very conservative judges and that Democrats have tried to go more middle or slightly left of center, as opposed to way left judges?" Capehart agreed with Spitzer: "Well look, I respect everything my – Governor Spitzer says."
In the wake of South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford’s admission to having an affair, evening and morning newscasts on NBC, CBS, and ABC all immediately identified him as a Republican. In contrast, in March of last year, the networks rarely identified disgraced New York Governor Eliot Spitzer as a Democrat in the wake of his affair with a prostitute.
In a 2008 study of evening and morning network newscasts following the Spitzer scandal, NewsBusters’ Rich Noyes found that within the first week of news coverage Spitzer was only identified as a Democrat 20% of the time. However, within the first 24 hours of Sanford’s confession to having an affair, he was identified as a Republican 100% of the time, during coverage on all the networks.
On Wednesday, the NBC Nightly News, which failed to give Spitzer’s party affiliation for three days following his scandal, immediately focused on Sanford’s national role in the Republican Party as anchor Brian Williams declared: "In a Republican Party hungry for young stars, he was one of them: Mark Sanford, the governor of South Carolina...Tonight his political career is in tatters. His state, his party are in some turmoil. And Mark Sanford is no longer being mentioned as a possible GOP nominee for the White House."
All three broadcast network morning shows on Wednesday made a point of labeling Nevada Senator John Ensign as a “Republican” after the Senator came forward last night to admit having an extramarital affair last year. NBC, which refrained for days from calling New York Governor Eliot Spitzer a “Democrat” after his relationship with a prostitute was exposed, called Ensign a “conservative Republican,” while CBS made a point of reciting Ensign’s associations with Christian groups.
ABC’s Good Morning America provided the only full report, with the on-screen headline declaring “Leading GOP Senator Admits Affair.” News anchor Chris Cuomo and correspondent Jonathan Karl noted Ensign’s Republican affiliation three times: “A rising star in the Republican Party is coming forward....” “John Ensign is a member of the Republican leadership....” and “The Republican from Nevada admits cheating on his wife...”
Last year, NewsBusters noted how the networks always added the “Republican” label to GOP politicians caught in sex scandals, but not Democrats; with their coverage of the Ensign scandal this morning, the networks are maintaining their perfectly slanted approach.
On Monday’s Tonight Show on NBC, Jay Leno incorrectly called New York’s former Democratic Governor Eliot Spitzer a Republican during the show’s monologue as he joked about Republican sex scandals. Inspired by John McCain’s daughter Meghan’s recent declaration that she is a "pro-sex Republican," Leno used her comment to poke fun at Republican Senator David Vitter of Louisiana, as well as Democrat Spitzer, who were both revealed to have hired prostitutes. But Leno’s joke assumed both disgraced politicians were Republicans: "Don’t confuse that with other Republicans like Senator Vitter and Eliot Spitzer. They like to get their sex from a pro."
If Leno was confused about Spitzer's party affiliation, it is hardly surprising, as the MRC’s Brent Baker previously documented the mainstream media’s reluctance to label Spitzer as a Democrat, and Rich Noyes documented the media’s greater willingness to label Republicans involved in sex scandals.
Below is the complete text of Leno’s joke from the Monday, May 25, Tonight Show on NBC:
Just this past Monday, NBC’s "Today" show studiously avoided mentioning disgraced Governor Eliot Spitzer’s Democratic affiliation during his interview with Matt Lauer, but fast forward to Wednesday’s "Today" and a story about another governor embroiled in a sex scandal -- in this case Nevada Republican Governor Jim Gibbons -- and NBC’s Michael Okwu was careful to note he is a Republican at the very top of the story:
MICHAEL OKWU: If voters in Nevada were betting on a nasty gubernatorial divorce, this week they hit the jackpot. That's Republican Governor Jim Gibbons. There's his future ex-wife, Dawn. After 23 years of a polished political marriage to Dawn Gibbons, a former state assemblywoman, the governor has filed for divorce citing incompatibility in what's become a very public war of the roses.
NBC's Matt Lauer invited on former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, on Monday's "Today" show, to help restore his reputation after he lost his governorship due to solicitation of prostitute and while the former governor expressed regret for hurting his family, it was Lauer who suggested the greatest loss was that Spitzer missed a chance to regulate Wall Street. Lauer also failed to mention the disgraced governor's Democratic party affiliation, something that has become a bit of a tradition over at "Today."
The following are just some of the pro-regulatory questions Lauer tossed to Spitzer:
LAUER: You said something to the effect, and I'm paraphrasing here. You said that the regulations were there but the will to regulate was not there...So, so now that we've had, that the economy is story number one, two and three in this country, right now, and there's been so much public outrage, is the will to regulate there now?....And, and finally do you ever ask yourself, "What if?" I mean you were a person with the knowledge and the position to perhaps do something about this? First as attorney general, and then governor of New York, until you were brought down by this scandal? Do you ever shake your head and say, "I missed a golden opportunity?"
The following is a complete transcript of the segment as it was aired on the April 6 "Today" show:
Spitzer is best remembered for resigning as the Empire State's chief executive after being caught patronizing high-priced prostitutes over a period of several years, and for having a reputation as an attorney general on a self-aggrandizing crusade against against corporate corruption prior to that.
Spitzer is attempting to capitalize on the public's incomplete knowledge of his sorry saga to get back in its good graces.
Of the 14 politicians identified, seven are Democrats and seven are Republicans. Five of the seven GOP members are identified as such, while only two of the seven Democrats were flagged. The montage also has a couple of surprising factual errors.
Well, glory be, sometime in the past couple of months, ABC has made changes to the montage. Now each profile except for Bill Clinton's (which is excusable) identifies the politician's party. Additionally, two factual errors at the original profiles have been corrected. The year of Clinton's Lewinsky scandal which ultimately led to his acts of perjury and impeachment has been changed from 1995 to 1998, and an incorrect statement that sex-scandalized Florida Democratic Congressman Tim Mahoney had conceded to GOP opponent Tom Rooney before Election Day last year has been removed.
Here's the lineup of the "Faces of Political Scandal," and how their status changed:
Michael Moore is in the middle of shooting a movie about Wall Street and the financial industry. So who is he now turning to for help? The Daily Kos. I kid you not. Yesterday Moore posted a thread on the Daily Kos titled, "Will You Help Me With My Next Film? ...a request from Michael Moore." Here is the text of his request asking for Kossack "expertise" about high finance:
I am in the middle of shooting my next movie and I am looking for a few brave people who work on Wall Street or in the financial industry to come forward and share with me what they know. Based on those who have already contacted me, I believe there are a number of you who know "the real deal" about the abuses that have been happening. You have information that the American people need to hear. I am humbly asking you for a moment of courage, to be a hero and help me expose the biggest swindle in American history.
All correspondence with me will be kept confidential. Your identity will be protected and you will decide to what extent you wish to participate in telling the greatest crime story ever told.
James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal highlighted an amusing example of Guess the Party bias: a newspaper that finds the party of Gov. Eliot Spitzer irrelevant in a prostitution story, but not the party affiliation of a prostitute. Frank Main's crime story in the Chicago Sun-Times began: "She didn't charge as much as Ashley Dupre -- the call girl who cost Eliot Spitzer his job as New York governor. But authorities say Barbara Anderson Cohen did not come cheap." Taranto can take it from there:
The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Barbara Anderson Cohen was arrested for prostitution earlier this month "after she flew in from Las Vegas and agreed to have sex in a Loop hotel":
Her price, $1,000 for two hours, was the highest rate of any of the 120 women arrested by the sheriff's office in stings over the last two years, Patterson said.
Former New York governor Eliot Spitzer, who resigned due to his involvement in a prostitution ring, is slowly attempting to edge himself back into the public eye with his new column in Slate. The problem from the POV of The New Republic is that Spitzer is trying to make himself relevant again much too quickly without showing the proper remorse. As a result, The New Republic gives Spitzer some atonement advice written by Jacob Gershman which does the former governor no real service since anything he does now will come off as a cynical attempt to return to the public eye:
A collection of "The Faces of Political Scandal," assembled by ABC News yesterday (HT to an e-mailer), once again demonstrates the media's relative reluctance to identify the membership of Democrats involved in scandal.
Of the 14 politicians identified, seven are Democrats and seven are Republicans. Five of the seven GOP members are identified as such, while only two of the seven Democrats were flagged. The montage also has a couple of surprising factual errors.
Here's the detail, slide by slide:
Current Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich -- Party not ID'd, while containing a quote with a Republican frame of reference ("Gov. Blagojevich has taken us to a new low," U.S. attorney Patrick Fitzgerald said. "This conduct would make Lincoln roll over in his grave.").
As readers of NewsBusters are no doubt aware, we've tracked how the media have regularly refused to acknowledge the political party affiliation of indicted Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick (D).
Well, today, Associated Press reporter Julie Carr Smyth did acknowledge Kilpatrick is a Democrat, albeit in a roundabout sort of way in an article about Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann being the latest in a series of Democrats to find themselves in legal hot water due to sexual indiscretion.
Oh, you've never heard of Dann? That may be because the Ohio AG's scandal lacks the tech savvy of text messages or the sleaze factor of high-priced call girls. But now that it appears that the nuclear option of impeachment may come into play, Time.com is picking up on AP's May 6 article:
On Monday night, the CBS Evening News failed to identify Kwame Kilpatrick as a Democrat in reporting criminal charges filed against the Detroit Mayor, but on Friday night the same anchor, Harry Smith, used the very first word, of his introduction to a story on another politician in criminal trouble, to name the party:
Republican Congressman Rick Renzi of Arizona goes on trial next month, charged with using his office to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars. He denies breaking any laws, but the indictment spells out a string of alleged dirty deals.
A little under two years ago, then-CBS Evening News anchor Bob Schieffer avoided the party affiliation of a Democratic Congressman in introducing a Monday, May 22, 2006 story:
The government says FBI agents videotaped Louisiana Congressman William Jefferson taking $100,000 in cash from an informant and later found $90,000 in his home freezer. But Jefferson said today he will not resign from Congress and he said he thought it inappropriate for the FBI to search his Capitol office this weekend. To the surprise of some, the Senate Republican leader said he too has concerns about the search.
Far be it from NB to suggest any correlation between liberal political orientation and a propensity for prostitution. But in the wake of the Spitzer scandal, the New York Times has run an article profiling three call girls, and we couldn't help but look for telltale signs of their politics. There were no particular hints regarding one of the ladies. But as for the other two . . . well, let's say it's unlikely they'll be turning up anytime soon as contributing editors at NewsBusters.
Ava Xi’an is the apparently apolitical pro. She claims to have gotten into the business to pay for a heart bypass operation for her father . . . who doesn't have health insurance. Bush made her do it, you might say.
As for the other two, Sally Anderson is "an unapologetic feminist" who was "raised in a fancy New Jersey suburb with what she described as 'very progressive parents.'” Oh, and she's planning to leave the profession "to study social work in graduate school." I'd say that wraps it up.
On Monday, the same morning that the Eliot Spitzer prostitution scandal broke, Bob Owens at Confederate Yankee posted an e-mail from the Associated Press which explained the newswire's policy against blogs using AP photos. The long and short of it: unless you have a license from AP, you're violating copyright to use an AP photo.
But today, blogger Jules Crittenden informed me, the AP is defending its policy of lifting from her MySpace page copyrighted photos of Spitzer call girl Ashley Alexandra Dupre:
Fox News's Chris Wallace was once again Steve Malzberg's guest on WOR radio Thursday, and the host of "Fox News Sunday" made some comments about Eliot Spitzer, Geraldine Ferraro, and the current Democrat campaign for president that are guaranteed to raise eyebrows on both sides of the aisle.
In an interview that covered many subjects, Wallace said of Spitzer, "Gosh, what an idiot," while strongly disagreeing with Geraldine Ferraro's recent statements about Barack Obama, and concluded by saying that the "identity politics" the Democrats have been playing for years "is now coming back to bite them, big time" in such a fashion that it could "tear the Party apart."
To get things rolling, Malzberg asked his guest about the Spitzer resignation (15-minute audio available here):
Like Colored and MindedThis is past a bit ridiculous, is it not?
Agence France-Presse (AFP) yesterday disseminated to its client list a headline and photograph caption labeling sex scandalized and self-ousted New York Governor Eliot Spitzer an (R), when he is in fact a (D) -- emocrat.
They then responded -- to correspondence on the subject of their error and the error itself -- rather meekly.
AFP having only corrected their copy -- leaving myriad errors strewn throughout the print and web worlds -- left wide open the possibility that others would follow their poor suit.
Not Minding Their Ps & QsWe on Thursday brought you the Agence France-Presse (AFP)'s ludicrous labeling of self-ousted New York Governor Eliot Spitzer as an (R). This after a week's worth of the Gong Show Media's failure or utter refusal to ascribe any Party affiliation to the man.
Well, we have heard word from the horse's ... mouth.
DScott, an intrepid NewsBusters participant, contacted AFPto point out their inanity. And in the wee small hours of Friday morning -- they wrote back.
DScott was generous enough to share it with us, and we now, in turn, share it with you: