With four hours of air time to fill NBC's "Today" show devoted a whopping 11 segments to the Eliot Spitzer scandal but not once did any of the show's anchors, reporters, guests, talking heads or even on-screen graphics mention the fact that Spitzer was a Democrat.
"Today" co-anchor Meredith Vieira set the tone when she ignored Spitzer's party affiliation as she opened the March 11, "Today" show: "Good morning, client number nine. New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, a hard-charging moral crusader caught in a federal sting involving a high-price call girl ring." NBC's Matt Lauer, also bypassing the "D" next to Spitzer's name, piped in: "Just when you thought you couldn't be shocked any more we go from Eliot Ness to Eliot Mess. Another high profile politician making a stunning admission."
The following is a breakdown of all the Spitzer-related segments:
*Natalie Morales report complete with timeline of Spitzer's alleged involvement with prostitute.
*Matt Lauer interview with "New York Post's" state editor Fred Dicker.
* Meredith Vieira interview with NBC's legal correspondent Dan Abrams about the legal details of the case.
*Janet Shamlian report on Spitzer and other past political sex scandals that makes mention of Bill Clinton, Gary Hart, James McGreevey,and David Vitter with video but no audible mention of Kwame Kilpatrick and Larry Craig.
*Lauer interview with Dina Matos, the ex-wife of former New Jersey Governor James McGreevey on how she dealt with his sex scandal. No mention that Spitzer was a Democrat or for that matter that McGreevey was also a Dem.
*Another Morales report rehashing Spitzer story details. Still no Democratic Party label applied.
*Vieira interview with psychologist Jeffrey Gardere, anthropologist Helen Fisher and Dr. Laura Schlessinger about Spitzer and why men cheat.
*Ann Curry introduces yet another Morales story on Spitzer.
*Curry introduces replay of earlier Shamlian report.
*Curry and Al Roker interview Gardere, Fisher and Matos on Spitzer and the overall impact of infidelity in any marriage.
*Curry and Hoda Kotbe talk more about Spitzer and why men cheat with Dr. Laura Schlessinger. Still no mention of Spitzer's political party.