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CNN unveils new Spitzer-Parker talk show

After swearing off opinion-based programming - and we've seen how well that's been going for CNN - the ratings-starved cable news network is dipping its parched tongue cautiously into the opinionated waters with a new show hosted by disgraced/rehabbed Democratic former New York governor Eliot Spitzer and conservative columnist Kathleen Parker.

Courtesy of CNN

The as yet unnamed show will air weeknights at 8 p.m., where the network most recently tried and failed with a Campbell Brown-hosted show, and where CNN hopes it can shore up Larry King's sinking talk show at 9.

CNN's new show will differ from all those other opinion shows on those other cable news networks, which "force-feed viewers one narrow, predictable point of view" because it will "be offering a lively roundup of all the best ideas - presented by two of the most intelligent and outspoken figures in the country," CNN president Jon Klein said Wednesday by way of explaining his network's apparent about face.

"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," Klein added for good measure.

Parker's column appears twice weekly in more than 400 newspapers. She calls herself a "rational" conservative; in April she won the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary for her political opinion columns, which she launched in 1987. She is a member of the Washington Post Writers Group.

CNN wanted to remind us that Spitzer, a former prosecutor and former Governor of the State of New York, used to be called the "Sheriff of Wall Street," having prosecuted abuses among major Wall Street firms as well as numerous other industries, both as a young lawyer and as New York State Attorney General, and that, as governor, he restructured New York's system of education finance, and did other good deeds.

But CNN forgot to mention the circumstances under which he resigned as governor in March of 2008. Which is strange because it was such a good, um, news story. Spitzer became a national punch line when it was disclosed he was referred to in court papers as "Client-9," a man who met a prostitute in a hotel in our fair city. The scandal nuked the political career of Spitzer, who'd won a landslide election in 2006 when he vowed to clean up corruption. And now, like the phoenix rising from the ashes, Spitzer is the star of his own primetime show.

By Lisa de Moraes  |  June 23, 2010; 12:44 PM ET
Categories:  TV News  
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Just what America needs: more talking-heads. Just gives us the facts, we'll make-up our own minds. We do not need overpaid pundits to explain it to us in their warped way.

Posted by: jckdoors | June 23, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

As a liberal I've always like Kathleen Parker as one of the few objective conservative voices that can make me questions my own assumptions about an issue. Spitzer I don't know a lot about, but this may actually be worth watching.

Posted by: Chip_M | June 23, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Pretty hard to "prop up" Larry King's show. He looks and acts like he died several years ago. He is the one who should be replaced.

Posted by: VaBroker | June 23, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Wow I can't wait. We get to see a liberal and a faux conservative debate. I guess when Parker takes vacation she will have to have the other faux conservative take her place. David Brooks would work.

Posted by: fastaire | June 23, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse


Perverts-on-Parade was the working title......

Parker is as conservative as Kim Jong-il....Spitzer is well cast as a loser liberal.

Posted by: georgedixon | June 23, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

I've seen Spitzer filling in on various MSNBC shows. He is head and shoulders smarter than the journalists, no, the people he fills in for and asks great questions. He is also polite!!! Bob Woodward is the only person who would be better.
Good luck to both of them.

Posted by: edismae | June 23, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

1. Thank goodness Campbell Brown is gone. She was horrible. 2. At least these two are educated and have some clue as to what they are talking about. I really dont want to hear any more from the likes of Beck, Limbaugh, Dobbs, John King, Gloria Berger and the likes.
Focus on giving us the facts. I can make up my own mind thank you!

Posted by: sbeck1 | June 23, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

As a liberal I've always like Kathleen Parker as one of the few objective conservative voices that can make me questions my own assumptions about an issue. Spitzer I don't know a lot about, but this may actually be worth watching.

Posted by: Chip_M | June 23, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

I totally concur with that.

I, too, am a very liberal person; but I have found MOST of what Kathleen Parker having to say to be intellectually agreeable, even on topics and ideologies I don't agree with.

She is truly a thinking, "rational" Conservative, not an ideological one. The two Conservatives I have respect for the most are David Brooks of the NY Times and Kathleen Parker who writes for the Post here.

They don't go by pure emotions --- or "god" ideologies --- like most Cons and GOPers. They analyze topics as they see them with respect to a larger human picture/landscape, dotted with holes, different slants, and different people with different ideas...

Posted by: HerLao | June 23, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

I remember when former Governor Spitzer came to my rescue in New York. And I remember his fall from grace. I will always have a special place in my heart for the crusader that he was.

I do not believe, however, that this is the ideal venue for a man who resigned from office under such sordid circumstances. He serves best behind the scenes and not in the spotlight where his own hypocrisy will not allow him to honestly challenge it in others.

Posted by: hakafos44 | June 23, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

If Cnn wanted to up their ratings they would get rid of Rick Sanchez. He is so one sided I cant even watch the channel anymore.

Posted by: PennyWisetheClown | June 23, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

When will we stop rewarding cheaters, hypocrites, and overall bad behavior in this country?

Posted by: jgmann | June 23, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Take a hike Elliot.
News Flash to CNN. We don't care anymore.

Posted by: newtonian | June 23, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Another reason not to watch CNN. I want news and not so many opinions.

Posted by: rlj1 | June 23, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

SpitzPark (Ohmigod - they killed Larry!)

Posted by: mattintx | June 23, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

CNN made a blunder. They should have teamed Spitzer with the poor girl he had sex with instead of some Parker lady. I bet CNN ratings would go to sky if they do what I recommend.

Posted by: tjohn1 | June 23, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if Parker apologized to Spitzer for the vicious, gratuitous name calling she dumped on him during the coup d'etate that the MSM gave him for going after the Wall Street crooks.

It has been proven once more: in politics, greed and power search you don't mind sleeping with your enemies.

Posted by: coqui44 | June 23, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Why in the world would anyone want to watch Spitzer. The man is a proven liar and I will not watch even one time. CNN is desperate for ratings but this has to be a new low. If they keep this up there ratings will be lower than MSNBC.

Posted by: farmsnorton | June 23, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

just one more of many reasons not to watch CNN. Why waste an hour of your life listening or watching Spitzer.

Posted by: jfacteau | June 23, 2010 8:29 PM | Report abuse

I gloated (silently to myself) during his downfall. This is my penance. The almighty can be harsh.

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Posted by: fds89afdahj | June 23, 2010 9:10 PM | Report abuse

I love Spitzer and I'm glad to see him rehabilitating, but Parker is a snore. The fact that she got a Pulitzer says more about the standards of the Pulitzer judges than about her pundit skills...

Posted by: habari2 | June 23, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

I'm amazed at the people who don't want Spitzer on television because he cheated on his wife with a prostitute, yet a few republican Congressmen and Governors still hold their seats after cheating on their wives, Newt Gingrich is on just about every news show spewing his wretched filth and hatred despite having cheated on his wives.

Posted by: cgallaway2000 | June 23, 2010 10:32 PM | Report abuse

CNN wants a show that can't be predicted. THAT it will be with these two. Parker will be conservative one day and out in left field the next. Well, I contradicted myself, you CAN predict what to expect.

Posted by: kls1 | June 23, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

The program is going to be great. Spitzer has already proven himself on MSNBC as guest commentator. Smart, really smart and so direct and clear with his thoughts. We are all going to see what should have been our next President of the United States.

Posted by: MissClarty | June 24, 2010 12:00 AM | Report abuse

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