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What’s gotten into CNN is anybody’s guess. CNN’s new soon-to-air program, “Parker-Spitzer,” features in tandem conservative journalist Kathleen Parker and former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer. Yes, that Spitzer, the one who in 2008 resigned his position in disgrace in the wake of news stories regaling us about his visits to a prostitute, what he paid her, and possibly how he transported her across state lines for sex.

This is the Eliot Spitzer who opted out in order to avoid answering for a boatload of allegations of immoral and illegal behavior. And this is the man who opted out with his poor wife standing beside him in obvious emotional distress.

Another question might be what in the world is Kathleen Parker thinking? She’s a respected conservative columnist who, until now, was admired for her rational approach to politics and decision-making. Why she would stoop to this kind of gimmickry is perplexing. Having recently won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary she doesn’t need this program either to be heard or to be successful.

I’m not opposed to giving Spitzer a so-called second chance. But I haven’t read or heard any testimonials claiming he’s sorry, repentant, changed his ways, or is a better man for his self-generated ordeal. He didn’t make a “mistake,” as some claim. He made a serious error in moral judgment, repeatedly. Now, all we get is a man whose naughtiness has increased his celebrity factor. This seems to be what CNN is banking on more than on any claim of special journalistic or political chops.

Maybe CNN thinks tainted celebrity translates to ratings increases. But I doubt it. CNN isn’t traversing bold new ground. It’s jumping the shark.


© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2010

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