Now that Eliot Spitzer is officially a cable news host, media folks have been chiming in about Client Number 9′s new gig.
Even before the news broke this morning that Spitzer and Kathleen Parker will host a show at 8 p.m. on CNN, The New Yorker‘s Nancy Franklin did not have nice things to say about the former governor. “I was practically blown out through the back of my couch, I was so repelled by the sight of him,” Ms. Franklin told The Observer about watching Mr. Spitzer guest host for Dylan Ratigan.
“I don’t think anybody really wants to watch him. They’ll tune in one or two times to see him. But he’s very loud. He’s very arrogant. He’s very smart. But he’s not really right for television,” Ms. Franklin added.
A collection of reactions to Spitzer’s new primetime job below:
James Poniewozik: “The first is not that Spitzer has been chosen despite his sex scandal. It’s that he seemingly was chosen, at least in part, because of the scandal: that is, because of the short-term blast of notoriety and buzz that he will bring with him. Now, for all I know, CNN genuinely sees special and distinctive broadcasting talent in Spitzer, but if they do, it’s eluded me in his long recent history as commentator and guest-host on CNN and MSNBC, where-to my ears, anyway-he comes off grating and supercilious. If he didn’t come with the name and the headlines, I have a hard time believing he’d been chosen on the basis of ability alone.”
Greta Van Susteren: “This is bad news for Keith Olbermann since if CNN is to be successful, it will have to draw viewers from Keith Olbermann’s viewers. The total number of cable news viewers seems to be a limited number so they have to grab from Olberman.”
Choire Sicha: “I have already canceled this CNN show in my mind.”
Mike Allen: “Spitzer is controversial and Parker is spicy. The two met for the first time recently, at Spitzer’s office. Parker, who splits her time behind South Carolina and Washington, will be moving to New York City. In their first joint interview, the two sounded slightly playful, and Parker made it clear she’ll stand up to Spitzer”
Lisa de Moraes: “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 … And now, like the phoenix rising from the ashes, Spitzer is the star of his own primetime show.”