Friday, June 25, 2010

The Body

He's back!  Former New York governor Eliot Spitzer has signed to co-host a nightly CNN show beginning this fall.  The name of the show, and the format have not been announced.  Judging by the description released by CNN, it smells a lot like "CrossFire 2010."

CNN needs a hit.  Its prime time ratings are in the tank.  The current 8 pm host, Campbell Brown quit because she can't draw a crowd.  Larry King at 9 pm has lost a huge part of his audience.

Let's look at Mr. Spitzer for a moment.  He resigned as New York governor in March 2008, after it was revealed Spitzer was fond of call girls.  One of his favorites was Ashley Dupre.

Spitzer's hypocrisy bothered me more than his actual illegal acts.  He liked to portray himself as Mr. Law and Order, while at the same time, he was hooking up with women from a rental service.

So, that sets off the debate.

Is CNN rewarding bad behavior?  Is it so desperate for ratings that it will hire an admitted cheater and liar?

On the other hand, how long should Spitzer be punished?

He did get high marks as attorney general for the state of New York.

Should we look at the body of work rather than just Ms. Dupre's body?

It's going to come down to one thing:  Is Eliot Spitzer good on television?  That's it.  That's the list.

Coincidentally, I had an e-mail discussion Wednesday, with a friend, over Dan Flood.  The congressman did a lot of good for his district, although some of it was nothing more than pork barrell politics.  Flood resigned in 1980 after a mistrial on bribery charges.  Can you talk about Flood without mentioning the thievery?  Should that be on a Public Square tribute marker?

I've always been a fan of looking at the big picture, the good and the bad.  The body of work.

No one's perfect.  You just have to hope, and work to make sure the good outweighs the not so good.