Spitzer Makes His Comeback as Cable News Host

Disgraced governor to co-host 8 pm talk show with columnist Kathleen Parker

By Michael Clancy
|  Wednesday, Jun 23, 2010  |  Updated 10:14 AM PDT
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Kathleen Parker and Eliot Spitzer are teaming up in September to host a newsy conversation show that will replace "Campbell Brown."

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Former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who infamously resigned in disgrace after he was outed as Client No. 9, will have his second act as a co-host of a primetime news program on CNN.

The former "Sheriff of Wall Street," who later became known as the "Lov Gov," will be paired with the Pulitzer Prize-winning conservative columnist Kathleen Parker for a yet-to-be-named roundtable discussion show that will replace "Campbell Brown" in the lagging cable network's 8 p.m. slot.

"Other cable news channels force-feed viewers one narrow, predictable point of view; in contrast, CNN will be offering a lively roundup of all the best ideas – presented by two of the most intelligent and outspoken figures in the country,” Jon Klein, president of CNN/U.S., said in a statement released by the network. “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.”

The announcement is the culmination of Spitzer's self--reinvention as a media pundit after he resigned from office in March 2008 after admitting to dalliances with prostitutes while serving as New York's chief executive.

Check out a brief timeline of Spitzer's self-rehabilitation efforts over the last six months: 

  • May 2: Spitzer stopped by the 92nd Street Y to answer questions about politics and Wall Street, taking the opportunity to slam a host of political honchos, including Mayor Michael Bloomberg for his support of the financial industry, President Barack Obama's financial team for its cushiness with CEOs and Attorney General Andrew Cuomo for a general aversion to tough questions.
     
  • April 24: Spitzer moves to the big screen. The much-anticipated documentary about the disgraced former New York governor premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. While Spitzer didn't attend the premiere, he made an appearance at the festival. And while the subject matter of the movie was, suffice it to say, less than aggrandizing, it flaunted Spitzer's name in the public sphere.
     
  • April 8: Spitzer first hinted at a political comeback, saying he was in "unceasing agony" about how he left office two years ago. He also said he hadn't ruled out running for office again at some point, touting his love for politics before Fortune editor-at-large Peter Elkind in an exclusive interview. Elkind's book on Spitzer, published later that month, further resurrected Spitzer's public image -- for better and for worse.
     
  • March 12: Gov. David Paterson endorses Spitzer's gubernatorial acumen. Sure, it may not be the best of endorsements, but it counts.
     
  • Feb. 2: Spitzer takes the host seat on "The Colbert Report," coyly deflecting questions about running for office again while discussing the Wall Street crisis. He chuckles at Colbert's allusions to his illicit infidelity and remarks on how at least now he can tell the truth without worrying about political repercussions.  
     
  • Jan. 29: Spitzer gets personal. The former governor dishes on love, Gov. David Paterson, President Barack Obama and the Democratic party, lending insight into his personal views on romance and, gulp, relaying condolences to his former Lieutenant Governor for his plight.
     
  • Jan. 10: Spitzer tears into Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's performance along with the Democratic power players he says are trying to protect her ahead of the next election. He called her views wishy-washy, at best, and urged the importance of making tough decisions on touch questions.

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