What Would CNN Host Eliot Spitzer Ask Former Gov. Spitzer? We Asked Him

With Eliot Spitzer and Kathleen Parker named as 8pmET co-hosts for CNN, the next set of questions are introduced: how does CNN remain “objective” in prime time, what will the tone of the show be and more?

We asked Spitzer and Parker these questions today, as well as what TV host Spitzer would ask former Gov. Spitzer.

From the way the release was worded, it sounded like the show might be more Morning Joe than Crossfire. But Parker told Mediaite they “hope it’s a little different from everything.”

“It will be a more free-ranging conversation than with an artificial arrangement of black vs white or blue vs. red,” she said. Spitzer said it would be “fun, entertaining, challenging,” and they hope to “find issues that are not obvious.” He says topics will go beyond just politics and economics – and approach culture and sports as well.

As for the cable news competition at 8pmET, Spitzer said, “We have a lot of respect for them and what they created. We’re hoping to create something that is not linear to either of those shows. As successful as they’ve been, there are close to 300 million people who don’t watch. Hopefully we can persuade some of them to watch what we’ve created.”

Both stressed that, although Spitzer is a Dem and Parker is seen as right wing, the show will be opinionated without being partisan. “Neither one of us is strictly ideological,” said Parker. “We’re not carrying water for either party.”

We asked Spitzer what he would ask, in his TV host role, of former Gov. Spitzer.

I’d probably go back and revisit the toughest choices I had to make as Governor and say, ‘why did you do that, do you think it was the right thing to do?’ Prospectively, why do it, and were you wrong in that, and retrospectively, how would you do it differently?”

Parker cut in: “I know what I’d ask – what’s the first sentence of your memoir?” Spitzer: “I don’t know what the first sentence would be but I know the last sentence: ‘To be continued…'”

The sequel begins this fall on CNN at 8pmET.

The rest of the media have some interesting takes on Spitzer:

David Zurawik of the Baltimore Sun (a CNN show’s “teacher’s pet“) thinks this may be where he ‘gets off the train of unqualified support.’: “When you no longer have the credibility to be governor of New York, you might think, what’s left? The new answer: A co-hosting job on CNN.”

Time magazine’s James Poniewozik presents an equation: “To sum up: expressing hugely unpopular opinions about Israel = media-career-ender. Getting it on with a hooker = media-career-maker.” He thinks Spitzer was seemingly chosen “because of the scandal: that is, because of the short-term blast of notoriety and buzz that he will bring with him.”

• FNC’s Greta Van Susteren thinks all this is “Bad news for Keith Olbermann!!” She writes on Gretawire: “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.”

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