HO NO! CNN Has A Big Eliot Spitzer Infidelity Problem

Eliot Spitzer

Eliot Spitzer’s past is catching up to CNN.

Perhaps a not entirely surprising development considering the newscycle of the past few days, which has focused on political figures involved in shocking sex scandals.

First up, perhaps the most egregious omission.  Last night on his show In The Arena, The Wraps reports Spitzer managed to make it through the whole hour with no mention of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver.  None.  Quite a feat considering the story’s dominance of the news cycle. 

But also, what a missed ratings opportunity.  More importantly, the decision appears to throw into question CNN’s news objectivity.  Certainly it may be too much to expect Spitzer to air his dirty laundry for gain (though again: ratings!) but it’s not too much to expect a news organisation to either directly address the fact they will not be covering it for obvious reasons, or field it out to one of Spitzer’s co-host with a nod to the elephant in the room.  But no.

Meanwhile, earlier that day TVNewser reports Suzanne Malveaux’s special segment yesterday afternoon on Sex Scandals & Politics mentioned just about everyone but Eliot Spitzer.  And we mean everyone: John F. Kennedy, John Edwards; former Governors James McGreevey and Mark Sanford, Sen. David Vitter, former Pres. Bill Clinton, and Newt Gingrich.   But no Spitzer.

Less glaring is Spitzer’s coverage of the Dominique Strauss-Kahn IMF case.   On Monday night In The Arena managed to side-step the afore-mentioned big white elephant in the room by fielding out much of the coverage to a correspondent.  Last night Spitzer himself interviewed Strass-Kahn’s lawyer but focused on legal issues. 

One imagines the clock is ticking on this avoidance.  If both these stories continue to make headlines — and with Shriver’s rumoured appearance on Oprah next week, and the NYPost’s fascination with all things DSK, they certainly appear to have legs — Spitzer will either have to address the story or address his avoidance of he story, which will then become it’s own story.

Tangled web, etc.  But again, the upside would presumably be ratings.  And come to think of it, if Spitzer ever wants to run for office again (and it certainly appears there’s a good chance he might) he could get the inevitable awkward conversation out of the way right now.   It’s not like if he ignores it it’s going to go away.