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Eliot Spitzer Makes a Comeback on CNN

Eliot Spitzer will be returning to media spotlight once again, albeit under very different circumstances. The New York Times reports that Spitzer, the former Democratic governor of New York, has been tapped to host a prime-time discussion program on CNN alongside Kathleen Parker, a Pulitzer Prize-winning conservative columnist for The Washington Post. The show, currently without a name, will be a roundup of the most important ideas of the day with analysis from the hosts as well as guests from both sides of political spectrum.

If you’re thinking this sounds like “Crossfire” 2.0, you’re not alone. In 2005 Jonathan Klein, the CNN/U.S. president canceled “Crossfire,” shifting his network away from opinion. Explaining this decision to The Times, Klein said at the time that partisan head-butting was “hurting America” and that CNN would focus on “roll-up-your-sleeves journalism.” Critics of this move call it a reversal for the network, which has struggled to compete with its two ideologically-leaning competitors Fox News and MSNBC. But Klein in his announcement on Wednesday, said the show would be in keeping with CNN’s overall mission: “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.”

This new show could prove to be something of a comeback for both the cable network as well as the disgraced former governor, who resigned after a federal investigation implicated him in a prostitution scandal. Since then, he has taken steps towards joining the media, blogging regularly for Slate and filling in as guest host for Dylan Ratigan on MSNBC.

Spitzer stopped by our offices for his first comprehensive post-scandal interview several months ago to discuss what we should learn politically from the recent economic crisis as well as what he has learned personally from his own scandal. He also spoke about love and redemption and what his future might look like: “All you can do is step back and say, ‘Okay, move forward and try to continue to do something useful.’ And over time, perhaps that will cause people to say, the other piece of his life is one aspect, but there are other aspects as well.” He seems to be following his own advice. 


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