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Marianne Paskowski

Cable News Nets Blanket Spitzer Resignation

March 12, 2008 12:41 PM

If Osama bin Laden were captured today, odds are that the cable news nets would have run it as a crawl as they all offered minute-by-minute coverage of the resignation of New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who admitted that he was linked to a prostitution ring.

Of course, bin Laden was not found today, so why do I bring this up? Remember the “shoe bomber,” the terrorist who got by security onto a flight from Paris to Miami and threatened the safety of that plane shortly after 9/11? That news first appeared on a crawl on CNN, while talking heads blathered about whatever was the story du jour. Only later did it become THE news of the week.

And did you know the Capitol was briefly shut down today as a plane strayed into restricted space? The incident turned out to be pilot error, not a terrorist attack.

Indeed, the Spitzer story, a real-life morality play, makes for great TV. Spitzer, who as New York’s attorney general was widely praised for cleaning up Wall Street, in the end proved that he was not cleaner than Caesar’s wife.

And you haven’t seen the last of Spitzer, now destined forever to be remembered as Client 9 at the Emperors Club. Today all of the cable news nets, even CNBC, promised wall-to-wall specials tonight about the rise and fall of the governor, who steps down on St. Patrick’s Day.

Is this overkill?


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Comments (14)


This has really turned into an Ed Wood movie, "Plan 9 from outer space or client 9 from NYC." I think we should expect TV to parade the usual cast of newscasters to bring "understanding" to a story they love to cultivate. I hope it goes away soon and we can soak our heads in the recession.

I cut my working teeth in the media world - no, worse than that, the newspaper world! - when there remained a sense of the "Fourth Estate" justice-serving-the-world, so maybe I am a little bit cynical. I don't know if overkill is the word for the Spitzer-a-thon, but skewed perspective is. You've got sex, you've got NY (isn't that the center of the universe anyway?), you've got power being tipped ... it is a juicy story indeed. But like M points out, it isn't the ONLY story. And it isn't the story that has the most impact on most people.

I always wonder why it is that in a world of a million channels, there is never anything on. Or should I say, there is often only one thing on...

Marianne Paskowski:

Hi Cliff,

Most people are voyeurs, and cable news nets know that and thrive on it, hence the endless coverage of political figures and celebrity personas, like Paris Hilton, Britany Spears, whoever.

Somehow, I managed to hear, throughout the work day, with cable news nets on in the background, that the Gov of New Jersey declared the country was in a recession.

Wonder what else we missed today? Well I know that yesterday's bull rally on Wall Street, up 416, was back in the red zone today.

Thanks for your usual pithy observations,

Marianne Paskowski:

Hi Teresa,

Yep, there are more important stories out there that impact more of us. Like the Fed bailout of the corrupt banking industry. Spitzer did try there, and deserves credit for cleaning up Wall Street as AG.

Cable news nets needs to get beyond Spitzer and delve into other matters like the soaring price of oil, the sinking dollar, and why this country is in the mess it is. And then toss in the subprime mess and you have the perfect storm for recession.

And let's not forget Iraq. Cable news nets are at best disappointing, at worst, a major part of the problem, ignoring news that impact us all.

Good to here from you, I love your Twitter. Good luck.


Jeff Mulligan:

Marianne --

The bigger story is the developing Iran invasion, presaged by the forced Fallon resignation. But that's a tough story to cover: requires thinking, perception, nuance, enterprise, and political courage. Covering the Spitzer resignation? A no brainer herd journalism saga tailored for the laziest of reporters.

It's obvious which story gets covered on TV and shuts out the real stories with long-termm genuinely scary consequences.



Yo, Blondie --

Finally, a politician does something interesting and you're complaining about the coverage? What else are the cable reporters to cover--all the deplorable silly season self-destructions hatched by aides for Sens. Clinton and Obama? A real prostitution scandal outweighs the Democratic candidates' petty drivel any day.

All we need to trump Spitzer on the newsworthy meter is for Bush to finally show some common sense and decency. Dream on.

Cruisin' not bruisin'

Marianne Paskowski:

Hi Jeff,

I totally agree. The Spitzer news is such low hanging fruit, doesn't need much enterprise to cover this one. Iran is a much more difficult issue and I am truly disappointed that our mainstream TV news-gathering organizations spend so little on the bigger picture.

The dumbing down of America continues, thanks cable TV.

Nice to see you again, Jeff.


Marianne Paskowski:

Yo Cruiser,

Are you number 1 or 8 in the Emperor's Club? The names are coming out soon. I would not be surprised at all:}



Blondie --

Those ladies of the Emperor's Club only wish I was a client! Not only for my prowess teaching them new skills with which to thrill other clients, but also because I'm far more discreet that JohnGov was.

It's amazing that given his insider's knowledge, even virtuosity, in prosecuting the wily and powerful, Eliot Spitzer left such a prominent trail for law enforcement sleuths to follow. Add in the ham-handed ways he tried to tame Albany Republican panjandrums, and you've got a picture of someone without much political or personal common sense.

Another rich kid hits his Peter Principle plateau. Too bad for the rest of us that his was so high and not something that showed at the figurative dogcatcher level.

Cruisin' for more

Marianne Paskowski:


Glad to hear your not 1 through 8. Hubris got Eliot. The very same investigation tactics that led to him outing corruption figures led to his demise.

What a jerk. I hope Silda Wall Spitzer takes him to the cleaners.

I will say one thing in favor of the now disgraced Spitzer, he shed a lot of light and reformed trading on Wall Street.

Meanwhile, Geraldine Ferraro resigned from the Clinton campaign. See, there's other news out there, and MSNBC reported it, just now. Good for them. Spitzer is yesterday's news.



Blondie --

You didn't ask about those prowess tips I could offer!

Cruisin' still

Marianne Paskowski:

Oy Cruiser,
If you are writing at this hour, I really don't really think you have any prowess tips.

And you didn't share, and don't.

Oy again,

Dave Sanders:

OY OY is what I was yellin late at night in Cabo San Lucas on spring break.....NO...I shall never be 1 thru 8 or 10 thru 1000...I hope....
Oldest profession will not get my hard earned cash for their pleasure...yeah sure....
All I needed was another dose of Blitzer on CNN
with Spitzer and now the "blind" leading the blind....Hey ya steal Manhattan from the indigenous for 19 bucks & some beads and ya get a 4K lay?? No not Ken Ley.... that cost much much more... The saddest thing is the 3 girls
the dork had......whatever nasty..I have ever done and I admit to NONE...have always been at least discreet.... Mar...your Bro Tony talked w/ me for quite a while on the telly....he won't give up the pic's either haha



Marianne Paskowski:


It's only a matter of time when we at least learn from the cable nets, the identities of clients 1-8. Separately, also liked your letter to the San Jose Mercury News about another matter, today, patriotism.

Meanwhile, how about Bear Sterns and the fed-assisted bailout? What a meltdown in the financial markets. Don't know if Spitzer aided and abeted while he served as NY's AG, or just forestalled the inevitable.

Best to you and yours,


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