25 February 2011

Parker Leaves Spitzer "In The Arena"

Kathleen Parker, the supposed conservative co-host of “Parker-Spitzer” on CNN has decided to leave the show to concentrate on her syndicated column.   This press release sounds as convincing as a politician announcing that he is not standing for re-election to “spend more time with my family”.  While it was presented to the public as a resignation, Hot Air reports that CNN producers had complained about Parker’s weakness from the start.  In addition, her co-anchor Eliot Spitzer recently predicted that Parker would be gone within a week.

Many television critics did not think that the prime time “Parker-Spitzer” show would be on the air for a week.  Former Manhattan Madam Kirsten Davis cattily said “Spitzer is as boring on TV as he is in bed..”  The show tended to have tight shots showing the former New York Democrat Governor disgraced by a sex scandal uncomfortably close to the comely Parker.  Yet the show has remained been the 8 pm EST lead in for CNN for almost six months.

While initially it seemed as if CNN was attempting to attract more conservative viewers by hiring an attractive and articulate right leaning columnist like Parker, who is a both a Washington Post writer and Weekly Standard contributor.  But in the intial promotion of her new CNN show, Parker told Larry King "I'm a big fan of Barack Obama as he came into office, and was not one of those Republicans who wanted him to do badly. I didn't want him to fail."  Other self-labeled Republicans, like Christopher Buckley, Peggy Noonan and Gen. Colin Powell hav said similar things.  But early in the “Parker-Spitzer” initial promotion, Parker opined that President Bill J. Clinton should not been impeached.  OK.  But it is quite revealing when Parker referred to Tea Party types as “Teabaggers”.  And Parker revealed her true character when she postulated that the best explanation for the Restoring Honor rally was that Glenn Beck was a former alcoholic and the organizing the event was part of the “grandiosity of an addict”.   With friends like that, why would conservatives need enemies?

While “Parker-Spitzer” has been virtually tied with MSNBC since Olbermann has flown the coop to Al Gore’s Current TV, it is about 3 ½ times behind ratings leader “The O’Reilly Factor” on Fox News. That’s not much of a race.

It will be curious in a celebrity schadenfreude sort of way to see if Eliot Spitzer’s solo effort “In the Arena” will amount to much.  Has six months in front of the cameras helped alleviate his on air stiffness?  Will the left leaning news junkie both forgiven him for the sex scandals that drove him from office as well as warmed to his on-air persona?

Well, Katie Couric’s contract with CBS expires in May.  There were rumors last year that CNN was hoping to land perky Katie in Atlanta. During the meanwhile, if Spitzer still needs a co-host, why not pair him with Charlie Sheen.  Aside from Sheen’s anti-Semitic rant on Alex Jones, it would seem like a match made in heaven.  Men.

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