I disliked CNN's "Parker-Spitzer" from the moment I saw it. Read it here. No reason to try and by phony-nice now.
I said "Parker-Spitzer" debuted dead on arrival, and CNN finally took a step Friday to try and do something with the remains: CNN executive vice president Ken Jautz announced that Parker was leaving, and Eliot Spitzer would now be part of a new "ensemble" show at 8 p.m. weeknights titled "In the Arena."
The "In the Arena" concept, by the way, was one that another disgraced politician embraced after his fall: Richard Nixon.
I will include all the statements from all the parties without comment in a second. But just allow me two fast thoughts.
Jautz says, "We will be adopting an ensemble format with several newsmakers, guests and contributors joining Eliot Spitzer each night."
Is it really an ensemble if others are "joining" Spitzer. If he's the only one who is there every night, is it still an ensemble?
Also, Jautz sets a time frame in his "Note" that indicates Parker decided to leave the show, and then CNN decided to "take the show in a new direction."
But in her note, Parker reverses the sequence of the two events, saying, "...with the show going in a new direction, it is a good time to move on."
I can't recall a show as messed up as this one getting on anybody's air -- and that includes PBS' "Need to Know." And that's really saying something given that disaster.
Nor can I remember as much spinning and lying with any show. I wonder if that has something to do with CNN building a show around somone who has become the poster boy for hypocrisy.
"In the Arena" with the least trusted man in television -- there's a catchy promotional idea. Remember when Spitzer was running around saying how they were going to re-invent cable talk and bring new depth and context to it. That was just before Piers Morgan started running around saying how he was going to kick the competition's butt in the ratings. What a prime-time pair.
Here is CNN's package on the move: