Accuracy in Media

CNN’s coverage Tuesday of previous political sex scandals somehow managed to omit the network’s own Eliot Spitzer, who was caught using a prostitution service while he was the Governor of New York according to a report from TVNewser.

A TVNewser reader Tweeted at us today:

@tvnewser @HowardKurtz: Did CNN really exclude Spitzer from Malveaux package on Sex Scandals & Politics? Hmm..

The answer: yes it did.

Suzanne Malveaux‘s story, which aired at 2:30pm ET, made mention or showed images of politicians ranging from John F. Kennedy to John Edwards; also former Governors James McGreevey and Mark Sanford, and former Sen. Larry Craig and current Sen. David Vitter, former Pres. Bill Clinton, and 2012 presidential candidate Newt Gingrich — their private indiscretions made very public. But no mention of Eliot Spitzer who resigned as Governor of New York after it was revealed he had patronized a prostitution service. Spitzer now hosts CNN’s 7pm show “In the Arena.” We’ve learned the producer/editor on the story, who use their own judgment on what to use and what not to use, chose not to include Spitzer in the story.

That must be that famous judgment that former CNN boss Jon Klein used when he signed Spitzer, raising eyebrows, with some saying that CNN should be called the Criminal News Network for placing the now disgraced governor on the air.

For CNN, Spitzer can do no wrong. Despite having no journalistic experience, Klein paired Spitzer with Kathleen Parker and placed the new Parker Spitzer show in the coveted 8 p.m. time slot. Even after the show foundered, CNN dumped Parker and reformatted the program to feature Spitzer.

That move hasn’t done a lot for the ratings as Spitzer’s new show has continued to trail the competition by a wide margin, proving that he doesn’t have the star power that Klein thought he had.

This omission isn’t about a producer or editor’s judgment, but about the bias of the network as they protect one of their own and hope no one will notice.


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