It’s been nearly a month since former New York governor Eliot Spitzer took over for Keith Olbermann on Al Gore’s Current TV, and while he’s apparently not concerned about his ratings, he says his mom is happy.
Capital New York took part in a conference call on Tuesday in which Spitzer explained that his new Viewpoint program isn’t “fundamentally dissimilar” to his ratings-challenged show that was canceled by CNN last year, but he thinks he will have more latitude to be more “openly ideological” with his guests than he was at CNN.
“I just think the nature of this show is that we are openly progressive. The avowed purpose of Current is to be a voice for progressive politics, so it’s clear. I will not in any way pull my punches from being intellectually rigorous with people on either side, to the left, the right, up or down from me politically. Rigor is the expectation.”
For anyone who watched his CNN program, he wasn’t exactly ideologically neutral. His first program, Parker Spitzer, was designed to be more like Crossfire, which was CNN’s top-rated show for much of its 23-year run.
That show flopped as Spitzer, who was the stronger personality, just steamrolled supposed conservative co-host Kathleen Parker, who struggled to defend conservative positions and ideas.
After CNN pulled the plug on that show, they gave Spitzer his own show, and he quickly showed that viewers didn’t care to watch him with or without Parker.
Now Al Gore has given him another shot. But his debut last month attracted just 47,000 viewers, with 10,000 in the key A25-54 demo, down sharply from Olbermann’s numbers and just a fraction of the nearly 500,000 viewers Spitzer had at CNN.
Spitzer’s mom may be happy, but his ratings are certainly nothing to write home about.