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Arrow' Governor 'Eliot Ness' Spitzer (?-NY) --3/11/2008


1. 'Straight Arrow' Governor 'Eliot Ness' Spitzer (?-NY)
Incredibly, in lead stories Monday night about New York Governor Eliot Spitzer being linked to a prostitution ring, neither ABC's World News nor the NBC Nightly News verbally identified Spitzer's political party. Must mean he's a liberal Democrat -- and he is. CBS anchor Katie Couric, however, managed to squeeze in a mention of his party. Last August when news of Larry Craig's arrest broke, both ABC and NBC stressed his GOP affiliation. On ABC, the only hints as to Spitzer's party were a few seconds of video of Spitzer beside Hillary Clinton as they walked down some steps and a (D) on screen by Spitzer's name over part of one soundbite. NBC didn't even do that. While ABC and NBC failed to cite Spitzer's political affiliation in the four minutes or so each network dedicated to the revelations, both managed to find time to applaud his reputation and effectiveness as the Empire State's Attorney General before becoming Governor. ABC reporter Dan Harris maintained "Governor Spitzer is known as a straight arrow, an ambitious overachiever..." Substitute NBC anchor Ann Curry pointed to how Spitzer's "reputation for righteously prosecuting wrongdoing gave him the nickname Eliot Ness." None of the three networks wondered about the impact on New York's junior Senator and Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton.

2. CBS's Smith: Republican Campaign Ads Have Taken 'Low Road'
On Monday's CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith did a segment on the effectiveness of television ads in presidential campaigns, in which he gave credit to Ronald Reagan's "optimistic" Morning in America ad, which he incorrectly said was run in the 1980 campaign rather than 1984, but he followed quickly by condemning more recent Republican ads: "There's a high road and a low road. Remember Willie Horton? The ads played to racial fears and portrayed Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis as soft on crime...And an ad showing John Kerry's wobbly windsurfing helped sink his presidential bid."

3. Whoopi Goldberg Claims Bush Skipped Afghanistan to Attack Iraq
The View co-hosts, typically very loose with the facts, demonstrated that again on the March 10 edition of the ABC daytime chat fest. Ironically accusing the Bush administration of lying to take America into war with Iraq, Whoopi Goldberg put out false information herself. The co-host at first seemed excited that Bush would go after bin Laden but claimed to wake up "the next morning, we were in Iraq," adding: "I don't think we're in Afghanistan."

4. Letterman's 'Top Ten Eliot Spitzer Excuses'
Letterman's "Top Ten Eliot Spitzer Excuses."


'Straight Arrow' Governor 'Eliot Ness' Spitzer
(?-NY)

Incredibly, in lead stories Monday night about New York Governor Eliot Spitzer being linked to a prostitution ring, neither ABC's World News nor the NBC Nightly News verbally identified Spitzer's political party. Must mean he's a liberal Democrat -- and he is. CBS anchor Katie Couric, however, managed to squeeze in a mention of his party. Last August when news of Larry Craig's arrest broke, both ABC and NBC stressed his GOP affiliation.

On ABC, the only hints as to Spitzer's party were a few seconds of video of Spitzer beside Hillary Clinton as they walked down some steps and a (D) on screen by Spitzer's name over part of one soundbite. NBC didn't even do that.

While ABC and NBC failed to cite Spitzer's political affiliation in the four minutes or so each network dedicated to the revelations, both managed to find time to applaud his reputation and effectiveness as the Empire State's Attorney General before becoming Governor. Fill-in ABC anchor Elizabeth Vargas hailed how "he gained a reputation around the country for aggressively cracking down on corporate corruption. He was elected Governor with a reputation for fighting crime." ABC reporter Dan Harris maintained "Governor Spitzer is known as a straight arrow, an ambitious overachiever..." Substitute NBC anchor Ann Curry pointed to how Spitzer's "reputation for righteously prosecuting wrongdoing gave him the nickname Eliot Ness."

None of the three networks wondered about the impact on New York's junior Senator and Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton. ABC's George Stephanopoulos came the closest, in a list of reasons why it will be "very difficult, if not impossible, for him to continue in office," with a vague reference to "the fact that this is a presidential election year where he would become fodder for the campaigns."

[This item, by the MRC's Brent Baker, was posted Monday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

The networks hardly hesitated last August to identify Senator Larry Craig as a Republican and, in October of 2006, to highlight how then-Congressman Mark Foley was a Republican, but back in 2001 they rarely identified then-Congressman Gary Condit, part of the Chandra Levy missing person scandal, as a Democrat -- as documented at the time in a Media Reality Check written by the MRC's Rich Noyes, "Avoiding Gary Condit's Democratic ID; MRC Study: Networks Failed to Label California Congressman as a Democrat in 92% of Levy Stories." See: www.mediaresearch.org

In the Craig case, fill-in ABC anchor Kate Snow opened the Tuesday, August 28 World News:
"Good evening. A Republican Senator is fighting to save his political career and personal reputation, tonight. Police records have surfaced revealing Senator Larry Craig of Idaho was arrested by an undercover officer for soliciting sex. A short while ago, Craig was adamant about a news conference denying the accusations. He says the only thing he did wrong was to plead guilty in the hopes the incident would go away. It has not. ABC's David Kerley joins us from Washington...."

That same August night, Brian Williams led the NBC Nightly News:
"We begin this evening with a drama that is the talk of the nation's capital and the talk of the state of Idaho tonight. It is the story of a Republican United States Senator, arrested for an alleged sexual advance to an undercover police officer in an airport men's room in Minneapolis. But despite pleading guilty to disorderly conduct, a plea Senator Larry Craig says he should now not have made, the Senator loudly and publicly claimed today he is not gay. Our NBC News senior investigative correspondent, Lisa Myers, has been following this story for us..."

On Monday night, Couric, who noted Spitzer's party, began her newscast: "In the turbulent world of politics, this could be a Category 5 storm. Today, New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, a Democrat who built a national reputation as a crusader and reformer and built his political career fighting corruption, became entangled in a prostitution scandal."

A partial transcript from the start of the March 10 NBC Nightly News:

ANN CURRY, TEASE: On the broadcast tonight, fall from grace. New York's corruption-fighting Governor apologizes after being linked to a prostitution ring.

CURRY, TOP OF SHOW: Good evening, I'm Ann Curry in for Brian Williams tonight. In a stunning development this afternoon, New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, whose reputation for righteously prosecuting wrongdoing gave him the nickname Eliot Ness, publicly apologized after being linked to a prostitution ring. NBC's Mike Taibbi joins with us details. Mike?

MIKE TAIBBI: And Eliot Spitzer always liked being called a sheriff of Wall Street or Time magazine's "Crusader of the Year." But now the self-styled crime-figher, who busted prostitution rings back when he was Attorney General, has himself been linked to a sex ring and could be facing the end of his public career....

The MRC's Brad Wilmouth corrected the closed-captioning against the video to provide this complete transcript of the coverage on the March 10 World News on ABC:

ELIZABETH VARGAS, TEASER: Welcome to World News. Tonight, political bombshell: The Governor of New York publicly apologizes after he's linked to a prostitution ring.

...

VARGAS: Good evening. When Eliot Spitzer was Attorney General of New York, he was nicknamed the "Sheriff of Wall Street." He gained a reputation around the country for aggressively cracking down on corporate corruption. He was elected Governor with a reputation for fighting crime, and it was widely believed he hoped to run some day for national office. So it was nothing short of a political earthquake today when it was revealed that Spitzer himself was linked to a federal investigation into a prostitution ring. He has not been charged with a crime. ABC's Dan Harris is here now with all the details.

DAN HARRIS: Elizabeth, good evening. Governor Eliot Spitzer came to office vowing to restore ethics and integrity. But, as he said today, he failed to live up the standards he set for himself. It was a supremely humiliating press conference for a man who made his name as a crusading public servant.
ELIOT SPITZER: I have acted in a way that violates my obligations to my family, and that violates my, or any, sense of right and wrong. I apologize first, and most importantly, to my family. I apologize to the public whom I promised better.
HARRIS: Governor Eliot Spitzer was caught up in a federal investigation into an alleged high-priced prostitution ring called Emperor's Club VIP, which charged up $5500 an hour. On its Web site the company claims to service a "select group of educated, refined and successful international clients." The allegations against the people who run the company are laid out in this affidavit. Client number nine, who, according to a law enforcement source familiar with the investigation, is Governor Spitzer, is recorded arranging for a prostitute named Kristen to travel by train from New York City to Washington, D.C, on February 13, and come to his hotel room. ABC News has confirmed that Governor Spitzer booked a room at the Mayflower hotel [across the street from the ABC News Washington bureau] that night and testified before Congress the next day. In the affidavit, client number nine asks what Kristen will look like, and is told, "American, petite, very pretty brunette." This is a stunning fall from grace for a man who, as Attorney General of New York, prosecuted two prostitution rings and waged an aggressive, headline-grabbing campaign against Wall Street misdeeds -- a campaign some found overbearing.
SPITZER, FILE FOOTAGE: Reform is the key. It is only through real reform that investor confidence will be restored.
JOHN FUND, WALL STREET JOURNAL: I would say you could walk through the deepest sympathy for Eliot Spitzer on Wall Street and you would not get your ankles wet.
HARRIS: Governor Spitzer is known as a straight arrow, an ambitious overachiever who's been married to his wife Silda for 21 years. They have three children.
BROOKE MASTERS, Biographer: I was completely stunned. It seems so out of character, when you think about it. He seems to have a very good marriage.
ELIOT SPITZER: I have disappointed and failed to live up to the standard I expected of myself. I must now dedicate some time to regain the trust of my family.
HARRIS: This investigation actually began months ago when the Governor's bank alerted federal authorities to suspicious transactions in the governor's account. What started out as an investigation into public corruption has led to the revelation of this prostitution ring.
VARGAS: Dan, what charges might Governor Spitzer actually face?
HARRIS: So, obviously, local charges potentially for soliciting a prostitute. Also federal charges for transporting a prostitute across state lines. But legal experts we spoke to today say it's highly unlikely that he'll be charged. In these cases, usually the clients are not charged. So, at this point, he may not be in legal jeopardy, but he is definitely in political jeopardy.
VARGAS: All right. Dan Harris, thanks so much. And for that aspect of the story, we turn now to our chief Washington correspondent George Stephanopoulos. And, George, other politicians have survived similar type scandals, but with his reputation as a dogged law enforcer, not an option?
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Very, very tough, Elizabeth. My guess is, right now, he's probably trying to negotiate with those prosecutors the kind of deals he made with top corporate officials he prosecuted that he would resign if they would choose not to indict. Given his record as a prosecutor, given the enemies he's made on Wall Street and in Albany, and given the fact that this is a presidential election year where he would become fodder for the campaigns, I think it's going to be very, very difficult, if not impossible, for him to continue in office.
VARGAS: If, in fact, he resigns, the Lieutenant Governor would be sworn in, and he would make history on several fronts.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Boy, he certainly would. David Patterson, the current Lieutenant Governor, he would be the first African-American Governor in the state of New York, the first legally blind Governor ever in the United States. And, of course, he would become only the second African-American Governor in the United States. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts is the only other one right now.

CBS's Smith: Republican Campaign Ads
Have Taken 'Low Road'

On Monday's CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith did a segment on the effectiveness of television ads in presidential campaigns, in which he gave credit to Ronald Reagan's "optimistic" Morning in America ad, which he incorrectly said was run in the 1980 campaign rather than 1984, but he followed quickly by condemning more recent Republican ads: "There's a high road and a low road. Remember Willie Horton? The ads played to racial fears and portrayed Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis as soft on crime...And an ad showing John Kerry's wobbly windsurfing helped sink his presidential bid."

[This item, by Kyle Drennen, was posted Monday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

Prior to describing this "low road," Smith discussed Hillary Clinton's recent 3 A.M. phone call and highlighted it's effectiveness: "Most of the ads won't be remembered by anyone, but some of them are not only effective, they become part of our culture. And a new contender is this campaign ad for Hillary Clinton...But the tactics seem to work. Clinton did win Texas where the ad ran."

Smith went on to compare the Clinton ad to Lyndon Johnson's infamous "Daisy Ad" against Barry Goldwater in 1964: "It's similar to Lyndon Johnson's famously successful Daisy Ad in 1964. An ad that played to Cold War fears of a nuclear holocaust." Smith did not include these Democratic ads in the "low road" category.

However, Smith did later observe that the Clinton ad did use fear tactics: "How interesting, though. Part of an interpretation on fear. Because fear, let's go back to Hillary Clinton, that's a kind of a fear card to play the 3:00 A.M. ad, and as it turns out, there's old-stock footage, right, that they used. And the girl in the ad is 17 and loves Barack Obama."

Smith's guest, advertising critic for Adweek Magzine, Barabara Lippert, had an amusing response: "Right. Well, I thought it was a very bad looking ad anyway from a technical point of view because they used stock footage. And then they show her at the end. And she looked to me like -- I don't know if you know that Harry Potter stuff -- like she was the head mistress at Hogwarts at the end. But I think it's so successful because it suggests so many different things. First of all, we're used to all those movies with the 'don't answer the phone!' And there's so much tension. So that it's a really old-fashioned, you know product answer-"

Here is the full transcript of the segment:

7:30AM TEASER:
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Eight, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one, zero.
MAGGIE RODRIGUEZ: One of the classic campaign videos of all time. It's called "Daisy Girl." Did you know that it aired only once in 1964, but its impact reverberates even now. Coming up this morning, campaign ads that had an impact on presidential elections. Everybody's talking about the Hillary Clinton 3:00 A.M. call ad, and they say it won her Texas. We're going to talk more about that this morning.

7:32AM SEGMENT:
HARRY SMITH: During every presidential election season, tens of millions of dollars are spent on campaign ads. Most of the ads won't be remembered by anyone, but some of them are not only effective, they become part of our culture. And a new contender is this campaign ad for Hillary Clinton.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN B: It's 3:00 A.M. and your children are safe and asleep. But there's a phone in the White House, and it's ringing.
SMITH: Hello? The sleeping girl in this Clinton ad is now mostly grown up and supports Barack Obama. Yet Clinton's ad got noticed, and Obama reacted.
BARACK OBAMA: You know, we've seen these ads before. They're usually the kind that play on people's fears and try to scare up votes. But it won't work.
SMITH: But the tactics seem to work. Clinton did win Texas where the ad ran. It's similar to Lyndon Johnson's famously successful "Daisy Ad" in 1964. An ad that played to Cold War fears of a nuclear holocaust.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Three, two, one, zero.
SMITH: Political campaigns can hinge upon the success or failure of an effective or memorable ad.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN C: It's morning again in America.
SMITH: In 1980, Ronald Reagan's optimistic "Morning in America" appealed to the most basic beliefs about who we are as Americans, and it gave Reagan a big boost. There's a high road and a low road. Remember Willie Horton? The ads played to racial fears and portrayed Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis as soft on crime.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN D: While out, many committed other crimes like kidnapping and rape.
SMITH: And an ad showing John Kerry's wobbly windsurfing helped sink his presidential bid.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN E: He bragged about voting for the $87 billion to support our troops, before he voted against it.
SMITH: Four years ago perhaps the most emotionally powerful commercial was a Bush campaign ad called "Ashley's Story" about a young woman who had lost a parent in the September 11th attacks.
ASHLEY: He's the most powerful man in the world, and all he wants to do is make sure I'm safe. That I'm okay.
SMITH: Joining us now to talk about the effectiveness of campaign ads, Jeff Greenfield, CBS News Senior Political Analyst, and Barbara Lippert, advertising critic for "Adweek" Magazine. Good morning all.
BARBARA LIPPERT: Good morning.
JEFF GREENFIELD: Good morning.
SMITH: Can a campaign, or do campaigns sometimes hinge on the effectiveness of an ad?
GREENFIELD: Presidential campaigns less an others because they tend to be overwhelmed by free media. But a good ad, you saw some of them, reinforces a core argument, the revolving door ad played to the notion that too many liberals were soft on crime and Dukakis had a soft notion. "Ashley's Story," I thought, was brilliant because it isn't an argument. There's no issue. They don't mention Kerry, they just say this guy's a decent, caring guy. That ad moved right to women, who were a key factor in that campaign.
SMITH: Yeah, right. Barbara, what do you think?
LIPPERT: Yes, I think if you can show something that people never knew before, you know, a fact like Dukakis' furlough, you know that, and the other thing with Bush's ad that was so powerful is that we saw him as very fatherly, that he's powerful, he can take care of the country in a Reaganesque way. He's not your older brother who's going to give you noogies anymore.
SMITH: Right, right.
LIPPERT: So that changed the show for him.
SMITH: How interesting, though. Part of an interpretation on fear. Because fear, let's go back to Hillary Clinton, that's a kind of a fear card to play the 3:00 A.M. ad, and as it turns out, there's old-stock footage, right, that they used. And the girl in the ad is 17 and loves Barack Obama.
LIPPERT: Right. Well, I thought it was a very bad looking ad anyway from a technical point of view because they used stock footage. And then they show her at the end. And she looked to me like -- I don't know if you know that Harry Potter stuff -- like she was the head mistress at Hogwarts at the end. But I think it's so successful because it suggests so many different things. First of all, we're used to all those movies with the "don't answer the phone!" And there's so much tension. So that it's a really old-fashioned, you know product answer-
SMITH: So the quality of the ad doesn't necessarily measure the effectiveness?
LIPPERT: Not at all, not at all because it really strikes a chord there.
SMITH: What were you going to say?
GREENFIELD: That I sure hope if the phone rings at the White House at 3:00 A.M., it doesn't take six rings for somebody to answer the damn phone. That's -- that bothered me more than anything else.
SMITH: Let's go back to one of the ads we ran for a second there, the John Kerry on the windsurfing.
GREENFIELD: That ad was a ten strike. In fact, as it happens, Kerry's own campaign had said we really don't think you should go windsurfing because it's an elitist sport and Kerry said 'I'm exhausted, I'm tired, I'm going to go windsurfing.' And what it did was it was flip-flopped in visual terms, where they were able to ram home the idea that Kerry was unsteady and Bush's entire campaign argument in 04' was 'I'm consistent.'
SMITH: Right and "Morning in America," I want to talk about that, because that was one of those things, talk about -- talk about feeding into a hunger. It's not about a negative or whatever, but it's feeding into-
LIPPERT: It was brilliant. It was 1984. It's people going to church, people starting new jobs, people getting married. And it was exactly what we wanted to see. We never saw Reagan in the ad. In the end he's just framed in a portrait like the pater familias who's going to preside over this. And it was so great that even new NutraSweet copied it, you know for years we saw-
SMITH: Everybody did.
LIPPERT: The two boots on the porch.
SMITH: Right. Yeah, there you go. Well, thank you both very much. We'll find out if an ad has an effect on this campaign in this year. Thanks very much.

Whoopi Goldberg Claims Bush Skipped Afghanistan
to Attack Iraq

The View co-hosts, typically very loose with the facts, demonstrated that again on the March 10 edition of the ABC daytime chat fest. Ironically accusing the Bush administration of lying to take America into war with Iraq, Whoopi Goldberg put out false information herself. The co-host at first seemed excited that Bush would go after bin Laden but claimed to wake up "the next morning, we were in Iraq," adding: "I don't think we're in Afghanistan."

Goldberg must have slept through the 17 months the United States was in Afghanistan before invading Iraq. On October 7, 2001, less than a month after September 11, the United States began its military campaign in Afghanistan. The United States did not attack Iraq until March 19, 2003. Even after, the United States retained its military presence in Afghanistan.
[This item was adopted from the Newsbusters post by Justin McCarthy: newsbusters.org ]

Joy Behar screamed Bush's weapons of mass destruction charge in Iraq is "a lie! Accept it. Everyone accepts that it's a lie at this point." Not according to an investigation that found the Iraq WMD case was "a major intelligence failure," not a case of the President's dishonesty.

The segment began with discussions on former President Clinton's infidelity issues and what character flaws may disqualify one from the presidency. Behar felt that John McCain's alleged "anger management" issues are worse, forgetting that Clinton lambasts just about every journalist that challenges him. Behar also suggested McCain's behavior is "crazy," "aberrational," and "nutsy."

From Monday's show:

ELISABETH HASSELBECK: A deal breaker for me is not keeping us safe, not going to the, to the line to make sure that we are safe in terms of national security, in addition to taking care of us on the home front.
JOY BEHAR: Yeah, okay.
HASSELBECK: I think that, that is to me-
BEHAR: But that's not character flaw. That's not what we're talking about. It's a qualification. It's different. If I'm-let's just go with the anger thing for a second. Let's say, theoretically, I don't know if he has them or not, that's what they say. That he kind of has a short fuse, McCain. I don't think that, that's a great thing to have when you're dealing with foreign nations in this kind of a world. It's a little shaky. To me that's more scary than, you know, getting some action in the oral off- Oval Office.
HASSELBECK: I think the difference in other countries, is that, you know, John McCain-
BEHAR: Call me wacky!
HASSELBECK: He led, in terms- I think he's a great, he's more tactical in terms of dealing with other countries and nations. You know when he led, when he led the whole force with the surge in Iraq, that's the one thing that went really right there. And I feel like, I felt proud to even know his name to think, yes he's leaning on his generals. I feel like he's more tactical dealing with other nations than maybe someone else would be, who doesn't have experience.
WHOOPI GOLDBERG: Well, he-
SHERRI SHEPHERD: No, I was just going to say, you know, because I, you know, when you said, like "oh he's just getting some in the Oval Office." I feel like, and I want to clarify my thoughts. You know, I just feel like infidelity, if you are willing to lie and keep things from your partner, and that's a commitment that you made before God., and you're willing to lie, and with hold and cheat, then what makes me think as a person that nominated you into that office, that you're not going to lie and keep things from me and people in the country?
[applause]
HASSELBECK: Go Sherri!
GOLDBERG: So given that, given that you both believe this, would you say that lying to the country about going to war, sort of balances that out? Because, you know, sometimes, sometimes-
[applause]
HASSELBECK: He lied?
GOLDBERG: Yeah, I, there were no weapons of mass destruction. I'm sorry. Osama bin Laden was not in Iraq.
HASSELBECK: Well, then is Hillary Clinton wrong? Because she approved that choice.
GOLDBERG: Yes, absolutely she was wrong and so was I.
HASSELBECK: They were given information-
GOLDBERG: Hello! Well, I think that we didn't do enough homework. We didn't and you know that we should have done more homework, and he-
HASSELBECK: But is that a lie?
[applause]
GOLDBERG: This was a subtle way -- yes it's a lie!
BEHAR: It's a lie! Accept it. Everyone accepts that it's a lie at this point.
GOLDBERG: He wasn't, he was not as forthcoming, and now he says it's this person and that person, this person, but so would another person. He said, "well, you know, she's not putting out, so I went and found someone else." The question is, do they, well, that's what I'm saying. You know, there are times when you kind of got to go well, is this right, when is it okay to you know-
HASSELBECK: We're not going to find a perfect person. You know what I mean?
GOLDBERG: Well, that's the point.
BEHAR: That's the point, though, which is the one, which is the flaw that we will, that's not a deal breaker? Which is the flaw? That's what we're trying to get to.
HASSELBECK: I think poor intention, you know, mal intent, I think that's something that's-
BEHAR: Well, that would go with the Iraq War then.
[applause]
HASSELBECK: Well, no, I don't think there was mal intent there. I don't believe that. That's what you believe. I don't think there was. I think that there was a response based on intelligence that was appropriate at the time and everybody felt that way at the time. There wasn't one person, including Senator Rodham Clinton who-
GOLDBERG: Let me say, let me say this. Now, when it all went down at 9-11 and he said "we're going get him." I was like "come on Georgie, let's go."
HASSELBECK: Right,
GOLDBERG: But he didn't go where he said we were going. See, that's where I got, because I woke up the next morning, we were in Iraq. I was like, what? I don't think we're in Afghanistan. So, for me-
HASSELBECK: The facts that were provided said "this is where you need to go."
GOLDBERG: Well, but, but just know that we find. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to cut you off. But we find now that we went places where we didn't want to go, so maybe she can say, "yeah, you know what? This is not what I thought it was going to be." This is going to, this is going to happen and people are going to change their mind about things. That's not a flaw.
BEHAR: But that brings us back to which is worse, incompetence or lying? That's another dilemma that we could face, you know. Because that's an incompetent move that you were describing in Iraq.
HASSELBECK: Well, the candidates we're, we're looking at now, we've got incredible choices-
SHEPHERD: Well, I don't think any are incompetent thank goodness.
HASSELBECK: Well, in terms of one area or the next, they might be not as qualified as the one next to them. You know what I mean?

Letterman's 'Top Ten Eliot Spitzer Excuses'

From the March 10 Late Show with David Letterman, the "Top Ten Eliot Spitzer Excuses." Late Show home page: www.cbs.com

10. Oh come on, like you were never involved in a prostitution ring

9. Hookers is fun

8. Just trying to help the economy

7. Have you ever been to Albany?

6. It's part of my new MTV prank show "Spitz'd"

5. Haven't been myself since Roy Schieder died

4. Uh, tainted beef?

3. Whether it's a hooker or your wife, you're always paying for it -- you married fellas know what I'm talking about

2. Wanted to be known as the Charlie Sheen of politics

1. I thought Bill Clinton legalized this years ago

-- Brent Baker