In an interview with FishbowlNY Wednesday, CNN's Eliot Spitzer dismissed any claim to objectivity in his reporting and wouldn't say whether he regarded himself as a commentator or a journalist. This came after he recently told the Media Research Center's Brent Bozell "I don't have a bias" on his CNN show "In the Arena."
When asked by FishbowlNY if he regards himself as a commentator or a journalist, Spitzer replied "I don't know. I don't mean to be vague. When the issue of objectivity comes up, I don't think there is any such thing as objectivity."
"I don't mean to say you infuse everything with bias and don't try to be rigorously factual, but how you present every fact depends upon the prism through which you see it."
However, on the April 18 edition of "In the Arena," Spitzer hosted the MRC's Brent Bozell and offered a testy defense of his reporting on the budget battle, claiming no bias.
"How can you Eliot - how can you, with a straight face, go on this show and tell me you don't have a bias? That's what you were hired to have," Bozell challenged the former Democratic governor of New York. Spitzer was originally the co-host of CNN's prime-time show "Parker-Spitzer," where he played the liberal counterpart to "conservative" columnist Kathleen Parker.
Spitzer responded to Bozell with a straight face "I don't have a bias."
"And here's the point I tell people," he continued. "I have very strong views, and I hold everybody accountable. When we talk about the budget, when we talk about foreign affairs, we hold everybody accountable," Spitzer claimed before changing the subject.
Later on in the FishbowlNY interview, Spitzer reminisced about his days co-hosting "Parker-Spitzer," and provided quite a rosy view of things. "I liked Kathleen from the get-go," he said. "She is a real talent and we had loads of fun."
Reports from other news outlets provided a different picture, with stories of occasional squabbles between the two co-hosts. Parker eventually left the program in February amidst rumors that the network wanted to continue with Spitzer only. The revamped show was re-named "In the Arena," with Spitzer as the lone host.
- Matt Hadro