Monday's CBS This Morning twice mentioned Kristin Davis, one
of Eliot Spitzer's electoral opponents, during an interview of the
disgraced former New York governor, but failed to mention that she claims to be the madam
who sold Spitzer the services of prostitutes. Norah O'Donnell wondered,
"Did you just look at the role of comptroller and say, 'look, I'd be running against Kristin Davis. I could probably easily get elected'.
O'Donnell led the interview with the issue of the former governor's prostitution scandal, and later mentioned Davis' name, but failed to mention the possible connection. Co-anchor Gayle King also referenced Spitzer's political adversary, but omitted her former "Manhattan Madam" role.
The former NBC correspondent set up her Davis question by first asking, "People say, is this about public service or is this about his ego?" The Democrat replied, "It's a fair question. I think it's a question we ask of anybody who goes into politics. The desire to stand in front and the roar of the crowd is something people like." Spitzer tried to continue, but O'Donnell interrupted by hinting that his opponent could be easily defeated:
O'DONNELL: Did you just look at the role of comptroller and say, 'look,
I'd be running against Kristin Davis. I could probably easily get
ELIOT SPITZER, (D), FMR. GOVERNOR OF NEW YORK: No, no-
O'DONNELL: 'This is my pathway to return to political office'?
SPITZER: No, this is a very tough race. This is going to be an office – if I'm lucky enough to win – where we can do so much, in terms of shareholder power; in terms of corporate governance; in terms of protecting the pensions; in terms of making sure the city's money is invested well – spent well. There's – I want to do to that office what I did to the attorney general's office – re-envision it; re-imagine it.
Moments later, King ended the interview by noting Davis's reaction to Spitzer entering the race:
GAYLE KING: Well, it goes from governor to comptroller. You're fine
with that? It's such a different – it's such a different job, Eliot
Spitzer, for you.
SPITZER: Service is service, and – you know, it's not that I want the security detail of the governor's office or the mansion. Service is what makes me feel good.
KING: And Kristin Davis – to you this morning, said bring it on.
SPITZER: Hey, this is politics.
KING: This is politics. Eliot Spitzer, we thank you. Thank you for coming.
The CBS morning show anchors, along with their colleagues at ABC's Good Morning America, failed to verbally identify their guest as a Democrat during the segment. An on-screen graphic only briefly pointed out Spitzer's party identification. Back in 2008, when the prostitution scandal first broke, the network, along with its Big Three competitors, took their time in explicitly mentioning the then-governor's Democratic affiliation.