Eliot Spitzer Bids Farewell to His Current TV Show
Former New York governor Eliot Spitzer will no longer be greeting his Current TV audience with the brand of fiery progressivism he has become known for on the airwaves. On Sunday, he announced that his primetime show, where he hosted the likes of Senator Bernie Sanders, filmmaker Oliver Stone, and, full disclosure, yours truly, will end.
"Viewpoint" began airing in March 2012, launching after the firing of Keith Olbermann. Most recently, Spitzer has been highly critical on his show of CEOs attempting to use the fiscal cliff and budget discussions as an excuse for ripping off working Americans.
The announcement follows on the heels of Al Jazeera's purchase of Current TV. The Qatari broadcaster will be developing an American version of the international news channel Al Jazeera English.
Spitzer has said in the past that he's had a fabulous time on "Viewpoint," likening his time there to having a nightly get-together with friends. However, he has been frustrated by the lack of viewers. He has also said that his departure is no reflection on Al Jazeera. As reported in the New York Times, he praised Al Jazeera for its journalistic mission:
"'I view Al Jazeera as a very serious journalistic outfit,' he said. 'They have proven to observers around the world that they are serious and objective. They will have to, at a P.R. level, prove to the American public that that is the case. And I think that over time they will succeed at doing that.'
'For me,' he continued, 'journalism has been more a matter of projecting a particular approach to covering policies, to covering issues. It was a continuation of what I tried to do in government. And that doesn’t fit with their vision of what they are going to do.'"
The show will now be hosted by John Fugelsang, a comedian who has often appeared on Current. Two more of Current’s hosts, former governor of Michigan Jennifer Granholm and Gavin Newsom, the lieutenant governor of California, will also be departing sometime in the next few weeks.
And what will Spitzer do now? In his heart, he is a political animal. There are many who urge him to enter that realm once again. In a time of rampant fraud, unprecedented abuse by big banks and Wall Street viritually unfazed after the financial crisis, his particular expertise may be more needed than ever. As attorney general of New York, Spitzer became known as the "Sheriff of Wall Street" for his agressive pursuit of financial criminals. The current attorney general, Eric Schneiderman, has yet to prove his mettle. Clearly, America is suffering from a lack of politicians willing to stand up to monied interests. Could a political comeback be on the horizon?