The Second Chances of Eliot Spitzer and Ashley Dupre
By Rebecca Macatee Posted Oct 5th 2010 02:20PM
But former New York governor Eliot Spitzer and his infamous call girl Ashley Dupre didn't just get second chances after getting wrapped up in a national scandal. They were both afforded entirely new opportunities, not because they were in any way qualified, but because they gained such notoriety after getting caught with their pants down.
Last night, Eliot Spitzer and Pulitzer Prize winning political columnist Kathleen Parker kicked off their new CNN primetime show, 'Parker Spitzer.' Spitzer isn't entirely terrible on screen. His "rants" are pre-rehearsed and clearly read off a teleprompter, and he frantically tries to convince viewers he's an advocate for "the middle class." He's cautiously flirty with co-host Kathleen Parker, who in her southern politeness barely gets a word in. The two have forced, scripted "banter" throughout the hour, futilely trying to prove they have any chemistry whatsoever. There's also some unintentionally comical upbeat jazz music bringing the show in and out of commercials, as if somehow feeling like we're in an elevator with Spitzer and Parker would make them more relatable figures.
I'm curious what Ashley Dupre thinks of her former "client" being rewarded for his illicit behavior with a primetime hosting gig. Then again, Dupre herself has reaped the rewards of being a bad girl.
After unsuccessfully attempting to launch a music career, she settled for every girl in journalism's dream job as an advice columnist for the New York Post. Since December of 2009, Dupre's dished out advice on relationships and sex in her "Ask Ashley" column. Her advice isn't awful. It's mostly detached, "do-what's-right" fluff that's easy to spit out but hard to follow. Still, I can't help but wonder, given her questionable past as a call girl, how on earth is Dupre qualified to advise anyone on relationships?
Dupre posed for the May 2010 issue of Playboy. That makes sense. Her name is tied to controversy and nude photos of the woman our former governor once paid to be with obviously attract attention. And if Spitzer wrote a book about infidelity, politicians falling from grace, or prostitution rings, I'd understand that too. But why are we giving Spitzer and Dupre these unwarranted platforms to give advice to others?
Sure, it shamelessly drums up some press, gets a few more viewers and sells a few papers. But that's temporary. Ultimately once the "OMG" factor of the disgraced governor and his call girl as talking heads fades away, we're left bored with mediocre talent who never should've been giving us advice in the first place.
I get that it's a road to redemption for Spitzer and Dupre, but it comes at the expense of their audiences. And let's be honest, last night on 'Parker Spitzer' when "guilty pleasures" came up as a confessional topic, I was really hoping Spitzer would say, "Spending exorbitant amounts of money on hookers." Instead, he said, "Nascar."
It's the same thing with Dupre, who sugar cotes her answers and discounts her disreputable past. If Dupre and Spitzer are going to blatantly lie to their audiences and disregard the reason they even have a voice in the first place, any opinions or advice they disperse isn't going to be valued or even believable.
But then again, maybe I'm just bitter I went to college instead of being a call girl.
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