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"At CNN, Talk Show Tensions."

Written By mista sense on Tuesday, December 7, 2010 | 7:26 PM

Ace Cable Gamer Brian Stelter details the "tensions" at CNN's "Parker Spitzer" show.   First off, the New York Times reporter confirms a New York Post report--with Kathleen Parker herself--that Parker did, indeed, walk off the set in a huff.  So much for chemisty.   "PS" could be up there with such "chemisty bombs" as the ill-fated pairing of Dan Rather and Connie Chung. 

And second, Stelter details how even now, even in print in the NYT, the two of them are open about their differences as to the future direction of the show. 

As we see in this excerpt, Eliot Spitzer wants the show to be a prosecutorial show on politics, while Parker wants it to be about movies and culture.  Well, hell, nobody loves movies and culture more than The Cable Gamer, but at 8 pm--high noon in the cable world--the topic #1 is going to be politics, especially these days.   So take a look: Spitzer talking politics, Parker talking movies.  One guess who will win:

There is no doubt that Mr. Spitzer dominates the current iteration of the show, which has been heavy on political and financial news, playing to his strengths. Ms. Parker, in contrast, “can appear decidedly passive, almost meek,” wrote James Rainey, a Los Angeles Times media critic last week, in a column that proposed, “If Parker’s really mad enough to walk off the set, she should turn a little of that animus on her co-host. It would make for livelier discussions, and better TV.”

In the future, Ms. Parker said she expected to have more airtime to talk about the social and cultural issues that she covers in her columns. “We’re definitely going to be mixing it up more,” she said.

In a separate interview, Mr. Spitzer said, “We’ll talk about movies sometimes, sports, we’ll have everything under the sun, but we are clearly a political show.”

To hear him tell it, “Parker Spitzer” is like a courtroom, a place where “smart people can discuss tough issues; go back and forth and challenge each other; probe each other for weaknesses in the argument; and force resolution if possible.”

It's clear that CNN thinks, even now, that they might be able to build a show around Spitzer.  Yes, that's pathetic, but Spitzer is better than Parker.   And if Parker doesn't like it, she can always walk off the set again--and walk for good.  No doubt they would be fine with CNN.

The challenge now is getting Parker to quit, so that CNN doesn't have to pay off her contract. 

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