I've been contemptuous of the man ever since his failed 1994 campaign for Attorney General when he proposed, as an anti-crime measure, the serialization of every bullet and cartridge case sold in New York.
(Some rational thinking by even the most hard core hoplophobe reveals the ineffectualness of such a costly proposal.)
But the curiosity of seeing the re-emerging Spitzer on the current edition of HBO's weekly "Real Time with Bill Maher" overcame my antipathy for the "stand-up comedian, television host, social and political commentator."
And yes, the activities which garnered him the sobriquet "the Sheriff of Wall Street," were laudable despite a strong suspicion that they were driven less by a quest for rooting out high level white collar wrong-doing than as a cynical element of his gubernatorial campaign.
(What did he accomplish after becoming Governor in 2007? He delivered a ruinous budget deficit with which his successor is singularly ill-equipped to deal, proposed Driver's Licenses for illegal immigrants, and gave NY "troopergate" over a year before the Sarah Palin version.)
On with the show
Even watching Maher with the sound off is disturbing... his own best audience, he is constantly snicker-snorting at his own wit so that the viewer is uncomfortably waiting for him to expel a mucus plug from one of his nostrils.
(My apologies, but it is that revolting!)
After an interminable exchange with faux documentary film-maker Michael Moore, Maher turned to his stage guests, Spitzer and economist/New York Times columnist Paul Krugman for their uniformly Liberal views of the state of our nation.
It was instructive to note that while Maher prides himself on there being nothing "off-limits" on his program, and his monologues and conversational jabs at George Bush2 and Sarah Palin are a staple, not once was there ever even a veiled reference to Spitzer's activities as "Client #9."
The most outrageous moment in Spitzer's appearance, though came when he stated that "Republicanism is destroying the moral foundation" of America.
The second most outrageous moment immediately followed when Maher, no-shot-too-cheap if it's Mrs. Palin or Glenn Beck, declined a zinger or even a raised eyebrow.
Maher wimped on an opening through which one could have driven a double-wide without a screech or a scratch.
Okay, hey!, it's HBO, the cable jewel of the Time Warner-Turner information empire, which merger only a Janet Reno-led Justice Department could have allowed.
Obviously Spitzer is working some sort of "comeback" scheme, aimed at what exactly is still unclear.
In the Webcast "Overtime" segment, however, Maher asked if he would consider running for Governor of New York again and noted that he's "ahead in the polls," Spitzer spluttered and deprecated the notion, so we can assume he's considering running3.
Perhaps the most alarming part of that "Real Time" experience was the enthusiastic reactions of his audience... who are these people?!?
It's fashionable to brand Ann Coulter and egocentric gasbags like Bill O'Reilly and Rush Limbaugh as "vicious Right Wing rabid dogs," but has anyone taken a good look at Maher and Keith Olbermann lately?
Okay, Dean, I will throw this one out to you. Eliot Spitzer might go down as the most hypocritical prosecuting attorney in history. If you remember, Spitzer notoriously prosecuted both prostitution rings and white collar crimes with tremendous venom. Miraculously, the prostition ring he utilized avoided such prosecution. Even more miraculously, the great "Sheriff of Wall Street" completely missed Bernie Madoff, despite the fact that he and his family had a significant sum of money invested with Mr. Madoff. And, as Mr. Madoff's license as an investment adviser was issued through the State of New York, its regulation was in the domain of the Attorney General's office making Madoff's Ponzi scheme also Mr. Spitzer's responsibility. It makes it seem that his prosecution may have been conveniently tilted away from those that did him favors. I have sent the current AG an E-mail wondering if the investigation into Mr. Madoff included a review through their own office as to possible prior complaints with no response received to the request.
On the hypocrisy issue, we are in full accord... but the main point of this particular blog entry was the hypocrisy of Maher and the entire Left.