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Eliot Spitzer, Kathleen Parker, and CNN’s Tilt Toward Misogyny

Posted on July 3 2010 7:00 pm
Amy Siskind is the President and Co-Founder of The New Agenda, an organization dedicated to improving the lives of women and girls.

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There must have been some major high-fiving when CNN announced that Eliot Spitzer and Kathleen Parker would be taking over Campbell Brown’s 8 p.m. slot. High-fives between Bill O’Reilly and his producers, and Keith Olbermann and his producers.

By featuring these two individuals, CNN appears to be a network that has lost track of the sensitivities and sensibilities of its female audience. And, on the back of the bevy of female departures from CNN this year, one has to wonder, does CNN has a woman problem? 

As a New Yorker and head of a women’s organization, I received scores of emails from enraged women when word got out that CNN was considering hiring the disgraced former governor. The network couldn’t possibly be serious? After all, we had witnessed the very public humiliation of Silda Wall Spitzer, the brilliant, talented spouse who gave up the prospect of a high-powered career to play the supporting role and raise the children.

Silda was and is a tireless advocate for causes related to women and children. In fact, I was on the Planning Committee for My Sister’s Place where Silda was scheduled to deliver the keynote address on March 11, 2008 on the subject of reducing domestic violence. Many of us had months before heard Silda’s inspiring speech about the importance of getting more women into government. Tragically, on March 10th, we learned that then Governor Spitzer had been caught on a federal wiretap arranging a rendezvous with a high-priced prostitute.

New York women will never forget Silda’s demeanor days later when she dutifully emerged alongside her disgraced husband for a news conference. As detail after detail of Spitzer indiscretions surfaced, the normally vibrant and vivacious first lady of New York looked like a broken women. Many of us cried for her. Many discussed on the schoolyard how their poor daughters must be devastated and humiliated.

How can CNN grant this man the limelight again?

To make matters worse, CNN’s next move was to give Spitzer a “work wife” antithetical to his real wife. Whereas Silda fought tirelessly for women and women’s issues, Kathleen Parker is one of the most anti-woman women of modern day media.

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