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Eliot Spitzer’s Worst Moments on His Political TV Shows

Eliot Spitzer’s low-rated political show, In the Arena, was canceled Wednesday, after the earlier demise of Parker/Spitzer. From Spitzer’s sparring with Kathleen Parker to his awkward handling of Anthony Weiner criticism, watch video of the ex-governor’s worst TV moments.

Steven Senne / AP Photo

Philanderers of a Feather?

Behold the big (adulterous) elephant in the room: While on the program as a guest discussing the Anthony Weiner sexting scandal, Dan Abrams sought to tackle Spitzer’s own indiscretions head on. Though a squirming Spitzer was gracious enough to allow the question, his speedy misdirection suggested he wasn’t so willing to put himself in the middle of Weiner’s junk.

Don’t Call Him Dude, Dude!

Classic Parker/Spitzer: During a debate as to whether it was appropriate to call the president “dude” during his appearance on The Daily Show, the hosts were quick to condemn Stewart’s casual chitchat. While Parker demonstrated her knack for a Clueless-era Valley Girl impression, Spitzer took the cake with this stunning lack of self-awareness: “You don’t call the prez ‘dude’!”

Tiptoeing Around Client No. 9

Cue the uncomfortable laughter: Then-Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell’s November appearance on Parker/Spitzer left the TV hosts chuckling over an awkward link to Spitzer’s notorious past. Rendell was invited on the program to talk politics, but veered off track when he told Spitzer to “have fun with that younger woman.” After a moment of surprised banter, Spitzer reacted by saying that those were “dangerous words.”

Parker and Spitzer’s M.I.A. Chemistry

CNN green-lighted Parker/Spitzer as a venue for both liberal and conservative discussion, which promised at least a little on-air drama between the ideologues. What resulted, however, was a show that left Parker criticized as “distilled water” by a fellow conservative. The pair caught flak early on for their lack of on-screen chemistry, devoid of any promised sparring aside from the occasional eye roll. The peak of the drama avoided TV cameras entirely, when behind-the-scenes rumors began swirling that all was not well on set. Could a good Parker-Spitzer brawl have saved the show?

Spitzer Flops Solo

When Kathleen Parker parted ways with CNN in February, the show was reborn as In the Arena, with only Spitzer at the helm. Blame Parker’s ousting on a cold; ratings jumped when the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist was absent from the show for a week due to a lung infection. But, despite new commentators, a new format, and a new name, the show was hardly a revamp. Spitzer’s solo jump into the arena also didn’t improve the show’s ratings, despite his earlier success. Watch Spitzer as he interviews 2012 GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul all by his lonesome.