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Client 9

October 11, 2010

The main premise of the movie Client 9 is that Eliot Spitzer’s powerful enemies – including Wall Street titans and the Bush administration — conspired to undermine him.

Whether this is true or not is almost irrelevant.

That’s because Spitzer was responsible for his own downfall. Nobody twisted his arm to patronize prostitutes. He gave his enemies the ammunition they needed to destroy him.

And in a perhaps redemptive moment at the end of the film, Spitzer says as much. He says that no matter what else happened, no matter what others did, he has only himself to blame.

This movie is worth watching just to see this extraordinary comment. It doesn’t take away your anger toward Spitzer, but it does lessen it. In its place, you develop new anger and disgust toward a variety of others:

Ken Langone bragged about knowing that Spitzer was going down, and then crowed when he did.

Michael Garcia and his aides at the Justice Department did everything they could to embarrass Spitzer, even pressing prostitutes about Spitzer’s sexual proclivities.

Ashley Dupre exploited her single encounter with Spitzer into career-building exercise with the help of the New York Post.

Roger Stone really did leave a profanity-laced diatribe on the answering machine of Spitzer’s elderly father.

There aren’t many sympathetic figures in the movie, but one who stands out is Wayne Barrett of the Village Voice. Again and again, Barrett, in his sardonic way, places sensational developments in the proper context.

Another interesting figure in the movie is Spitzer’s former communications director, Darren Dopp, who offers intriguing anecdotes about the enigmatic Spitzer. Dopp says Spitzer knew he was being watched by enemies, and knew that if he ever faltered, his enemies and the media would be merciless.

Indeed, this is an aspect of the Spitzer saga we find most vexing. Given that knowledge, why did Spitzer continue on such a dangerous course? Why indeed?

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Mark Keister permalink
    October 11, 2010 1:46 PM

    Hubris, dear NT2 . . . and a death wish – they all seem to have it. Gary Hart – “prove it” , Bubba Bill – “I did not __ [in hale] [ . . .with that woman]”

    Any more? How ’bout J.Edgar; morally so uptight/self-righteous public castigator; all the time [45 years!] living with his second in command and wearing dresses at home!

    Jimmy Swaggart . . .Bob Packwood . . . Neil Goldschmidt . . . adnauseam.

    God’s Chosen one and all.

  2. Mark permalink
    October 11, 2010 2:04 PM


    You kids confuse me.

    In the post prior to this one, you downplay Alan Hevesi’s crimes. In this post, you trumpet a movie about Eliot Spitzer’s crimes.

    Kinda reads like Goldilocks, gang. The first one (Hevesi) was too soft. And the second one (Spitzer) was too hard.

    Both Hevesi and Spitzer are criminals. Both violated the public trust. If you want to split veritable hairs, one could define Hevesi’s crimes as more severe if only because he, as an elected official, used public money and public employees to violate the law. Spitzer merely abused his wife and his family during his misdeeds.

    But why split hairs? Both are criminals. Hevesi deserves time in jail. Spitzer is out, and why he’s on CNN is further example of what’s wrong with the connections- and controversy-based media.

    Rick Sanchez, while a putz and as much a product of the Cuban American National Foundation (the AIPAC of the Batistas), was correct about one thing: Connections – who one knows – define who works and gets paid six-, seven-, or eight-figures in today’s national media, be it on the cable channels (Fox, too), the networks, the national rags, the few remaining magazines, the blog sites, and the lucrative think tanks.

    Solid, accurate, factual news reporting does not mean a damn thing. For this reason, I truly fear for the future of our nation. If no one holds those in positions of authority, public and private, accountable, you can kiss our democracy goodbye – one day at a time.

  3. October 24, 2010 1:41 PM

    SPITZERWITZ:Gotta love this guy. He sure knows how to have a good time and get away with it. If NJ is The Soprano State, what’s NY ? It must be The Baritone State. Baritones have the biggest balls.

    You Gotta Know What Day It Is!
    Murray Burns

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