The success of CNN's big gamble in mounting a new politically-oriented talk show in primetime featuring the conservative columnist Kathleen Parker and the liberal former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer won't be known until the ratings start coming in -- but the verdict of TV columnists has been uniformly disapproving. New York Times TV critic Alessandra Stanley said that Parker/Spitzer was "hard to watch" and noted that in a promotional appearance on Larry King's show, King remarked that the pair had chemistry. "If so," Stanley remarked, "it carries a queasy whiff of sulfur." Several writers remarked on the persistent "happy talk" infusing the show. "The entire program was rather genial -- almost too chummy and happy," Marisa Guthrie wrote on the Broadcasting and Cable website. But Baltimore Sun TV columnist David Zurawik called Parker/Spitzer "a load of obnoxious, self-important noise." And Verne Gay in Newsday remarked, "Rare is the show that bows as near-catastrophically as Parker/Spitzer did last night."
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Instead of simply making a documentary about the Eliot Spitzer scandal, filmmaker Gibney cleverly paints...