Eliot Spitzer on ‘In the Arena’: For people ‘who don’t happen to be watching the Knicks or American Idol and want news.’

By Chris Ariens 

FishbowlNY contributor Diane Clehane was at her usual perch Wednesday, at Michael’s restaurant where media bigs do lunch. Diane sat down with former New York Governer-turned CNN host Eliot Spitzer.

When I asked Spitzer if he considered himself a journalist or a commentator, he answered simply, “I don’t know. I don’t mean to be vague. When the issue of objectivity comes up, I don’t think there is any such thing as objectivity. I don’t mean to say you infuse everything with bias and don’t try to be rigorously factual, but how you present every fact depends upon the prism through which you see it.”

As for his former co-host Kathleen Parker…

“I liked Kathleen from the get-go. She is a real talent and we had loads of fun. Every creative process goes through several iterations. I left it totally to [CNN]. I’m the new kid on the block in this medium,” he continued. “I said, ‘You just tell me what you want me to do, and I’m game for whatever role you want me to play.  It’s not my place to make some of these judgment calls. I can see if I have a skill set here. If I do, wonderful. If I don’t that’s fine, too.”

And while ratings for “In the Arena” have improved the 8pm timeslot — +30% in April, vs. April 2010 — the show often comes in fourth place.