Friends of Kathleen Parker are furious at her being pushed out of the Parker-Spitzer show, and are saying that the conservative columnist was set up to fail.
Allegations that Spitzer constantly bullied her, and that the executive producer on the show favored Spitzer over Parker are among the reasons that Parker’s friends sensed a sexist slant to Friday’s announcement.
In its statement, CNN said that “Kathleen Parker has decided to leave the program to focus on her writing.”
Parker’s friends say that’s a joke. Parker had a three-year contract, and was only on the show since the fall before getting bounced Friday.
“I don’t think she wanted this at all,” said one individual close to the journalist. “They must have come to terms.” (Indeed, CNN said Parker will “continue to appear on CNN occasionally to provide her insights and commentary.”)
When Alec Baldwin was a guest on the show, producers insisted that only Spitzer interview him, according to an individual close to Parker.
But when Parker got Republican leader and House speaker John Boehner to be a guest, Spitzer fulminated that he wanted to interview him too.
“Spitzer came into her office and screamed and yelled. ‘You tell him he better talk to me!’” the individual close to Parker recounted.
Clearly there is bad blood here; Parker’s camp perceived the executive producer of the show, Liza McGuirk, to be a Spitzer ally.
Parker’s friends also suspect that Spitzer leaked negative stories about her to Page Six.
An insider in Spitzer’s camp scoffed at the criticisms. “That’s too easy,” said the individual, referring to Parker’s complaint at being bullied. Yes, Spitzer is aggressive and even a bully on occasion, said this person. But Parker should accept responsibility for the show’s poor performance.