Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer
The scandal that toppled New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer was a very short-lived affair due to Spitzer's quick resignation once the details came out. As such, it didn't make much of an impression on the general public -- much to the relief of the Obama campaign. A scandal afflicting such a prominent Democrat would taint the entire Democrat Party and its prospects for success in 2008. This lead to Spitzer's career remaining in the dark as far as most Americans are concerned.
One thing that Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer attempts to do is to highlight Spitzer's career prior to the scandal. It details how he became a headline-grabbing state attorney general. It also tells us about his short stay in the governor's mansion. The problem is that while it relates what he did, it doesn't adequately inform us why he did those things. Additionally, this so-called documentary does a poor job giving the audience a feel for what kind of person Spitzer really is.
This documentary worships Spitzer as some sort of hero. It insinuates that all who opposed Spitzer did so solely out of sinister motives. The end result is a ultimately a parody of a documentary.
Perhaps the worst aspect is the film's baseless allegation that Spitzer's downfall came as a result of an evil conspiracy. It does not present any evidence for this other than the fact that Spitzer had made enemies while in public office, which happens to most politicians. It's the nature of the political beast. It's all particularly insulting to the audience's intelligence considering the fact that Spitzer and Spitzer alone contacted the house of prostitution, paid for the prostitutes, and engaged in sexual relations with them.
This documentary's attempt to cover for Spitzer's criminality is downright embarrassing at times. For instance, it the movie insinuated that the FBI's investigation of Spitzer was unusual because no customers of prostitutes have ever been prosecuted under the Mann Act of 1910. It's ironic considering Spitzer himself was never indicted, let alone forced to stand trial for his crimes.
Another serious deficiency lies in that the film leaves out several key facts relating to Spitzer's conduct while in office. These include his repeated hiring of "yes men" instead of quality public servants to fill positions of power and responsibility. State Attorney General Spitzer also misused his power to trash the Transit Workers Union and jailed the union president. Spitzer used his public position to advocate war against Iraq and has stuck to the militarist position regarding Middle East to the present day. Spitzer also has been a hardline supporter of the death penalty. Spitzer also has supported keeping the status quo regarding public schools and has supported closing public hospitals. Spitzer also has supported overturning the rent control laws in New York City.
These omissions are important because the claim has been made, both in this documentary and elsewhere, that Spitzer was targeted for destruction because he was a "liberal." And yet these omissions are some very non-liberal positions. This shows just how dishonest this particular "documentary" is.
What all this adds up to: Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer is a worthless documentary. It makes accusations and insinuations without any real evidence. It's dishonest to the core. It's a flick to avoid.