One day after the New York Times and the New York Post endorsed Scott Stringer for comptroller, the New York Daily News also backed Stringer for the job. As with the Times and Post, the News’s editorial is more about hating opponent Eliot Spitzer than it is loving Stringer: the 1,800-word piece contains less than 500 words on Stringer, and most of them are lukewarm. According to the News, he is “a steady, serious, well-prepared” official “who has worked diligently for advancement” by challenging Sheldon Silver as a state assemblyman and providing “well-documented reports that forced reforms” as Manhattan borough president.
The real energy is reserved for Spitzer, who is running with “arrogant dishonesty. The lessons that he claims to have learned from the humiliation of being revealed as a cheat and liar have not extended to accepting the obligation to play straight with the public.” The News’s piece comes with a retelling of the story of Client 9, several photos of former prostitute Ashley Dupré, and a transcript of part of the paper’s “endorsement interview” with Spitzer. In that portion, editorial page editor Arthur Browne calls Spitzer “a racketeering prosecutor and the attorney general,” accuses him of money laundering, and asks him exactly how much he spent on hookers.
Eventually, Browne’s frustrated subject says, “I’ve answered those questions sufficiently. If you deem I haven’t answered them sufficiently, that’s fine, and that will be your editorial judgment.” And indeed it was, though that seems to have been a foregone conclusion. “His boldness in issuing misstatements was not the boldness of a liar who is trying to avoid getting caught at wrongdoing,” writes the News. “It was the boldness of a man whose ego-driven character allows for forcefully denying reality while expecting the public to accept his word. Why? Because Eliot Spitzer is Eliot Spitzer. What’s changed since he fled the governorship as unfit for service is that Eliot Spitzer is five years older.” And Dupré has published an e-book.