Client 9

The complete (though cumbersome) title of this documentary is, "Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer." Through a bit of serendipity, we saw "Inside Job" on Saturday and this one the following Monday.

Saturday was about the banking debacle and the egregious thievery that launched our Great Recession; "Client 9" is the prequel.

There were the same faces, only they were the targets of a pugnacious Eliot Spitzer a couple of years earlier when he was Attorney General for the State of New York. In his opinion, if the Federal regulators weren't doing their work, he and his crackerjack staff would do it for them! In his eight years on that job, he mowed a wide swath; obviously he made some powerful and unforgiving enemies who saw to it that he was hung by his own zipper.

Private investigators were only too happy to show the public that, like other Type A men before and since, "Mr Clean" had feet of clay. (He was "Client 9" at an exclusive call-girl operation.) The press had a field day and Mr. Spitzer, elected by a wide margin as Governor of New York, chose to resign (over his wife's objections). He blames no one but himself, although the evidence is pretty compelling that those wily old devils he attacked, had turned around and nailed him! Whether it is fair or square is up to you to decide.

The numerous interviews are with one of the prostitutes he employed, several executives he exposed, two staffers he disappointed, some media folks who smelled a rat, and Mr. S. himself. Newscasts and press clippings, both pro and con, are interspersed and there is plenty of wry humor.

I can't think of a moment when I was bored, although I do admit to a higher than normal interest in governmental issues....as should we all!