NEW YORK — CNN said it shouldn't have used a former U.S. attorney who quit his job after allegedly biting a stripper as an analyst about New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer's prostitution scandal.
No mention of Kendall Coffey's past was made when anchor Tony Harris interviewed him Tuesday on the legal questions surrounding Spitzer's case. Coffey quit his job in May 1996 after being accused of biting a topless dancer on the arm during a visit to an adult club after losing a big drug case.
Coffey talked on CNN about what kind of charges the New York governor could face. Spitzer is accused of having a high-priced call girl visit his hotel room during a visit to Washington last month.
While Coffey's past is known to CNN's booking department, it wasn't to the person who set up Harris' segment. CNN spokesman Nigel Pritchard blamed a "miscommunication."
"Coffey has been a guest on CNN in the past but was probably not the right one for this story," Pritchard said.
The situation was noted by The Miami Herald's "Changing Channels" blog, which said CNN got an analyst with "more experience in the field than he let on." Coffey was identified by the network only as a former U.S. attorney.
At the end of their interview, Harris asked Coffey whether there was any way that Spitzer could ride out the scandal.
"This is not survivable unless the U.S. attorney gets up and says tomorrow they're not going to bring criminal charges," he replied, "and the chances of that happening are basically slim and none."
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