by Conor Friedersdorf
What I never realized about Elliot Spitzer is that the escort whose name we all learned, Ashley Dupre, is someone with whom he only slept once its a different escort who he hired regularly, she is now a commodities trader, and the recently released documentary about Spitzer's rise and fall manages to include an on the record interview with her. All things considered, I enjoyed the film. Its thesis is basically that the former New York governor's powerful enemies helped orchestrate his downfall, and that the investigation into his hooker habit may well have been politically motivated. The evidence presented is circumstantial but persuasively put. Is that what really happened? I have no idea. Spitzer says he brought about his own downfall. And that is definitely true, whatever else transpired.
For understandable narrative reasons, the documentary focuses on Spitzer's least sympathetic critics. We hear lots of people accuse him of being a power mad bully. Most are wealthy Wall Street figures accused of illegal or unethical behavior that puts them in a very bad light. Ask around New York state and you'll hear from less powerful, more sympathetic people with Spitzer horror stories from his days as attorney general. I understand why those stories were beyond the scope of the film. But I wouldn't have minded an allusion to them.