Eliot Spitzer and The Legend of the Black Socks: The Naked Truth.

Former New York Governor and Attorney General Eliot Spitzer's in for an interesting few weeks. For one thing, his prime time CNN show, Parker Spitzer premiered last night to...interesting...reviews. For another, Alex Gibney's documentary on his downfall -- Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Elliot Spitzer -- is being released in theaters soon, and is already available on-demand on some cable networks (like, naturally, Time-Warner Cable). Yet, one assertion -- and the question of its validity -- somehow keeps rising to the surface: Is the Black Socks Thing actually true?

The legend, according to a now-infamous New York Post piece, is that Eliot Spitzer likes to keep his black dress socks on while having sex with prostitutes. Skeezy Republican operative Roger Stone went to the FBI with a letter, the details of which were picked up by the New York Post -- a paper of unimpeachable record, as we all know -- like so:

Four months before a hooker scandal brought down Eliot Spitzer, controversial Republican operative Roger Stone tipped the FBI to the governor's penchant for prostitutes...Yesterday, Stone refused to comment on the letter, but told The Post: "What kind of guy does it with his socks on?

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It's a tawdry detail of Spitzer's story people can't seem to get enough of. Spitzer himself has denied this tidbit of trivia in an interview with Big Think:

Do you mean that critiques of your policy bother you more than critiques of your private life?

Eliot Spitzer: Well, the critiques of my private life, to the extent that they are legitimate and justified, you got to just accept that and move on. You can't try to deny reality sometimes. That's part of maturing and growing up, and none of us is without flaws. Mine are very evident to the world. Very little in my life has ever been private.

Was it true about the socks?

Eliot Spitzer: No.

Video of that denial:

Spitzer also denies the "Black Socks" trivia in Client 9 to director Alex Gibney, as does [SPOILER ALERT] the prostitute who slept with Spitzer the most, which isn't, as you should know, Post and Playboy cover girl Ashley Dupre. The prostitute, whose real name isn't known, and whose interview with Gibney was transcribed and spoken by an actress Gibney hired, just comes straight out with it: No. Eliot Spitzer does not have sex with prostitutes with black socks on.

Naturally, Roger Stone -- a longtime Spitzer enemy who's violent voicemail to Eliot Spitzer's father is played in the documentary (who is, at best, a muckracking dirtball) -- took to another publication of ill-repute, bow-tied conservative clown Tucker Carlson's The Daily Caller, to dispute the entirety of Client 9 as fiction, but mostly, to dispute any debunking of the Black Socks Myth:

In his largely fictionalized movie, Gibney utilizes an actress to assert that Spitzer never wore droopy black socks in his romps with prostitutes. Supposedly the actress is mouthing the denial of a call girl that Gibney declines to identify by her real name. That's because Gibney has no source willing to put their name on this lie. Gibney is not a journalist or filmmaker; he's a left-wing propagandist with the same disregard for facts as Oliver Stone. Spitzer's black sock fetish was previously confirmed by The New York Post on April 24, 2008, when an FBI source confirmed the New York Democrat's passion for knee-high hosiery, which he declined to remove while engaging in paid-for sex. Gibney ignored this fact in his well-made-but-false movie.

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Forgetting the facts that

(A) Stone is still unhealthily obsessed with what's on Eliot Spitzer's legs when he's having sex, or at least exponentially more so than your average New York Post reader,
(B) Stone is a longtime enemy of Spitzer's,
(C) Stone was the one who sent the tip in to the FBI (which might explain why his Daily Caller piece doesn't link to the Post piece)
(D) Stone is made to look the scum of the earth by Gibney, and rightfully so, and
(E) Lie-detector tests have proven easily fallible and still have yet to exist as admissible evidence in courts...

Stone blissfully ignores the logic inherent in why someone wouldn't want to come out as a source on this story (as it incriminates the prostitute in question). The fact that others have come out speak mostly to the likelihood of their attempt at savoring the spotlight, much like Stone has done here.

The fact of the matter seems to be -- from the side of the John, and his Pro -- that Spitzer didn't wear black socks while having sex with prostitutes. The only people saying otherwise support a case Roger Stone -- Roger Stone! A former Nixon operative! -- is trying to build to get his name out there more, regardless of the bullshit in it. Eliot Spitzer's black socks represent more than just a ridiculous sexual fetish, they represent the desperate hunger for the spotlight, and the kinds of minutiae (true or otherwise) people like Roger Stone will obsess over in order to propagate and feed the mythological nature of their own bush league celebrity.

[fkamer@villagevoice.com]

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