Eliot Spitzer’s one neat trick: Getting Diane Sawyer show on the air

Rush & Molloy 

At least one good thing has come out of Eliot Spitzer‘s fall from grace: Diane Sawyer will finally get to air her hooker special!

Almost two years ago, Sawyer and producers at “Prime Time Live” set out to do a story on prostitution. Wanting to examine Nevada‘s legal brothels, she headed out to the famous Moonlite Bunny Ranch.

“She really hit it off with all my girls,” Bunny Ranch head Dennis Hof tells us. “We even gave her one of the terry-cloth bathrobes they wear. We had it embroidered, “Diane: Trainee.”

Sawyer did her best to keep her probe undercover — even though Carson City locals recognized the towering blond anchorwoman and her husband, director Mike Nichols.

But she found that her prudish rivals posed a bigger problem. Some claimed the piece was disgraceful — shameless pandering by the news division for ratings.

Execs at HBO also had a problem with the special. They argued that Hof, who has turned the Bunny Ranch’s sexcapades into the hit “Cathouse” reality series for their network, could be in breach of his contract.

Sawyer and her producers argued that the special looked beyond the Bunny Ranch, that they had interviewed crack-addicted streetwalkers in Philadelphia and high-priced Manhattan call girls.

But for all their assurances that the special was a serious investigation of America‘s sex workers and social costs, the project lingered in limbo.

Until last week, that is, when the Spitzer scandal infected The New York Times and the rest of the media with discussions of whoremongering.

So, last week, ABC News finally said Sawyer’s painstakingly researched two-hour special was a go. Despite concerns from some advertisers, “Prostitution in America: Working Girls Speak” will air Friday on “20/20” instead of “Prime Time.”

Meanwhile, Hof tells us he’s ready to pay Spitzer’s bed-mate, Ashley Alexandra Dupré, $250,000 to become a Ranch-hand.

He’s also offering Spitzer a pass good for free sex the rest of his life. “He won’t have to hide his payments or transport Ashley over state lines,” says Hof. “She’ll be there for him, whenever he wants!”

Hof, who’s seen reports that Spitzer allegedly preferred unprotected sex, does have one rule: “The governor has to wear a condom!”



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