(Watch Eliot Spitzer’s goodbye here.)
Just a few months after low ratings led CNN to drop Kathleen Parker from “Parker and Spitzer,” Eliot Spitzer’s solo effort, “In the Arena,” was canceled Wednesday.
On the same night the cancelation was announced, Spitzer signed off from his show for the final time by reading a passage from President Teddy Roosevelt’s “Citizenship in a Republic,” from which the title of his show was taken.
So how does this farewell compare to the other recent sign-offs from Glenn Beck, Katie Couric and Keith Olbermann?
Spitzer’s time on the air was short and news of the show’s demise was abrupt. Perhaps that was part of the reason he borrowed these great words from Roosevelt, to great effect:
It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood which strives valiantly, who errs, who comes up short again and again because there is no effort without error and shortcoming, who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victor nor defeat.
After a five year run on the “CBS Evening News,” Katie Couric said farewell to her anchor position by revisiting some of her best moments. She also thanked her viewers for “coming along with me on this incredible journey.”
Glenn Beck’s final Fox News show in late June was a “vintage visit to .. the ‘doom room,’ ” The Post’s Paul Farhi wrote.
At the end of his program, Beck explained his reason for moving on. “I’m overcome with the feeling, ‘If you don’t leave now, you will never leave with your soul.’ As a guy who’s traded my soul before, I will not trade it again,” he said. “Never want anything too much. Never. It will destroy you.”
He then directed the cameras to his famous chalkboard, which had the names of the show’s employees written on it.
Like Spitzer, Keith Olbermann made an abrupt departure from his MSNBC show is January, following a suspension for making political donations without disclosure to his bosses months earlier.
Olbermann’s final “Countdown” was typically verbose, with the liberal host spending most of his time thanking the viewers.
“This may be the only television program wherein the host is the much more in awe of the audience than vice-versa,” he said. “You will also be in my heart for that, and for the donations to the family in Tennessee and these victims of governmental heartlessness in Arizona, to say nothing of every letter and e-mail and tweet and wave and handshake and online petition.”
Of course, Olbermann returned with “Countdown” 2.0 on Current TV, where he opened his program with a quote from Harriet Beecher Stowe.