Eliot Spitzer abruptly signed off as host of his nightly cable news talk show on Wednesday, several hours after CNN announced he’d been canned.
The former disgraced New York governor spent most of his broadcast debating with guests the state of the U.S. justice system in light of the Casey Anthony verdict and crumbling sex assault case against Dominique Strauss-Khan.
He did not address his own fate until the final minute of “In the Arena,” at which point he donned a pair of reading glasses to read an excerpt from the 1910 Theodore Roosevelt speech that inspired the show’s name:
“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; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and 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 victory nor defeat.”
Spitzer then thanked his viewers, and did not address what he planned to do next after just nine months on the air. Forced to resign as New York governor in 2008 following the revelation that he hired prostitutes, there has been speculation that he may attempt a return to politics.
Earlier, CNN executive vice president Ken Jautz did not give a official reason for the cancellation, but said the network was "in discussions" with Spitzer about "an alternative role."
"In the Arena" had struggled in the ratings even after a revamp that saw the departure of Spitzer's co-host, Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker, six months ago.
Spitzer released a statement thanking CNN for the opportunity.
"We engaged serious people in conversations about national and global issues in a way that was informative and challenging. I believe that we provided diverse and valuable perspectives during the show's tenure. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at CNN," he said.
Anderson Cooper's "360" will take over "In the Arena's" time slot after Aug. 5, The New York Times reported. A rotating roster of hosts will reportedly helm the program in the interim.