Elliot Spitzer’s nine month foray on television has ended as CNN cancelled his program “In the Arena”. Originally, left leaning Spitzer came on the air paired with alleged right leaning Kathleen Parker and was billed as “Parker-Spitzer. But Parker left him at the end of February to “concentrate on other things”. Spitzer’s show is being edged out by “Anderson Cooper 360".
In some ways, it is remarkable that Spitzer lasted as long as he did, as the Manhattan Madam panned his performance on the boob tube by opining “Spitzer is as boring on television as he is in bed”. CNN made Spitzer his flagship prime-time anchor, and went so far as to make media buys on Rush Limbaugh’s radio program. But the viewers never materialized and CNN constantly was behind both Fox News Channel and MSNBC.
Aside from the low ball ratings for CNN, Spitzer could not live down his risque reputation as Client Number Nine. News of Gov. Spitzer's penchant for hiring high end escorts with the Emperor's Club caused Spitzer to quickly resign his office in March 2008. Media critics noticed that when Parker was part of Spitzer’s show, there were many tight shots featuring the CNN couple. It also was hard not to think of Spitzer’s political sins during the Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY 9th) Twitter cybersex scandal this spring.
Spitzer chose to sign off his final show by citing President Theodore Roosevelt, as his 1910 “In The Area” Sorbonne 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.
When one associates Eliot Spitzer with Rough Riders, it less likely that one thinks of 26th President of the United States and more of a playboy’s aids.
If Spitzer is still looking for a new outlet, perhaps he can land a show on channel nine.