[AUTHENTICITY CERTIFIED: Text
version below transcribed directly from audio]
Well, look at the time. Iíll try to keep this
brief. After 28 years of
peacock logos on much of what I own, it is my choice
now to jump without a net into the great unknown.
As I do, for the first time in
my 62 years, my biggest worry is for my country.
The truth is, Iím not a Liberal or a
Conservative. Iím an Institutionalist: I
believe in this place; and in my love of my country, I yield to no one.
But the darkness on the edge of town has spread to the main roads and highways
and neighborhoods. It's now at the local bar and the bowling alley, at the school
board and the grocery store. And it must be acknowledged and answered for.
Grown men and women who swore an
oath to our Constitution
-- elected by their
constituents, possessing the kinds of college degrees I could only dream of --
have decided to join the mob and become something they are not while hoping we
somehow forget who they were.
Theyíve decided to burn it all down -- with us inside.
That should scare you to no
end as much as it scares an aging volunteer fireman.
To my coworkers, my love and thanks. And I say again, everyone I've worked with
has made me better at what I do.
To my family, "love and thanks" doesn't begin to
cover it. But now I have the time to better express it.
My friends know who they are -- no one's been
blessed with better friends.
To the guests on this broadcast, as you heard the
nice man say a few minutes ago, "it's always been about you"1
-- otherwise I'd be staring into the camera for an hour, five nights a week, and
nobody wants to see that. You are the
11th Hour and will continue to be the
11th Hour. This is where I thank you, however, for being so great for
explaining these last five years.
As a proud New Jersey native, this is where I get to say, "Regrets, Iíve had a
few. But then again, too few to mention."2
What a ride itís been. Where else, how else was a kid like me going to meet
presidents and kings and the occasional rock star? These lovely testimonials
that I can never truly repay make me hyperaware that it has been and remains a
wonderful life. Itís as if Iím going to wake up tomorrow morning in Bedford
The reality is, though, I will wake up tomorrow in the America of the year 2021,
a nation unrecognizable to those who came before us and fought to protect it --
which is what you must do now.
My colleagues will take it from here.
I will probably find it impossible to be silent and stay away from you and
lights and cameras after I experiment with relaxation and find out what Iíve
missed and whatís out there.
Every weeknight for decades now, Iíve said some version of the same thing. Thank
you for being here with us -- us, meaning the people who produce this broadcast
for you. And you, well, without you, thereís no us.
Iíll show myself out. Until we meet again, that is our broadcast for this
Thank you for being here with us.
And for all my colleagues at the networks of NBC
News: Good night.
Book/CDs by Michael E. Eidenmuller, Published by
Allusion to (and line from) fellow New Jersey native Frank
Sinatra's popularized tune
Allusion to the film
It's A Wonderful Life, especially
popular around the Christmas holidays,
Page Updated: 12/30/21
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