Jerry Springer

Taking stock of people and ideas in the news.
March 22 1998 3:30 AM

Jerry Springer

Once the talk show host was mayor of Cincinnati. Now he's mayor of Sodom.

(Continued from Page 1)

The show shouldn't be criticized for presenting disgusting behavior, because television doesn't create values, it only reflects them. Click below for his unctuous commentary on this.


Springer actually teaches moral lessons. Bad guests--e.g., wife beaters--are booed. Springer himself closes each episode with a "Final Thought," a sermonette that makes it clear how little he thinks of his guests.

S pringer's excuses are halfhearted (not to mention contradictory--it's not consistent to say that television doesn't create values, then lecture your audience about values).

But mostly Springer doesn't bother with justifications: He smiles and admits the truth about the Jerry Springer Show. It's "stupid human tricks." "It's all stupid. We're all idiots." "It's bubble gum." He has said that kids shouldn't watch it and that he himself has never watched it.

Most articles about Springer describe this bad-mouthing as "self-effacement." But it's not. It's more like self-loathing. Once upon a time, Springer was an idealist: He hoped to change the world through politics, to lead Ohio out of a recession. He cast himself as on-air adviser to half a million Cincinnati TV viewers. Now he is the ringleader of a circus of morons, the host of a TV show he doesn't like and doesn't believe in.

Springer hopes to redeem himself, but it's a lost cause. He wants to be a political science professor when his contract runs out in 2002. Imagine that: Jerry Springer, professor of political theory and teen hookers. Last year Jerry attempted a return to the straight world. A Chicago TV station hired him to deliver the kind of commentary that made him so beloved in Cincinnati a decade ago. But the station's anchor and chief correspondent chose to resign rather than share air time with Springer. He delivered only two commentaries--one a bitter rant against "elitists" who condemned him--before the public outcry drove him to quit. He slunk back to his rabble--the losers, pervs, and exhibitionists--the only folks who might still listen to his advice.



Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

The Congressional Republican Digging Through Scientists’ Grant Proposals

Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Whole Foods Is Desperate for Customers to Feel Warm and Fuzzy Again

The XX Factor

I’m 25. I Have $250.03.

My doctors want me to freeze my eggs.

The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I’m 25. I Have $250.03. My doctors want me to freeze my eggs.

Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

George Tiller’s Murderer Threatens Another Abortion Provider, Claims Free Speech

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 21 2014 3:13 PM Why Countries Make Human Rights Pledges They Have No Intention of Honoring
Oct. 21 2014 4:33 PM Walmart Is Killing the Rest of Corporate America in Solar Power Adoption
The Vault
Oct. 21 2014 2:23 PM A Data-Packed Map of American Immigration in 1903
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 21 2014 3:03 PM Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 21 2014 1:02 PM Where Are Slate Plus Members From? This Weird Cartogram Explains. A weird-looking cartogram of Slate Plus memberships by state.
Brow Beat
Oct. 21 2014 1:47 PM The Best Way to Fry an Egg
Oct. 21 2014 5:38 PM Justified Paranoia Citizenfour offers a look into the mind of Edward Snowden.
  Health & Science
Climate Desk
Oct. 21 2014 11:53 AM Taking Research for Granted Texas Republican Lamar Smith continues his crusade against independence in science.
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.