Jerry Springer (RIP) Was An Ethics Corrupter

Jerry Springer has died at 79. I’m not glad he’s dead, but when someone has as damaging an effect on the culture as he did, the fact belongs in his obituary. Attention should be paid.

Springer was the epitome of an ethics corrupter. He held the poor, uneducated, non-too-bright and badly socialized up to public ridicule. He encouraged foolish people to embarrass themselves on TV. He also sent the message to many of his less civilized, socialized and mature viewers that the best way to deal with conflict is a punch in the chops.

Springer himself was smart and talented,and when his show began, it was essentially a knock-off of Phil Donohue’s show. Then he realized the appeal of violence, perversion and sleaze. The epic popularity of “The Jerry Springer Show” spawned a mob of imitators, and the phenomenon was a catalyst for the reality show scourge that permanently lowered the quality of both prime time and daytime TV, with whole series being built on the same kinds of trashy exhibitionists that Springer had made into 15 minute celebrities: the Kardashians, the “Real Wives,” the Jersey Shore crew, the Osbournes, and the parade of sick, failed and desperate B celebrities like Anna Nicole Smith, Danny Bonaduce and Scott Baio. It was the Jerry Springer guests who Hillary Clinton was alluding to as typical “deplorable” Trump supporters. Yes, I believe Springer contributed to the divisions in America, and inflamed the deadly contempt our liberal elites have for the residents of “fly-over country.”

It may be that I am over-estimating Springer’s malign influence on the culture, but it is important not to underestimate it. Most of our history’s criminals did less permanent harm. Jerry Springer left this nation courser, less stable, more divided and uglier than he found it, and he profited from the damage he did.

No, I’m not glad he’s dead. But the United States would be a more ethical place if he had never lived.

4 thoughts on “Jerry Springer (RIP) Was An Ethics Corrupter

  1. Amen. In the ‘fifties and early ‘sixties, TV was aspirational. I know Jack thinks “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet” was inexcusable, but it showed a quality of life that a schmo like me could aspire to and recognize in my own family. The whole lot of “Father Knows Best” and “Leave it to Beaver” and their ilk were positive. They showed good kids and responsible, humane adults. “Married with Children” and anything involving Rosanne would never have been green-lighted if it weren’t for Jerry Springer and his ilk.

    • I’d also include “The Simpsons” as not a really good phenomenon, frankly. As much as I lover Bart and Lisa as characters. They are iconic in the class of the Warner Brothers cartoon characters such as Bugs Bunny, oh, pick any, Foghorn Leghorn.

  2. Just think, if he hadn’t written that personal check to the prostitute, he could have been President instead of corrupting daytime TV!

  3. let’s not forget the “View”, moral corrupters everyone! I abandoned Cale TV and local TV years ago. My decision to do so is as being correct each time I have to stay in a hotel. When I click through the channels avialblee there is nothing but dehumanizing “entertainment>”

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