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April 22, 2005

On Jerry Springer ...

Here’s something I never thought I’d say: I enjoy listening to Jerry Springer.

Not his teevee show. With respect to that, I agree with Jerry Springer himself: it’s a stupid show, and people shouldn’t watch it.

Everybody on Air America is “pro-environment,” but Springer explains it to morons like me while, at the same time, puts it in a practical political context. Actually, his insight into political machinations is first rate while being accessible to the broadest possible open-mined audience.

When I listen to his show (Air America 9 AM to Noon Eastern, XM channel 167, internet radio www.airamericaradio.com), I am impressed with his common-person touch. He rarely preaches from high above – unlike some other folks on the same radio network. Of course, I’m sure Springer has met with more common-people than all his A-A cohorts combined, and his self-effacing style is a refreshing and vital addition to the genre of talk radio. He is respectful to and of his callers; that doesn’t make him unique (so is G. Gordon Liddy) but it does make him a better communicator than most.

Eight years ago Springer was hired by Chicago’s NBC teevee station to do on-air editorials, over the objections of anchors Carol Marin and Ron Magers. I had long admired both Marin and Magers, and I had worked on several stories with Magers. I understood their position: they thought the image of their show would be undermined by the image of The Jerry Springer Show. Even though as a First Amendment absolutist I was bothered by the attempt to deny Springer a platform, I agreed with their position that they didn’t have to stick around and be associated with a man whose work they despised. But now I think that, perhaps, they were a bit hasty. There’s a lesson to be learned there.

By the way, speaking of Internet radio… it appears that sometime this summer or fall, your bandwidth may be polluted with Weird Scenes – The Musical. Lucky you.

Posted by Mike Gold at April 22, 2005 10:17 AM

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While driving through the Madison area (which I now do far more often than I ever imagined I would), I tune in Air America, and stumbled across Springer the other day. I won't say that I "enjoyed" the show, but I was impressed with his new-found restraint. But overall, I found the show kinda lame. I much prefer the righteous indignation of Garafalo and Franken.

Posted by: Rick Oliver at April 25, 2005 02:49 PM

I'll have to listen to Jerry. I despise his talk show and it's effect on the TV landscape but I have been hearing good things about him on the radio. People forget he was a mayor of a big city so he might know a few things about politics. :)

All in all though I still would rather have Phil Donahue (who had a *much* classier talk show, and is also a liberal) on the AM dial instead of Jerry.

Posted by: Dan Lorenzen at April 25, 2005 10:28 PM

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