The Jerry Springer Show that Was

by Layla

political commentary show

A lot of people forget that when the Jerry Springer Show first started, it was basically a political commentary show. It had more in common with Bill Maher’s show today, only it was less sensationalist. Oliver North and Jesse Jackson were both on it, and they weren’t shouting about their wives, either. Jerry Springer’s show used to be just like the Phil Donahue Show. Jerry even styled himself to look just like Phil. They talked about all major political issues, from gun control to homelessness. It was a show run by a politician at that point in its life.

Wouldn’t you know, the ratings weren’t that great. They wanted better ratings because the show would have disappeared otherwise. The Jerry Springer Show that we know and love today didn’t really take off until 1994. From there, Jerry managed to beat Oprah.

All fans of the show remember the shouting and everyone throwing chairs at one another. If people want to say that the show brought out the worst in people, they should remember that the shouting was usually scripted. Jerry is a good showman who knew what people liked to watch. The ratings soared as a result, so he knew what he was doing. I honestly thought that it was great to see people break out of this really narrow mindset and standard of behavior. Everyone is so sedate on television, and that went away on Jerry.

There’s no shortage of shows that are full of political commentary. For people who think that these kinds of shows are inherently better, they should remember that the other side does political commentary, too. I’m liberal, and I think that the stuff that they show on Fox News is a lot more damaging to society than something like the Jerry Springer Show ever could be. Jerry never told people that trickle-down economics worked. He never said that homeless people brought it on themselves. He brought guests onto the show and they shared their own views. Their views and their problems were about their own unique issues. Jerry wasn’t trying to promote ideas that were harmful to society in general, and he didn’t.

People liked to talk about how Jerry and his show were screwing up America, especially in the 2000’s. Hopefully, that opinion is as dated as flip phones today. Usually, people would accuse him of exploiting his guests. That sounds like they really cared about the guests. They would accuse the guests of being cynical people trying to get fifteen minutes in the spotlight, which makes it sound like they’re the ones who are really contemptuous of Jerry’s guests.

People would also talk about how Jerry’s show and Jerry’s popularity just demonstrate the stupidity of the masses. I never see how people who say things like that can then say that they care about the masses at all. It just sounds like they’re trying to talk about how they’re better than they are, which means they’re showing less compassion for the audience than Jerry ever could. Not everyone has to like the Jerry Springer Show. Insulting the millions of people who made it a pop cultural phenomenon is crossing a line, and so is saying that Jerry is one of the people screwing up America even more than the current politicians.