Volume 92, Issue 4

Friday, June 5, 1998

george likes his chicken spicy


Time to take responsibility

Throughout its history, whether it was increased violence or more nudity, television has been blamed for the declining values of society. People obviously do influence what appears on television, but the sad fact is that more people are influenced by what they see. It is about time television took some responsibility for its product – and the decision to remove violence from The Jerry Springer Show should be applauded. However, this should just be the start.

What Jerry and the gang promote is the sleaze of our society. Whether it be the fighters, strippers or hookers, there is no need to constantly showcase the "talents" of these people. As a society, we should not ignore any walk of life, but certain ones need not be glorified. Society needs to discourage fourteen-year-olds from running away so they can turn tricks on Hollywood Boulevard.

After a great deal of pressure from many organizations and sponsors, The Jerry Springer Show has agreed to stop the excessive fighting, but what about the rest of the material? Many believed the fighting was fake and that was confirmed just before it was announced that the fighting would be stopped. The shows are still very objectionable.

An episode that aired recently was titled "I Married My Horse." Three guests on the show brought their lovers, a horse and two dogs. Do we really need to watch an hour of people professing that their pet is a better lover than any other person. And what's the next line the show will cross? Will they feature pedophiles – or how about kiddie-porn stars?

Another problem with The Jerry Springer Show is that it is a daytime talk show. Kids can come home from school and turn Springer on. Most adults have no problem taking Springer's content with a grain of salt, but a child may want to become a pimp or a stripper after seeing how "glamorous" it can be. Parents do have a responsibility to guide their children, but often it is the television that will have more of an influence – particularly when parents tell their children not to watch the show.

The Jerry Springer Show is not the only problem that plagues the values of society and negatively influences today's youth, but it may be the worst of the bunch. Someone has to take responsibility. The first steps are being taken but they are baby steps.

Most people are not aware of the original concept of Springer's show. It was supposed to feature prominent political figures and discuss the IMPORTANT issues of the day. Perhaps Jerry needs to get back to his original vision. It would be a victory for morals.

–Neil Malhotra

To Contact The Opinions Department: gazette.opinions@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1998