ERIC Number: EJ726607
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Living in a Jerry Springer World
Houston, Paul D.
School Administrator, v62 n7 p46 Aug 2005
The author admits that he has watched Jerry Springer on occasion. It is a guilty pleasure. The Springer show has come to represent the extremes in the society--perversion, unlikely pairings, lying, and cheating. Liberal Hollywood has been roundly criticized, and justifiably so, over the direction it has taken with much of the entertainment to the point that AASA even considered a position calling for a tax on the "toxic culture." The theory behind the measure was that the children are victimized by movies, records and video games that teach and glorify violence and that people pay a price in terms of what parents and schools must contend with as a result of this toxic influence. So those who perpetrate it should have to pay to offset the influence. The idea was too complicated to gain much traction, but the fact that it was even considered says much about where they are right now. Further, much of the toxicity of the culture as it affects children comes from the cultural fascination with violence, but as a culture they often seem more upset with sex than they are with violence--so what do they tackle? The most obscene thing about Jerry Springer isn't the poor lost souls who share their horrible secrets with the world, it's the audience that sits there and hoots and howls and begs for more or, on the other extreme, shouts down the guests, preventing them from explaining themselves. They have become a culture of hooters and howlers who egg on bad behavior. And maybe they need to understand that in a Jerry Springer world, the problems cease when the audience stops watching. If they don't like how the world is, they need to become part of the solution and stop being part of the problem.
Descriptors: Television Viewing, Audience Response, Mass Media Effects, Censorship, Moral Values, Popular Culture, Moral Issues, Social Influences, Violence
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States