Jerry Springer is dead. He was 79. TMZ says he had a short battle with pancreatic cancer.
Springer’s legacy is years and years of putting crap on TV. Fist fights, DNA tests, low class people shrieking at each other. Springer reveled in presenting a freak show that lowered the national conversation to zero. If you were looking for the end of civilized behavior. that was the Jerry Springer Show. That’s what he leaves behind. He made money off the poor, the uneducated, the bewildered.
Maybe he was a great guy. Who knows? Maybe at home he was lovely. and secretly philanthropic I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. But what he did in public, how he used people who didn’t know better, made fools of them and of himself, is what will echo through time. He was a TV descendant of Morton Downey, Jr., who also shined a light on the ugliest parts of humanity and died young, at just 68. The universe couldn’t tolerate another minute of this stuff.
The New York Times is calling Springer “unapologetically brash.” Who are they kidding? A few headlines describe him as “legendary.” But the real word is “infamous.” We’re not celebrating Jerry Springer.
This is what he left us.