Thursday, May 23, 2024

Jerry Springer, 79, Dead: Wasted His Life Lowering the National Conversation to Dirt with Grotesque TV Freak Show


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.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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