In the 80s a new form of television appeared in the US in the form of The Morton Downey Jr show, so-called “trash television”, talk shows in which the host was rude and abusive towards his guests. Morton Downey Jr who hosted the show said “I think anyone in this country who’s been raised in an Irish family, in a Jewish family, a Spanish family and Italian family has been raised around yelling…And confrontation… you know, and we’re used to it” Watch an episode on rock music:
At that time Jerry Springer, who eventually replaced him as king of trash tv, was a respected politician and journalist. Not many people outside the United States know that the infamous Jerry Springer once was the mayor of Cincinatti, a major city. He even ran for govenor.
Springer was forced to abandon his career because of a scandal, and then turned to journalism- well if you can call it it that. Eventually, he ended up hosting the Jerry Springer Show for decades featuring bizarre arguments between individuals from the margins of society, dubbed “a freak show” by some.
However, remnants of the old Springer remain. Here is in a lecture on WGBH Forum entitled “Jerry Springer on Health Care, Media and Entertainment or on C-span analysing the American Dream .
Here he is answering questions about his journalism on BBC’s Hard Talk
Today Springer appears reflective, and has even voiced some interesting ideas on the connection between Donald Trump’s background in reality TV and a political career.