Debra J. Saunders

Toward the end of the show, Springer invites audience members to tell the guests what they think of them. No doubt the intent is to provide home viewers with a sense of release as they hear others say what they are thinking.

Except there is no relief in watching people with so little going for them that they feel the need to lord over Springer's cast of losers.

Springer's political supporters are left urging observers to keep an open mind and separate Springer the Man from Springer the Show. That can't be done.

Springer would have to do serious penance -- by ministering to lepers for a decade, maybe -- for anyone to forget how he has degraded needy people for cheap thrills.

The Jerry Springer show's audience isn't known for its subtlety. "Jerry, Jerry, Jerry," it chants. And: "Take it off. Take it off," to female guests, who have kept their shirts on. Producers constantly bleep out "dialogue" and blur the image of women's chests. But they can't blur over the void where the would-be senator's character is supposed to be.

Debra J. Saunders

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