The Day-Time Talk Show
With talk shows ruling day-time television, people are left
with little choice but to watch this humiliating form of
entertainment. Turn the television on in the afternoon and
you will find a large variety of talk shows to choose from.
"Maybe we have become a nation addicted to hearing our
neighbors' seamy personal problems" (You 40).Many of the
topics on talk shows are degrading to our society.
If a person came to America for the first time and watched
television, they would probably see a talk show. The model
a talk show would give of American society is horrifying.
For example, a common talk show topic is teens having
multiple sex partners at young ages. However, not all teens
are sexually active at such a young age. For this reason
talk shows are misleading not only to foreigners but to
children and young adults who are learning about morals and
our society. In a letter to the corporate CEO's
distributing these programs, William Bennett and Senator
Joseph Lieberman asked: "Would you want your young children
to view a program showcasing the sexual adventures of a
14-year-old girl who married her 71-year-old foster father"
(Flint and Wharton). To those who do not tune into these
shows this description may sound like an exaggeration;
however, it is not. This is exactly the type of topics on
some shows. Not only are half the shows ridiculous with
topics of deceit, revenge and "extreme behavior", but some
of them are false (Flint and Wharton).
Some people will do anything to be on television. On the
Jerry Springer Show, a Canadian comedy troupe went on the
show and created a story. The story was that one of the men
had an affair with his baby-sitter. After the show appeared
on television, the troupe members went to the press saying
how they deceived the program and its audience (You 52).
Some shows even trick people into situations. The Jenny
Jones show has had several episode entitled "Secret Crush".
In these episode secret admirers are revealed to her
guests. In some cases her guests are displeased with their
secret admirer. I can remember one episode that I watched.
A woman was surprised by a man who had a secret crush on
her. She was very disturbed when she realized who he was.
She proceeded to tell Jenny that this man was insane and
was pursuing her. This could have been avoided if the woman
was told who the secret admirer was before the show.
However, if this was done the show would not be as
interesting. In another incident, one of Jenny's guests
confronted a secret crush, and it led to tragedy. Amedure,
a male guest had a crush on Johnathan Schmitz, another
male. Amedure surprised Schmitz with his feelings on the
show as Schmitz was expecting a woman, from the impression
he was given by the shows producers. Schmitz said he was
publicly embarrassed when Amedure revealed on national
television that he had a "gay crush" on him. After the show
Jonathan Schmitz was so enraged that he shot and killed
Amedure (You 52).
In some shows the guests are not informed of the topic, and
they end up being embarrassed by a ridiculous topic. This
is wrong because these people, with their loved ones or
friends sometimes involved, are mislead and sometimes
humiliated on national television by the producers. In
other instances, guests agree to appear on the shows even
though they might regret it after the show (You 40). In
those cases, we can not pose the guests as helpless victims
because they are adults and should be aware of things.
Also, if they have seen a talk show before they went on
one, they would know what was involved..
According to Larry Pollock there are 32 talk shows on
television right now (Flint and Wharton). There are a few
talk shows that are conscientious and have very interesting
and educational topics. For example Oprah Winfrey and Maury
Povich are two shows that have many rewarding topics such
as family reunions. They also have educational topics on
child and spousal abuse. These shows are good because they
expose us to different things that are going on in the
world, things that we can change. The best thing to do is
to sift through all the talk shows and get rid of the
garbage. If we can find something entertaining to replace
talk shows, we can make them a fad of the past (Schiff 10).