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).