July 15, 2003


SPRINGTIME FOR SPRINGER: Trash TV host and former Cincinnati mayor Jerry Springer has announced that he will run for the U.S. Senate from Ohio next year. For several reasons, the national Democratic party should do everything they possibly can to distance themselves from his candidacy.
Leave aside that Springer has for nearly a decade lived in and produced his show in Chicago, which last time I looked was separated from Ohio by two states and two more Great Lakes. And leave aside as well that Springer's past, which includes arrests for solicitation, is as shady as that of any present political candidate, with the possible exception of Al Sharpton, and California recaller Darrell Issa.
Every day that Jerry Springer runs for the Senate, that's a couple thousand more dollars the Republicans can raise just by using his name in fundraising letters. The GOP will already be falling all over themselves to refer to the Dems as the "Party of Al Sharpton"; soon Springer's name will get similar billing. You thought the Republicans enjoyed Hollywood-bashing before?
But perhaps even worse than the sleaze imparted on Springer's show (which, I confess, I've enjoyed from time to time) is the elitism and limousine liberalism implyed in his candidacy. Springer is like Michael Moore in this regard: while he claims to stand up for "the common man," his TV show, more than any other current touchstone of American pop culture, is built around the hatefully cruel mocking of Southern/rural/underclass stereotypes- a comical, more lowbrow version (if that's possible) of "Bowling For Columbine." With the Democrats increasingly becoming the party of The Other Elite, is Springer's double-edged class warfare really what they need right now?
Still, better him than Dennis Kucinich...

Posted by Stephen Silver at July 15, 2003 04:05 AM
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