The Battle Over Talk Shows

Essay by GerhardkUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, March 2002

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After watching talk shows on a regular basis, I realized that each one varies in style and format. I, along with many others enjoy watching the sometimes trashy subject matter found on Jerry Springer. This show reassures me and others that our lives are not as screwed up as some of the guests. It convinces us that we are not slobs and that we are decent, upright, generally moral beings. We watch it because it projects moral weakness onto others. It gives normalcy to our lives by allowing us to see those lives that are more chaotic and disordered. It's basic moral message is how not to act. Although, others might prefer the more light-hearted feel of the Oprah Winfrey show. She and her guests model the morally upright behavior that we should strive to live by. The goal of her series is to give viewers information and solutions to improve their lives and to provide us with positive role models.

However, some may disagree. After reading five authors views I have learned that one author thinks talk shows are a "pollution of the human environment" (Bennett 25), while another one thinks of a talk show host as her "personal psychiatrists"

(Gaines 30).

Two of the authors that I read about think that talk shows corrupt our lives. William Bennett stated many things that are wrong with talk shows. However, he based everything on his opinion and not facts. He said that he had asked his staff to provide a list of some of the show's topics which concludes that he never really


watched any of them himself. Bennett also puts all talk shows in the bottom of his so called "television barrel" because they go over the line of decency. Personally, I do not think that all...