Wouldn't be caught dead

Is it just me, or do any of you find the idea of going on national T.V. to share some of the more personal, intimate information about yourself (or your relatives or friends for that matter) purely and simply mind-numbing if not outright idiotic?

What could the reason(s) behind this decision be? Your half-hour/hour of “fame”? The hope of learning something from all the pseudo-psychologists (and I use the term euphemistically) in the audience? A free trip and hotel stay? Needless to say the more freakazoid you are, the better your chances of getting selected. Aside from the five minutes worth of professional advice the participants are sometimes getting, on the whole, I find this kind of exercise to be a global waste of time, not to mention an insult to the intelligence of even the average viewer!

Of course, ratings often go through the roof and products sell. And isn’t it what it’s all about in the first place?
P.S.: No, I couldn’t even remotely be considered a regular viewer of this kind of programming.

PP.S.: Am I being a bit elitist here?

I’m with you, Omni.
I can’t watch that crap. I suspect that some of these shows are scripted.
I went to visit a friend once and Jerry Springer was on. I watched for a few minutes and then went to the kitchen. I couldn’t take it.
I’d rather watch wrestling, and I hate wrestling. I think it’s along the same lines, except in wrestling everybody knows it’s fake. I hope.

I have lots of willpower.

I’m just too strong to be a slave to it.

Sorry my friend but I’ve got to say elitist. You must appreciate the horror of poverty and the state of greed and desperation it drives people to. Not to mention Cecil’s infamous description of “television addled bozos with barely enough brains to spit”. (I hope the quote is accurate.) These poor saps (and there’s lots of them) are generally scratching like chickens to survive and, for a few bucks and a trip to a fancy hotel, they’ll do just about anything. Hell, by the sounds of it they’ll do just about anything for free. A fair percent of it it is faked up anyway. Anyway, the people do it for money.
I’m not saying poverty and stupidity are always related. There are people in poverty who are working to improve their lives, and poor people who maintain their dignity. Unfortunately, there are an awful lot of poor people out there.

“and dats what I tink” - Andrew Dice Clay

I’ve heard of at least a couple of instances (one was on Jenny Jones;I saw it) where the people in question admitted they made the shit up so they could get a free trip to Chicago or New York or wherever.

I’m positive the free airfare and hotel accomidations are a big reason for all these “guests” showing up to let us all see their dirty laundry.

You say “cheesy” like that’s a BAD thing.

Al: Are these people really receiving money as well? If so, the level of poverty being what it is, it would certainly be a clear incentive. As for some of the shows being fixed, Jerry Springer is of course the prime example: for it to have made the news, it probably had to have become a bit obvious…

Aside from the Jenny Jones “incident”, I’m just wondering how many other lives have been (permanently?) ruined as a result of those appearances, and to what extent the viewing public can relate to and empathize with the people who are confessing to behaviours I would be more than reluctant to bring up even in the most private of contexts. To each his own, I guess.
Wally: Wrestling is FIXED!? Well, there goes the rest of my week-end, thank you very much!

I had a boss who admitted that she and her daughter appeared on Geraldo several years ago. I was totally shocked and asked why. She replied, “My daughter was an out of control teenager. She had no respect for me, for school or for herself. She was doing drugs, staying out all night, etc. I tried to put her in counseling but she didn’t go to the sessions. I was at the end of the rope and had nowhere to turn. We went on Geraldo and the audience and Geraldo helped make her realize that she was throwing her life away. We appeared on a follow up show a year later and she’s doing great.”

I could sort of see where this woman was coming from but thought it was weird that she considered a talk show to be the end of the line. She was not poor. I suppose she felt she wasn’t strong enough to discipline her child herself and thought the group (audience) pressure and the humiliation of being on TV would change her daughter. The creepy thing is that it did work.

P.S. This boss wasn’t the brightest bulb in the lamp

I’d guess equal parts exhibitionist and stupid.
I have to wonder though, if some people aren’t so media-oriented that they accept what’s on the tube (and airways) w/ life. It’s almost like their experiences and lives aren’t validated until they’re broadcast in some manner.
BTW, “Dr. Laura” drives me more nuts than even Springer. I can’t, simply can’t, believe the people who call and sit on hold for eons for the privilige of being abused on national radio by a vicious, uncredentialed hack. And they suck it up and meekly thank her for her “advice”.
W/ the Springer, Jones, etc. shows, the guests have a pretty good clue up front that they’re walking into a media circus. I really wonder about the invisible folks who use the radio “psychologists”, too. For some reason they seem more vulnerable and needy, in a way. Just my opinon, of course. But I’ve often wondered what damage results from their opting for “media counseling”

Hope this was related enough not to count as a hijacking.

Every time I watch Springer, I have to turn it off. Even if they have no shame, I feel embarassed on their behalf.

Usually at this point, if you listen very carefully, you can hear Nero rosining up his bow…

Yer pal,

Satan’s Nero analogy is apt.

Sally and Jerry and Jenny and Ricky and Maury (oops, looks like I’m familiar with those shows, huh?) aren’t quite throwing Christians to lions, but let’s admit that we might feel a bit, ah, superior? after watching these shows?

After all, WE’RE not morbidly obese, OUR kids aren’t setting fire to the school, MY husband isn’t sleeping with my sister and my mother at the same time, and you can bet MY daughter isn’t wearing Goth make-up (poorly done at that).

On the other hand, if they did a show about people with high stress jobs, who couldn’t manage their money or keep their house tidy, I might not feel quite so good about myself. God forbid they ever go back to subjects that most us could relate to. We might have to think about our own shortcomings.

These shows are the video equivalent of the old True Confessions magazines, just updated to fit 90’s mores.

I like the make-over shows though.

The “My (pre)teen-age kid is out of control” type of topic is merely sad and depressing (I guess the parents are the ones to blame in the first place in 95% of those cases but I realize that’s cheap psychology on my part). It’s those segments dealing with subjects like “I’m gonna marry next week but first I want to hit the sack one last time with my secret ex-lesbian lover” or “I lost my virginity with my sister before my fifteenth birthday” that rile me more than a bit. The flaunting of amoralism. The debasing of the human being.

Sally and Jerry and Jenny and Ricky and Maury: class acts, all of them.

It is debasing, isn’t it? Someone might accuse you of being elitist, but you’re absolutely right.

But most of “popular culture” (is that an oxymoron?) is debasing. The talk shows just take it to a lower level.

What’s this subject doing in the Pit? Isn’t this where posters go when they’re in virulent disagreement? Or espousing an unpopular cause?

Well, I don’t know about that.

You might be very secure in your faith, but the way these shows represent Christianity in general would have me screaming for the hills if I was a follower of Christ.

I mean, doesn’t every stoopid KKK stooge on one of these shows talk about how much of a “good American Christian” they are? And quote Biblical cites to their racist ways?

There are other examples, but I think overall it is safe to say that just as these shows make it look like all trailer parks are filled with the lunatic fringe, they make Christians look equally as stereotyped and bad (for the most part).

To tell you the truth, Auntie, I did hesitate between Pit and MPSIM before posting. I chose the Pit because I was a bit pissed off by the subject matter. If the powers that be want to make a switch, I wouldn’t have any objection.

I had a friend (well aquaintance really) who went on Riki Lake to prove to some guy (i think that’s it) that she went from a nerd to a cool person (i forget what my friends told me the title really was). Anyway suffice to say the audience ripped her a new asshole and basically told her she still was a nerd (dork is more like it). I never really understood why she went on, probably just to be on the show, and get a free trip. Anyway, i was laughing about that for a few days after i heard about it.

‘The beginning calls for courage; the end demands care’

“To tell you the truth, Auntie, I did hesitate between Pit and MPSIM before posting. I chose the Pit because I was a bit pissed off by the subject matter. If the powers that be want to make a switch, I wouldn’t have any objection.”

The powers that be (or this one, anyway) don’t mind…as long as there’s some flaming for the people who run the shows and/or people who are guests on them. However, please refrain from 1) running over them with a tank (this might be satisfying in the short run but the paperwork involved is dreadful), 2) involving them in a threesome or moresome which also includes a gardening instrument, or 3) Hi, Opal! Still around?

Seriously, this has potential for the pit. This is a righteous topic. Flame, but flame creatively. You will be graded.


This is exactly how I feel.

I don’t wonder so much about the ‘‘contestants,’’ though. It’s the audience that alarms me. How can so many people be so gleeful about such caustic behavior? I cannot imagine cheering if I see someone physically attack another person during an argument.

If it were widely publicized that all the fights are fake and the people on stage are actors, I’d feel differently. But the whole premise of these shows is that the fights are real, and I believe many of them are. How can anyone enjoy watching that? But apparently, a lot of people do.

What I really hate is the ‘trailer park’ image these people portray…I LIVE IN A TRAILER PARK!!! and it couldnt be any more opposite than these people!

I would bet most of this white trash (or black) live in ‘projects’ not trailer parks!

Satan – point taken, but when I compared talk shows to throwing Christians to the lions, I was referring to these shows as a form of cruel entertainment.

You know, like the Romans did to early Christian martyrs? In the movies? The ones with Victor Mature?

Guess I’m really showing my age.

Hey Kelli! I used to live in a project. Wanna make something of it? (if I knew how to make the smiley face, it would go here)

Satan wrote:

Not as much as those know-it-alls in the audience who have the overwhelming urge to stand up and yell some pithy, judgemental one-liner at the “loser” on stage. You know the ones I’m talking about. The show will be about girls who have sex before they’re 18, or about failed marriages where one (or both) partners are sleeping around behind each other’s back, and some fat old angry broad in the 25th row will stand up and shout, “You should be ashamed of yo’self! Youse be sinnin’ against God!” and then she’ll sit down with a smug, satisfied expression on her face and everyone else in the audience will cheer in agreement!! As though SHE would unquestionably have done the “right thing” if she were in the on-stage-person’s situation because HER morals are just SO impeccable.

Sometimes I wish the guest on stage would counter with something like “You’ve never been in any situation remotely like this one, you don’t know what it’s like or what you’d actually do!” But they never do. They just sit there cowed and feel even more ashamed of themselves than they did when they first came on.


I think I’ll go watch something less violent and confrontational, like Vietnam war footage.

Quick-N-Dirty Aviation: Trading altitude for airspeed since 1992.