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01 January 2007

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Robin Locke Monda

"Springer on the Radio," a so-called liberal talk show featuring Jerry Springer — host of the most offensive and perhaps longest-running television show devoted solely to the exploitation of peoples' "realities"— was inexplicably picked up by Air America Radio in January of 2005 for nationwide broadcast. This was a programming blunder so huge that it blotted out any benefit the station's other shows might have offered me and listeners like me, who are searching for a liberal perspective on radio.

How could a radio station claiming to be the voice of the Left give air time to such a person? According to Springer, "There's no relationship" between his television horror show and his Air America Radio Show. "One is pure entertainment and pretty much a circus about outrageousness, and this is talk about issues." ("MEDIA; Politics, Yes, but No Fistfights For Jerry Springer on Radio," The New York Times, April 4, 2005).

By hiring Jerry Springer, Air America Radio reinforced a powerful and negative stereotype about Liberals, i.e. that we are moral relativists. "It's O.K. that Jerry's the pop culture gold standard for televised exploitation of the poor, the fat, the mentally ill, and the uneducated—he's a Liberal!"

"Springer on the Radio" is no longer broadcast by Air America. The show was dropped in September of 2006. According to The Huffington Post, "Air America Radio, in Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings since October [2006], will be rescued at the 11th hour by Manhattan real estate developer Stephen L. Green." (Jan. 29, 2007)

Air America may have been rescued from monetary bankruptcy, but it has not been relieved of the moral bankruptcy evidenced in their decision to include Jerry Springer's voice among the many worthy voices broadcast by Air America.

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