Chrsitine Tirman Talk About Talk ShowsIn the world of television, talk shows have undoubtedly taken up almost every inch of space on daytime television, and while doing so has caused much controversy. In the nineteen eighties, soap operas and game shows ruled the daytime airwaves, but the nineties are definitely the decade of the talk shows. The craze of talk shows all seemed to start with the originals such as Geraldo Riveria, Donahue and Sally Jesse Rafael (now called Sally) In fact, many of their original topics are still being used in todays talk shows, but with a different style and format. Some of the talk shows on the air today, such as the Oprah Winfrey Show and the Montel Wiliams Show are focused on improvement of society and the quality of life.
They focus on topics such as children, the workplace, everyday life and sometimes have interviews with respectable celebrities. You can catch shows with titles such as Teaching Your Children Responsibly, or How to Manage Your Work Week. These shows actually educate people and teach the child that watches them right from wrong. They also have shows exposing things such as child or spousal abuse and make people aware of these dangers. People even feel a special attachment to their favorite talk show hosts and talk about them as if they know them. Even the so – called trash talk shows such as the Jerry Springer Show, have their upsides.
Jerry once did a show featuring David Duke, a former KKK clansman who was presently running for senate. Jerry claims his constant shows on the clan is to let people know about racism. (Medill 1) Although he actually did it for publicity, I think that Jerry Springer actually did help us by exposing this man for what he was.
Jerrys rebuttal to his bad wrap is that he is helping these people get the attention they need by letting them be on his show, and helping to avoid them trying to get it elsewhere.(HighTimes 2) By watching shows like these people can see and understand things that they probably wouldnt witness in their everyday life. Then there are the shows that arent quite trash, but are not exactly educational either such as the Jenny Jones Show, or the Ricki Lake Show. These shows are good for a laugh and are lighthearted and not as drastically honorable as the the Opera Winfrey Show, or as blatant as the Jerry Springer show. The problem most people have with talk shows it that they exploit peoples lives for everyone to see.
While flipping through all the channels you are bound to see innuendoes of sex, adultery hate and drugs, whether it is on the news or soap operas. The reason that talk shows take the most heat for his is because it is not an innuendo; it is an hour of analyzing these taboo issues. Also, any child or adolescent that sees these things may think it is normal to lead this kind of lifestyle.
It is very confusing for a child to have been taught their moral values and than turn on the TV and see people openly taking on shows titled Teenage Prostitutes and Pregnant strippers. And imagine how a thirteen-year-old must feel when she watches a show about other thirteen years olds, but these teens have already had twelve sexual partners, and their parents condone it! Besides all the problems for the public viewers, the people that actually go on the show are often tricked, or not told what the show is about. Only a few years ago a man named Schmitz was brought on the Jenny Jones Show for a show entitled I Have a Secret Crush on You.
Needless to say he was thoroughly upset when another man, Amedure, came out to greet him on public television. Shortly after the taping of the show, Schmitz shot and killed Amedure. (Parker 1) This is only one example, but I am sure that many people that appear on these shows end up wishing they hadnt. Especially when the show doesnt let them know what they are getting in to. The author of the Book of Virtues, Tom Lieberman, says Television does exert an enormous influence over our culture and value (Dickens 1)After much consideration on this topic, I have come the conclusion that talk show are not as bad as they people claim.
I think in todays society people grasp at straws for something to blame the problems Americans have. While I am sure that seeing some of these outrageous things on television does not improve our society, some of the more respectable shows use topics that do. And the fact remains that no one is forced to go on, or even watch a talk show. If you choose to watch it, which almost all Americans do, than you are contributing to the popularity. Also, if children are instilled with good morals, and have an open relationship with their parents, these shows could almost been seen as a doorway to open up to some important conversation. I think that a child who learns young about what is out there will have an easier time adjusting to the world.