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Jerry Springer’s Senate infomercial

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Instead of trying to go against his image by launching his possible Senate run with an op-ed on an issue like health care in the New York Times, Jerry Springer is running a 30 minute infomercial in six cities (though none in Ohio). He says he’ll decide whether to run for the democratic nomination to challenge Republican Ohio Senator George Voinovich.

Springer’s website (runjerryrun.com) has no section on where he stands on the issues though it does promise his infomercial will be online soon. It does run on moveable type and there is a campaign blog run by Jene Galvin, a friend of Springer’s who writes a column for Cincinnati CityBeat (he wrote about a possible Springer political comeback in 2001).

There is one comforting bit of information in an interview with weblogger Joe Territo linked from the site: Springer can’t run for president because he was born in England.

So far, State Sen. Eric Fingerhut has announced he’ll run in the March 2nd. 2004 Democratic primary for Senate (the issues section of his campaign website says coming soon).

Springer says he’ll decide if he’ll run partly in response to a petition signed on his website and partly on how much money he raises with his infomercial (he’ll put his own money into the campaign, but says he’ll need a lot of money to rehabilitate his image – er counter the attacks he expects).

From an AP story:

The ad seeks small donations and offers T-shirts, bumper stickers and CDs of Springer singing “rockabilly” music…

The infomercial focuses on a comment by right-wing National Review magazine commentator [and weblogger] Jonah Goldberg on a Sunday-morning talk show several months ago.

Goldberg warned of new people brought to the polls by Springer, including “slack-jawed yokels, hicks, weirdos, pervs and whatnots.”

The infomercial offers that quote on a T-shirt and inserted into a signed photograph of Springer next to a sign for Hicksville, Ohio. Springer refers to the quote and talks about wanting to reach out to “regular folks…who weren’t born with a silver spoon in your mouth.”

Goldberg writes in the National Review’s blog that he stands by his comments. Permalinks doesn’t seem to work, so I’ll post it here:

JERRY SPRINGER V. ME [Jonah Goldberg]

I’ve been getting calls and emails from reporters in Ohio. Apparently Jerry Springer uses a quote from me in his new informercial which he released at a news conference today. The quote, which I offered on CNN, is: “If Jerry Springer shows up, he’ll bring all these new people to the polls. They will be slack-jawed yokels, hicks, weirdos, pervs and whatnot.” Now, what is super-exciting is that he’s apparently made T-Shirts with that quote on them as part of his campaign! I must get one.

Anyway, for the record, I completely stand by my comments.

While every single person supporting Jerry Springer may not be a perv, weirdo or slack-jawed yokel, I am at a complete loss to understand how this country’s politics would be enriched by massive voter turnout by people who consider Jerry Springer to be their dashboard saint. Voter turnout is not a good in itself, no matter what populists and demogogues claim. Springer says he’ll be bringing new voters to the polls. Well, okay. But if these people couldn’t be bothered to vote until Springer encouraged them to, maybe we were better off without them in the first place. Leave Springer’s audience out of it for a moment; I don’t think it’s a given that a surge in voting by Klansmen, black racists, pimps, or strippers-who-sleep-with-their-brothers would improve America’s politics demonstrably. And I don’t think we really need a Senator who sees nothing wrong with giving such people a nationally televised forum.

More to the point, I find it hilarious that Springer — who has made a fortune off of his exploitation of damaged and deviant people — thinks I’m the elitist (though I have no problem with being one). But I’m working from the assumption that most Ohio residents are smart enough to see through his schtick. While he actually thinks they’re dumb enough to fall for it. So once again he’s looking to exploit the little guy for his own career.

Though Jonah’s mom has written some pretty sleazy novels.

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About Steve Rhodes

  • http://www.whiterose.org/michael/blog/ Michael Croft

    hmm. I think I disagree with Marshall. Increased Voter turnout is inherently good. While it may lead to (perhaps bizarre) entertainers in politics (like Ventura, Schwarzenegger, Reagan, Grandy, Thompson, Bono, Eastwood, Murphy, etc.), it’s the right of the people to select their representative.

    Who has more say in U.S. politics? An ignorant person who votes or an educated person who doesn’t? I favor inclusion.

  • http://www.resonation.ca Jim Carruthers

    If I was a citizen, I’d vote for Jerry Springer. I remember reading a CNN transcript last year where he was in a panel, and he was the most cogent, sensible and articulate person in the whole thing.

    He’s a citizen, he’s intelligent, he’s likeable. Why should that exclude him from participating?

    That’s the biggest problem with civil society in the States – the citizens have become disenfranchised from their democracy. Government is supposed to be by, of and for the people – remember that bit? Not an expression of who can best represent a corporate oligarchy by raising the most money (Shrub is intent on winning by scooping up more money every day than almost all USAians make in year – $100 million total – that makes me sick, and I don’t live there).

    I’d say if you can find a better candidate than Jerry Springer, bring them on. Can’t be worse than the liars and warmongers you have now.

  • http://www.well.com/~srhodes Steve Rhodes

    I probably agree with him on many issues, but an infomercial isn’t the way to be taken seriously as a candidate.

    I do agree that the more people who vote, the better. If the Democrats just invested in a massive voter registration/get out the vote effort, they could win back congress and the White House.

  • http://gratefuldread.net/fando/ Natalie

    I certainly prefer Springer to Dubya. Too bad the Ringmaster was born in England.

    If I were an Ohioan, I’d consider voting for Springer. Yes, I hate his show. Yes, I hate the exploitation of the “little guy.” But I have seen and heard him speak on issues (he headlined a lecture at Johns Hopkins University a couple of years back), and he is indeed articulate and intelligent. In fact, he shined despite all the putative eggheads chanting, “Jer-ry!” throughout. And I am all for bringing everyone to the voting process — that is what denocracy is supposed to about. Of course, given the 2000 fiasco, it is no surprise that Jonah Goldberg and those of his ilk would prefer leaving the voting to those of whom they approve. The damaged and the deviant have the right to cast their vote too — and to have it count.

  • http://www.resonation.ca Jim Carruthers

    This sounds like just stupid. The fact is that your system is designed to disenfranchise people. If your aunt had balls, she’d be your uncle. Voter registration was the prime machine in preventing people from voting.

    Your government is focused on preventing the citizens from preventing it from doing whatever the oligarchy wants to accomplish. That you have a two-party state should be a warning. They are both the same. Your government is the enemy of the citizens. Do you think a career politician is your friend?

    I do agree that the more people who vote, the better. If the Democrats just invested in a massive voter registration/get out the vote effort, they could win back congress and the White House.

  • http://www.resonation.ca Jim Carruthers

    I probably agree with him on many issues, but an infomercial isn’t the way to be taken seriously as a candidate.

    I know I don’t come from the USA, but I do get cross-border transmissions, maybe they’re samisdat, maybe not, but between ambulance chasing lawyers, I do see some political ads.

    So, the question is, what is a political ad, if not an infomercial? Is it running time? If so, what separates an infomercial from a political ad from an attack ad?

    Or is it because Jerry is going through non-traditional channels?

    And what has this to do, if anything, with what he is saying?

    Public health care, public education?, accountabilty by government? equity for the majority of citizens, helping the working poor?

    Or is talking about issues not pundit enough?

    I watched his vid clips on his site, and what he says deals with issues.

    He is a son of Holocaust survivors who came to the States to make a better life, and they did. So why is campaigning on making things better for people in Ohio so bad?

  • http://www.well.com/~srhodes Steve Rhodes

    Not everybody can watch (I can’t on my ancient computer) or is willing to watch videos. There is no easy to find section on the site giving where he stands on the issues.

    I’m just saying he would have gotten just as much attention if he had written an op-ed in the New York Times and maybe even as much money and more respect. It isn’t hard to see that his major negative will be his image. He needs to show he’s serious, not someone who sells wacky t-shirts quoting someone most people have never heard of.

    There should be same day voter registration. That increased turn-out in MN and led to Jesse Ventura’s win.

  • http://www.resonation.ca Jim Carruthers

    What Jerry would have spent on an ad in the New York Times will pay for a kick ass web site (and if it doesn’t address the issues, sorry didn’t go through it since I’m not a citizen and can’t vote for him – just clicked on the videos – so why don’t you email him to ask? Can’t do that with an ad in the New York Times) and a lot of tshirts. But it still pales aginst the $100 million – say it again One Hundred Million Dollars – One tenth of a Billion Dollars – Shrub is going to waste to get elected. So I don’t think Jerry would have gotten my attention with an ad in the NYTimes. And do you believe what you read in the New York Times?

    I’m just saying he would have gotten just as much attention if he had written an op-ed in the New York Times and maybe even as much money and more respect. It isn’t hard to see that his major negative will be his image. He needs to show he’s serious, not someone who sells wacky t-shirts quoting someone most people have never heard of.

  • http://www.resonation.ca Jim Carruthers

    Now, in this Jerry jerry, I can’t be blameless.

    After all I live in a province which is ruled by Paulie Walnuts.

    He looks like him and he runs the crew the same.

  • http://www.resonation.ca Jim Carruthers

    For those who aren’t aware of Ontario politics, Paulie wasn’t elected premier, he inherited the position when the previous capo took early retirement. Paulie doesn’t have to face an election until next year, and so far he hasn’t wanted to face the public until needed.

  • http://www.well.com/~srhodes Steve Rhodes

    I suggested an op-ed, not an ad. 700 words that says something on an issue and gives him some respect.

    I’m not an Ohio voter. I was just writing a post criticizing his website and strategy.

  • Larry Jortner

    Fingerhut will slaughter Springer in the primary, which is bad news for Voinovich (who will probably deservedly win anyway but would have a walk v. Springer.)What I find interesting is the so many of your posters (Bush-haters, liberals and assorted leftists) are so quick to enlist in a crusade by those who seek to dumb down the electoral process for the sake of “inclusion” and have sought to damage ethical and moral standards of any kind. In short, the legacy of Clinton still lives on the Left and is redundant with much of the pop culture legacy of Springer.

  • gordon mckay

    It will be interesting to see if a true liberal can get elected to anything in the USA. He runs a terrible TV show, but outside the show he articulates a centre-left program that should appeal to those who have some feeling for their neighbours.

  • gordon mckay

    It will be interesting to see if a true liberal can get elected to anything in the USA. He runs a terrible TV show, but outside the show he articulates a centre-left program that should appeal to those who have some feeling for their neighbours.

  • http://www.whiterose.org/michael/blog/ Michael Croft

    Larry:

    What I find interesting is the so many of your posters (Bush-haters, liberals and assorted leftists) are so quick to enlist in a crusade by those who seek to dumb down the electoral process for the sake of “inclusion” and have sought to damage ethical and moral standards of any kind.

    Yep, us damn brie-sipping, chardonnay eating liberal elitists and our “inclusion”. Let’s blame Clinton for it.

    There is no moral or ethical standard for an enfranchised voter to exercise his or her responsibility to vote. There are no literacy tests, intelligence tests, or loyalty oaths. Good.

    Perhaps it would be useful to remember that the original intent of the framers of the constitution was that voters would (however indirectly) choose representatives, not that representatives would choose voters.

    If your position is so self-evidently clear, it should not matter who the voters are. You should be able to “place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm as to command their assent, and to justify [y]ourselves in the independent stand [you] are compelled to take.”

  • http://www.resonation.ca Jim Carruthers

    Larry, you forgot to include us damn furriners.

    I laugh whenever a USAian uses the word liberal as though it was a swear word, because it proves the 18th century Enlightenment was for naught.

    As for the Left, I can only conclude you mean it to mean the other Right. I don’t see any leftists in ‘murrica, I just see shades coming off the middle towards fascism.

    Your political system has devolved into choices between Tweedledum and Tweedledumber. The citizens have been disenfranchised, and it is in the interests of the power structure to ensure it stays that way, by portraying attempts at transparency and accountabilty as the ravings of pencil necked geeks or ignorant hicks.

    You get the government you deserve, but I am really getting pissed off with having to deal with the consequences of your public’s stupid decisions.

    phtttp!

  • Eric Olsen

    Excellent Steve – this story was linked on the Rub Jerry Run site.

    Re Springer himself, it should always be noted that despite his rather bizarre career in broadcasting, he was almost universally praised for his public service in Cincy – first as mayor and then as city councilman after he lost the mayorship in the outcry after he wrote a personal check to a prostitute – sounds Clintonesque to me.

  • http://gratefuldread.net/fando/ Natalie

    Right, Jim:

    The Democrats = Tweedledum

    The Republicans = Tweedledumber

    But remember that not all ‘murricans belong to or believe in those parties or in the two-party system. And we too are pissed off at what the majority of the voting public deems is OK.

  • http://www.well.com/~srhodes Steve Rhodes

    I am impressed that they linked to this post, not because they mentioned me but because it shows they seem to get the net. Though having Springer post himself will demonstrate it even more (as well as starting an issues section).

    And from the transcript of Crossfire they quote after mentioning blogcritics, it seems Tucker Carlson and Paul Begala would have benefited from reading Blogcritics since they suggest that Springer might run for President (which isn’t possible).

  • http://pamillerblog.blogspot.com/ Paul A. Miller

    I AM an Ohio voter, and a resident of northwest Ohio (I live 20 miles from Hicksville). I find Jerry Springer’s “infomercial” nothing more than his typical gamesmanship. He is a self-promoter, plain and simple, and he is happy to walk on other people if it gets the cameras pointed at him. As a proud small town, working class citizen, I am insulted by Springer’s attempt to capitalize off the name of a nearby village.

    I’ve written a defense of the good name of Hicksville, found here: Link.

  • http://gratefuldread.net/fando/ Natalie

    Politicians and TV stars are self-promoters and exploiters by definition.

  • http://www.resonation.ca Jim Carruthers

    Coming from near Hicksville, you got us trumped.

    But enough of that, what do the citizens of Metropolis have to say about Jerry Springer?

  • Joe

    I wish Mr. Jerry Springer would step back and take a good look at the state of our nation right now. The US is in a very precarious situation throught the world, Back home no one has jobs but yet Mr. Springer would like to add insult to injury by running for our US Senate. (As if we don’t look bad enough already)What foreign intity would really take our govt. seriously if we had of all people Jerry Springer in our Senate?? What s slap in the face. He’s a player plain and simple. Whether it’s women or his viewers, he loves’em and leaves’em. He’s a master manipulator and an elitist himself that flys around the world in his private jet. My advice for Jerry is to enjoy what years he has left doing whatever he does with all his millions and let people that actually care about the US or Ohio politics do their jobs.
    Don’t Run Jerry Don’t Run, and you can put that on a t-shirt

  • http://gratefuldread.net/fando/ Natalie

    “He’s a player plain and simple. Whether it’s women or his viewers, he loves’em and leaves’em. He’s a master manipulator and an elitist himself that flys around the world in his private jet.”

    And this makes him inferior to or different from other pols? LOL

  • http://www.well.com/~srhodes Steve Rhodes

    I don’t think Springer’s campaign will hurt the reputation of the US on the scale of say brushing off multi-lateral cooperation or exagerating the threat of Iraq to justify going to war.

    Springer is probably closer politically to most Europeans (at least he won’t seem quite as right wing as most US politicians). And Jerry Springer the Opera is a hit in London.

  • Eric Olsen

    Isn’t Jerry a bit like the Lou Reed of the Velvet Underground era? Forcing us to acknowledge society’s freaks, misfits, deviants, and thereby granting them humanity and a bit of dignity. Never watched the show, but I like the theory.

  • http://www.resonation.ca Jim Carruthers

    I used to balance my chi by watching Jerry Springer and then Oprah.

    But I had to stop because watching teevee in the afternoon is just bad for your mental health and may lead to my veteran of the psychic wars benefits being cut off.

    The first time I saw the Jerry Springer show I thought it was a hoax, but I was getting too meta. It wasn’t a parody of a talk show, it was just a talk show. And yes, those people are out there, they could be your neighbors. Your brother-in-law, formerly sister-in-law before the sex change and a failed career as a truck stop hooker … uhm, where was I?

    Anyways, blaming Jerry Springer for providing a forum for freaks is just wrong. Don’t blame Jerry, blame ‘murrica. And look at it as moving to a larger venue for freaks.

    After all, in a world where Billy Ray Cyrus plays a doctor on teevee and Bill Hicks is dead, now more than ever we need Jerry Springer where he can’t do so much harm.

  • http://munkeyButtc@aol.com Carrie Springer

    this is not really a comment.
    people at school think I’m realated to you. one of the kids in my class wants to know if he can have your autograph. his name is mike can you please send me a couple of autographs and one personalized to Mike. that would help me get through the rest of a new year. I would appriciate it very muck thank you very much.

    my address is

    Carrie Springer
    po box 132
    valley Center Ks 67147

    thanks again.

  • http://munkeyButtc@aol.com Carrie Springer

    this is not really a comment.
    people at school think I’m realated to you. one of the kids in my class wants to know if he can have your autograph. his name is mike can you please send me a couple of autographs and one personalized to Mike. that would help me get through the rest of a new year. I would appriciate it very much thank you very much.

    [edited address]

    thanks again.

  • Ballethshooz

    Jerry Springer is actually quite reasonable and middle of the road in his political beliefs. Id vote for him if I could. He has a national talk radio show where he goes in depth into his views it is nothing like his other show or howard stern. He is quite informed and has tons of ideas. it is worth listening to.