The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

01 November 2007

Jerry Springer Ponders Running For Office, Misses Talk Radio


Thought Of Political Return Has Springer Salivating

Hey Jerry, we've missed you too! Liberal talk radio without TV's Trashmeister King holding down a midday shift just isn't the same.

Yes, you were a fodder- generating machine, from your low ratings and diminishing affiliate list to the public proclamation that you could be elected Mayor Of Hell. Your devilish presence was God's gift to blogging.

Now you say you're itching for a return to political life, but not sure when and where? Jerry, why wait? There are all kinds of races you could jump into RIGHT NOW!

And why not get back into talk radio while you're at it? That epic struggle to stay afloat must have been such a blast it's gotta be worth repeating, right?

Sadly, in a new interview with Springer by Robert Feder of the Chicago Sun- Times, none of the fun questions we'd have thrown at Jerry are included.

What we do see, however, is a not- so- clever attempt at rewriting history:

ROBERT FEDER: With all that you have going on in television lately, have you turned away from politics?

JERRY SPRINGER: No, I have not for one second made a decision not to do politics. When it happens, it will happen. Ambition is too strong a word, but it would be dishonest for me to say that I will never run for political office. If I ran, I would turn it on like that [snaps finger].

Every day I have at least one call regarding politics. Every single day of my life.

Q: OK, what is your strategy?

A: I'm not Machiavellian. There's no plan. I never wanted to make a living out of politics, because that's when you become intellectually corrupt. You will say anything to get elected because that's how you put food on your table. So I treat my politics like I treat my religion. It's personal, it's uncompromising, but I don't do it to make money.

I make money doing show business. I have a great time, but I never take it seriously. I'll get into an argument with someone over the war, for example. But if it's about the show, I'll make fun. I did it when I went before the [Chicago] City Council. I mean, you know, I try to be respectful, but I'm not taking that seriously.

I still do political moments all the time. I've given speeches all over -- except here in Illinois. Even though I contribute to Hillary [Clinton], I stay out of politics here because my show business persona is here. And it just mixes everything up.

The truth is, someone else could argue I've never been in better shape [politically] than I am now. With "Dancing With the Stars" and "America's Got Talent," all of a sudden I'm mainstream! I'm on "The View" all the time. I mean, think about it. This was unthinkable a few years ago. So if I were really Machiavellian, oh boy, this would make me suddenly mainstream.

Q: You spent two years hosting a progressive talk radio show, which some people thought might be your entree back into politics. Why did you give it up?

A: Frankly, I miss doing it, but it would have been impossible to commit for another year or two and still keep my other jobs. I thought there was a real cause [the 2006 midterm elections] last time, and I just wanted to be a part of it. I really believed at every level that we had to change; we had to get America back on the right course. The truth is, everything helped. We didn't win by much, but at least we put the brakes on [President] Bush.

But I love radio. One day when I finish television and when I finish politics, that would be the job I would love to have.

Ratings, Jerry! You of all people should be well aware of this concept. Jerry's boring "progressive" political talk does not equal two- timing transvestite mud-wrestlers.

On second thought, why not bring the TV guests along for your next radio show? They sure would liven up all of that long- winded, wonkish droning.

See you in Hell (Minnesota), Jerry.

FOR Boston- area talk radio updates, see our other site. New: fashion in Boston? Yikes.

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Springer image: AP, Mayor Of Hell: David A Lunde


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