. . . Tuesday July 27, 2004

On the Edge with Jerry Springer

There are two key things you want if you’re here in Boston. You want the story of key a swing state like Ohio. And you want to talk to Jerry Springer. I accomplished both this morning. Below is Electablog’s exclusive interview in which Jerry talks of jobs, free speech and the divine origins of the remote control.

Me: As one of the representatives from the key swing state of Ohio, what’s the message you most want to hear from the podium that’s really going to connect with the voters you’re most familiar with?

Springer: Well the key is, how does middle class America get to fulfill the American dream? We know wealthy people are already taken care of. It’s a great life if you’re wealthy. But people in the middle class are asking are we going to be able to keep our jobs, are we going to have health insurance? In the 21st century, with all the new technology we have, healthcare ought to be a right of every American citizen. It’s not a privilege that only the wealthy should get. And if you want to be able to live the American dream, we all have to be able to have a job. How do you defend your family if you don’t have a job? You know that’s the first line of national defense.

A job. A job. A job. That’s what I’d like to hear.

Me: In some ways this whole convention would make a lousy episode of The Jerry Springer Show. There’s so much unity and so little controversy within the party. Not a single chair has been thrown. Have you ever seen a convention where people were this unified and just basically getting along in general?

Springer: I’ve been to every convention since 1972. This is clearly the most unified convention because you know what? This isn’t about an individual’s particular interests. This administration is hurting America. They’re not bad human beings. George Bush isn’t a bad person, he’s a nice person. He loves his country. But he’s wrong. And he’s taking America down a very dangerous road. We’re all unified on that.

[It's interesting to note that this seems to be a talking point of sorts for the Dems. Either that or Jerry memorized this line from Clinton's address: "George Bush isn't a bad person, he's a nice person. He loves his country. But he's wrong." Maybe presidents are like prospective dates. The last thing you want to hear is that you're nice.]

Me: And finally a question that touches on both of your careers. What do you think about the recent FCC rulings and the big media efforts to limit speech and the attacks on the broadcasting freedoms of Howard Stern and others? Would a different president make a big difference in terms of freedom of speech?

Probably. I can only tell you what I feel. I think it’s important that Howard Stern gets protected even though we may all agree that, boy, that’s not very tasteful. But that’s why god gave us remote controls. The important things is that in America free speech only works when you protect the edges.

[Did Jerry Springer just say that we all agree that Howard Stern is not very tasteful? Folks, I'd call that a scoop.]

Concentration is important!