Week of Sept. 10, 2008

Is Springer a good choice?

When I went to the JCC today to work out, I was amazed to see a large poster advertising Jerry Springer as the Keynote Speaker for the upcoming St. Louis Jewish Book Festival. Mr. Springer is in the business of presenting bizarre interpersonal situations, provoking physical encounters between his guests, embarrassing and exploiting his guests, and all the while appealing to the basest voyeuristic instincts of his audience. All this is in stark contradiction to basic Jewish values. C’mon, people! Surely we can aspire to something higher than this.

Stan Biel, University City

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Approval lavished on Jerry Springer by Jewish Book Festival leaders who selected him as keynote speaker for the occasion is not justified for the one time promoter of television’s most sordid show.

As a promoter of peep shows into the lives of people floundering in disappointment, failure, and impotent rage, Springer’s successful contribution was to add to his assembled stage of human misery tacit approval for them to act out their feelings by slugging each other. I would hope that such an extended history of promoting abysmal taste and standards to our public airways is not easily forgotten.

For myself, I would gladly attend to hear Mr. Springer give some rational explanation and defense of his record and at least, some apology for the lingering smell he leaves behind.

Sidney Hurwitz, St. Louis