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Springer talks politics at Lecture Series

By Jenn Smola & Andrew Yde
On September 25, 2012

Jerry Springer kicked off Miami University's Lecture Series Monday evening with a speech at Hall Auditorium.

Perhaps best known for hosting his tabloid talk show, "The Jerry Springer Show," Springer is also the former mayor of Cincinnati, political activist and pundit, lawyer, newscaster, Broadway actor and a former "Dancing with the Stars" competitor.

Springer was born in London and immigrated at a young age to New York after the holocaust. Springer's parents were Holocaust survivors and his grandparents were Holocaust victims.

During his speech, Springer focused mainly on politics, chiefly the importance of a liberal path for the country and world.

"The world is becoming more liberalized," Springer said. "It is human nature. I know people are going to fight it, but they will lose."

Springer also spoke out against war on the middle class as well as the privileges of the wealthy.

"There's an assault on the middle class, we're a middle class society," Springer said. "I know the laws are there to benefit people like me, because I went from nothing to this ridiculously privileged life. All because of my silly job."

Students had mixed opinions about Springer's speech, and some students, including sophomores Justin Woods and Ben Meacham, said they did not get what they came for.

"I went to a lecture on media manipulation but the word media was never said," Woods said. "He delivered a one-sided political spiel that demonized half of the audience."

Meacham also said he was caught off-guard by Springer's lecture topic.

"It seems that all Jerry Springer is interested in is manipulating my political designation," Meacham said. "The lecture didn't relate at all to the advertised topic."

However, other students, like junior Laura Meyer, found Springer's speech appealing.

"I found his speech to be very interesting and he put politics into a more personal perspective," Meyer said.

Springer met with a small group of about 25 students earlier Monday afternoon for a Q&A session, where he talked about media, politics and his talk show.

Springer said while Miami students tend to be more conservative than other students at other college campuses, at the end of the day America is a liberal country.

"Ultimately America is a liberal nation, and ultimately the liberal cause wins," Springer said.

While Springer said he spends time as a political activist and appearing on political shows, there is no room for serious political issues on "The Jerry Springer Show," because it is purely for entertainment.

"The show is the show," Springer said. "And no one should think that it has any redeeming social value."

Springer also said most guests on his show don't expect to have their problems solved or to become famous. In actuality, most guests are fans of the show, according to Springer.

"Probably on a serious note...for many of the people on our show it is probably the one time in their life that someone is paying attention to them, or asking their opinion on something," Springer said. "Most of them they don't have a parent who listens to them, they don't have any kid that asks their opinion or listens to them, they don't have a job whereby their opinion is valued."

In terms of politics, Springer said the upcoming November election is a crucial one.

"This is singularly the most important presidential election of your lifetime," Springer said. "This election is the first one in your lifetime where you really will decide what kind of country we're going to be...What's at stake is the social contract in America that we have had for the lifetime of your parents and almost your grandparents."


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