IN DEFENSE OF TALK SHOWS

UP UNTIL NOW, THE TARGETS OF BILL (THE BOOK OF Virtues) Bennett's crusades have at least been plausible sources of evil. But the latest victim of his wrath--TV talk shows of the Sally Jessy Raphael variety--are in a whole different category from drugs and gangsta rap. As anyone who actually watches them knows, the talk shows are one of the most excruciatingly moralistic forums the culture has to offer. Disturbing and sometimes disgusting, yes, but their very business is to preach the middle-class virtues of responsibility, reason and self-control.

Take the case of Susan, recently featured on Montel Williams as an...

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