Television: Talking Trash

Jerry Springer is the first talk-show host to take Oprah's No. 1 spot. She's not the only loser

Last month on the Jerry Springer Show, just after one of the program's famous brawls and just before it cut to a commercial, a woman held a sonogram of her fetus up to the camera. For this most intimate image--a tiny figure in a woman's womb--to appear in the midst of another Springer spectacle was shocking. More than that, the incident marked the arrival on the program of what might be called the Forgotten Guest. One reason the show is so dramatic is that Springer brings out everyone involved in the affair at hand--all the secret lovers: male, female and transsexual....

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