BENNETT BLASTS TRASH TV

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Having embarrassed Time Warner into dropping its share of a rap label, Bill Bennett is now turning his formidable authority to daytime TV talk shows, urging them to clean up their programming or get off the air. "He certainly picked a juicy topic," says TIME's Richard Zoglin. "There is definitely a lot to get upset about. The fact is that these shows are very, very popular. What Bennett is essentially trying to do is get people to vote them off the air by turning off their television sets. And, to me, it seems that is a legitimate tactic." Bennett, a former Secretary of Education who is co-director of the conservative think tank Empower America, was joined at a news conference in Washington, D.C. by Democratic Senators Joe Lieberman and Sam Nunn. The group showed clips they deemed offensive on shows hosted by Sally Jessy Raphael, Maury Povich, Jerry Springer and Charles Perez. The Oprah Winfrey Show was singled out as an example of acceptable programming.