On a recent episode of Jerry Springer’s podcast, The Jerry Springer Podcast: Tales, Tunes, and Tomfoolery, the longtime host of one of television’s most controversial talk shows discussed the rise of Donald Trump as a political candidate. In particular, Springer and his co-hosts addressed a frequent assertion by media analysts and pundits that The Jerry Springer Show‘s style of confrontation and sensationalism laid the foundation for Trump’s appeal in the political arena. Springer, himself a former elected official, refuted such conclusions.
“I was on one of the cable shows and they were talking about that,” Jerry Springer said. “You know, the primaries… and the election and all that kind of stuff. And then at the end, the anchor said, ‘Well, here’s a clip of your show. Do you feel responsible for Donald Trump?’ whereupon I said, ‘I am not the father.'”
Springer’s “not the father” comment was a not so subtle reference to a common line from talk shows that conduct paternity tests.
Springer went on to compare the present political climate in the United States to the tumultuous presidential election of 1968, noting that while the country does face a number of challenges at present, the chaos of decades ago was much worse. The talk show host did note that he thought some critiques of Trump go too far, especially when people compare the real estate mogul to Hitler or invoke memories of the Holocaust. He blasted Congressional Republicans, telling listeners that electing a Democrat is the only way to push back against their agenda.
“Every candidate on the Republican side has talked about repealing Obamacare. Say goodbye to gay rights. Look at what’s going to happen with deporting immigrants – what they want to do. Look at how virtually every state has suppressed the black vote – minority voters – making it tougher for them to vote. They fight minimum wage. They want to disband unions. I mean, this is their agenda… They have passed this legislation. The only thing which stops it from becoming law is a Democratic president,” he added.
Jerry Springer also appeared on CNN on Friday afternoon to discuss his statements on the aforementioned podcast episode.
A longtime Democrat and unabashed liberal, Jerry Springer also criticized Donald Trump via Twitter earlier this week after the GOP front-runner suggested that Hillary Clinton did not have the temperament to be president. In a self-deprecating jab at the Donald, Springer acknowledged his own contribution to America’s declining quality of the civil discourse.
C’mon Donald… you complaining about Hillary’s temperament is like me complaining about the quality of television! https://t.co/IKi5G55IG2
— Jerry Springer (@jerryspringer) June 2, 2016
To be sure, Jerry Springer has previously indicated that he believes Donald Trump’s rise and broad appeal is not terribly surprising in light of how popular culture has evolved over the course of recent years. But, in an interview with CNN earlier this year, Springer said his show is not intended to influence political positions. The veteran television host also expressed skepticism that the present election would end with Donald Trump in the Oval Office.
“Never before has the candidate himself been the one to instigate whatever the problems are,” Springer said in comments re-published by The Toledo Blade. “And so yes, that has created a problem. But frankly… I don’t think there’s any way that Donald Trump gets elected as President of the United States.”
Those unfamiliar with Jerry Springer’s life before television might be surprised to learn that the popular talk show has a more formidable political résumé than presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump. According to overviews of Springer’s life and work compiled by Biograhy.com and Time Magazine, Springer served on Cincinnati’s City Council for most of the 1970s, although he resigned briefly due to a sex scandal. He was later elected back to his seat on the council and went on to serve two terms as that city’s Democratic mayor.
[Jerry Springer photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images; Donald Trump inset by Tom Pennington/Getty Images]