Jerry Springer

Anderson Cooper the daytime talk show host does not look all that different from Anderson Cooper the disaster reporter. He is still boyish, still earnest, still reliably clad in a button-down that accentuates the blue of those sympathetic eyes. Yet much of the new show’s media coverage has harped on the apparent contradiction between the two Coopers: windblown Anderson in a flak jacket vs. spruced-up Anderson ministering to celebrities on his talk show couch. “Anderson Cooper offers another version of himself on talk show ‘Anderson,’” announced The Washington Post online.

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The Scribbler

If you’re a journalist, chances are you’ve had some pretty low moments in the last few years, as your industry has imploded all around you. But, in your darkest hours, you were always able to console yourself with one thought: At least I’m not Tucker Carlson. Just consider his bad run. It started in October 2004, when Jon Stewart went on CNN’s “Crossfire,” co-hosted by Carlson, and accused the show of “hurting America,” while making fun of Carlson’s trademark bow tie and calling him a “dick”--all to the laughter and applause of the studio audience.

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Via email, Jane Mitakides, congressional candidate for Ohio's 3rd district, has just invited me to "Cocktails and Conversation" with special guest Jerry Springer. Now, I spent a fair amount of time with the infamous Mr. Springer--on the phone and in person--when he was toying with a congressional run of his own a few years back. When it comes to politics, he's a nice, serious, and surprisingly earnest guy. But we are also talking about the godfather of trash tv. Arguably no name--not Paris, Britney, or even Lindsay--says "debased culture" quite like Jerry Springer.

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Alright, blogging on here is a contact sport? Cool. I grew up in Odessa, Texas, where if something wasn’t a full contact sport, then it probably wasn’t worth participating in. My first memory of being in politics was getting home one night soon after my father filed to run for District Attorney to find a bomb squad at our home. Apparently someone didn't want him in the race. After my first diary entry describing my status as an automatic delegate to the Democratic National Convention, comments described me as elitist, soulless, and only out for fame.

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Sodom and Demurrer

Courtroom Three, on the second floor of the Denver City and County Building, is a neoclassical jewel, with its mustard walls and gray Vermont marble and polished oak backboard. It is a platonic ideal of a courtroom, which is perhaps why Viacom commandeered it in the mid-1980s to film several episodes of the new "Perry Mason." At the producers' behest, local architects installed a pair of ornate, but scarcely functional, beaux arts chandeliers; and their dim orange glow makes it hard for the judge to see the witnesses without squinting.

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