Jerry Springer, the former mayor of Cincinnati, Ohio, best known for his crass TV show, has blamed President Donald Trump for America’s so-called lack of civility.
Springer made the comments in a discussion with MSNBC host Stephanie Ruhle over the weekend about whether civil norms are breaking down in the modern era.
“I used to joke and say that my anger at the president is that he took my show and brought it to the White House,” Springer said. “Civility is critical in terms of our norms, and we can’t function as a society unless we have norms of how to behave. You can’t pass enough laws to take care of every human interaction.”
Springer went on to argue that it is America’s “leaders,” be they government or even economic and religious who are most responsible.
“When they misbehave, when they say the norms don’t matter, when they say, ‘You can use whatever language you want, anything you can get away with, get away with it. If you don’t pay taxes, you’re smart.’ Demeaning other people. When they have this behavior, it tells society that we really don’t have any norms anymore.”
Ruhle responded by noting the irony that The Jeremy Springer Show became one of the country’s most popular TV shows because of the lack of civility shown among its guests, who were often seen screaming, fighting, and throwing chairs around the studio.
However, Springer contended that his show was still a step above the Trump administration in that regard.
“First of all, our show was about dysfunctional behavior, so obviously everyone who’s going to appear on the show is acting dysfunctionally,” the 75-year-old said. “That was the point of the show. But no one ever suggested, never did I do a final thought, and say, ‘This is the way you ought to behave.’”
“When you have the president of the United States using language that even on our crazy show we’d bleep out, then society’s in trouble,” he added.
It is not the first time that Springer has complained about Trump’s lack of civility. In 2017, he argued that Trump’s behavior was “not just beneath the dignity of the Presidency but that of any decent man.”
“Every day, I’m presented with someone who acts inappropriately,” Springer said at the time. “Why would anyone think that behavior belongs in the White House?”
Every day, I'm presented with someone who acts inappropriately. Why would anyone think that behavior belongs in the White House?
— Jerry Springer (@jerryspringer) June 30, 2017