Shame on you. In “Jury of His Peers” (May 16) you ended your story by speaking of the “Channel Five counteroffensive” to preserve the station’s honor, as though Jerry Springer stood alone as an outside enemy of the station’s integrity. You got it wrong, and in so doing, played right into the hands of the true nemesis against good taste. Mark Suppelsa and the entire staff are not Channel Five. The enemy is not Springer.
If you must generalize the Channel Five entity to a persona, then at least attribute it appropriately. The management of that organization certainly influences the “legitimacy” of an organization more than the staff. It was the management who brought in Springer to begin with. Therefore, the enemy is the Channel Five management. They have purposely undermined their own credibility for the ratings and therefore denied themselves any honor to begin with. Springer is less than an enemy or a pawn, he’s really irrelevant. If he did not exist, the station would have invited some other equally insipid commentator. The management has now also forced the staff to live under a gag rule. Denying a person, especially a trusted “news” reporter, the freedom of speech is not honorable nor should it be tolerable.
It is very difficult to idealize the integrity of a station when it plays the corporate ratings game in such a stupidly blatant manner. Channel Five has a ridiculous amount of insulting filler (i.e. Joan Esposito doing a piece on how to keep your clothes from wrinkling), dumbed-down language, and an elaborate eye candy set. Unfortunately, above all else the Channel Five management is very clever. They have been extremely successful in deflecting the critics (like you in last week’s story) from themselves onto an irrelevant Springer.
I have not watched Channel Five at all since the Carol Marin fiasco. I refuse to even “surf” over it as I switch back and forth between Two and Seven. It would be interesting to see Marin do something visible outside of the counterproductive-corporate-baggage context.