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Monday, January 30, 2006

THE SPRINGER STANDARD: To discuss Oprah's apology for hyping fake-memoirist James Frey, MSNBC's Joe Scarborough — generally sane in public — decided he needed a genuine authority on standards of public decency. So he brought Jerry Springer on his TV show to discuss what constitutes, um, authenticity. Springer got off a wonderfully revealing line when he boasted that he had never stooped to bringing an author on his TV show to hype a book. The clear implication was that doing so would lower his TV show's standards. "My viewers can't read," he added, with the hint of a mischievous smile. Spoken like a true liberal: Mock the populist masses even as you make a fortune exploiting them on a TV show that makes a trip to the carnival seem like a visit to the Museum of Modern Art.