Newest Review: ... themselves sound like tarts and do not help themselves getting liked by anyone. Jenny Jones mostly does things to do with eating disorder... more
Jenny beats Jerry to the first chat show murder
Member Name: salgirl
Date: 27/05/01, updated on 27/05/01 (194 review reads)
Advantages: People watching
Disadvantages: It's been done before
Jenny Jones is another in a long list of American presenters who deal with the confrontational chat shows.
Tall, blonde and seemingly popular, Jenny's brand of show is no worse than those of Maury Povitch, Sally Jesse Raphael, Montell Williams, Ricki Lake or Phil Donohue, although it isn't in the same ball park as Jerry Springer. However, this didn't stop it from achieving infamy as the first show that led to a murdered guest.
The show's topics are usually about weight, race, sexual intrigues or homosexuality, again the standard fare of all these voyueristic havens. The episode that led to the tragedy was dealing with crushes.
Guests would come on, and it would be revealed gradually as to why they were there, and who the person was that had the crush on them. In the case in question, our male friend was happily running through the list of girls he could think of that might have a crush on him, when out walked a bloke.
The guest was heterosexual, the guy who fancied him clearly wasn't.
I have to say that for the most part, the crush-ee took the news well. He'd been drinking in a club and his new found fan was a Waiter who'd been admiring him from afar, however he made it clear he wasn't interested, but joked his way through the show.
A few days later and the Waiter is dead from gunshot wounds. Apparently the guest was none too pleased at having been humiliated in front of the watching millions, and had maybe done this in an extreme reaction to prove his manliness. I say maybe, because I never got to hear the full details of the trial and it's outcome. All I know is that Jenny Jones would not comment on the situation, but neither did it stop her producing the shows, nor from running the same sort of topic again.
Now I can't exactly stand here as Judge and Jury on the matter because I do enjoy watching Jerry Springer and the occasional Ricki Lake, and I can't rule
out myself from my role in this equation. If it wasn't for people like me, the show wouldn't have anyone to play to. If there wasn't a demand, there'd be no supply. It puts us, the viewers, in a difficult situation and I've had people comment in the past that this kind of thing is somehow 'our' fault. My accusers would be okay with sitting in a pub and watching a fight become personal to the extent of physical violence, or watching videos that have been accused of increasing the likelihood of violence, and that's okay for them. But not for tv viewers of (for want of a better description) chat shows.
Jenny Jones unwittingly became a martyr to the cause of free speech in America. And her shows are still being churned out, currently on Sky 1 during the afternoons, so the public couldn't have taken the issue to heart that badly.
I for one don't watch her now. Not because of the incident, just that I do get a bit chat show-ed out.
Her content is no more different than her competitors, she herself isn't any more special than her rival hosts, and there aren't any unique features that set her show head and shoulders above the rest.
Especially now that Jerry can also claim a victim.
The market is too saturated with these kind of shows, and Jenny's notoriety those handful of years ago has worn away to nothing now.
And that's a sad indictment for the family of the victims. Just more old news.