Springer begins radio talk show by calling war immoral

Monday, January 17th 2005, 10:23 am
By: News On 6

CINCINNATI (AP) _ Unlike his television show, Jerry Springer's new radio talk show doesn't have guests that get in fist fights or flurries of foul language being bleeped out.

Springer promised to provide unabashed liberal views to counter the positions of President Bush in the first airing Monday of his radio show in Cincinnati, where he once served as mayor.

Springer, who will continue to host his TV show, called the war in Iraq immoral, saying it appeared to be focused on determining whether Iraq's Shiite majority or Sunni minority will be in charge as the country tries to grow into independence.

``Would you be willing to have your son or daughter die for that?'' Springer said. ``If you are not, why in God's name is it OK to support this war when you're sending someone else's son or daughter to die?''

Some see the radio show as a springboard for the Democrat's possible return to politics in 2006, either in a run for Ohio governor or a Senate seat, although Springer has declined to comment on that issue.

Springer, 60, shelved the idea of running for Senate in 2003 after he traveled Ohio to meet with voters and found they would not support him while he hosted TV's ``Jerry Springer Show.''

Begun in 1991, the show has built its ratings on raunchy topics featuring a lineup of pimps, prostitutes, skinheads, homewreckers and too-friendly relatives.

Springer began his five-day-a-week, three-hour daily talk show by playing a prepared promotional recording of music and people praising the American Revolution's patriots and their fight against England's King George. The recording then jabbed at President Bush by referring to him as a ``King George'' who doesn't want to hear opposing views.

``If someone challenges the war, they're not a patriot? If someone challenges the president, they're un-American? Come on,'' said Springer, who was joined on the program by Jene Galvin, a political activist who backed Springer in 2003 when he considered running for Senate.

Pam Stevens, a spokeswoman for the White House, declined comment on Springer's show. Before Springer's debut, Ohio Republicans were dismissive.

``This is a guy who peddles smut for a living,'' said Jason Mauk, a spokesman for the Ohio Republican Party.

It took more than a half hour before Springer received his first phone call Monday, from a listener who said he is a liberal and is pleased Springer is espousing that point of view. Another caller praised Springer as ``a voice of reason.''

Springer did radio commentary in the 1970s in Cincinnati and was a TV news anchor who did nightly TV commentary in the 1980s.

He served as a Cincinnati city councilman in the 1970s, but resigned in 1974 after admitting that he wrote personal checks to pay prostitutes. He was later elected mayor and lost a bid for the Democratic nomination for governor in 1982.