Best not analyze the content of talk shows

Jon Margolis

June 22, 1993|By Jon Margolis

THE following, almost verbatim but edited so it will fit it int this space, comes from a recent edition of Hotline, the daily political news summary. It is a description of the content of 14 television programs during four days late last month.

It is presented here without comment, because comment is unnecessary, or perhaps impossible.

"RICHARD BEY: Husbands who demean, belittle and criticize; transvestites vs. genuine women; interracial dating -- three women who do and three who don't.

"DONAHUE: Advances in laser surgery; cast of 'The Young and the Restless'; virtual reality and sex; California man who sued female boss for sexual harassment.

"GERALDO: Abusive husbands; parents who run an escort service and their kids who help out; fathers who steal their sons' girlfriends; child-killing cults -- former Branch Davidians explain 'ritual child abuse and brainwashing.'

"JENNY JONES: A stepmother and stepson who want to get married; friends at war over the same man; Amy Fisher's alleged jailhouse lesbian lover; Amy's alleged heterosexual lover; the author of 'Lethal Lolita.'

"OPRAH: A mother who was upset that her four children were all gay; a couple accused of killing their children; men and women who have been stalked by obsessive ex-mates are joined by a stalker; women whose babies have been stolen to be sold.

"MAURY POVICH: A profile of the Healing Children Foundation; Tom Arnold tells 'why he repressed memories of sexual abuse [by] his babysitter;' the alleged mistress of a Dallas minister who was charged with the attempted murder of his wife; people who keep their marriages secret so they can keep their health benefits.

"SALLY JESSY RAPHAEL: Men raising children from their wives' extramarital affairs; a 10-year-old girl with a 38C bust; an imprisoned man who killed his 2-year-old daughter while trying to convert his brother to his religion; two pen pals who have fallen in love.

"JOAN RIVERS: Finalists from comedy clubs; collectors of Hollywood memorabilia; high-profile murderers such as Jeffrey Dahmer and Robert Chambers; the latest advancements in video technology.

"JERRY SPRINGER: Women who have affairs with relatives; a male prison inmate undergoing a sex change operation who wants to be put in a women's jail; parents of missing children; a white woman confronts the father who tried to kill her husband because he was black.

"MONTEL WILLIAMS: The swimsuit edition; parents who take their kids to strip joints; women who steal other women's men; women who pamper and spoil their men.

"A CURRENT AFFAIR: A mom who wants to divorce her kids; reopening the investigation of Elvis' death; update on the killing of a boy after a Little League game; the ex-wife of Houston Oilers quarterback Dan Pastorini claiming he is a deadbeat dad;

Hollywood predictions from Jeanne Dixon; a woman who recorded her own death by a stalker; a sex scandal at Northeast High in Pasadena, Md.; a man who posed as a doctor and offered a fake Alzheimer's cure; a man who used hidden video cameras to look up women's skirts at shopping malls; singer Tom Jones and his relationship with Elvis.

"HARD COPY: A hidden camera in the dressing room of a New York strip club; following a cab driver through 'Hollywood's hidden world of sex and sin'; a singer who married a criminal; an interview with Rhonda Spear, the 'bimbette' host of USA Network's 'Up All Night,' about the Hollywood casting couch; a would-be robber who was beaten up by two women store clerks; Shannen Doherty's boyfriend alleging she beat him; an aspiring artist who became a stripper and was later murdered.

"INSIDE EDITION: A divorce lawyer who bilks clients; Arnold Schwarzenegger's pre-stardom interview on an X-rated cable show; update on the Dallas minister charged with the attempted murder of his wife; 'millionaire athletes on the rampage'; update on a high school girl who killed her boyfriend but isn't going to jail; a look at the 'spoiled super-rich' of Palm Beach 'who are squandering their cash' on British 'royal titles that don't mean a thing'; aspiring actresses speak out about Hollywood's casting couch and take one agent to court; misleading sales pitches on smoke detectors; and a little boy who was taken to court by the state of Florida for running his bike into a police cruiser."

Jon Margolis is a columnist for the Chicago Tribune.

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