A backstage tour of The Jerry Springer Show reveals "fundamental truths about the human condition," Kevin Pang writes in the Chicago Tribune. Philanderers and home-wreckers vetted by the show receive star treatment for a day, and insist their tales are true—for the most part. It's "all legit," one said, after producers coached him on how to tell his story.
"Nah, it's fake," said another. "It's all fake." True or not, about 5,000 stories are sent into the show every week. "The people who come on our show are fans of the show," a producer said. And even allowing stagecraft, there is still a payoff, Pang concludes, because viewers think that "my life may not be perfect, but at least I'm not them."