CIHF-TV re The Jerry Springer Show

ATLANTIC REGIONAL COUNCIL
(CBSC Decision 97/98-1277)
Z. Rideout (Vice-Chair), R. Cohen (ad hoc), K. MacAulay and H. Montbourquette

THE FACTS

The Jerry Springer Show is syndicated in the Canadian market and plays at different times in different cities across the country. In the markets affected by this decision and in the relevant time frame related to the following complaints, the show aired at 2 p.m. on CIHF-TV in Halifax/Dartmouth and at 5 p.m. on CKMI-TV in Montreal.

The five episodes watched by the Atlantic and Quebec Regional Councils are sufficiently structurally similar to permit some generalized observations regarding the show. In the view of the two Councils, the show deals primarily with relationships in which there is a personal issue to be resolved, with some emphasis on the bizarre. Nor is there any lofty purpose to be attributed to the word “relationship” for, generally speaking, relationship, in this context, signifies sexual relationship and the public revelation of such matters as cheating, threesomes, and behaviour of less than broad social acceptance. More specifically, in the episodes in question, this involved sexual issues such as adults sleeping with the partners of their children, unfaithfulness, cheaters cheating on their cheating partners, disturbing secrets, and prostitution; these invoked feelings of jealousy, hatred, bitterness and nastiness, often at an intense level. The titles of the programs themselves reveal the orientation of their content: “I’m Sleeping with My 13-Year-Old’s Ex”; “I Hate Your Lover!”; “Update: Outrageous Guests”; “Clash of the Angry Lovers”; and “Bizarre Betrayals”.

The episodes in question for the Nova Scotia broadcaster aired on August 3, 4 and 5, 1998 while those for the Montreal broadcaster aired on January 29 and March 5, 1999.

It is not useful to describe in great detail the content of each of the five episodes screened by the Councils. As an example of the Nova Scotia broadcast, the August 3 show, entitled “I’m Sleeping with My 13-Year-Old’s Ex”, involved the customary physical disputes and, in the promos for the show at the first two commercial breaks, the emphasis was on forthcoming fighting on the show. The show of the next day,  “I Hate Your Lover!”; opened with extensive fighting before the host made his first statement. The Quebec broadcast of January 29, entitled “Clash of the Angry Lovers”, was divided into three segments with different invitees, each segment including one individual who had come onto the show to confess that he or she had been unfaithful to his or her partner. All three segments were characterized by the physical fighting and coarse language referred to above. The second segment also included nudity and some sexual activity between two women, who removed each other’s tops while kissing and fondling each other. The nudity was blurred out and all spoken profanities were bleeped.

The result of each of the episodes, if not of almost each of the segments within the episodes, in addition to the hurling of verbal insults, profanities and obscenities, was kicking, punching, grappling, wrestling, or other forms of fighting among the guests. The fights are always broken up by Springer’s own bouncers, but only after the invitees are into the melee. The guests are not, in other words, confined to their seats by the same individuals before they are into the fray.

Finally, it should be noted that each of the episodes viewed began with the following viewer advisory:

The Jerry Springer Show may contain adult themes, strong language or violence. Parents are cautioned that this program may not be appropriate for children.

Each was also rated “14+”, pursuant to the Canadian Classification System.

A Joint Decision

The Atlantic and Quebec Regional Councils find themselves in much the same situation as the Quebec and Ontario Regional Councils in CHOM-FMand CILQ-FM re the Howard Stern Show (CBSC Decisions 97/98-0001+ and 0015+, October 17 and 18, 1997). In that case, the two Councils met separately in Montreal (October 17, 1997) and Toronto (October 18) but concluded that their respective decisions should be combined and issued in a single document. They said:

While the components of the two Regional Council debates differed to some extent, the conclusions of the two Regional Councils regarding the essential issues dealt with herein were identical and, in the end, the text of this decision was reviewed and concurred in by the two Regional Councils. It was agreed by both the Quebec and the Ontario Councils that each could subscribe fully to the reasons and the conclusions of this decision text and that, consequently, the decision should be issued jointly by both the Quebec and the Ontario Regional Councils.

This is also the case here.

The Atlantic Complaint

On August 6, 1998, a Nova Scotia viewer sent the following letter to the CBSC:

The Jerry Springer Show runs the full gambit [sic] of the top two codes

1) violence on TV

2) portrayal of men and women

3) language {even though it is bleeped} not fit for programming at 2pm time slot when kids are home.

4) It sends the wrong message to our kids and depicts the violent traits that are picked up by young people.

5) It is racial in the aspect that it depicts both black and white people in a fashion unbecoming both races.

To clarify your answer every show aired at the 2 pm time slot depicts at least 3 if not all of the above characteristics.

Therefore I suggest you view all shows from July 20 to July 24, July 27 to July 31 and Aug 3 to Aug 5.

Your first question is why am I looking at these shows and my answer was I expected the response I got from the CBSC and knew I had better review this program on a regular basis as I knew you would try and make the complaint go away.

I do not give a damn about the show especially as it is not even Canadian. But I damn well give a damn about slut TV on at 2pm. The problem is the time slot. This show belongs on the air after 10pm.

I expect something done and if you are incompetent then please tell me what is the next level of complaint to get rid of this show in that time frame.

As of this date no one has contacted me from Global and I will not in any way be subjected to another lecture from Global personnel.

All I ask is you do your job and protect the viewers if you can’t then I will look for an alternate solution to this problem.

The Nova Scotia Broadcaster’s Response

The Program/Promotion Manager of Global Televison replied to the complainant on September 21:

We are in receipt of your letter concerning The Jerry Springer Show which was forwarded to us by the CBSC on 8 September 1998, concerning episodes which aired on August 3, 4, and 5, 1998.

Let me begin by thanking you for providing your comments concerning our programming. Our viewers are very important to us and we appreciate your feedback.

Under the Broadcasting Act, broadcasters are required to provide a broad spectrum of entertainment and information programming “for men, women and children of all ages, interests and tastes.” Because television programming is required to be diverse and directed at a wide variety of audiences, what one viewer may consider an interesting or exiting program may lead another to turn the channel. Each viewer has her/his own interpretation which is based on personal experience, background and values.

With all of our programming, we are diligent in ensuring that our audience is made aware of program content that may not appeal to everyone. In recognizing our responsibility to advise viewers of the content of this program, we air viewer advisories at the beginning of every telecast.

By doing so, viewers are made aware of the nature of the program, and can make informed choices about their viewing choices. In the case of Jerry Springer, we provide a 14+ Canadian rating code at the start of each episode.

In response to the concerns you’ve raised with regard to the above-noted episodes, we viewed these episodes against the CAB’s Voluntary Code regarding Violence both prior to telecast, and following your letter of complaint. In terms of content, the Code requires broadcaster not to air programming which “contains gratuitous violence in any form, sanctions, promotes or glamorizes violence. Gratuitous violence is further defined as “material which does not play an integral role in developing the plot, character or theme of the material as a whole.”

The Code also states that “anger, fear, tension, drama, excitement or verbal abuse, will not, by themselves be regarded as violent…” Upon reviewing these episodes against the provisions of the Code, we do not believe that the episodes you refer to sanction, promote or glamorize violence.

You also raise concerns regarding the portrayal of men and women during those episodes. According to section 4 of the Sex-Role Portrayal Code, “television and radio programming shall refrain from the exploitation of women, men and children. The Code further states that “negative and degrading comments on the role and nature of women, men or children in society shall be avoided.”

Upon reviewing the episodes in question, we do not believe The Jerry Springer Show to be in breach of these provisions. The men and women who appear on this program do so voluntarily, and are provided with equal opportunity to share their stories and opinions, and portray themselves in the manner they choose.

With regard to the scheduling of The Jerry Springer Show, we believe that the children who would make up the composition of our audience at the time are of an age (pre-school) where their viewing choices would be determined and monitored by a parent, guardian or caregiver.

As previously mentioned, as responsible broadcasters, we air viewer advisories prior to air to ensure that viewers are aware of the content of this program.

You also express concerns about racism and the depiction of Caucasian and African-American individuals in this program. Racism by definition is “belief in innate superiority of particular race; antagonism towards members of different race based upon this belief.” We do not believe that the episodes you refer to depict racism in any form.

While your letter addressed a number of comments directed specifically to the CBSC, we trust that these will be addressed by the CBSC.

We appreciate your comments and letter, and hope that our response helps alleviate your concerns regarding this program.

The Letters of Complaint regarding the Quebec Broadcasts

On January 5, 1999, a viewer sent the following letter to the Secretary General of the CRTC, which did not identify a specific episode of the Jerry Springer Show. In the normal course, that letter was forwarded to the CBSC to be dealt with within the framework of the private broadcasters’ self-regulatory process. That letter stated:

[Translation] I have, from time to time, watched parts of the Jerry Springer Show and I am stunned to see that such a show is aired at 5 p.m. in the afternoon. This is a very popular time to be watching television and a time when children are often alone in the house without supervision.

I find this show to be vulgar, sensationalistic and degrading to human beings. This show does not conform to any criteria of quality (obscene and disrespectful language, fights…). What sort of values are we teaching to our children, lying, cheating, lack of responsibility, solving our problems with our fists…???

I teach kids who are 11, 12, and 13 years old. Many of my students have talked to me about this show which they find “super cool” because people fight on national television and the stories are funny. I thus took the time to verify their claims and I was shocked.

I can choose what shows I want to watch. I am a responsible adult, so I exercise that right. But children don’t have the maturity and the judgment necessary to make an educated choice in reference to such a degrading spectacle.

If the show were aired late at night, that would be fine for me, but, as I wrote earlier, it is very irresponsible of the broadcaster to air the show in a prime time when most children are alone in the house and watching television. I have talked about this to many parents who were not at all aware that their children were watching such a show.

I expect the CRTC to play the surveillance role of a responsible guardian in order to protect our children from such a vulgar show.

When the CBSC Secretariat subsequently requested a specific example of a Springer episode which would exemplify those concerns, the complainant referred in her letter of February 1 to the show of January 29.

A second viewer sent the following e-mail to the CBSC on March 7, registering his complaint about the Springer Show of March 5.

On Friday March 5th, 1999, between 5:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. the following incidents occurred on the JerrySpringer Show on Global CKMI Montreal. The show was titled “Bizarre Betrayals”.

A female guest turned to the camera and exposed her backside by lifting her dress over her waist. The area was clouded in but it was obvious what she was exposing.

The [sic] was a constant talk about sex.

There was a consistent large part of the conversations blanked out where people were cursing.

The word “bitch” was used all the time, not referring to female dogs, but to people in the conversation.

A female came on the show and her top was lifted in front of the camera by another female. This was a deliberate attempt to expose her breasts to the audience. The area was again clouded, but the flesh tones made it obvious she was not wearing a bra.

Two females proceeded to kiss and fondle each other and then proceeded to get on top of each other on the floor and continue to caress heavily, the camera was positioned to catch the backside of the female on top, which was exposed again (clouded out again).

A male approached a female and exposed his genitals in an aggressive manner suggesting she needed him (the actual genital area was clouded in).

Talk about using a vibrator for sexual purposes rather than having to have sex with him would be preferable.

There was a cross-dresser homosexual breakup with another homosexual male.

The cross-dresser was in total female outfit.

There was a third male introduced, this caused a physical fight to break out and punches and pushes were exchanged.

The males involved kept calling each other “bitch” which was not censored at any time. Other language was censored with beeping noise.

Questions from the audience near the end of the show included comments like:

“Bitch, ask yor Mamma” and “You don't even know who your Mamma is.”

I am making a formal complaint and you now have a specific show to document. I read your complaint guidelines and feel that this specific show has violated several of them. I do not feel it is my place to judge the viewing habits of the general population. I am a very strong proponent free speech [sic]and the right of the public to view whatever they want. My main concern is more with the time this show is being aired. Most parents are able to monitor their children and prevent them from watching this show. Unfortunately when a child is denied something they find seductive, they may find a way to get it anyway. I have talked to parents who have an argument every night with their kids about watching the show. I also know of parents who do not see the harm in letting their kids watch the show. During the show an indication that parental guidance should be exercised is an indication that it is not suited for children, therefore why is it broadcast during this time frame?

The Quebec Broadcaster’s Responses

The Director of Programming and Promotions replied to the first complainant on March 3 in the following terms:

[Translation] We have received your letter of January 5, 1999 addressed to the CRTC regarding the JerrySpringer Show.

In accordance with the laws regarding broadcasting, a broadcaster must provide its viewers with an informative and diverse range of programming which appeals to “men, women and children of all ages, interests and tastes.”Because television programming must be so diverse and geared towards a heterogeneous audience, what one viewer might consider an interesting or exciting show might cause another viewer to change the station. Global Television respects people’s personal choices and recognizes that each viewer forms his or her own interpretation based on personal experience, previous history and values.

In regard to all of our programming, we make sure that our viewers are informed of the fact that the content of a show may not please everyone. In the light of our responsibility to advise our viewers of the content of the JerrySpringer Show, we air a viewer advisory before and during the broadcast of each episode. In so doing, our viewers are informed as to the nature of the show before it airs and they can decide for themselves whether or not to watch the show.

Global Television closely monitors the performance of its shows. The viewers can rest assured that their concerns, such as those expressed in your letter, will continue to be an important factor in our programming decisions.

The complainant was unsatisfied with the broadcaster’s response and requested, on March 11, that the CBSC refer the matter to the appropriate Regional Council for adjudication. With her request, the complainant added a second note which further explained her position.

The broadcaster's Director of Regulatory affairs responded to the second complainant by e-mail on June 4 in the following terms:

Please accept my sincere apology for not responding to your earlier letters of complaint which were forwarded to Global Quebec by the CBSC. Unfortunately, we experienced an interdepartmental communications problem, and only recently discovered that our response had not been sent to you. We are very sorry for this inconvenience, and have rectified this problem to ensure that it won't happen again.

In your letter, you have raised concerns regarding the content of this program as well as its scheduling. Let me begin by saying that as responsible broadcasters, we are sensitive to the members of our viewing audience, and that we are sorry that the content and scheduling of this program offends you. I assure you that it is neither Global's nor the producer's intention to do so.

However, under the Broadcasting Act, broadcasters are required to provide a broad spectrum of entertainment and information programming for “men, women and children of all ages, interests and tastes”. Television programming is required to be diverse and appealing to a wide variety of audiences; what one viewer might consider an interesting or amusing program might lead another to turn the channel.

With all of our programming, we are diligent in ensuring that our audience is made aware of program content that may not be appropriate for all audiences, or that may not appeal to everyone. In recognizing our responsibility to advise viewers of the content of this program, we air viewer advisories prior to every telecast. By doing so, viewers are made aware of the nature of the program before it airs and, therefore, parents can decide whether or not it is appropriate for their children to watch. We welcome and appreciate your comments and concerns. By communicating directly with our viewing public, we are able to take their comments into consideration when reviewing our programming strategies. This is something we do on a regular basis and presently we are in the process of reviewing our complete line up of shows for our fall schedule. As you may already know, the Jerry Springer Show was moved to 2 p.m. as of April 12.

Finally, we believe that the producers of the program we air should be made aware of the opinions of our viewers – the end-users of the programs they create. As a result, we will forward a copy of your letter and our response to them.

The complainant in turn responded to the broadcaster on June 18, indicating that he remained unsatisfied with the broadcaster’s response and requesting a decision by a CBSC Regional Council.

THE DECISION

The CBSC’s Atlantic and Quebec Regional Council considered the complaint under the Voluntary Code Regarding Violence in Television Programming of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB). The relevant clauses of these Codes read as follows:

Violence Code, Clause 1 (Content)

1.0 Content 1.1 Canadian broadcasters shall not air programming which:

  • contains gratuitous violence in any form*

sanctions, promotes or glamorizes violence (*””Gratuitous”” means material which does not play an integral role in developing the plot, character or theme of the material as a whole).

Violence Code, Clause 3 (Scheduling) 3.1 Programming 3.1.1 Programming which contains scenes of violence intended for adult audiences shall not be telecast before the late evening viewing period, defined as 9 pm to 6 am.

3.1.2 Accepting that there are older children watching television after 9 pm, broadcasters shall adhere to the provisions of article 5.1 below (viewer advisories), enabling parents to make an informed decision as to the suitability of the programming for their family members.

3.1.3 In order to provide viewers with the benefit of Canadian program classification and viewer advisories not available on foreign distant signals, broadcasters who have CRTC-permitted substitution rights over programming which is imported into their markets before the late evening viewing period, may employ substitution, notwithstanding article 3.1.1.

3.1.4 Broadcasters shall exercise discretion in employing substitution in accordance with article 3.1.3 and shall at no time avail themselves of substitution rights over programming which contains gratuitous violence in any form or which sanctions, promotes or glamourizes violence.

3.1.5 Broadcasters shall take special precautions to advise viewers of the content of programming intended for adult audiences which is telecast before 9 pm in accordance with article 3.1.3.

(Note: To accommodate the reality of time zone differences, and Canadian distant signal importation, these guidelines shall be applied to the time zone in which the signal originates.)

3.2 Promotional material which contains scenes of violence intended for adult audiences shall not be telecast before 9 pm.

3.3 Advertisements which contain scenes of violence intended for adult audiences, such as those for theatrically presented feature films, shall not be telecast before 9 pm.

The Regional Council members viewed tapes of the programs in question and reviewed all of the correspondence. The Councils consider that the program in question is in breach of the provisions of Clause 1 of the Violence Code.

The Content of the Program

While it is not material to the conclusions of either Regional Council whether the Springer Show is or is not staged, the question is often asked by people who cannot believe the shenanigans which take place. Interestingly, Springer chose to “set the record straight” at the end of his August 5 show in the following terms:

You know, we're not a soap opera or a sitcom. As the story line ends, we can't put our characters to rest. No, this is a talk show. For better or worse, it's real life and life goes on, even after the show. … How often we wonder, where do these people come from? Who could make this up? They come from our neighbourhoods, our homes. They are us and nobody makes this up. … Where do we find these people? Everywhere. They are us.

In any event, staged or not, the Council's decision must relate to what appears on the screen and that is fairly consistent. The situations in which the show's invitees find themselves, at least in the shows complained of, generally revolve around bizarre sexual relationships, if not improprieties in general societal terms. These situations, though, are never visually explicit. That is to say, the nudity which occurs is, as noted by one of the complainants, always “clouded”. There are aspects of the shows which are, therefore, suggestive but, in the view of the Councils, they do not extend beyond that. This is not to say that the Councils approve of the content of the shows or consider them appropriate for young people but only that, in general, the subject matter dealt with does not fall afoul of any of the private broadcaster Codes. Indeed, to the extent that the Councils are troubled by the subject matter, it results primarily from their concern that the broadcasting of such aberrant behaviour as generally characterizes the show has the effect of desensitizing the viewers (of any age) to the disregard of normative social behaviour. While this may be a regrettable result, it does not constitute a breach of any Code.

While the subject matter itself may not breach any Code provisions, the response to the conflictual situations created does. If, after all, there is one constant reaction to the situations which arise in every episode, it is found in the resolution to the tripartite conflicts, namely, fighting. In the children's section of the Violence Code, it is provided that

Programming for children shall not contain realistic scenes of violence which create the impression that violence is the preferred way, or the only method to resolve conflict between individuals.

While the Jerry Springer Show is clearly not “programming for children”, the Councils do find it regrettable that programming which so clearly violates that principle of the Violence Code is aired at a time of day when children could be expected to be watching. That being said, the Councils readily acknowledge that their “regret” in this respect does not amount to a formal breach of that Code. Nor can it be said that the scheduling provisions of the CAB Violence Code require the broadcast of the Springer Show at another hour. The violence included in the show is not, in the opinion of the Councils, “intended for adult audiences” and is thus not restricted to the post-watershed hour. It is another aspect of the violence on the show, which is dealt with immediately below, which is the problem in terms of the Canadian principles on the subject created by the private broadcasters, after lengthy consultations with interested sectors of the public, and sanctioned by the CRTC in 1993.

The point in terms of the Code is the treatment of violence by the Springer Show. In each of the episodes viewed for the purpose of this decision, it is perfectly clear that the violent reaction of the invitees is anticipated by the host, sanctioned as an occurrence, and encouraged and even promoted by both the host and his audience. If it were otherwise, the bouncers would prevent the happening. They do not, nor are they encouraged to. The dialogue between the host and the guests is meant to wind the practitioners of weird social arts to the breaking point and to set them at each other's “throats” or other accessible parts of their bodies. The importance of this glamorization and promotion of violence is made perfectly clear by the program promos for the next segment of the present episode or for future episodes which are presented interstitially during the course of the show; they tend to be filled, not with humour or dialogue, but with fight scenes. It is, after all, this very physical confrontation and violence which, according to The New York Times, has sent Springer's “show's Nielsen ratings and advertising revenues soaring.” In the Canadian context, however, the Violence Code is unequivocal:

Canadian broadcasters shall not air programming which … sanctions, promotes or glamorizes violence.

The text of the Violence Code is clear. Its first principles, laid down in Clause 1, are that Canadian television has no place for either gratuitous violence or forglamorized or promoted violence. Although both are of equal weight, the first prohibition is better known but this does not make the second any less important. The broadcasters chose, in 1993, to de-emphasize violence, to ensure that it is not only not a necessary component of Canadian private television programming but also that it is not an emphasized or promoted value. Violence when necessary, but not necessarily violence. Since no such principles have been adopted by American broadcasting as a whole, Canadian broadcasters need to be especially vigilant when it comes to imported programming (where most of such problems seem to arise). Moreover, it should not be forgotten that these principles apply to programming at any time of the day or night. While the CBSC has considered the question of gratuitous violence on several occasions, this is the first time it has been called upon to determine whether a broadcast has sanctioned, promoted or glamorized violence. As explained above, the Councils have no hesitation whatsoever in concluding that the Jerry Springer Show does exactly that. As such, it is in clear violation of the Violence Code.

Recurrent Breaches

The CBSC has twice been called upon to measure a series on the basis of formulaic or recurrent problems in terms of the private broadcast Codes. In the case of CIII-TVre Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (CBSC Decision 93/94-0270 and 0277, October 24, 1994), the two weeks of episodes reviewed were thought to be a fair reflection of the type of approach and attitude which the show could be expected to reflect on an ongoing basis. In that case, the Ontario Regional Council concluded:

that their observations entitle them to take the generalized position that the approach of the entire series is such that it would likely be in breach of those articles of the Violence Code in the same manner as the episodes which the Council members viewed in order to render this decision.

Then, in CHOM-FM and CILQ-FM re the Howard Stern Show (CBSC Decisions 97/98-0001+ and 0015+, October 17 and 18, 1997), the Quebec and Ontario Regional Councils, faced with a substantially similar situation in terms of that show, stated

[T]he Councils are of the view that, while the subject matter of the daily Howard Stern Show episodes of course varies from day to day, the presentation of the content which is the principal subject matter of this decision remains systematically similar in approach from one day to the next.

Consequently, they were prepared to take a global view of the program itself but in a slightly different way. In this case, the Councils have taken notice of the fact that, according to the New York Times,

The studio [Studios USA] that owns The Jerry Springer Show – the daytime talk show notorious for violence, profanity and physical confrontation announced Tuesday [May 25, 1999] that it will edit those three elements out of future shows.

Consequently, while the observations regarding Code breaches remain the same, the Councils acknowledge that the violent elements in breach of the CAB Violence Code may not be present in the program from the 1999 fall season. Whether that does or does not prove to be a firm commitment by the show’s producers, the Councils conclude that, whether with respect to reruns or future shows, the Canadian private broadcasters must, in this case, as private broadcasters have successfully done in the past, find a way over the course of the next 30 days to ensure that their future broadcasts not include those violent elements of the episodes which would otherwise be in breach of the Code.

Broadcaster Responsiveness

In addition to assessing the relevance of the Codes to the complaint, the CBSC always assesses the responsiveness of the broadcaster to the substance of the complaint. In this case, the Council considers that the broadcasters’ responses addressed fully and fairly the issues raised by the complainants. Nothing more is required. Consequently, the broadcaster has not breached the Council’s standard of responsiveness.

CONTENT OF THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE DECISION

Each of the stations is required to announce this decision forthwith, in the following terms, during prime time and, within the next thirty days, to provide confirmation of the airing of the statement to the CBSC and to each of the complainants who filed a Ruling Request.

In the case of CIHF-TV:

The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council has found that CIHF-TV has breached provisions of the CAB Violence Code.The Council found that, on its broadcasts of the Jerry Springer Shows of August 3, 4 and 5, 1998, the broadcaster sanctioned, glamorized or promoted the violence which is presented by the show as a resolution to the conflictual personal relationships which are its hallmark.

In the case of CKMI-TV: The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council has found that CKMI-TV has breached provisions of the CAB Violence Code.The Council found that, on its broadcasts of the Jerry Springer Shows of January 29 and March 5, 1999, the broadcaster sanctioned, glamorized or promoted the violence which is presented by the show as a resolution to the conflictual personal relationships which are its hallmark.

This decision is a public document upon its release by the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council.