Talked to Death
- 1996 ----- color ----- 57 min ----- vhs
If you thought what goes on in front of the cameras on television talk shows is sleazy, wait until you see what goes on behind them. This HBO Special investigates how far producers and hosts are willing to go to win high ratings. Featuring candid insights from current and former hosts Geraldo Rivera, Phil Donahue, Maury Povich, and Morton Downey, Jr., as well as producers, lawyers, and guests, the talk-show phenomenon and its never-ending quest for the sensational is explored. We see producers trying to elicit rage from a timid guest, a woman posing as an unhappy wife, and more. Included is footage of the never-broadcast Jenny Jones Show, in which a gay man admits his affection for a heterosexual man who later kills him. The incident puts a particularly chilling spin on what passes for entertainment in many American households and poses serious questions about media responsibility.
- Topics: (Communications, Sociology, Television)