on tv, jenny jones parades a bunch of teen strippers across her set, some as young as 11. She stands there, delicately brushing the bangs of her sun-kissed peroxide-blond hair away with immaculate nails, a pleasant girl-next-door smile pasted on her lips. She waits contentedly for her girls to prance onstage, put on a show and make her some money. A clip comes on showing a scantily dressed 11-year-old and her cousin dancing provocatively. "Is this legal?" I wonder, my eyes glued to the set. At that moment a close-up shot shows Ms. Jones's solemn, "concerned" face. It dawns on me that she's a glorified pimp, and I, unfortunately, am one of her johns.
A deep, manly voice growls over music, "If you are a parent who parties and even does X with your teen, call. Is your overdeveloped teen wild and dressing too sexy? Call." Today the show is titled "Jenny, it's wrong that my teen strips at house parties all night long!"
I'm disgusted. I'm intrigued. I'm ashamed.
"I do lap dances, table dance and one-on-one in the clubs" says a 16-year-old girl wearing fluorescent-pink hot pants and a blond wig. "Quit hatin'!" she screams back at the hysterically delighted audience.
"Do you do extras?" purrs Jones. "Is there touching?"Her voice rises enthusiastically at the end of each question. She's like a hungry vulture swooping in on her prey. A cold steel glimmer in her eyes flashes when a guest fails to answer the way she likes. The underage girl responds accordingly, "Damn right, I do, Jenny!"
"Did you leave your tits and your ass at home?" asks a 40-year-old man to a 14-year-old who's obviously hurt by the comment. Jones enthusiastically cuts off the damaged, raging teen before she can respond. Sharp as a cleaver in a butcher shop, she cheerfully cuts to a commercial break. The show must go on.
Jenny Jones, the 57-year-old queen of trash talk, has exploited pubescent girls, the stripper lifestyle and racial stereotypes for the past 12 years. Ironically, she seems to have mastered what that other infamous J, Jerry Springer, was and continues to be scorned for: pimping women's sexuality and stereotypes in front of a salivating, bloodthirsty public. It makes one wonder if the only reason she gets away with it is because this "all-American" blond from London, Ontario, happens to be a woman? Does this make her show any less disgusting and downright scary?
The list of her exploitative topics goes on and on, from "My teen strips for cash" to "Is your big-breasted teen out of control?" Jones is the ultimate corrupt politician oops, I mean, talk-show host, with painted-on smile, polite, concerned manner, "innocent questions" as she screws her misguided guests for her own ratings and benefit. She allows them to be degraded and verbally assaulted ("Be nice," she warns her vicious audience before they attack), destroying the little confidence these women and children have.
Watching, I feel rage and indignation. But then I pause, look down and realize that as I point an accusing finger at Jenny Jones, three of my fingers are pointing back at me, and I ask myself, can the pimp make money if there's no john to pay?
The answer is clear. I change the channel.