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Friday, Apr. 28, 2023 - 8:18 a.m.

Everyone on my FB has been hating on Jerry Springer. But I heard a thing with someone who was a personal friend for a long long time and that person said he was the best person. Humble and kind and always helped people when he could. Good to his tv crew. Always made time for people, fans, always helped. Always told people they should not be watching his show.

The show was objectively harmful. And of course that person I heard may not have had a full view of the personal life, either. Again, how do you separate a person’s character from the downstream effects of their life’s work? Does it mean YOU are a bad person because your work has wrought/perpetuated terrible things? I don’t have any broad brushes in my supplies, only little tiny ones.

The internet level of nuance is: here’s a person whose life work was inarguably a net good. But they themselves were kind of questionable in some ways. Verdict: SHITTY PERSON, DO NOT STAN OR YOU TOO ARE SHITTY

Or, here’s a person who was actually quite a mensch in their personal life, but their work had a net negative effect on society. Verdict: SHITTY PERSON, DO NOT STAN OR YOU TOO ARE SHITTY

It’s a tall order for most of us. It’s always worth a look and there should be no heroes, probably (villains, there definitely are). But that’s so seldom the take away.

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