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Springer: TV Is Too Intrusive

The TV industry’s appointed loose cannons did not disappoint Monday morning at the National Association of Television Programming Executives’ show in Las Vegas, with former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura, talk-show host Jerry Springer, King World Productions CEO Roger King, motivational speaker Pat Croce and HDNet owner Mark Cuban all telling Cable News Network’s Larry King exactly what they thought on a variety of issues.

Springer called his show "the stupidest show on TV," and he said he doesn’t take criticism of the raunchy daytime talker personally. "It’s a show, it’s not me. I don’t defend myself by what I do," he added.

Springer -- whose show has made a cottage industry of exposing personal problems -- weighed in on the Michael Jackson case and the line between covering a celebrity’s professional and personal life.

"There ought to be a line where [the media doesn’t] move into people’s private lives, but oftentimes, celebrities will use the media to further their careers," he said. "Then they have lost their right to say, ‘Don’t cover my personal life when it goes bad.’"

In response to a question, Springer also weighed in on minority opportunities in the media: "If you are a minority, you are starting so far behind in this country. If you are a black kid and you are clumsy, can’t sing, can’t dance, can’t do hip-hop, do you have the same chance as all of us up here? If we’re telling the truth, the answer is still no."

Ventura said he had no idea why MSNBC pulled the plug on his planned TV show, but he added, "Everything happens for a reason," and he said he was happy to be heading to Harvard to start a teaching gig Feb. 2.

Ventura wore his bitterness toward the media on his sleeve, saying he decided not to run for office again because the media attacked his children, that he won’t even talk to any Minnesota press and that all media want to push the government toward their agenda.