In the US, maybe it started with A Current Affair, a news-ish program
that reveled in seamy topix. But it's everywhere now: clones like Hard
Copy, or local news broadcasts that are heavy on disasters, crime, and
other shock-value stories. Or Jerry Springer, the latest in a long line of
cheap-thrills talk show hosts dating back to the 50's - only Mike Wallace
was a hell of a lot classier than to have a bunch of trashibitionists parade around like modern-day circus geeks.