When looking into the messages that contemporary texts of Pop culture suggest, we may find that the message received by the viewer isn't always the message intended by the author. According to Umberto Eco, popular texts can be misread or even double read by it's receiving audience. An example of this misreading comes from Andy Medhurst, and how he found that the TV show "Batman" had underlying homosexual themes. The authors did not intend for the message to suggest these underlying themes, yet Medhurst received the message from a very different point of view. While Medhurst's opinion of the show may be of a minority point of view, his actions of interpreting and in fact misreading it are not.
Different people can interpret many texts very differently. Depending on who you are, and the environment in which you come from, texts of popular culture can be looked upon in many ways. A piece of popular culture that I feel can be double read by an audience is the Jerry Springer show. I feel that the message relayed by the Jerry Springer show is debatable among social classes. The two I'm most worried about are those of the high class and those of the low class. Since these two groups are from opposite sides of the social spectrum we can assume that the environments in which they live in are very different from one another.
While it may not necessarily have to do directly with an economic income bracket, we can assume that their environments are influenced by this factor. What's more important is the effect that these environments have on them. I feel that the environment in which a person lives in tends to influence how they receive a specific message regardless of how it was intended. As an example of this, I would like to bring attention to those of the lower class. Typically, these people aren't ones that are career or family oriented. I believe that these people are moralistically low class and come from an environment where self respect and self worth barely exist.
They approve of Springer's show because of the fact that many of his guests come from the same background as they do. His guests basically tell the world the only way to gain attention is through revealing themselves in an inappropriate sexual manner and stupidity. Neither of these means is respectable or ethical. However people of a similar background that aren't strongly moralistic see this as acceptable behavior. Low class viewers aren't typically ones that hold any sort of respectable admiration and therefore find it necessary to use disrespectful and lewd behavior to gain esteem. Yet what they don't see is the argument that Springer's show does this in order to show how simple-minded people can be.
If this in fact is the case, then the low class people have misread the show's message and find the behavior acceptable according to Springer. The Jerry Springer show takes advantage of these low class people by showing them in a bad light and asking them to do indecent explicit things on TV in order to be humorous. Those of the upper class I believe see the Jerry Springer show in a very different light. Higher-class people come from a better core environment.
These are the people that can identify ethical versus non-ethical behavior and understand the concepts of morals, values, and self-respect. Even so, among this class I feel that a double reading can happen. The upper class can actually be divided into two groups. The first group, when they watch Jerry Springer is not because they approve of the behavior of the guests, but because they find it ludicrous but humorous at the same time. The fact that people would be so idiotic and foolish in front of millions of people is humorous to them. While people of a lower class structure find this behavior acceptable and a representation of real people, these people understand that not everybody will compromise himself or herself on TV and actually make fun of the people that do.
The other group I feel are the viewers, which have adapted a resistance to the Jerry Springer show all together. The Jerry Springer show can be read in many different ways. Lower classes believe that the behavior is acceptable while upper classes may find it humorous because of the shows obvious stupidity. This double reading could in fact place a larger gap in between the two classes. The lower class has little or no respect for them, therefore the upper class doesn't either. This could result in resentment of both the classes towards each other.
The Jerry Springer show doesn't need to be arranging this sort of message, regardless of how it is interpreted. Neither of the interpretations are generally good for society.