Judge Ruth vs Judge Judy

There’s been a flurry of comment on a recent Reader’s Digest poll showing that Americans trust TV judges more than they trust the Supreme Court. It also shows that President Obama falls in the bottom half of the list. Given a little thought, anyone could have predicted this a priori.

Reader’s Digest didn’t ask about TV judges (like Judy Sheindlin) vs real judges (like Ruth Bader). Instead, they asked people to rate 200 “opinion makers”. Essentially, it’s a name recognition poll. Quick, no peeking, name the nine members of the Supreme Court. I’m not sure I could, and I’m a news junkie. My list is likely to start with William O’Douglas. The commenters pooh-pooh the dumb Americans, glued to their TV sets, but ol’ Judy has a high name recognition with me personally, just based on seeing the ads as I tune through all the sports channels, looking for some cricket coverage. Given that, you’d expect well-known personalities to rank high, unless they’re the notorious flavor of well-known. Unknowns would tend to float around the middle.

As for Presidential placement, Reader’s Digest doesn’t say how Reader’s Digest chose the 1,000 people who Reader’s Digest thinks are a representative sample for their Reader’s Digest poll, or what their average age or political party is, but, you know… Reader’s Digest.


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