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  #1  
Old 09-30-2011, 08:03 AM
What the .... ?!?! What the .... ?!?! is offline
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Racial minorities over-represented on court shows...why?

I'm talking about Judge Judy, Peoples Court, and the half dozen others.

I've observed that racial minorities are over-represented and wonder why....... especially in light of another observation: that one or both of the parties is likely to be embarrassed by the experience.

A few possibilities:

1. The typical cases are more likely to be engaged in by them

2. Lower self esteem....don't care if they are embarassed

3. Can't see the inevitable train wreck coming for some reason

4. Producers pick them for some reason

5. Lack of access to other means of resolving problems
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  #2  
Old 09-30-2011, 08:40 AM
Blake Blake is offline
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6. They are poor, and the shows pay all costs, including damages. Thus both the plaintiff and the complainant know that the only way for anybody to come out ahead is to humiliate themselves in public on these shows. Rich people don't need to humiliate themselves on national TV for money, but when you're struggling financially the prospect of a real court finding against you for several hundred dollars is a horrific prospect. So you are forced into humiliating yourself for the entertainment of others. Similarly, a complainant dealing with someone who is destitute knows that the only chance of getting any money back is through this circus.

You can say what you like about people doing this of their own free will, the whole concept behind these shows is quite abhorent.
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Old 09-30-2011, 08:48 AM
AK84 AK84 is offline
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7) The Minorities in question are a majority, or a large portion of the place where the shows are set and are thus represented more then then national average?
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  #4  
Old 09-30-2011, 09:06 AM
John Mace John Mace is offline
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Originally Posted by What the .... ?!?! View Post
've observed that racial minorities are over-represented...
Could be. Could also be confirmation bias. But you need to prove that before we take this any further.
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  #5  
Old 09-30-2011, 09:14 AM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
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Originally Posted by What the .... ?!?! View Post
1. The typical cases are more likely to be engaged in by them
The "typical cases" on court shows amount to small-claims. As a lawyer, I would not say racial minorities appear to go to small claims court in numbers out of proportion to their numbers in the general population. But, they might, I haven't appeared there a whole lot.

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Originally Posted by What the .... ?!?! View Post
2. Lower self esteem....don't care if they are embarassed
No, I don't think that's it. Ever watch the white crowd on a game show?

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Originally Posted by What the .... ?!?! View Post
5. Lack of access to other means of resolving problems
Nobody goes on a court show for that reason; it's always explained to the litigants/contestants that this is an alternative to a regular small claims court. Everybody has access to small claims court. In most jurisdictions you don't even need a lawyer for that kind of claim, the clerk's office will provide the plaintiff with what amounts to a paint-by-the-numbers kit.

Last edited by BrainGlutton; 09-30-2011 at 09:16 AM..
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  #6  
Old 09-30-2011, 09:36 AM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
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Originally Posted by Blake View Post
6. They are poor, and the shows pay all costs, including damages. Thus both the plaintiff and the complainant know that the only way for anybody to come out ahead is to humiliate themselves in public on these shows. Rich people don't need to humiliate themselves on national TV for money, but when you're struggling financially the prospect of a real court finding against you for several hundred dollars is a horrific prospect. So you are forced into humiliating yourself for the entertainment of others. Similarly, a complainant dealing with someone who is destitute knows that the only chance of getting any money back is through this circus.

You can say what you like about people doing this of their own free will, the whole concept behind these shows is quite abhorent.
Weelll . . . it's a start, but the idea needs work. Maybe a show based on an Imperial Chinese judicial model, where the judge gets to order any stubborn witness flogged in open court . . .
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  #7  
Old 09-30-2011, 09:37 AM
villa villa is offline
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8) Because that is who the audience wishes to see.
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  #8  
Old 09-30-2011, 09:50 AM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
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8) Because that is who the audience wishes to see.
Then why aren't minorities over-represented on all shows?
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  #9  
Old 09-30-2011, 09:54 AM
villa villa is offline
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Originally Posted by BrainGlutton View Post
Then why aren't minorities over-represented on all shows?
Oddly enough, not all shows are watched by the same audience. Friends wasn't lily white by chance. The guests on the Jerry Springer Show aren't random.
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Old 09-30-2011, 10:34 AM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
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Oddly enough, not all shows are watched by the same audience. Friends wasn't lily white by chance. The guests on the Jerry Springer Show aren't random.
Well, court shows are daytime shows -- presumably the target audience is more or less the same as for soap operas. Which are very white.
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  #11  
Old 09-30-2011, 10:35 AM
madmonk28 madmonk28 is offline
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Is it possible that these shows are recruiting from jurisdictions that are largely made up of minorities? I've only seen the People's Court way back in the 80s, but didn't they take get their cases by trolling real court houses to see if the litigants would agree to come on their show? If the producers of these shows (it wouldn't surprise me if they were all produced by the same people) trolled a particular courthouse that had a lot of minority litigants, then you would get participants that are disproportionatly minority to the country as a whole.
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  #12  
Old 09-30-2011, 10:39 AM
Simplicio Simplicio is online now
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Originally Posted by John Mace View Post
Could be. Could also be confirmation bias. But you need to prove that before we take this any further.
Yea, I'm pretty skeptical of the claim as well. I just flipped through the "this week" cases on the Judge Judy website, there was one black guy 7 or 8 whites and one guy who might've been Hispanic.

Judge Judy is filmed in LA, where the population is barely 50% white. Therefore, at least this week on Judge Judy, whites were over-represented by a significant margin on the show.
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  #13  
Old 09-30-2011, 10:39 AM
villa villa is offline
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Originally Posted by BrainGlutton View Post
Well, court shows are daytime shows -- presumably the target audience is more or less the same as for soap operas. Which are very white.
While the target audience may or may not be the same as for soap operas, why would you assume that a majority white audience might not want to see non-white people on the show?

Generally I think the aim is to get people of lower income and education to permit the audience at home to feel superior.
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  #14  
Old 09-30-2011, 10:48 AM
What the .... ?!?! What the .... ?!?! is offline
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Originally Posted by John Mace View Post
Could be. Could also be confirmation bias. But you need to prove that before we take this any further.
Apparently I don't.

.... but I will do a study over the next few days and will report back.

As for filming locations, it seems that the shows often fly them in from across the country.
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  #15  
Old 09-30-2011, 11:27 AM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
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Originally Posted by villa View Post
While the target audience may or may not be the same as for soap operas, why would you assume that a majority white audience might not want to see non-white people on the show?

Generally I think the aim is to get people of lower income and education to permit the audience at home to feel superior.
. . . No, I think that would be the concept behind the Jerry Springer show.
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  #16  
Old 09-30-2011, 11:39 AM
villa villa is offline
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. . . No, I think that would be the concept behind the Jerry Springer show.
I forgot how much more highbrow Judge Judy is than Springer.
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  #17  
Old 09-30-2011, 11:56 AM
Bryan Ekers Bryan Ekers is offline
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Well, when Judge Mills Lane had a show, his background as a boxing referee made him more comfortable to watch two black guys fight it out and....


.... I got nuthin'.
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  #18  
Old 09-30-2011, 12:11 PM
TriPolar TriPolar is offline
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What an odd question. I'm not real good at racist logic, but isn't the idea that 'racial minorities' commit all the crimes, and a courtroom show should have mostly 'racial minorities' on it? I understand these are civil courts, but I would assume those inferior types would commit more torts as well as crimes. Shouldn't the way it works be the plaintiffs are all 'white', and the defendants all 'minorities'?
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Old 09-30-2011, 12:13 PM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
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What an odd question. I'm not real good at racist logic, but isn't the idea that 'racial minorities' commit all the crimes, and a courtroom show should have mostly 'racial minorities' on it? I understand these are civil courts, but I would assume those inferior types would commit more torts as well as crimes. Shouldn't the way it works be the plaintiffs are all 'white', and the defendants all 'minorities'?
[shrug] There's black-on-black crime, there's black-on-black torts.
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  #20  
Old 09-30-2011, 12:30 PM
Larry Borgia Larry Borgia is offline
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I haven't noticed an excessive amount of minorities. Most litigants seem to be poor, so certain minorities are going to be over-represented, but it seems to be a class thing rather than a race thing.

Middle and upper class viewers like watching sitcoms about people who remind them of themselves, but also like to laugh at the antics of poor people.
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  #21  
Old 09-30-2011, 12:56 PM
TriPolar TriPolar is offline
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Originally Posted by Blake View Post
You can say what you like about people doing this of their own free will, the whole concept behind these shows is quite abhorent.
What's wrong with them? You may not find them enjoyable. I only ever saw Judge Judy and the old People's Court with Judge Wapner. But I'm not getting where 'abhorent' comes from. These are small claims cases, mostly real as far as I can tell, and unlike the real court system, these claimants have a chance of collecting on their judgements from the TV show.
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  #22  
Old 09-30-2011, 01:19 PM
Arkcon Arkcon is offline
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Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
What's wrong with them? You may not find them enjoyable. I only ever saw Judge Judy and the old People's Court with Judge Wapner. But I'm not getting where 'abhorent' comes from. These are small claims cases, mostly real as far as I can tell, and unlike the real court system, these claimants have a chance of collecting on their judgements from the TV show.

I remember the ancient Jude Wapner cases: man claims dachshund damaged his car on impact, woman sued for running over kids bike, man sued for car damages to Norwegian lady's car on the 4th of July when he said "sure you can park in that abandoned lot." Those were stupid, and the outcome was based on what the producers wanted NOT ON RETIRED JUDGE WAPNER'S OPINION, and not abhorrent.

But the current crop, where someone loans someone money for their car payments, so they don't lose their job, but they lose it on an unrelated criminal indictment, and they're suing for their money back, but they had developed a physical relationship in the meantime, and Jude Joe Brown goes "Aw, Hell, Naw" Yeah, those, fall under the heading abhorrent, for me. IMHO.

[ETA]

So why am I watching? I don't, really. I'm just waiting for the Simpsons to start. Reruns of Judge Joe Brown were important half hour filler between American Idol rewrap, before Simpson reruns start on Sunday. Thankfully, football now fills Fox's Sunday deadtime to cartoons. God, that was weird to type.

Last edited by Arkcon; 09-30-2011 at 01:22 PM..
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  #23  
Old 09-30-2011, 04:28 PM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
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BTW, do trolls count as a racial minority?
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  #24  
Old 10-01-2011, 08:41 AM
What the .... ?!?! What the .... ?!?! is offline
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Originally Posted by What the .... ?!?! View Post
Apparently I don't.

.... but I will do a study over the next few days and will report back.

As for filming locations, it seems that the shows often fly them in from across the country.
I monitored all of the court shows yesterday and caught up on all of the People's Court on my DVR...........

Gloria Allred - didn't know she had a show. I didn't count her because of the liklihood that she has an agenda. That was based on my knowledge of her and the first case which was about a guy who gave his girlfriend an STD...allegedly.

Judge Alex - two cases; four parties.....all black

Judge Ross - this is a new one for me too. I think it is based in LA which might explain in part the three hispanics and five whites involved

Judge Mathis - pretty sure this one is based in Detroit. Of the eight parties involved, four were black, one was mixed, one was Hispanic and two were white.

Judge Joe Brown - Eight parties...half black and half white

Based on tha above, it seems pretty clear that blacks make up more than 12.6% of the cases although the sample of each show are pretty low.

I had more People's Court than any of the others which breaks down as follows"

Whites - 11 ......61
Blacks - 6 .........33
Hispanics - 0.......0
Asian - 1 ............6

Conclusion based on the above: blacks are over-represented; Hispanics are under.
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  #25  
Old 10-01-2011, 11:27 AM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
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'Cos Snagg Snoggsson and Snogg Snaggsson were really getting into it on Judge Joe Brown last week . . . Something about the Enchanted Tarnhelm of North Malden . . .
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  #26  
Old 10-01-2011, 12:12 PM
John Mace John Mace is offline
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Originally Posted by What the .... ?!?! View Post
I monitored all of the court shows yesterday and caught up on all of the People's Court on my DVR...........

Gloria Allred - didn't know she had a show. I didn't count her because of the liklihood that she has an agenda. That was based on my knowledge of her and the first case which was about a guy who gave his girlfriend an STD...allegedly.

Judge Alex - two cases; four parties.....all black

Judge Ross - this is a new one for me too. I think it is based in LA which might explain in part the three hispanics and five whites involved

Judge Mathis - pretty sure this one is based in Detroit. Of the eight parties involved, four were black, one was mixed, one was Hispanic and two were white.

Judge Joe Brown - Eight parties...half black and half white

Based on tha above, it seems pretty clear that blacks make up more than 12.6% of the cases although the sample of each show are pretty low.

I had more People's Court than any of the others which breaks down as follows"

Whites - 11 ......61
Blacks - 6 .........33
Hispanics - 0.......0
Asian - 1 ............6

Conclusion based on the above: blacks are over-represented; Hispanics are under.
Not quite. What is the margin of error in your survey?

Also, note that 4/6 of the Blacks in your survey came from Detroit. Detroit is > 80% Black. Casting a net wider, Wayne County is 42% Black.
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  #27  
Old 10-01-2011, 08:25 PM
Zoe Zoe is offline
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Judge Mathis is from Detroit originally, but the broadcasts are from Chicago.
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Old 10-01-2011, 08:33 PM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
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Judge Mathis is from Detroit originally, but the broadcasts are from Chicago.
Is there, perhaps, something culturally or genetically dysfunctional about Chicagoans, that causes them to be overrepresented on court TV shows?
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  #29  
Old 10-02-2011, 07:53 AM
What the .... ?!?! What the .... ?!?! is offline
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Not quite. What is the margin of error in your survey?

Also, note that 4/6 of the Blacks in your survey came from Detroit. Detroit is > 80% Black. Casting a net wider, Wayne County is 42% Black.
I didn't know that now we're all engaging in Great Scientific Debates ...... is Peer Review next?

Note that the last group of figures are for People's Court only. The 33% doesn't even factor in the 100% black for Judge Alex and the 50% for JJB and Mathis both.
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Old 10-02-2011, 10:37 AM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
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I didn't know that now we're all engaging in Great Scientific Debates ...... is Peer Review next?
It ain't IMHO, either. You're assuming the overrepresentation of minorities in court shows and posing what might with kindness be called a debate as to why. That assumption is, by your admission, based purely on your personal anecdotal observations. Ya really didn't think nobody was gonna call you on that? In a forum where even "this is just my best guess but" can sometimes be fair grounds for "Cite?"?

Last edited by BrainGlutton; 10-02-2011 at 10:37 AM..
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  #31  
Old 10-02-2011, 11:08 AM
Joey P Joey P is offline
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Over-represented based on what? Based on the racial break down of the USA? Wiki cites that blacks make up 12.6% of the US, so that's clearly what you were after. The only time I ever catch a court show is if it happens to be on in the back ground. ISTM, (like someone mentioned up thread) that the show isn't about race, but class. Can we find a racial break down of lower class America? I just don't think most middle and upper class people are going to small claims court over a $400 rent check and a keyed car. Upperclass people will settle it on their own, middle class people will go to small claims, but probably not on TV.

Also, I'll add in that I think some people are doing it purely for their 15 minutes (or the money) as I know every couple of years they find out a case is fake and you have to assume for every one they catch there have to be a handful of people that don't get caught. There's really no way for the judge to know that I didn't go to 'my ex's' house and steal a bunch of stuff and burn it as long as we keep our stories straight.

In the end it's going to come down to whatever gets the best ratings. If putting minorities on gets the best ratings, that's what they're going to do.
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  #32  
Old 10-02-2011, 11:11 AM
orcenio orcenio is offline
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You are being reviewed...

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I didn't know that now we're all engaging in Great Scientific Debates ...... is Peer Review next?
Well, posting theories in GD (or elsewhere on the SDMB) is a peer review itself.
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  #33  
Old 10-02-2011, 11:32 AM
John Mace John Mace is offline
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Judge Mathis is from Detroit originally, but the broadcasts are from Chicago.
Chicago is 32% Black.

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Originally Posted by wt?
I didn't know that now we're all engaging in Great Scientific Debate
Well, yeah. Your whole thesis is based on something that is, quite easily, measured. You haven't yet measured it.
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  #34  
Old 10-02-2011, 11:36 AM
Muffin Muffin is offline
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Rich people don't need to humiliate themselves on national TV for money
True enough. Trump does not need to humiliate himself on TV for money.
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  #35  
Old 10-02-2011, 11:42 AM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
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True enough. Trump does not need to humiliate himself on TV for money.
And rumor* has it a great many more rich people pay for humiliation in private.


* The one I'm starting now, that is.
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  #36  
Old 10-02-2011, 11:44 AM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
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Chicago is 32% Black.
And 68% cholesterol.
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  #37  
Old 10-02-2011, 11:45 AM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
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And this old Pit thread of mine resumes relevance.
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Old 10-03-2011, 10:19 AM
What the .... ?!?! What the .... ?!?! is offline
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And this old Pit thread of mine resumes relevance.
I love that thread..... if Brainy G doesn't bring it up once every six months or so I start to wonder.
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  #39  
Old 10-03-2011, 10:55 AM
What the .... ?!?! What the .... ?!?! is offline
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Chicago is 32% Black.


Well, yeah. Your whole thesis is based on something that is, quite easily, measured. You haven't yet measured it.
I understand ....just find it interesting that the standards often vary depending on the subject matter.

Note that the OP was based simply on observation and asked for opinions ...... perhaps GD was not the right spot, but I don't think there is anything mundane or humble about racial issues.
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  #40  
Old 10-03-2011, 02:26 PM
AndyLee AndyLee is offline
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But look at all the other areas minorities are over represented. How many white boxers do you know? Or other pro athletes? In Chicago the US census say 1.2 million people speak Spanish. That's about 12.5% of the metro population.

Yet of the 15 TV stations we have (full power) 3 are Spanish. Which is 20% of the total full power TV stations. And that leaves out the low power TV stations geared toward Spanish.

The 2010 Census says the make up is

White 72.4%
Black 12.6%
Asians 4.8%
Native American (includes Native Alaskan) 0.9%
Native Hawaiian 0.2%
Mixed Race 2.9%
Non Reporting 6.2%

Hispanics make up 16.3%

Note: Hispanics can be of any race, that's why they are reported separately
White of Non-Hispanic origin are 63%

Also note since race / Hispanic origin are self assesment it can be off, as anyone can choose any race or whether they are or are not Hispanic, without any disqualification.

Last edited by AndyLee; 10-03-2011 at 02:28 PM..
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  #41  
Old 10-04-2011, 11:08 AM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
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I still think it has something to do with the genetic inferiority of Chicagoans.
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  #42  
Old 10-04-2011, 11:22 AM
Beware of Doug Beware of Doug is offline
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Originally Posted by John Mace
Chicago is 32% Black.

And 68% cholesterol.
More if you have da Polish sassage.
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  #43  
Old 10-06-2011, 09:32 AM
What the .... ?!?! What the .... ?!?! is offline
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I had more People's Court than any of the others which breaks down as follows"

Whites - 11 ......61 %
Blacks - 6 .........33
Hispanics - 0.......0
Asian - 1 ............6

Conclusion based on the above: blacks are over-represented; Hispanics are under.
Update based on the last 9 cases of PC....whites 10; blacks 8 making the revised total 21/14/0/1 and raising the black percentage of the total to 39%

Where is the Judge Judy data you might ask? I was tempted to follow in the best tradition of man-made global warming science and just ignore it but I was curious why there appeared to be far fewer blacks.

I did a little research and found that her show was sued a few years ago. JJ was quoted as being tired of listening to black litigants and instructing her producers to send them to Judge Joe Brown which is affiliated.
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  #44  
Old 10-06-2011, 11:40 AM
tomndebb tomndebb is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by What the .... ?!?! View Post
Note that the OP was based simply on observation and asked for opinions ...... perhaps GD was not the right spot, but I don't think there is anything mundane or humble about racial issues.
The topic does not have to be humble, just the (ironic) self-identification of the author.

Now that you point it out, I note that you have been very careful to avoid actually presenting a perspective for debate. Since you were just looking for opinions, that is where I am going to send this thread.

[ /Moderating ]
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  #45  
Old 11-13-2014, 09:06 AM
What the .... ?!?! What the .... ?!?! is offline
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Three years later but still an interesting subject ......IMHO.

Judge Joe Brown is gone as is Judge Alex...... quite a few new Judges. My least favorite was a ditzy blonde that seems to be gone already.

Judge Judy is the worst, but I still watch for some reason. Judge Milian on People's Court seems to be on an emotional soapbox more than in the past. Her Spanish Phrases are the best part!
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  #46  
Old 11-13-2014, 10:03 AM
Ranger Jeff Ranger Jeff is offline
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Is there, perhaps, something culturally or genetically dysfunctional about Chicagoans, that causes them to be overrepresented on court TV shows?
It might be due to the availability of studios capable of producing broadcast quality programs at low cost. Maybe it's because Harpo studios is in Chicago?
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  #47  
Old 11-13-2014, 11:16 AM
Vinyl Turnip Vinyl Turnip is offline
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Three years later but still an interesting subject ......IMHO.
I agree that it is just as interesting now as it was when you originally Just Asked the Question.

Still watching TV judge shows on a regular basis? And if so, did your three years of research help you find the answer you sought?
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  #48  
Old 11-14-2014, 07:30 AM
GoodOmens GoodOmens is offline
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Then why aren't minorities over-represented on all shows?
I suspect he meant not that the audience wants to see racial minorities on TV, but rather that they want to see racial minorities humiliating themselves on TV. I'm not sure whether I agree with that or not.
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  #49  
Old 11-14-2014, 07:37 AM
Urbanredneck Urbanredneck is offline
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Anyone with brains knows small claims court is basically a waste of time because in real life, not on tv, you rarely get money even if you win. So from my experience is if the case involves anything less than say $10,000 and you have a clear way to recover assets, your wasting your time.

Ex. The defendant has a nice boat sitting in his driveway which can be seized and sold. The person is about to sell their home and you can put a claim on their mortgage. You can put a claim on their insurance.

This coming from my experience trying to get $1,000 from a neighbor. I won my case but since the guy was on disability I couldnt get any money from him.
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  #50  
Old 11-14-2014, 08:32 AM
Broomstick Broomstick is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrainGlutton View Post
Is there, perhaps, something culturally or genetically dysfunctional about Chicagoans, that causes them to be overrepresented on court TV shows?
Well, blacks are about 1/3 of Chicago, so they're more than the US average of 12.whatever%. That makes the "over-representation" a little less surprising.

It may be that the small claims situation in Chicago requires long waits and some people may see the show as a quicker way to get their case settled.

Blacks in Chicago are somewhat more likely to be poor or lower middle class than other ethnicities (some very prominent wealthy black people like Oprah and the Obamas being exceptions), so that might also skew their representation on such shows give that most participants seem to be of a lower socio-economic class.
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