Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I Like Judge Judy, But She Made a Bad Call

Larry King’s guest last night was Judith Sheindlin, the 66-year-old peoples court firebrand who was a family court judge in New York City, but on cable TV as "Judge Judy" is actually an arbiter not a judge. You either like Judge Judy or hate her. I like her. People who know Judith Sheindlin say that in real life, she is nothing like the persona she inhabits on her Judge Judy show. People say she is a nice older lady who is soft-spoken. Last night, appearing to have had yet another face lift (she surely rivals Larry King in that department), but looking very pretty in a bright green jacket and light green dress, Judge Judy talked about Barack Obama. She is a fan of Obama’s and said she thought his wife Michelle would be a "dynamite" First Lady. She also disagreed with people who said Mrs. Obama would put her well-known ambition on the shelf while her husband is President of the United States and would concentrate on being a mom and First Lady—as in, take a leaf from Laura Bush’s manual on how to be the wife of a President. Sheindlin, who has five children by two marriages said Michelle Obama need not choose between her own ambitions and being a dutiful First Lady. “She can do both,” Sheindlin said. True. And these days, few people will find fault with a First Lady who has her own agenda and power base. Then, having given her unqualified support to Barack and Michelle Obama, Judith Sheindlin went off her trolley. Larry King asked how she felt about Sarah Palin. Sheindlin said Palin is smart, she said Palin was blind-sided by the McCain team. Sheindlin said Palin was unduly maligned by the press. She said Palin is an accomplished person who was a good Mayor, a good Governor, a good mother and was thrown under the bus by everyone. Sheindlin said the potshots taken at Palin by the pundits, the press, the politicians, and by people in general were “disrespectful”. Oh please! That’s crap! As Judge Judy herself so often declares, “If it doesn’t make sense, it isn’t true.” Sarah Palin may be canny and a quick study, but she is not intelligent. And into the bargain, she is ignorant and woefully arrogant about her ignorance. Sheindlin feels Palin was taken advantage of like a lamb led to slaughter. And nothing could be farther from the truth. If there is anything admirable about Sarah Palin at all--and though I marvel at her hubris, I personally do not find it admirable--but if one can find self-absorption and hubris admirable, one has to admire the way Sarah Palin took advantage of the morons who tapped her to be John McCain’s running mate. From the moment she took the fateful phone call advising her she was being considered as a candidate for Vice President of the United States, Sarah Palin grabbed the opportunity and milked it for all it was worth. Not for her country-- had she been thinking of her country, she would have said “No thanks” to the McCain crew-- but for a shot at becoming the next American idol on some stage, any stage, somewhere, anywhere. It may be that Sheindlin is amused by the stupidity of the old pols who had totally wrongheaded ideas about women in general. It may be that Sheindlin is captivated by a ballbusting female who doesn’t give a rat’s behind (another Judge Judy locution) about playing by the rules, particularly rules invented by old men who want to go back to living in the 1950’s. But I suspect that Judith Sheindlin was giving voice to some knee-jerk reactions she’d had to Sarah Palin. I suspect Sheindlin had not done any research on Sarah Palin and was simply standing up for another mother of five who had decided women don’t have to stay in the kitchen. Had Judge Judy been faced with Sarah Palin in her court, she would have ripped her to shreds for being silly, dumb, a bad mother, egocentric, uncaring, manipulative and crass.


Barry Schwartz said...

Sheindlin is revealing herself here--she is full of prejudices, and she makes her decisions on the basis of her prejudices. This is rather plain to see on her program; she's the worst, least competent TV judge I can think of, and I've watched several.

If Homer Simpson and Ned Flanders appeared before Judge Judy, Sheindlin would accuse Flanders of having shot heroine just beforehand and would rule in favor of Simpson.

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