32164-rcm_2-2 Sheet No. 22 Side A
)RUH[DPSOHFRXUWURRPUHDOLW\VKRZVDOVRNQRZQDVÂłV\QGLFRXUWVÂ´ÂżFWLWLRXVO\UHSOLcate a courtroom setting, presided over by a robed member of â€œthe judiciary.â€? In fact, many RIWKHVHÂłV\QGLMXGJHVÂ´KDYHQHYHUPDGHDMXGLFLDOGHFLVLRQEHIRUHWKHLUÂżUVWWHOHYLVLRQ case.16 Those who have been judges often do not behave as if they are subject to an ethical code of judicial conduct.17 By using the look and feel of a courtroom, these shows attempt to convince viewers that The judiciaryâ€™s traditional they are watching authentic trials involving response to misinformation or actual litigants.18 In reality, these cases are criticism in the media â€“ has proven picked for their entertainment value.19 Unlike an actual proceeding, trials can last no ineffective in preventing a decline more a few minutes.20 The rules of evidence in the public trust. or for that matter any law itself has little import to a syndi-judge in deciding the case.21 Regular viewers come to believe that judges are â€œvocal, active, and opinionatedâ€? on the bench, a view that is not shared by those who do not watch syndi-court shows.22 The participants in these syndi-courts are assigned roles in a morality play, where the only â€œjudicialâ€? determination is who is good and who is evil. The true judicial role of applying the law to factual circumstance is completely lost in what can be called â€œa â€˜Trojan horseâ€™ packed with an army of misperceptions.â€?23 Media distortions are not limited to entertainment programing. Television news, which averages 64 seconds on a news story during a thirty-minute news broadcast,24 both simpliÂżHVDQGVHQVDWLRQDOL]HVFRXUWURRPSURFHHGLQJVDGGLQJVLJQLÂżFDQWO\WRSXEOLFPLVSHUFHStions of how courts operate.25 Both radio and print organizations â€“ which at one time provided detailed and accurate descriptions of courtroom proceedings â€“ in response to the changing media environment no longer provide such coverage, focusing instead on the entrainment value of the courtroom proceeding.26
R EY NOLDS C OURTS & M EDIA L AW JOUR NAL
32164-rcm_2-2 Sheet No. 22 Side A
16. The following shows had â€œsyndi-judgesâ€? who had never served on the bench: Peopleâ€™s Court with atWRUQH\DQGIRUPHU1HZ<RUN&LW\PD\RUDQG&RQJUHVVPDQ(G.RFK Eye for an Eye with attorney and former prosecutor â€œExtreme Akimâ€? Anastopoulo (2004-11), Moral Court starring â€œJudge Extreme Larry Elder,â€? an attorney and talk-show host (2000-01), Texas Justice with attorney Larry Joe Doherty (2001-05), and La Corte de Familia (Family Court) (2000-05) / Cristinaâ€™s Court with attorney Cristina Perez (2006-10). Judge show, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judge_show (visited April 6, 2012). 17. See Erika Lane, &XUUHQW 'HYHORSPHQW 7KH 5HDOLW\ RI &RXUWURRP 7HOHYLVLRQ 6KRZV Should the Model Code of Judicial Conduct Apply to T.V. Judges? 20 G EO. J. L EGAL ETHICS 779 (Summer 2007). 18. ,G. at 780. 19. ,G. at 780. 20. ,G. 21. ,G. at 783. 22. Kimberlianne Podlas, %ODPH -XGJH-XG\7KH(IIHFWVRI6\QGLFDWHG 7HOHYLVLRQ &RXUWURRPV RQ -Xrors, 25 A MER . J. TRIAL A DVOCACY 557, 558 (2002). 23. Kimberlianne Podlas, 3OHDVH$GMXVW<RXU6LJQDO+RZ7HOHYLVLRQÂśV6\QGLFDWHG&RXUWURRPV%LDV2XU Juror Citizenry, p. 21 (2001). 24. Limor Peer, Ed Malthouse, Mary Nesbitt, Bobby Calder, 7KHORFDO79QHZVH[SHULHQFH+RZWRZLQ viewers by focusing on engagement, MEDIA M ANAGEMENT CENTER NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY p. 46 (2007). 25. S URETTE , supra 45. 26. Richard L. Fox, Robert W. Van Sickel, and Thomas L. Steiger, TABLOID JUSTICE: C RIMINAL JUSTICE IN A N A GE OF M EDIA F RENZ Y p. 6 (2d ed. 2007).
7/3/12 7:57 AM
This issue of the Journal covers Facebook service, Judgespeak and more.