Somehow I’ve ended up watching Judge John Deed for the last few weeks. It’s a weird show. The basic premise is: radical judge takes on authority, while looking handsome and bedding every woman in the legal profession. It’s the kind of programme where all wizened men and attractive women are entirely virtuous, all politicians are schemeing sociopaths, all company professionals are profit-obsessed liars, and all scientists are under the thumb of their employers, incompetent or incredibly arrogant and incapable of empathy (unless they’re actually correct, in which case they’re lone mavericks.) Although it annoys me a little, I don’t really object to any of that – it’s your standard, easy entertainment, and isn’t meant to be taken seriously. I do, however, take issue with the court cases, which are ripped straight from the headlines. Unfortunately, they’re the Daily Mail versions, and it’s just total tat.
Cases in the last few weeks have covered mobile phone masts, the MMR jab, and terminally-ill babies. This wouldn’t really matter, except for the mixture of fact and fiction, and completely bogus arguments.
- “You can’t prove phone masts do any harm.” was followed with “Well, you can’t prove they’re safe either” and everybody nodded sagely.
- Doctors wanted permission not to revive a baby that had been in a coma since birth, and had suffered twenty heart attacks since being born. The parents objected because “we asked God to take our child if He wanted him, and He didn’t.” The eponymous Judge then ruled that this was valid, as without faith we’d just have a “horrible empirical society”. Baby then miraculously came back to life, and all the doctors agreed it must have been divine intervention.
- MMR jabs were linked to all sorts of illnesses, including autism, but in this case the autism scientist was entirely honourable and it was every other scientist in the world under the pay of Incredibly Evil Pharmaceutical Companies, as opposed to the opposite situation in Real Life.
I guess I find it a bit tasteless, especially since these are quite important issues. Or maybe I’m just grumpy 🙂 I guess if I were actually, you know, out on Friday evenings I wouldn’t have such a problem 🙂