This site is not about politics, but I was nonetheless intrigued to read in the latest Gallup Poll that 23% of Americans claim not to have heard of Fred Thompson, while one out of three Republicans and 15% of all respondents say they don’t know enough about Thompson to have an opinion of him.
May we take this as proof that, contrary to popular belief, some of us don’t watch Law & Order? Mrs. Teachout does, but I’d seen a grand total of one episode prior to meeting her two years ago, and the only one of Thompson’s films that I’d seen was In the Line of Fire, which is fourteen years old.
While all this says far more about me than it does about Fred Thompson, the fact that his name recognition falls considerably short of universal strikes me as…well, comforting. I’m no culture snob, but it’s still nice to know that I’m not the only American who keeps a relatively safe distance from the massiest of mass media.
UPDATE: A friend writes:
I had to drop you a note because I just read your blog about Fred Thompson. As I am a diehard Law & Order fan (I feel people are either CSI or L&W fans…they can like both, but they really lean towards one. It’s kinda like the Beatles-or-Elvis theory), I never knew what his name was till he announced he was running for president…and even then, it took me a few days to remember it. But no matter how much I adore L&W (or any show for that matter), I usually have no clue what the actors’ names are.
Several other readers echoed that last observation. I guess that’s the difference between a critic and a civilian!