Thursday, September 14, 2006

More Must-Not-See TV...

I know I'm not the first to talk about her, and I'm certainly one of legions who hate her, but the new story concerning a mother's suicide in the wake of her appearance on Nancy Grace is just the lowest of the low. I've been misfortunate enough to catch Grace in blurbs while flipping the channels, and she represents the absolute worst of television. Her aggressive style is painful, and her narrowmindedness and absolute belief she is right without any thought processes whatsoever rivals that of the fiercest wingnuts (if you've never seen her, think a female James Dobson in the legal world, and you begin to understand). To put it in the vernacular, she's bad-crazy.

However, the latest story is the most appalling, and indicative of her approach to law generally, and unfortunately, reflects media attitudes towards the legal process more generally. The moment there's an accusation anywhere, from the most obscure case to the Michael Jackson case of last year, she, as a former prosecutor, is immediately confident of the undeniable guilt of said person. Legal process? What legal process? Nancy Grace KNOWS the bastard is guilty!

There are a couple of broader problems here, too. She does nothing to prevent the sectors of society who watch her to actually consider the whole notion of "innocent until proven guilty." What's worse, she basically undermines the Constitution - it's no longer a trial by a jury of your peers, but a trial by Nancy Grace on national television. And worst, in the wake of this story, she's completely incalcitrant or remorseful or even backing down from her attitude, which very well may have led to this young woman's suicide.

And perhaps the saddest part is, at least she doesn't pretend to believe in innocence until proven guilty. All too often, from the Lindbergh baby to OJ to Michael Jackson, all the media partakes in the "prosecution and guilt as determined by the media." At least Grace doesn't even bother giving the sixth amendment superficial lip service before launching into her public hanging, like the rest of the press, who always insist on said innocence before basically condemning before there can even be an indictment handed down (see the recent JonBenet Ramsey failure, and the indictment in the press of Karr before he'd even left Thailand). Grace has no pretext.

Is the media solely to blame? No. People are willing to condemn, too, but one must wonder (in a legal "chicken or egg" scenario) how much of it is the media seizing upon the public's emotion, and how much is the media stoking the public's emotions on legal cases of the famous.

I couldn't care less about Nancy Grace. I hate her with the hatred I have for the New York Yankees, it's that bad. And all this just makes me more depressed...

Shame on the media. Shame on her viewers. And Shame on you, Nancy Grace.