Oh, That Explains It.

As I’ve made clear in previous posts, I think Nancy Grace is a loathsome troll whose show defiles the network upon which she appears. Even if this is the third post I’ve done on the subject this month, Dahlia Lithwick’s article “Graceless” is a must-read :

Grace is a former—very successful—prosecutor from Atlanta who has devoted herself to victims’ rights since she lost her college sweetheart to a violent mugging. Grace mixes the sweetness of a Southern debutante with the snarling tenacity of a mad dog, and she has carved out a niche for herself on Headline News and Court TV, as a legal expert/talk-show host/roving prosecutor. She knew Peterson was guilty long before the jury did, and even her mistakes (she knew Gary Condit did it, too) are readily forgotten.

Some of the criticisms Grace faces this week are fair, but many aren’t. Some go to larger problems about what passes for truth on television and the sick culture of O.J.-tainment that has been with us since the Salem witch trials and has exploded with Court TV. Yes, Melinda Duckett was treated like crap by Nancy. But Duckett, after all, freely chose to go on the show.
. . .
Another criticism of Grace is that she privileges sensationalism, raw emotionalism, and victims’ rights over the complexity of the legal process. She declines the journalist’s project of clarifying or explaining the law and aims for the entertainer’s use of the law as a vehicle for the war between good and evil. In her 2005 book, Objection, Grace dismisses “legalese, arguments for argument’s sake. … None of it matters. All that matters is the truth and it remains the same, no matter how attorneys twist it and turn it and repackage it.”

Grace’s conviction that there is a single, simple “truth” to every case, and that lawyers and legal processes work to confound rather than clarify it, is chilling in a lawyer. More troubling still, is her tingly spider-sense that she alone can discern that truth in the earliest days of the investigation. But worst of all is her belief that she has some singular role to play in bringing the criminal to justice.

To me, the “worst of all” can be summed up by this line further in the article :

Grace readily confesses that she isn’t a journalist.

Then what the hell is she doing with a show on the Cable News Network??

CNN, if you insist on giving a platform to people who add little more to public discourse than a sense of righteous rage, could you at least give us a way of setting our expectations accordingly? Which of your hosts should we expect to live up to a reasonable standard of journalistic ethics and which ones are just on the air to provide a shallow thrill? If it’s unfair of us to consider some of he people who appear on CNN as “journalists”, then which ones can we rely on to give us that “most trusted name in news” level of credibility and which ones are just loudmouths you hired to boost ratings?

If you want to ask your favorite CNN personality whether or not they’re considered “journalists”, CNN employee emails are firstname.lastname@turner.com (ex. Jayson.Blair@turner.com). Watch your language, be nice, and be sure to let me know if you hear anything back.