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Larry Doyle

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Why Hasn't Nancy Grace Been Fired?

Posted: 02/20/2012 6:47 pm

She's untruthful, unethical, hateful and often wrong. She makes America worse. Can her.

There she went again, smearing her vile invective across our screens, diminishing us all as human beings.

Poking her stink finger into another none-of-her-business, Nancy Grace managed to make the death of Whitney Houston somehow more tawdry. "I'd like to know," the HLN host spew mused last week, "who let her slip or pushed her underneath that water." She later unapologized on Good Morning America, regarding Dan Abrams appeals to decency as "arguing with me over semantics," accusing him of having gone to Harvard Law School and defending her blithe murder charges with her go-to pretense: "I still want the truth."

The truth, to Nancy Grace, is whatever is handy and profitable. Her truth was that Gary Condit murdered Chandra Levy. Her truth was that the Duke lacrosse team raped Crystal Gail Mangum. Her truth was that Richard Ricci kidnapped Elizabeth Smart (when it later became true he did not, but had unfortunately died in custody, Grace said, "I'm not going on a guilt trip.")

When she isn't convicting people on spec, Grace spreads ugliness, fetishizing the disappearances of young white women and small white children, asking questions that not only don't need to be asked (by her) but wouldn't have been allowed when she was a prosecutor -- as she should recall, having had two convictions thrown out by the Supreme Court of Georgia, once for insinuating unrelated rapes and murders into her closing arguments, and in the second instance being reprimanded, "the conduct of the prosecuting attorney in this case demonstrated her disregard of the notions of due process and fairness, and was inexcusable."

Grace has imported her injudicious style to television journalism, where it is also unethical, it may surprise you to learn. "I think she has managed to demean both professions with her hype, rabid persona, and sensational analysis," Jonathan Turley, professor of law at George Washington University, told the New York Times last May. The professor is being too kind. Grace's verdict first, trial afterward judicial philosophy "erodes the respect for basic rights," as Turley says, but she also corrodes justice itself. Called on her pre-evidentiary convictions, Grace is quick to get technical, to point out that only a jury has the power to convict, but woe to the jury that disobeys her. When 12 people weighed actual evidence and determined Casey Anthony not guilty of murdering her daughter, Grace declared that little white Caylee's "death has gone unavenged." Did you hear that, loyal, rabid viewers?

And to justice, add truth to Grace's swath of destruction. Her every vehement assertion that later proves false feeds into the fashionable but dangerous notion that the mainstream media cannot be trusted; her connect-any-dots arguments (All the evidence always points to the guilt of whomever is in her eyeline) promotes a cognitive approach favored by conspiracy thinkers. She's not terribly bright, and she's contagious.

Nancy Grace is a blight on cable television; she is bad for civilization.

She's entitled to her opinions, of course, but in a truly just world, she would be spouting them from a dark sticky corner in some sour rathole. Pat Buchanan might even buy her a beer.