Nancy Grace, born October 23, 1959, is a former Atlanta-Fulton County (Georgia) prosecutor who now works as a television presenter on CNN Headline News' "Nancy Grace Program".
She was successful as a prosecutor. At one point she had a run of nearly 100 felony cases consecutively won (though some were later overturned) against murderers, rapists, arsonists and child molesters. However, she has been accused of and disciplined for various and sundry prosecutorial misconduct charges, including falsifying subpoenas, withholding evidence, failing to disclose full witness lists, pandering to juries to encourage them to rule in her favor, eliciting false testimony and conducting illegal searches. All this may be explained by how she got into practicing law in the first place: in 1979, when she was nineteen years old and engaged to be married, her fiance was murdered. This inspired her to study law at Mercer University, with post-graduate work at New York University earning her a Masters degree in constitutional and criminal law. Throughout her career in law, she has been known for her stance on victims' rights and for jumping to conclusions regarding the guilt (never the innocence) of the accused. She tends to report almost exclusively on events in which an accused perpetrator has been named; natural disasters, war and politics are given almost no mention.
In 1996, she became an anchor on Court TV's "Closing Arguments", beginning an eleven-year run on the show which ended only in 2007 when she wanted to focus on her other show. When the Fulton County district attorney (her boss) decided not to run for re-election in 2004, Grace left her job there to take a position with CNN Headline News, which offered her a show of her own. The "Nancy Grace Program" premiered in 2005.
The "Nancy Grace Program" is a tabloid-format show that focuses on ongoing, highly visible public cases, like the disappearance of Natalee Holloway, Hulk Hogan's familial problems, the Duke University lacrosse scandal and of course the disappearance and death of Caylee Anthony. It airs thrice every weekday in late afternoon, mid-evening and midnight time slots.
Grace has garnered a reputation as an arrogant, heavily-biased, sensationalist bitch who forms and loudly pronounces judgments against just about everyone accused of a crime that gets mentioned on her show. She's also prone to lashing out at the people she makes her often ridiculous judgments against, should those people have the regrettable lack of foresight to appear on her show, almost always asking for details, details, details, usually when they'd be best left unsaid (e.g., graphic descriptions of crime scenes). She hounded kidnapping victim Elizabeth Smart when she appeared, practically demanding the juicy details of her ordeal, while Smart was appearing to promote new kidnapping legislation in May 2006. Smart repeatedly asked her to cease her line of questioning, which Grace did only when Smart refused to respond. In July of the same year, Grace was interviewing Melinda Duckett, whose son had disappeared. Grace proceeded to harangue Duckett, already under a great deal of stress due to her missing child, to the point of confusion and tears, even going so far as to flat-out accuse her of murder. Afterwards, Duckett committed suicide, leading her family to file suit against Grace and CNN. While appearing on "Good Morning America" shortly after Duckett's suicide, Grace was questioned about the incident. She replied, "If anything, I would suggest that guilt made her commit suicide. To suggest that a 15- or 20-minute interview can cause someone to commit suicide is focusing on the wrong thing." Perhaps that's so, but considering the situation Duckett was already in before appearing on the "Nancy Grace Program," you have to wonder if Grace's 15- or 20-minute interview, which was really more of an interrogation, would've been a contributing factor that led her to suicide. Furthermore, her nearly hysterical pronouncement of "guilty!" of the Duke University men's lacrosse team for allegations of gang rape turned out to be completely false, rendering the multiple hours spent promoting her opinion of their guilt on the show moot. She also spent years covering Caylee Anthony's death, never budging from her belief that the girl's mother, Casey Anthony, murdered her daughter; Casey Anthony was found not guilty of murder after a prolonged trial. Grace has not apologized for any of these things; when questioned about them, she always has a self-serving excuse ready, such as: "I do not feel that our show is to blame for what happened to Melinda Duckett. The truth is not always nice or polite or easy to go down. Sometimes it's harsh, and it hurts." Note that this statement was made before Melinda Duckett had been cleared of or charged with the disappearance of her son (who, by the way, is still missing).
All this while she purports to broadcast "nothing but the facts". The commercials for the show bludgeon the viewer with this point, despite it being completely untrue. She's basically a garden variety troll, removed from the troll's natural habitat—the comments section of any website—and put on TV.
Once in a great while, a substitute host will be on the show instead of Grace. I can only imagine the purpose for this; did Grace get too fired up about whatever subject that particular show was about and CNN wisely decided to keep her off the air? Or was she nursing a methamphetamine hangover? Just like her, I can only speculate.
A few years later, she was widely denounced for her usual gross speculation as to the cause of the death of Whitney Houston. She seemed convinced that someone was present at her death and caused her drowning. Pretty much anyone with half a brain had immediately accepted, upon her death, that she drowned while incapacitated by drugs. Nancy Grace, however, does not possess half a brain. She needs to be taken off the air with extremely extreme prejudice.
In 2012, she killed again. It wasn't exactly a major news event when Toni Medrano got drunk and ended up killing her three-week-old baby by falling on and smothering it while passed out. Medrano was charged with manslaughter. Though Medrano didn't actually appear on the show, Grace devoted several episodes to heaping scorn upon her. Medrano self-immolated after watching those episodes. A good summation of this situation appears at CafeMom.
I'm only half-convinced that the human race cannot progress until Nancy Grace stops appearing on television and/or people stop listening to what she says, whichever comes first. That she is on TV at all is a great testament to the stupidity of the average American.
Where I work, there is a video wall, which is used for monitoring security camera views, Nagios, a couple other alarm software systems and an always-on broadcast of CNN Headline News, which is how I came to be exposed to the "Nancy Grace Program" and its shrill hostess. In the two months I've been working at my current job, I've grown to dearly loathe Nancy Grace. That her show is prone to sensationalist drivel and knee-jerk, reactionary outrage makes it no different from, say, "A Current Affair" or a slightly less fantastical National Enquirer. What it's doing on an otherwise balanced and calm channel like CNN Headline News is a mystery. Then again, the same channel also provided a voice for "edgy" conservative crackpot Glenn Beck (who has since moved, predictably, to the Fox News Channel). Reprehensible. If the channel wanted to maintain a modicum of respect from real people, it'd drop charlatans like Grace and bring in more people like the delightful Robin Meade (the "Morning Express" anchor). Googling for "nancy grace," it becomes evident that I'm not the only one who thinks poorly of her; most of the hits are for blog posts and news articles critical of her. "fire nancy grace" turns up more than 8,000 matches.
Unlike Beck, I'm unsure of which political ideology she subscribes to, but given her complete lack of empathy, she's probably some stripe of conservative. I don't really care, though. Anyone this mean and hysterical isn't worth listening to in the first place.
In 2011, Nancy Grace appeared as a contestant on Dancing With The Stars. Rather than watching it—really, who wants to see her in a dance costume?!—I'll just render my judgment of her performance in advance, since she's so fond of advance judgments: FAILURE!
UPDATE 2016! Nancy Grace is ending her stupid show! Hopefully this is the last we hear of her in the public sphere, but, like any other vermin, she'll probably find a way to return. At least she's gone for now, though, because nobody benefits from her hateful invective and jumping to conclusions.
Other talk-TV/radio personalities of this ilk include:
I was unsurprised to find that Nancy Grace has also written novels, although given the amount of time she dedicates to shrieking and muck-raking, there must be a ghost-writer involved. "The Eleventh Victim" was released in 2009 and spent some time on the New York Times best-seller list, thus confirming my suspicion that the book-buying public has seriously impaired judgment. This novel is being adapted for a Lifetime TV movie starring Jennie Garth and Ron Artest, aka Metta World Peace. Such lulz. "Death on the D List" followed in 2010 and I'm certain it was as ridiculous as I imagined it to be, though I've no intention of ever reading it. My time would be better spent wallowing in a dung heap, or inviting door-to-door Mormons into my home.