All the Times Nancy Grace Was Terrible
Her TV show was the forerunner of the all-caps internet outrage machine we hate today—and now it’s dead. Good f**king riddance.
Nancy Grace’s show, the television version of a copy-pasted, all-caps Facebook post about how an army of pot-smoking hip-hop vagrants are always coming to kidnap your daughter, died Thursday. It was too many years old. Good fucking riddance.
Twelve years ago, Nancy Grace launched her show to warn America about the impending cataclysm of a nation full of baby snatchers. Alas, we’re all still here now, and the babies are now teenagers, and her show isn’t. She lost, but the soaked-pants detritus of a hysterical TV landscape she helped normalize gets to stay.
Grace’s show was permanently unhinged and consistently wrong. She once staged pro wrestling-style kayfabe arguments with her producers about sexy Paris Hilton clips that were running in the background of her interviews, allowing her to feign disappointment in the producers she put up to it. This ran on a news network, like a gutless H.G. Wells teleplay for the chronically stupid.
Worse, she conducted extralegal investigations that ruined lives and maybe left a woman dead in a cheap attempt to push up the blood pressure of America’s intestinal proclivity for easy TV anger, then rebranded her witch hunts as expert legal analysis. She is, after all, a lawyer. But she’s first and foremost a con artist, who was wrong about grievous shit—specific kidnappers, rapists, and child killers.
Remember, she conducted an interview (read: screaming match) with Melinda Duckett about the disappearance of her 2-year-old son, Trenton, in 2006. Duckett then shot and killed herself, and Grace ran the interview anyway. CNN settled a lawsuit with Duckett’s family four years later.
Now, six more years of vitriolic, hair-brained televangelizing later, her show is as dead as the murders she fetishized for profit. Fawning remembrances have been popping up all over the web, and for some reason I don’t feel like participating.
There are now studies, pop science books, and school-mandated PSAs disseminated to prevent the sort of relentless, torch-’em-first, get-facts-later culture of overnight internet hate mobs gaslighting citizens for alleged misdeeds. But do not get it mixed up: Nancy Grace wrote the playbook on it. She made ruining people’s lives based on hearsay look like model behavior. Facebook and Twitter just helped scale it up.
She had started to lose her touch in the last few years. She handily lost a fight to 2Chainz on her own show, when she couldn’t decide if she wanted to blame the death of a baby on the potential legalization of weed or excoriate him for putting women with tight clothes in his music videos.
Later on that year, she demanded that CNN media reporter Brian Stelter tell her if Caitlyn Jenner “still has a penis.” It’s unclear why she thought he’d know that.
Then, earlier this year, Grace reflexively completely absolved the Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Office in a murder trial outlined in the Making a Murderer documentary series on Netflix, without having watched the Making a Murderer documentary series on Netflix. This was a problem, because the rest of the country had been watching the Making a Murderer documentary series on Netflix, which finally allowed the country to have more information than Nancy Grace, and placed better information in front of them in an equally outrageous way.
She was losing her touch. Whoever she hired to run her Twitter account was devolving into self-parody, not even completing sentences. These are whole tweets from the Nancy Grace show’s account:
Don’t we all?
People watched Nancy Grace’s show and took it seriously. It made the world worse. Its breathless and stupid vernacular permeated throughout countless incomprehensible Facebook posts from people in America who vote, own guns, and make decisions. And now it’s gone. Good.