The Unpleasant Profession of Nancy Grace

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123 Responses

  1. d says:

    I don't have cable, so I had blissfully forgotten her existence. I wonder what Screwtape would say about her.

  2. MEP says:

    More frightening is her audience. It's not just that government officials agree with her (which is to be expected). But more and more of our fellow citizens are. I often wonder if the great experiment has run its course (though I hope not and rally against that possibility, it still worries me).

  3. Anonymous Coward says:

    Typo in last paragraph. "He existence". Feel free to delete this comment.

  4. Reader says:

    Bravo! *sniff*, wiping away a tear.

  5. The proper category for Nancy is "ratings-driven news harpy".

  6. Max says:

    If only it were turtles, then at least we could have soup.

  7. ShelbyC says:

    These are awful harsh words for a woman talented enough to disgrace two professions at once. Does anybody else know of a prosecutor called out by three different apellate courts>

  8. El says:

    Look at her mother. Poor little Nancy Grace never stood a chance. I feel sorry for the child that she was, but have no sympathy for the adult she has become.

  9. Roscoe says:

    The title, and the implied comparison, is really, really unfair to Mr. Hoag.

  10. ShelbyC says:

    And how do you reconcile her "statism" with the fact that she didn't seem to go along with the state when they declared the Duke boys innocent and disbarred Nifong. Clearly she's more, er, independent then you give her credit for.

  11. Eric Holder says:

    My kinda gal!

  12. Peter H says:

    ShelbyC,

    That was a fight between two bits of the state. She sided with the one which was trying to exert more power over people.

  13. Pablo says:

    ShelbyC, Nifong was righteous when he was the state and she was wed to his cause. Her failure to cleave to the newly-enlightened State doesn't disprove the thesis, it just shows that she doesn't pivot well.

  14. Xenocles says:

    If you must work within a bi-polar political world, Heinlein's poles are the probably the best:

    The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.

  15. Andrew B says:

    …and she can't dance, either.

  16. Crunchback says:

    There was an episode of The Newsroom featuring her coverage of the Kaycee Anthony trial. Be afraid, be very afraid.

  17. Sami says:

    I think there's a certain amount of problem in thinking of things in terms of being on an axis, generally. Most people fall in different places on any spectrum, politically, on different issues.

    Nancy Grace can be fairly easily categorised, though; she's a fascist. And I don't mean that in a Godwinny way. America has had a resilient fascist element ever since Henry Ford. Localised proto-fascist police states have been a recurring problem (currently succeeding depressingly well in, for example, Sheriff Arpaio's chunk of Arizona).

    Fascism has a tendency to feed on fear. The American people didn't react very well to 9/11 to begin with, and the Bush government worked hard to encourage, promote, and induce fear as much as possible afterwards.

    It's sort of amazing just how quickly the terrorists absolutely wrecked America. They didn't even have to keep hitting – one successful attack and America started shredding itself.

  18. H says:

    I'll second that Bravo from Reader. I never watched her much and didn't much like her for reasons I couldn't quite put my finger on. Your finger did a good job.

  19. He really said that...?!? says:

    Didn't quite get that whole name on there the first time.

    I'll second that Bravo from Reader. I never watched her much and didn't much like her for reasons I couldn't quite put my finger on. Your finger did a good job.

  20. NI says:

    When Nancy Grace was a child, she wanted to be a star. Then someone told her a star is a flaming ball of hot gas.

  21. Manatee says:

    Am I allowed to say "Bat sh*t crazy" here?

  22. Lizard says:

    I wonder what Screwtape would say about her.

    "My dear Wormwood. I don't know who or what that Nancy Grace creature is, but she is not the product of the Enemy, nor of our Father Below. She is an abomination from beyond Creation, and I urge avoiding her."

  23. JT says:

    There's a yet simpler explanation: .

  24. Joel Engel says:

    Yep. Absolute confirmation comes from her utterly irrational antipathy toward the Duke lacrosse team and its defenders, like Steven Miller, who appeared on her show and weren't allowed to speak without interruption. The woman is maniacal–a living, breathing train wreck we stop to look at before hurrying on, grateful not to be in the twisted metal.

  25. Ron Larson says:

    Who cares? Just don't watch her. Or any of the talking heads on TV that blab on about things they know nothing about.

  26. NotPiffany says:

    Nancy Grace is one of those people I think everyone can agree to loathe.

  27. Merissa says:

    Rhymes with Right beat me to it, right down to use of the word "harpy." She's utterly loathsome, and the thought that she used to be a prosecutor makes me want to sell everything I own, build a lodge somewhere off the grid, and accumulate a vast wardrobe of fetching tinfoil hats.

  28. Wayne Borean says:

    Agreed. Nancy Grace is an idiot.

    So is George Zimmerman.

    I've warned my cousins not to travel to the United States. I'm fairly safe there. Yes, I turn pretty dark in summer, but I look Italian, and that's fairly safe. Hell, I'm the sort of guy who walks through downtown Washington DC after midnight.

    One of my Italian cousins married a black guy, and her kids are really dark skinned. They aren't safe in the United States.

    Legally George Zimmerman may not have been guilty of murder. Ethically he was guilty. He acted like an asshole, and Trayvon Martin paid the price.

    Wayne

  29. wumpus says:

    First, a fascist is basically a sub-type of statist with a pro-military propaganda to it. Essentially the difference between most of the tea party financing and fascism is largely backstory and propaganda, the actual agenda is essentially the same.

    Second, while Nancy Grace might fit dead center in the middle of a statist tent for quite some time, I doubt it is as simple as that. I don't think there were any states when the first references to scapegoats appear (24th century BC). Primate morality at its most primitive seeks to find defectors (game theory terminology) and punish them. She is much more of a witch finder than anything else, and her goal is to find "evil" and rid the community of it. This has a long, long, history and little to do with statehood (and was typically conducted by the church).

    So call her a statist. I'd certainly insist a "libertarian" in the tea party is working against liberty as hard as he can, Nancy Grace is certainly helping statists in every way possible. But don't think for a second that she is following urges that begin to approach the level of the state. Mob justice is what she is looking for, and nothing more.

  30. Joe Emenaker says:

    There's no enigma or puzzle to Nancy Grace. Everyone is guilty. That's it. That's her entire world-view. She is the living embodiment of "rush to judgement". Seriously, I have *never* seen her assert that someone was innocent or that there was reasonable doubt.

    If you're still wanting to classify her as conservative or liberal, then consider that she seems to eschew weighing the totality of the evidence. She aims to conserve mental energy by exerting a minimum of thought on any situation. She does this by relying on convenient stereotypes, regardless of how poorly they stand up to rigorous inspection. Ergo, I classify her as conservative.

  31. Nate says:

    Ugh. I cannot stand that woman. I refuse to listen when she opens her mouth. She seems to think volume is the equivalent of logic.

  32. @wumpus: I might propose such words as "collectivist" (one who advocates the supremacy of the collective over the individual) or "authoritarian" (one who views authority as innately good and necessary, and submission to authority as a primary virtue) if you don't like "statist". Still, I think Ken's point is that the nature of the authority being upheld (state, mob, church, community, etc.) is not the important part. The important part is the compulsion to obey said authority. Nancy Grace advocates submission to a particular authority (government/prosecution) and regards any attempts to monitor or limit this authority as evil. That is what makes her, and so many others like her, wrong and dangerous.

  33. AlphaCentauri says:

    I suspect at the bottom of it all is just plain fear. People who are afraid can get crazy about the law-and-order stuff. They would like to be assured that if the police and prosecutors could do their jobs without hindrance, they could produce a world that would be perfectly safe all the time.

    But the more people they throw in prison, the more dysfunctional families they produce to raise the next generation of children who accept incarceration or early death as inevitable and live their lives accordingly. The more the law-and-order crusaders are successful, the more they fail.

  34. C. S. P. Schofield says:

    If a person;

    • Backs the State when it acts as they wish and damns it when it doesn't.

    • Denounces others for using racially insensitive language, and uses the same kind of language any time they are annoyed.

    • Thinks that the State should achieve emotion-based goals instead of following rules.

    … that person is precisely the sort of metaphorical vermin that has taken over the title "Liberal", the way actual vermin take over empty inner-city housing projects.

  35. Xenocles says:

    "She does this by relying on convenient stereotypes, regardless of how poorly they stand up to rigorous inspection. Ergo, I classify her as conservative."

    Tell me more about these convenient stereotypes and how only one side uses them…

  36. James Pollock says:

    There are people who make their living by being outraged. What they're outraged about is neither significant nor consistent, only the state of outrage stays the same.

    I think that outrage represents a best guess of what will make people tune in and pay attention rather than a true picture of what the person actually thinks (although it's probably easier to maintain a state of outrage if you're a little unbalanced to start wtih, it's not all that different from pro wrestling, which has the same dynamic… there's always somebody holding a grudge match against somebody, and only the players shuffle around trading places).

    The show, as they say, must go on.

  37. John Finn says:

    "Tell me more about these convenient stereotypes and how only one side uses them…"

    Nice catch, I needed that laugh :)

  38. joshuaism says:

    Nancy Grace and the stories she covers are red meat. Something that tastes wonderful, is marketed as good for you, but is actually unhealthy and in our society, over-consumed.

    Honestly, her content is a terrible distraction from real issues that her target audience could affect. Her audience could write congressman, or protest, or blog about NSA spying, government overreach, creeping authoritarianism, or play with their kids instead of watching her. Being an at-home jurist doesn't affect the outcomes of the actual trials, but the level of interest would convince you otherwise.

    It's fun to enjoy or be outraged by Nancy Grace, but whether she is loved or loathed doesn't matter so long as she pulls in the ratings. And she wouldn't pull the ratings she does if she was unbiased and informative, people would turn to O'Reilly or Rachel Madow or other issues instead. The only way to win is not to play.

  39. Munin says:

    "Once, if someone were described as "liberal" or "conservative," we could draw some conclusions about their opposition to unrestricted state power, or to vigorous defense of the rights of the accused. Now — particularly after 9/11 — that is not the case. It's statists all the way down."

    When was that time? "Conservatives" have had a strong hang'em and flog'em streak for ages and "liberals" a strong "don't pre-judge the defendant because of X" streak for a while as well. Supporting the rights of defendants has traditionally been a "liberal" concern whilst "conservatives" have tended to push back against any restrictions on untrammeled police power. Yes, you do have a strong libertarian wing amongst "conservatives" in the US but I wouldn't have used them to characterize "conservatives" in general.

    "Conservatives" have generally been more than happy with the exercise of state and police power when it is used to suppress or harass peaceful public protests or harass people they consider undesirable in general. Joe Arpaio is a "conservative" hero. There seem to be very little concern amongst conservatives that black people are four times more likely to be convicted of marijuana charges than white people even though marijuana use is pretty even across both.

    "Conservatives" also tend to be more than happy for the state, and these days more specifically States, to legislate on moral matters.

    Essentially, it's always been statists all the way down. The only difference is what people want the state to do, what they want the state to stop doing, the people involved in the dispute and how it is framed.

  40. Munin says:

    Heck, if you talk about history then "conservatives" also have a long streak of using whatever state apparatus they control to suppress the rights of certain people.

    The Republican party, who were then pretty classically liberal (as opposed to how the term liberal is used in the US these days), lost the south after the civil war and reconstruction because they believed that ever person had the right to life and liberty. The Democrats then lost the south in the 60's because they ultimately legislated to ensure that the constitutional rights of a large slice of the population should be respected, not actively suppressed. I don't think it's unfair to term the general set of voter they lost "conservative".

    A large slice, and I would say the majority, of the conservative movement has not been concerned with the right of the people and generally far more comfortable with authoritarian actions both at home and abroad. McCarthyism, for example, was a movement stemming from the conservative wing of the US political spectrum. It was of course not at all marked by suppression of speech, prosecutorial overreach and the likes.

    You can then also move on to the prosecution and denunciation of homosexuals which, whilst depressingly prevalent across the political spectrum, has always been the most strident from conservatives.

    Let's move on to the right to free practice of religion. The conservative, and overwhelmingly christian, right has had no compunction to denounce the building of houses of worship dedicated to Islam for example. More generally minaret bans and the likes have been driven by the conservative side of politics.

  41. Smiling Libertarian says:

    Ken, I haven't seen your stuff before, but this is so spot on, I'm going to seek it out from here forward. Three thumbs up.

  42. EBL says:

    Cruel and unusual punishment would be forced to marry her…

  43. Grandy says:

    @Wayne Borean – where does your cousin live? Because her dark-skinned kids appear to be unsafe in Italy.

  44. With the Zimmerman Trial over, I assume that Nancy Grace has climbed aboard her Nazgûl and returned to Barad-dûr.

  45. ZarroTsu says:

    Dear Nancy Grace,

    If someone is accused of a crime they did not commit, do they deserve the death penalty?

    Thoughtfully yours,

    That douchenozzle on the internet (#00984262).

  46. James says:

    Certainly the Conservative Statists are the people screeching for more gun control, on the theory that only the authoritarian State/militarised police should have firearms.

    It's never that easy. Painting with the broad brush always leads to a picture without details.

    I will agree that Nancy Grace is a disgrace to the practice of law, and to the art of "news." I usually enjoy listening to people with whom I disagree, but whenever her shrill cries are heard I find something else to do.

  47. tops116 says:

    Hey, Ken, you left out the part where Grace used to dress up like a clown and try to kill Batman. C'mon, look at a picture of her smiling and try to tell me that's not someone from Batman's rogues gallery.

  48. dfbaskwill says:

    Talking NEWS heads that know nothing about what they talk about are only exceeded by talking SPORTS heads that know nothing about what they talk about. I pick one and stick to it. Charles Krauthammer for the NEWS. But there isn't one for SPORTS anymore.

  49. Rob Crawford says:

    Wayne Borean — you are the idiot. Your failure to inform yourself of the facts of the case makes that clear. You should steer clear of the US; we have enough idiots already in residence.

  50. Ken White says:

    No personal attacks, please.

  51. Aridog says:

    Yes, Nancy Grace is a riddle covered in an enigma wrapped in a snarl shellacked with hairspray….

    ….video recorded through a lens covered with a handful of Vaseline.

    She espouses the concept of acquittal does not mean "found innocent." She mimics Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge(D – Ohio) who flat out said it. Said yesterday, right here, by a commenter:

    … Zimmerman may not have been guilty of murder. Ethically he was guilty.

    Pray tell, just what is "ethical guilt?" Will that be a real indictment category someday? Thought crime a reality?

  52. Greg says:

    Didn't Dante's third circle of Hell consist of souls being slowly impaled while being forced to watch Nancy Grace?

  53. DavidM says:

    Munin, I suggest you stop posting about "convervatism" and the republican party until you pick up a history book or three.

    Conservatism is about limited government ,the rule of law and personal responsibility. The republican party was founded to oppose slavery in the south. Lincoln was a Republican, as was MLK. Democrats in the south during civil rights were Robert Byrd, Bull Connor and George Wallace. A larger percentage of republicans voted for Civil Rights legislation than Democrats.

    Foreign policy has very little to do with govts role in its citizens lives. There have been plenty of pro-miltary Republics (Rome, US, Britain), and plenty of Pacifist Communist regimes ( China, Cuba, Vietnam ).

  54. I R A Darth Aggie says:

    And like all good statists, Nancy believes that she should have control over the levers of power. Which of course means that she will never feel the ill-effects of said power.

  55. Aridog says:

    Ken White wrote as a description of aberrant thought:

    To determine whether someone has committed a brutal and dastardly crime, all you need to know is whether the government has said they did.

    Perfectly said, and yes, it described Nancy Grace and multiple other talking heads with law degrees. I read in the WSJ that some law schools are cutting back on staff and tightening up admissions. That might just keep nut-jobs like Grace from acquiring law degrees in the first place.

    Good lawyers are indispensable. Bad lawyers are disposable and often wind up just talking about law, not effectively practicing it. IANAL, but my opinion is that Mz Grace is unfit to do either.

  56. rk57957 says:

    @C. S. P. Schofield, I couldn't help but laugh at your description of "liberal vermin" because while it was accurate and described a lot of "liberals" that I know it also was a very accurate description of a lot of "conservatives" that I know.

  57. Joel says:

    Dear Douchenozzle #00984262,

    Are you accusing our law enforcement of incompetence? If our trained professionals found enough evidence to accuse them of a crime, then it is safe to say they probably committed it. And if a judge and jury saw fit to grant him the death penalty, then we can be sure that he is guilty. So your question is irrelevant.

    Sincerely,

    Not Nancy Grace but a Reasonable Facsimile

  58. Frank says:

    Like d, I didn't know what/who she was. By the sound of it, she'd be called an asshat if she were a man. But for white knightery…

    I've just been given yet another reason to not have cable in my home.

  59. Andrew says:

    …Ken, how does your notion of 'statism' fit in with the obligation/authority bestowed upon George Zimmerman by the community (state?) that, apparently, empowered him to begin the process that resulted in Martin's death?

  60. Sentinel says:

    Nancy Grace: King of the Drama Queens

    That about says it all for this screeching harpy.

  61. En Passant says:

    James Pollock wrote Jul 16, 2013 @10:39 pm:

    There are people who make their living by being outraged. …

    I think that outrage represents a best guess of what will make people tune in and pay attention rather than a true picture of what the person actually thinks (although it's probably easier to maintain a state of outrage if you're a little unbalanced to start wtih, it's not all that different from pro wrestling, which has the same dynamic…

    The show, as they say, must go on.

    True dat. She's in show biz, TV news. Eyes and ears are the product. Sponsors are the client, whether business or government. That's the business model.

    Grace's particular schtick to wrangle those eyes and ears is one among many others. She's a legal reporter and commentator, not a home improvement guru, or counselor to the lovelorn, or comedian (intentionally at least).

    So Grace's behavior furthers her business. If it bleeds, it leads. If it enrages, it engages. If the jury acquits, you have a fit. Savaging the victim may be rank, but you can take it to the bank.

    Grace, like many other competitors in that rating race, presents what mushy unscientific psychologists in the 1950s called "the authoritarian personality". It sells. Partly because personality in general sells, and partly because that particular personality sells.

    Personality doesn't necessarily reflect the actor's actual everyday behavior and beliefs, though it might. Personality is a persona, a mask for stage drama in the sense of the Roman and Greek origins of the term.

    But why Grace does it is the easy question. Why her schtick sells product is the hard question.

    I don't know the answer to the hard question. But I suspect part of the answer is that it titillates a part of human consciousness that most people would rather pretend they don't have.

  62. Nicholas Weaver says:

    Andrew: I don't know why I'm bothering to correct your seemingly willful ignorance, but what the F@#)*( authority are you talking about?.

    Zimmerman had no state, nor even community authority. He was simply a busybody mall-ninja wannabee who saw someone he felt was suspicious. Heck, calling Zimmerman a mall ninja is, IMO, an insult to mall ninjas.

    And given a complex of 260 apartments had 400 calls to police incidents in a hair over a year at the time, you can't entirely blame him for being suspicious when an unknown young man was walking through the neighborhood, at night, in bad weather.

  63. Dan Weber says:

    Nancy Grace on Jeopardy! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=82o_Hdk0Iro

    Perhaps this is making too light of a serious subject, but it's the only way I can cope.

  64. Andrew says:

    Nicholas: thanks for your response (I think)…long-time admirer of popehat here.

    You seem to be sure of yourself…I am not and do not claim to know all that much about the Zimmerman case.

    But Ken's post caused me to think that perhaps Zimmerman, in his own mind, was acting on behalf of what he believed is the better interests of 'the state'. Perhaps true?

    And of the calls that were made…didn't Zimmerman himself pepper the police with his own calls?!

    I just don't see this as black-and-white as some do…didn't Zimmerman start the neighborhood watch in his gated community? Wasn't he de facto coordinator of the neighborhood watch?

    At least, from the perspective of his community, wasn't he acting as 'a statist'?

  65. ChicagoTom says:

    Conservatism is about limited government ,the rule of law and personal responsibility.

    Conservatives *say* they are for those things…yet there are countless examples where they really aren't for those things and support the opposite of those ideals.

    It's all just marketing. Liberals and conservatives can both be quite statist when the right topic comes around.

  66. Comanche Voter says:

    No–Nancy Grace is not just a "statist". I'd say she's got a permanent case of PMS–she's bitchy to everybody.

  67. Nicholas Weaver says:

    Zimmerman did call the police a fair amount (5 suspicious person calls in the year before), but hardly "peppered" the police with calls.

    Not only that, but at least one of the suspicious person calls turned out to be a burglar who was caught later. So Zimmerman was clearly a busybody. But not someone "peppering" the police with calls without reason.

    This is reinforced given that complex had a pretty not-so-great history. From Wikipedia:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shooting_of_Trayvon_Martin#Background_of_the_shooting

    Crimes committed at The Retreat in the year prior to Martin's death included eight burglaries, nine thefts, and one shooting.[64] Twin Lakes residents said there were dozens of reports of attempted break-ins, which had created an atmosphere of fear in their neighborhood.[32]

    This is not great: Not the worst (not by a longshot), but still Not Good.

    Its crystal clear that Zimmerman thought he was acting in the best interest of his neighborhood. But your neighborhood is not the state. Not by a long shot.

  68. James Pollock says:

    "you can't entirely blame him for being suspicious when an unknown young man was walking through the neighborhood, at night, in bad weather."
    I've been known to walk around my neighborhood, at night, in bad weather. What do you suspect me of?

  69. Clark says:

    @James Pollock

    "you can't entirely blame him for being suspicious when an unknown young man was walking through the neighborhood, at night, in bad weather."

    I've been known to walk around my neighborhood, at night, in bad weather. What do you suspect me of?

    If there had been a string of burglaries in the neighborhood, I would suspect you of being a burglar. Isn't that what any decent Bayesian would do?

  70. Clark says:

    Nicholas Weaver

    Its crystal clear that Zimmerman thought he was acting in the best interest of his neighborhood. But your neighborhood is not the state. Not by a long shot.

    In the sense that the state is defined as the entity that has a monopoly of force, yes, the fact that Zimmerman was later put in a cage proves that you are correct.

    It's not clear to me that in any moral sense the State is better or worse, more or less legitimate than Zimmerman and his neighborhood association.

    Actually, wait. The fact that the State chose to prosecute because of political pressure makes me think that the state is less legitimate.

  71. James Pollock says:

    "Conservatism is about limited government ,the rule of law and personal responsibility."
    So what happens when conservatives obtain power?
    A) The government gets bigger (happens every time, because government spending is always popular… if the money's being spent in your district. It's only objectionable when it's being spent somewhere else. Listen for the squealing from the locals any time the military considers closing a base.)
    B) Rule of law is right out if it gets in the way of what we want to do. (See, e.g., Iran-Contra, "torture memo", etc.)
    C) How does "personal responsibility" play out when the person supposedly responsible is a conservative politician?
    Later on, of course, when control has gone back to a centrist or (shudder) a liberal, conservatives will suddenly remember all these core convictions, and decry that the prior conservative government wasn't "conservative" enough.

    This is not to suggest that liberals are better in any way on these topics; they ALSO happily convert the machinery of the state to their ends when they can.

  72. Andrew says:

    Didn't the state authorize Zimmerman to conceal and carry? Doesn't that mean something, too?

    God I love reading popehat…(mostly) smart guys (and gals).

    But sometimes the things people write here are quite revealing, and not always in the way they intend…at least from where I sit!

  73. James Pollock says:

    "If there had been a string of burglaries in the neighborhood, I would suspect you of being a burglar."

    I'm more inclined to believe that the burglar(s) are driving around, likely in a truck. It's easier to carry the loot that way.

  74. Nicholas Weaver says:

    James: Sorry, no. Teenagers/young adults on foot are far more common. It allows you to look in cars, knock on doors (and say you were selling something), walk around to the back for open windows, etc… A burglar needs to find an open target. Driving around does almost no good, as the opening are usually invisible from the street.

    And burglars don't tend to go for big items like flat-screen TVs: they go for small, high value items (jewelry, notebooks, unsecured guns) which are far more valuable both per pound and on an absolute basis.

    So a young adult/teenager/adult, unfamiliar to the neighborhood, walking around (and especially looking into cars or front of houses, or knocking on doors) is a big red flag.

  75. Andrew says:

    Here's what I mean…and try to play along for a second.

    From Ken's post:

    "Nancy Grace is the clumsy and ill-considered personification of frightened devotion to the will of the state. She's the mob made one flesh, the embodiment of our fears, our hope that the government will save us, our worry that it might not. The notion that the state can be counted upon to accuse the right person, and that the justice system will punish the guilty and only the guilty, is comforting; the concept that the system is flawed and fallible is terrifying. Due process, like any sort of freedom, is scary and messy. How much more soothing it would be to believe, like Nancy, that the state is right, and that anything or anyone that stands in the state's way may be righteously denounced."

    Think about the whole sad Zimmerman/Martin affair…and then, insert Zimmerman's name in place of Nancy Grace in Ken's paragraph.

    Doesn't it, from Zimmerman's perspective, kind of fit?

  76. Nicholas Weaver says:

    Also, its quite common for the burglars themselves to be under 18, that way, they are more likely to be charged as juveniles. There was such a burglary ring in Napa a couple years back, the older thieves ran the operation, but it was the under-18s that did the breakins.

  77. Munin says:

    @DavidM
    Did you actually read my posts? I clearly mention the history of the Republican party and its radical (classically) liberal roots.

    Also, where do you get the idea from that Martin Luther King Jr was a Republican?

    To talk a bit more about the 1948-1964 period, the Democratic Party was in schism. You had various disagreements between the southern wing of the party, which was predominantly segregationist, and of which Bull Connor was a prime example at the time, and the northern section of the party which was increasingly backing civil rights. This led to breakaways like the Dixiecrats. They ultimately lost the south after they pushed for the signing of the 1964 civil rights act.

    Of course that doesn't mean that the Democratic party are shining angels, they were the people who exploited a system which systematically denied the constitutional rights of a large part of the populace for political benefits and for the benefit of their supporters. I spit on that part of their history in the same way as I would condemn Nixon for the betrayal of his party's roots for his strategy to win the south.

    Just to add, Bull Connor was also one of the Democrats who left the party after CRA was passed and ran for President in 1968 for the American Independent Party and won 5 states in the south, three more than the official democratic candidate. Nixon swept the South in both 1968 and 1972.

  78. Dan Weber says:

    Slate had a nice review of the case. http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/frame_game/2013/07/trayvon_martin_verdict_racism_hate_crimes_prosecution_and_other_overreactions.html I was above average in paying attention, and there were still some things I had apparently internalized that, when pressed in court, didn't turn out to be true.

    I got reminded of that by the accusation that Zimmerman peppered the cops with calls. Saletan links to the history of the community watch group, which basically appointed Zimmerman as the interface to the cops, so of course he would be doing most of the calling. I didn't know that a few days ago.

  79. Ken L says:

    "Dear Nancy Grace,

    If someone is accused of a crime they did not commit, do they deserve the death penalty?

    Thoughtfully yours,

    That douchenozzle on the internet (#00984262)."

    Dear Douchenozzle,

    Your question can't be answered because it makes no sense. Positing someone who is "accused of a crime they did not commit" is just absurd. You might as well ask about the corners of a circle, or about a person who survives decapitation. I mean, why on earth would a person be accused of a crime if he didn't commit it?

    Sincerely,
    Nancy Grace, Former Prosecutor

  80. CptnSpldng says:

    One of my favorite Nancy Grace incarnations. http://www.somethingpositive.net/sp09182009.shtml

  81. Andrew says:

    Dan, thanks for the link to the Slate Saletan piece. My views, I think, are consonant with his.

  82. En Passant says:

    Dear Bishop Higbald,

    Quid enim Hinieldus cum Christo, aut Zimmerman cum Grace?

    Yr fthfl srvnt, Alcuin
    York, Northumbria

    Oh wait, wrong bishopric, this is Popehat!

    Now I understand.

  83. Nicholas Weaver says:

    Another +1 to the Saletan piece.

  84. James Pollock says:

    "Teenagers/young adults on foot are far more common"
    For car prowls, maybe. There are several types of burglaries. There are the burglars who do it because opportunity presents, burglars who do it as a "career", and burglars who do it to support their drug habits, notably meth-heads, for example. Two out of those three categories tend to perform multiple burglaries in a spree, which means needing to carry the stolen goods accumlated in multiple thefts, which means "vehicle".

  85. John says:

    This seems like it belongs here… http://i.imgur.com/QEtSDA4.jpg

  86. Rich Fader says:

    Comes the revolution, I look forward to somebody literally trying to beat Nancy Grace with Jane Velez Mitchell. Actually, now that I think about it, beating Jane with Nancy would probably do more damage.

  87. apauld says:

    I don't watch things like Nancy Grace, but since the subject has been raised I'd like to ask a question of any who do…. Has she been covering the Chrystal Magnum murder case? Did she cover the Duke lacrosse team members civil rights lawsuit?

  88. Cameron W. says:

    "you can't entirely blame him for being suspicious when an unknown young man was walking through the neighborhood, at night, in bad weather."

    I've been known to walk around my neighborhood, at night, in bad weather. What do you suspect me of?

    If there had been a string of burglaries in the neighborhood, I would suspect you of being a burglar. Isn't that what any decent Bayesian would do?

    And if it seemed that you were on drugs, and you were walking so slowly that you covered less than half a mile in 45 minutes in the rain, and you were an unrecognized person in a gated community, you would be seem very suspicious.

  89. Bill says:

    @d – I'm not a TV guy either but it's like never looking at a cancer ward or hospital, it only keeps you from thinking about it it doesn't make you immune to it. HLN is the ultimate canary in the coal mine, as long as it's on TV and has advertisers, the danger is real.

  90. Demosthenes says:

    "Once, if someone were described as 'liberal' or 'conservative,' we could draw some conclusions about their opposition to unrestricted state power, or to vigorous defense of the rights of the accused. Now — particularly after 9/11 — that is not the case. It's statists all the way down."

    Two of these three sentences are embarrassingly wrong. Those would be the first and third, by the way. And the second sentence is true only because it's a constant truism, both before and after 9/11.

  91. Becky says:

    So, Nancy goes Nazi? (ref to Dorothy Thompson's old essay)

  92. Fail Burton says:

    She's half owl and half white trash with a pulpit. I bet she has commissioned velvet paintings of Elvis riding a tiger in his karate suit while he smiles and waves.

  93. Locomotive Breath says:

    If Nancy Grace ever retires Angela Corey can be hired as her replacement.

  94. Black Betty says:

    People like Nancy Grace are the very reason I do not follow agendas, conservative or liberal. I follow the Constitution. The law of the land. That way…I am NEVER wrong.

  95. Esau's Message says:

    Shorter Ken: In other words, Nancy Grace is just like most every prosecutor and cop in the land.

  96. Bill Reeves says:

    Nancy Grace is truly the worst human on TV. In her contempt for those not on her side she behavesmost like the criminals she purports to despise.

  97. argumentative says:

    "She's not liberal or conservative, and no principled view of gun ownership or race or women's rights drives her coverage. No, she's a vigorous statist, at least with respect to criminal justice."

    The question of her political orientation also occurred to me back in the days of the Duke Lacrosse case. I think the explanation above is as good as any. However, I think that it would be difficult to quantify the exact contribution this statist outlook contributes to the disturbing persona that I, very infrequently, see on the tv (always in doses of 30 seconds or less). In addition to the ideological component, there is the genuinely weird vindictiveness behind those crazy eyes – that's not an act, that's a sick person trying to find a twisted release. Also there's the calculated hucksterism: more than once I've actually felt like hitting myself when her phony "breaking news" ticker got me to pause at her disturbing spectacle of a program as I was flipping channels….but not for more than 30 seconds.

  98. Larry says:

    Nancy Grace is Andrei Vishinsky with lipstick and hairspray.

  99. Rob says:

    The discussion about which side of the political spectrum is more keen on using state power overlooks the obvious truth which is that both sides love to use state power. The only difference between left and right is what they want to control. Ken White was absolutely correct in saying, "It's statists all the way down."

    And +1 to Xenocles for sharing a very apt Heinlein quote, "The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire."

  100. Collegepark says:

    Has it occurred to anyone that she might just be an idiot? Here in Georgia we have to observe Court for a number of hours before we can practice law. My partner's did his observation hours at one of her trials before she became a "celebrity." She was so stupid that she caused a mistrial. The Judge was furious as the entire jury panel had had their time wasted for several days. The only upshot was that my partner left with renewed confidence thinking if this dumb*** could practice law, so could he.

  101. wumpus says:

    @dfbaskwill (on the idiocy of political pundits vs. sports pundits)
    Sports is an interesting case in modern media in that virtually all the information available to the press is available to the public (the exception is the personal lives of players. The rest is done in public in front of thousands of people live and millions over TV). If a "news" service wants to establish credibility, it should carefully report anything the viewer was likely to see (like last night's ball game) to give free reign to say whatever they want about things they are unlikely to know (like expectations of bills in congress).

    If they can't get the sports pundits right, that's saying something.

  102. Pryva CV. says:

    One hundred percent on the money, popehat. There is indeed an abhorrent consistency in all her wild inconsistencies.

    Might I say also that their are many, many people who were formerly assumed (even self-proclaimed) to be liberal or progressives who over the last few years have definitively outed themselves as unreconstructed fascists. The far right wing absolutely does not have the market cornered on fascism as media-generated conventional wisdom has always contended, that much is irrefutable now.

    The left wing has clearly had just as many if not more than its share of statists & fascists lurking patiently within its ranks for the opportune moment to reveal themselves. How many 'progressive' commentators are now just fine & dandy with citizen drone kills and with the knowledge that the current administration has marshaled the IRS into serving as this POTUS' very own personal amendment-trampling Stasi to suppress dissent & punish his political opponents?

    So Nancy Grace is indeed a statist, but we've gotta concede that she's also a peculiarly kooky standout even among her fellow statists. She doesn't have the slightest intellectual self-consciousness about all the wildly contradictory positions she embraces.

    It's clear she just wants to see everybody who isn't Nancy Grace to fry in the electric chair for whatever offense her diseased imagination can concoct, try, & convict innocent citizens on via the airwaves in exchange for advertising dollars.

  103. Mark Jessup says:

    Permit me to sum this all up in an easy to understand fashion:

    "Inside any septic tank, there are some dark corners that are more offensive, toxic and malodorous than others."

    The lamestream media is that septic tank, and Nancy Grace is by far one of the most foul pockets of fecal matter that one could wish to find. The entire tank needs to be exhumed from our national soil, heaved over the cliff, hopefully with that blonde bimbo-racist leading the dive to the canyon floor below.

  104. wumpus says:

    @Pryva CV
    Your idea of the (presumably US) political split is … odd. I would assume that the [elected] right tends to see state power as a tool for allowing established corporations (and wildly rich individuals of various countries) (who either donate to them or are expected to donate) to amass more power and wealth. The elected left tends to want to grab such power and leave it in the hands of government. Any politicians working for limited power seem not to exist at all (don't you dare use Ron Paul as an example. He doesn't believe in limiting state and local government power to even the Bill of Rights. Also the Libertarian party seems to be run the way you would expect Objectivists to run it, as a scam to part fools from their money).

    The nature of this continous power grab is simply a function of representative government. It is far, far, easier to convince the few individuals in power to hand over all sorts of wealth and power that rightly belong to the many to another few (who will give kickbacks, possibly in the form of convincing the legislator how wonderful a job he is doing), and always will be. Allowing unlimited gifts to the few only speeds up that process, don't think for a moment that overturning Citizens United will prevent all of this (the drive of government power might well be due to federal contractors paying highly for lefty votes, but I doubt that is all of it).

    The technology exists to allow the legislative bodies to be rendered little more than rubber stamps of direct votes, much like the electoral college exists today (you would scale things in ways similar to large scale p2p projects to deal with things like commitee votes). As long as power is limited to the few, those few will find it sweet to use as much of it as possible.

  105. pp91303 says:

    Nancy Grace is a joke. I think Ken is right that she generally takes the government's view of things in the criminal cases she covers. Most of all though, she, like Al Sharpton, Anthony Weiner etc. wants to get noticed. She will say anything and take positions she thinks will get her in the news and increase her viewership.

    As for the characterizations of various categories of points of view (I think Ken is stating the conventional wisdom as opposed to his own beliefs) they are misstated. Conservatives want the legal system to be applied fairly. Apply the law to the facts and follow the law, no jury nullification like the OJ Simpson case and no piling on like the Zimmerman case. The police investigated the Zimmerman case and determined there was insufficient evidence that he committed a crime. The Florida authorities had a grand jury ready but the special prosecutor, Angela Corey, decided not to present the case to the grand jury. All of those actions are things conservatives opposed. As for Jody Arias, the evidence is very clear that she planned the murder by renting a car, buying cans of gasoline to cover up her travels, etc. Conservatives look at the evidence and see that it establishes the aggravated circumstances that constitute a capital crime.

    Liberals are happy when public officials abuse their power, violate the law and standard procedures when the accused is someone that the left despises. If it is a white male (or even someone that they have never before categorized as a white man) accused of committing a crime against a minority or a woman, then any means necessary should be used to destroy the accused. Just look at the many stories of male students accused of sexual assaults at universities around the country. The was a case in South Dakota where a woman falsely accused a male student of raping her, the police investigated, it turned out the woman had lied, the woman was prosecuted for filing a false police report, yet the university found the man guilty of sexual assault and refused to rescind that finding when the woman admitted she had lied about the assault to the police. That is liberal justice.

  106. doulos23 says:

    I just wanted to note that being from a more "conservative" viewpoint that might differ from many here, this assessment was spot on. Devotees to the State based solely on the "seriousness of the charge" have fed too many media memes of late, especially in cases where real evidence is either completely different or at least lacking in veracity. Bravo, Sir!

  107. Mike B says:

    I generally try to avoid stooping to broad generalizations of people based on a single display lacking judgement, but I find this to be quite the exception. If I catch anyone regarding Nancy Grace with anything other than disdain or scorn, it immediately lowers the value I place on their intelligence, whatever that's worth.

    She's the kind of base, vile, smug, vulgar idiot that perpetuates the notion that "the police are always right" and that anyone who makes it into a court of law is automatically guilty because, after all, "we wouldn't bring them there if they were innocent."

    Some of these people claim to watch her because it's funny to watch someone be such a horribly dysfunctional human being, but no, I have to respond to those people that I find absolutely nothing redeeming in their reveling in the devolution of humanity through its televised filth. Watching someone like her go on should spur no other feelings in a reasonable human being than shame at sharing the planet with someone like her and abject fear that there are millions of others echoing her insane beliefs.

  108. James Pollock says:

    "Liberals are happy when public officials abuse their power, violate the law and standard procedures when the accused is someone that the left despises."

    Sure, and conservatives are happy when public officials abuse their power, violate the law and standard procedures when the accused is someone that the right despises. In fact, (x) are happy when public officials abuse their power, violate the law and standard procedures when the accused is someone that the (x) despises. This is not news.

  109. Andrew Roth says:

    A great antidote to Nancy Grace is Fox News host Greta Van Susteren. I only discovered her about a month ago and have only watched her show a few times, but so far I'm impressed. She's great at playing devil's advocate with her guests, and although some of her views are quite a bit to the right of my own, she seems quite principled, and she's definitely very scrupulous and civil on air. It's probably significant that she's a former defense attorney. On at least one occasion, she calmly interrupted a guest (Rudy Giuliani, IIRC) when he erroneously she had been a prosecutor and would therefore understand his position: "No, I was a defense attorney." Van Susteren is nothing like what leftists presume of Fox News.

    Nancy Grace, on the other hand, is a fucking nightmare. For what American partisan affiliations are worth, her network is a sister network of CNN, an ostensibly center-left company, so it would seem that they aren't worth much. It defies all logic for a left-wing or, derp of all derp, a liberal network to cross-promote a conformist, authoritarian moral sewer such as HLN, but CNN does that all the time. (Drew Pinsky is no Nancy Grace, but he's no credit to anyone employing him, either.)

    My suspicion (although I'm not a clinician, so take it with a grain of salt if you like) is that Nancy Grace has a major personality disorder. I don't mean this in a loose or Orwellian pop-psychological sense; I mean it in the literal clinical sense. She appears to have a genuinely and severely disordered mind. Going back decades, she has been behaving erratically and recklessly with overt, seething malice towards her perceived enemies. This hatred was so bad that it obliterated her ethics and competence as a prosecutor.

    Grace is a rare television anchor who I truly do not believe acts her part. She lives it. She's deranged.

  110. Tirani says:

    Thank you for managing to put words to why that bitter haridan rubs me the wrong way.

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