Lawsuit Brought Against CNN and it's DisGRACEful Host

The day after being rigorously questioned by Nancy Grace on CNN Headline News in September, Melinda Duckett committed suicide. Now, CNN and Grace are being sued, according to an AP article, because Grace "caused emotional distress that led to the suicide."

Grace questioned Duckett with regard to her whereabouts on the day her two-year-old son, Trenton, was reported missing. Duckett was the prime suspect in his disappearance. A portion of the interview can be seen on YouTube here. The article explained:

Jay Paul Deratany, the attorney representing Duckett's estate, said Tuesday that Grace encouraged Duckett to appear on her show by saying the goal was to draw public attention to help find Trenton.

"It's not just about the questioning, it's about the misrepresentation with the knowledge that she was emotionally distraught," Deratany said. The attorney said Grace improperly took on the role of a law enforcement officer.

The role of the journalist is, as we have heard time and again, to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted. In this case, afflicting the afflicted may have led to the death of an unstable person, and has inevitably perpetuated Nancy Grace's "disgraceful" reputation. However, it is virtually impossible to assume a direct correlation between the aggressive interview and Duckett's death. In an interview on Good Morning America 15 September 2006, Grace said,

"If anything, I would suggest that guilt made her commit suicide," Grace told ABC News' Chris Cuomo.

"To suggest that a 15 or 20 minute interview can cause someone to commit suicide is focusing on the wrong thing," she said.

An article on in September discusses Grace's view. But now, the network and Grace have a wrongful death suit to deal with, and once again the journalist comes out looking like the bad guy. Whether or not Grace's actions were warranted is beside the point, as the damage has already been done. The fact is, in this case, not only is the problematic relationship between journalist and interviewee made evident, as Janet Malcolm discusses in her book The Journalist and the Murderer, but the journalist has, in effect, become the murderer.

Michelle from Madison (not verified) @ December 30, 2006 - 3:36pm

Joe Scarborough’s show of MSNBC broadcasted another show that indicates that there is now a “suspect” (person-of-interest) in the Trenton Duckett case, and that the investigation is still on-going as of this date. The clip also confirms that “Nancy Grace is scared to death” about the Duckett lawsuit (and more lawsuits) coming against her and CNN for Nancy’s unprofessional and illegal conduct documented thus far in the Duckett case. If criminal charges come against Nancy, wonder if CNN will cover what Nancy gets served for dinner after she goes to prison? Hope the tickets are available soon for the upcoming trials against Nancy for her direct connection in the deaths of more people who were never criminally convicted including Melinda Duckett. Maybe Nancy will receive “chicken-on-bone” meal with a small cup of ice-cream.” If that is the case, maybe the public should conjure up a public-out-cry against Nancy for getting chicken and ice-cream in prison where she will likely also have access to a television too, but not to cable-television to watch Nancy’s replacement on her show. Ohhh, too bad Nancy. People have told you Nancy, you cannot continue to victimize the victims. Sounds like Nancy’s civil-illegal actions are finally catching up to Nancy, as it does with most criminals.

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