Nancy DisGraceful?

Female news anchors have been excessively analyzed in the news lately, with Katie Couric taking over the CBS evening news and Meredith Viera moving to The Today Show. As media pundits have critiqued these women’s every move, rating fluctuation and outfit change, one female newswoman has created a stir of controversy that is getting less attention.

Nancy Grace, CNN’s Headline News legal analyst and Larry King Live co-host, is under fire thanks to her notoriously aggressive personality and reporting style. After a telephone interview for CNN’s Nancy Grace taped on September 7, guest Melinda Duckett committed suicide. Duckett was being interviewed by Grace about the mysterious disappearance of her 2-year old son for which she was in question, though not named as a suspect.

Grace, who earned her LLM in constitutional and criminal law from NYU, is infamous for her aggressive and opinionated method of interview. Members of Duckett’s family say that Grace was so brutal to Duckett during the interview that it directly caused the woman to commit suicide the next day. Many question CNN’s decision to air the taped interview even after it was discovered that Duckett had killed herself.

Media critics have expressed varied and heated responses on the topic, some even insisting that Grace should be fired.

Grace makes no apology for her actions. The newswoman's controversial style has been questioned in other instances, particularly during the Elizabeth Smart case. Yet I wonder, did she go too far this time?

Did Nancy Grace cross the line of responsibility or is it a possibility that, as we discussed in class, Grace was being a strong journalist – not letting the subject off the hook, keeping at Duckett until she got answers? Was Duckett’s suicide not a result of Grace’s actions but of Duckett’s guilt or inability to handle the traumatic situation at hand?

Furthermore, was the airing of this interview important for viewers to see or just a sensational story that was great for CNN’s ratings?

New Yorker (not verified) @ December 15, 2006 - 8:52am

No one but "Melinda Ducket" put the gun to her head. She is the sole person to blame for that. No one else.

Michelle from Madison (not verified) @ December 26, 2006 - 6:52pm

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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