Worst Person Ever?
written by: Cory Q
It is rare that I take an immediate and visceral dislike to someone. I try, as per the first page of The Great Gatsby, to reserve judgment as a matter of infinite hope. Thing is, some people do their damnedest to prove that they are bad people. They open their mouths and the light of reason dims in the room. Nancy Grace is such a person.
Not familiar with Nancy Grace? Then you, gentle reader, have been spared and should not read further. You would be well served to not know who she is. Your world will be brighter, smarter, and just happier if you are never subjected to her twangy moronic drawl. Strike her name from your memory for a better life. If you have suffered at the sight of this media medusa on your talking picture box: proceed.
Before I build up a full head of steam from this irritating grain of salt, I want to point a couple things out. It is possible that Nancy Grace, being on TV which is a method of delivering information known to be of questionable authenticity, might be playing a part. It could be the case that Nancy Grace as a private person is kind, intelligent, well reasoned, and pleasant to children. It could be that her show is so well manipulated through editing and scripting that what is flushed out over the airwaves is some hollow carcass of the reasonable and sane dialog that took place in a studio. It could be that what I really despise and loathe is that which this "reporter stands for, the foul grime that floats on the surface of American culture. In short, we as viewers can not trust what is presented to us to be unbiased and completely factual. TV is a product. Remember that at all times as you consume it.
That being said...
Every time I catch sight of this person on TV, my skin crawls, my mind melts, and the base anger that would allow a mother to lift a car off her wounded child churns up in me. The wounded child in this case would be Reasonable Discourse. I have given this person a fair chance. I have watched portions of the mental diarrhea that is broadcast in her name. Each time I am shocked at the utter lack of anything coming anywhere close to a chain of logic. The show is nothing but insistence on a sensational viewpoint. The host conducts the show as if she is a crackpot judge, a drunken jury, and The General Public waiting to execute the person she is 'interviewing'. Now, to be fair, this sort of "let the public decide" set up in a "news" program is nothing new. Of course, it is nothing helpful or informative either.
But maybe I am approaching this wrong. Perhaps reasonable and informed discourse is not the point of this show. Maybe the point of this show is to draw in the unsuspecting public. But draw them into what? Into being angry over things they don't understand and aren't actually being informed about? Draw them into forming an opinion about "news" that is not only irrelevant to them but obfuscates matters of actual importance? I understand Nancy's background is in criminal prosecution so her show wallows in the lurid and murky waters of murder and depravity. Her bread and butter is the blood and broken bones of real people. She is not interested in informing the public on civil or civic matters so perhaps I am comparing apples and turds here.
Overlooking the uselessness of her program from the start, I am still irritated. Let me put it this way: It isn't so much the act as the attitude that gets under my skin. Need an example? Try this. Flag burning. The act itself isn't the issue, it is the spirit in which the flag is burned that excites public debate. A radical burning a flag in a angry mod is much more likely to illicit a reaction from someone than veterans at the VFW retiring worn out flags. So you know, the proper way to dispose of a worn out American flag is by fire. This matter of attitude; the gleeful disregard of civility, the sheer delight in the discomfort of others, the high-horse and high-handed approach of assumed correctness, and the general disdain of facts and evidence are what really turn my stomach.
The episode that finally pushed my general avoidance and dislike of Nancy was one that traveled down an already worn out path. Nancy was busy flopping around in the fresh entrails and tears of a school shooting story. It was stated, and questionably so, that the shooter played "World of Warcraft". Nancy then stated as a fact that computer games only encourage killers. Behind her narration there were pictures of a publisher running print copies of "The Players Handbook" for Dungeons and Dragons and of someone playing "Doom" on the computer. I will state the problems with this as if they aren't painfully obvious. First, "World Of Warcraft" is not a shooting game. Second, Dungeons and Dragons doesn't cause people to go on rampages (anyone recall the movie "Mazes and Monsters"? Anyone? It's a Tom Hanks Classic!). Third, if the production values on your show are so low that you can't find footage of the right game (and "World Of Warcraft" is one of the most popular computer games of all time) or the right genre of game, you are in deep trouble. I suspect, however, that what was at work here was more sinister. I suspect that Nancy and her producers were purposefully perpetrating a slight of hand. The producers of this show clearly don't respect the intelligence of the viewer. They don't need to. But by purposefully showing the wrong products (D&D has been attacked with some success by fear mongers and ignorants for years), games (first person shooters are blamed for a lot of stuff too), and not having the facts straight, this show has misled its viewers. Way to drive one more nail into the coffin of Respected Journalism. Way to continue to blur the line between legitimate reporting and muck racking sensationalism. Three cheers for bloody infotainment and fear mongering!
But again, this all might be a clever ruse. Maybe poor Nancy is just the mouthpiece of her producers who push her towards new lows of sensationalism and harsh unfounded judgments. Then again, after checking her wikipedia entry, it looks like this sort of roughshod disregard for order and reason are her stock and trade.
The icing to this cake made with salt rather than sugar? She is now making news herself. In a strange cycle of masturbation Nancy is making the news because she is on the news, not because she has done anything special. How the hell does that work?
I think I can sum this rant up with the screen shot I took from Comcast.net's homepage on 11-20-07. I didn't change the headlines or pictures, I am just pointing out how this screen shot fits my view of the matter.
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