Are talk show hosts bullies? Some certainly seem to be. Do they report the news or try to create it? Should they be allowed to make accusations as though they are facts? After all, if it's on The News it's true, right?

Lately I've been watching 24/7 news channels when I can't find a program that interests me. Nancy Grace and her boyfriend were in Macon, Georgia when he was murdered. Since then she has adopted the role of crusader. Her recent interviews sound more like attacks than interviews.

In the recent ongoing case of a missing child, Nancy has determined the young mother killed the 3 year old girl. While the mother lies like a rug and partied hardy after she lost track of her kid, so far nothing proves she murdered her baby. They have found no body or any proof the little girl is dead. Tons of evidence have been collected that show she has problems distinguishing truth from fiction, especially once she tells her tales.

Nancy questions her experts from all over the US, a good thing. She attacks anyone who disagrees with her, a bad thing for me. I keep waiting for an expert, especially one who looks for hope the little girl could be alive or that the mom didn't kill her, to tell her to answer her own questions and stop shouting. (Does saying something loudly make it true?) These experts get exposure that could make them household names, but at what cost? Of course they could be following scripts.)

Ms. Grace knows a lawyer should believe in his or her client and that there are people who should be neutral, but she asks questions and makes argumentative comments that suggest no one could miss the mom's guilt without being stupid or a liar.

The grandparents of the missing child have been harassed by people who believe the mom killed her kid. They echo Nancy Grace and people like her, accusing the couple of all kinds of awful things. Parents want to believe the grandchild is alive and they don't want to believe their daughter is a killer. She lies, uses people, and is self- absorbed, but a killer? I cannot believe media folks are allowed to whip fans into a frenzy, but they do. Groups of people have shouted at and to the grandparents and even grabbed at them on their own property, pushing them to defend themselves.

Plenty of other talk show hosts make fun of people who call in questions and agree to interviews.

Let's hear what you think about any of this?

15 comments

  1. Donnell // September 28, 2008 at 4:38 AM  

    Wow, Mary, you picked a hot button in the South tonight :) Nancy Grace has everything to do with ratings, and as long as people view her show, I'm afraid there's not much we can do about her, except write the Network to complain. Personally, I change the channel. I don't quite understand how these programs are aired or when the case comes to trial and a jury is selected, can a prosecutor and a defense lawyer voir dire a jury and ask ... are you familiar with the case? If a person has a pulse, thanks to programs like these, he's familiar with the case.

    What astounds me, in particular, is why Hollywood, why a celebrity thinks they have a right to tell me how to vote, how to think. What they don't realize is if they ram their politics down my throat, I don't attend their movies.

    I also don't like how celebrities, interviewers (right and left) treat politicians who differ from their beliefs. We have gotten away from objective journalism.

    It's that way in writing too, don't you reckon, Mary? If a book becomes preachy or editorializes in fiction, (I'm not talking a particular character trait, but in overall tone) I'll likely set it down. I have better things to do. Thought-provoking post, ma'am.

  2. Mary Marvella // September 28, 2008 at 10:11 AM  

    Thanks, Donnell. I think "celebrities" become full of themselves. Nancy Grace didn't start the bullying thing. She was just on my mind because of the clips, even on mainstream new shows, of people shouting at the kid's grandparents, spewing hatred and accusations and getting by with it.

    Talk show hosts, news shows and others have often used their hard- nosed, embarrass-the-guests manner as a ratings draw, but Ms Grace is on a news network and people seem to believe anything they hear on the news, anything they read in the news and in magazines.

    Objective journalism is dying a lingering death.

    I read for mindless escape, not a sermon. I'll read almost anything, but not sermons disguised as fiction.

  3. Edie // September 28, 2008 at 10:31 AM  

    I don't watch Nancy Grace's shows, so wouldn't know. She's one of the toxic people I avoid. I don't need someone like that in my life. I've been watching the elections, and that's bad enough!

  4. Anonymous // September 28, 2008 at 3:24 PM  

    Mary, I believe Nancy goes for ratings only. She has forgotten everything else. Shouting makes people stop and look, it's easier than carefully chosen words to make her case. I don't watch her because she has lost her vision, blinded by ratings.

    Scarlet Pumpernickel

  5. Mary Marvella // September 28, 2008 at 3:38 PM  

    At one time the woman seemed to be a crusader who cared. Now she seems to enjoy being "right" when she goes too far.

  6. Arkansas Cyndi // September 28, 2008 at 3:45 PM  

    Personally, I LOVED the Boston Legal episode where they killed the "Nancy Grace" tv personality. I find her obnoxious and boorish.

    And objective journalism? Gone, like B&W television. News has blurred the line between what is "news" and what is tabloid gossip.

    Sorry, can't argue with you!

  7. Liz L. // September 28, 2008 at 3:58 PM  

    I agree with everything that's been said so far. I hate it when I watch a TV show and it tries to pound me with personal political views. I like my politics exactly as I like my religion - private.

    I quit watching one of my favorite TV shows in the middle of last season because of a certain producer who I believe is toxic to this country. I gave up on several others when they got so "in your face" with their politics.

    Good topic, Mary.

  8. Mary Ricksen // September 28, 2008 at 5:43 PM  

    What a day it would be if journalism and honestly became synonymous? I always was a dreamer.

  9. Mary Marvella // September 28, 2008 at 7:06 PM  

    No arguments? Darn! Maybe we'll discuss fans hero worship of people like Ms. Grace and others next.

  10. Nightingale // September 28, 2008 at 10:04 PM  

    I hate talk shows and I hate the media across the board. There's not an ounce of truth in the news we are fed like dumb cattle. The Weather Channel (or Disaster Channel) is on par with the rest. They whip people all over the country into trembling masses because a hurricane might be going to strike. I live in Houston. It did strike but I had friends in SC who thought I was probably dead.

  11. Nightingale // September 28, 2008 at 10:05 PM  

    Oh and as a PS I used to work for a Circuit Judge who had to hear a part of the case where the lady drowned her children. I wonder if with all the hullabaloo there can be a fair trial.

  12. Mary Marvella // September 28, 2008 at 11:22 PM  

    It just gets worse. Yes the weather forecasters have to make up possible outcomes, like they know what's going to happen. If they make enough guesses, one might be right.

  13. Ann // September 29, 2008 at 8:37 AM  

    I never realized that Nancy Grace's boyfriend was murdered. That explains a lot about her personality. I believe she has some interesting topics but yes, the one about the missing child is especially hard to take. I wondered at first why the police didn't seem more interested in looking for the child, but it seems more and more that the mother has a sociopathic personality and they probably have good reason to believe she killed the child. At any rate, it's a terrible tragedy. I watched her show for a while on this subject, but don't watch it anymore. As you all state, it's getting too much. I feel sorry for the parents having to put up with strangers coming after them in a vigilanty fashion. I think the police should put an end to that.
    As for the news, it's very one sided. What did I watch last night? The channel with the congress trying to pass bills. Boring, yes. Information direct, yes.
    Ann

  14. Anonymous // September 29, 2008 at 9:46 AM  

    Nancy Grace is a liar, and I'm saying that flatout. She was part of a lecture series here. Her talk was the one I was least interested in, but I went with a friend who wanted to see her talk. She was pregnant then, but said something about being fat, and was totally dishonest about it. I don't mind that she didn't want to share the news about her pregnancy yet, but why even bring it up, and then lie about it?

    Someone in the audience asked her about the woman who committed suicide, the one that Grace had hounded about killing her own child (it was later found that the woman was innocent, I think). She got very defensive and made up some ridiculous story about protecting the children, blah, blah. Not a shred of responsibility taken, it was disgusting. I guess he has to make excuses for herself or she'd never sleep at night.

    I don't mind political views being expressed in TV shows, but I am heartily sick of so-called "news" agencies giving opinions as news. Makes you wish Walter Cronkite was back, doesn't it? There is so little integrity in the media, and they are to blame for hiding so much that could have forestalled some of the nonsense we've had happen in government and the economy.

  15. Mary Marvella // September 29, 2008 at 11:36 PM  

    I appreciate the honest responses. There is such a lack of responsible reporting. Sad, really.