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Friday, September 15, 2006

NANCY GRACE.... DID SHE GO TOO FAR?

It’s too easy to blame Nancy Grace for the suicide of Melinda Duckett. Nancy didn’t kill her. But Ms. Duckett’s death was an assisted suicide, and although Nancy will not own up to it, her aggressive, irresponsible grilling of a clearly unstable woman played a role in this sickening drama. The death of a guest on a news talk show was inevitable, just as surely as it happened on “Jenny Jones” before. I hope CNN will take this opportunity to examine “The Nancy Grace Show” and its role in journalism. It could be something it is not: a thoughtful examination of meaningful legal issues. Instead, a woman is dead, her missing child still missing, and the media takes another hit for ruining a life in the name of ratings.

There is a delusion on Nancy’s show that the ends justify the means. Melinda Duckett was not prepared for what lay ahead. She got a world-class cross examination without the benefit of counsel. She was jumped. It’s true, she knew she was going on TV. But how many people in the midst of a crime - whether they perpetrated it or not - are in their right mind for a grilling on international television? Melinda Duckett didn’t kill herself because of that interview. But surely it was, if not the last straw, a straw high on the haystack.

Nancy protests that “Melinda committed suicide before that interview ever aired. It had never gone to air.” A straw man argument if ever there was one. Melinda killed herself just hours before the show aired on Friday, September 8th. She knew it was coming, and she knew she was about to look like a fool in front of a worldwide audience. For anyone, that’s a lot to handle.

I can hear the Nancy supporters cry now: “Melinda did it! She obviously killed the son! She was in the middle of a messy divorce and didn’t sound truthful!” I have no sympathy for child killers. None. But it doesn’t matter. Any lawyer will advise you against doing or saying anything that could give a whiff of self-incrimination. Look at the ceaseless attacks on the Ramseys. And even if “Melinda did it,” that’s for a court to determine, and not TV news. Nancy Grace considers herself the judge and the jury. She brings on psychiatrists and “experts” to back up her opinion. Where were Melinda’s experts for the defense?

The irresponsible use of her pulpit is staggering. Nancy’s obsession with “Did you take a polygraph? Why won’t you take a polygraph?” is a populist absurdity. A polygraph test is banned in some jurisdictions, is only admissible at the discretion of the judge in others, and has long been proven to be unreliable especially in times of stress. It is only definitive in Nancy’s kangaroo court.

The devotion of prime time space to the search for missing children is admirable. I love that CNN has dedicated time to that. But I also have a suspicion the motives are not wholly selfless. If Nancy’s show were not a ratings-grabber, the dedication to missing children would move on. If my child were missing, I would do everything I could to get a second of air time on any outlet that would have me. I just wouldn’t go on with Nancy Grace.

On Monday, September 11th, she gave most of her show to the Duckett case again. Did Nancy do the right thing by saying “We feel terrible about what happened, and we send our sympathy to the Duckett family at this time of still another tragedy”? Nope. About midway through she begged off any responsibility for Melinda Duckett’s death: “I do not feel that our show is to blame for what happened to Melinda Duckett. The truth.. is not always nice or polite or easy to go down. Sometimes it`s harsh, and it hurts.”

The truth is that this show could be a great forum for discussing the legal ideas of the day. Instead it is a tabloid show that disguises its mission in self-righteousness.

~~~~~Forever A Facetious Pain~~~~~
~~~~~Sweet Smile~~~~~

37 comments:

Michelle said...

I'm not a fan of Nancy Graces at all. I feel she caters to a certain audience in America. The elite and white bred. If there is a blond haired blue-eyed gal missing in America, believe me, Nancy Grace will be on the case. She had the nerve to talk about that Lafave lady last night and sensationalize the whole situation. She does the very same thing. You hardly see any less attractive missing women on her show. They are all usually pretty and young.
Concerning Duckett, well, I think she was a coward and took the easy way out. Did Grace contribute to her emotional instability? Sure she did. So, the Nancy Grace show is just as much responsible for that boy not being found , as the monther is. They should have backed off until investigators did their job.

preesi said...

Michelle? Trenton Duckett is ASIAN!
Nancy has spent 2 weeks on this case. Nancy Grace is one of the few trying to find Trenton... Its not even on the news up here in Philly.

Nancy is one of the few publicizing minority disappearances...

Aside from Politics, Crime Stories, Celebrity Gossip, and Food are my other fave subjects. Ive studied this case for 2 weeks so far. I wouldnt have known about it had it not been for Nancy Grace.

Im really concerned why NO ONE in the media are covering the arrest of Duane Dog Chapman...

Michelle said...

Preesi? That story about the "dog" was all over the place last night, where were you? It was on HLN, CNN, and other channels. Right now there are more important issues like this boy and other children being missing. I think our Congressional business is more important than Dog the Bounty Hunter right now too.
I never said Nancy Grace was a total racist. I said the majority of her stories have concentrated on well to do-middle class white women that are missing. That is why I tuned her out a long time ago. That Holloway case she had on for months and months. Err and the runaway bride, lol. There are more than five cases a year of missing women and children in the USA. Yes, she is covering the story about Trenton Duckett, but if his mom wasnt so beautiful , would he have got the coverage? Unless I missed it, I never see her concentrating two weeks on other children this long, except Jonbenet. There are thousands of kids missing around the USA. And!! The time she spends on the OJ case M.J. cases is pathetic. Why even give that story any more airtime like she does? Yes, I do give her credit for at least showing one missing child in the USA and I do wish there was more devoted to this problem.

Eff25 said...

Good post, Muse.

I do recall hearing Duckett say that she was told to not talk about her whereabouts at the time her child went missing, so why did Grace feel she had to play the role of interrogator and to pressure Duckett into revealing information, a revelation that was apparently against Duckett's counsel?

preesi said...

Michelle, Nancy goes with what is popular. Natalee Holloway was popular I guess. I think it was a big deal to NG because Beth Holloway Twitty was in investigations herself, so maybe they were trying to help out their own.
During the Chandra Levy thing Greta was all gaga over the case because she lives almost smack dab in Rock Creek Park (where Chandras remains were dumped to make people think she died there) Its all ratings!

And I havent seen Dog on any other channels but MSNBC, except for the crawl. It wasnt even on ET or The Insider ORRRR Nancy Grace!

Hes a great man.

preesi said...

And eff?
She never made Nancy aware that her lawyer had told her not to tell anyone anything. Only after her death has her lawyer come forward to say that she told Melinda not to talk.

Facetious Muse said...

Preesi actually one time during the interview when Nancy Grace asked Duckett why wouldn't she answer the question where she (Duckett) was, Duckett did replied with "I was told not to".

I do have a link with the transcipt of that interview if anyone is interested, just let me know and I will post it.

Eff thank you :o)

Michelle I agree, I too have not forgotten how Nancy Grace had that poor 'groom-to-be" (in the case of the run away bride) tried and convicted. I also rememeber when Elizabeth Smart came on to Nancy Grace show to advocate a bill (this was 4 years after Smart's abduction). Although Nancy was asked (and agreed) not to ask questions of Smart's past horrid ordeal, Nancy couldn't resist. I also have a link for that if anyone wants it.

~~~~~Forever A Facetious Pain~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~Smiles~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Eff25 said...

You are welcme, Muse.

That line is what I was referring to.

Though she did not identify who told her this, if someone actually told her, I interpreted it as, at minimum, a probable police order, or whatever the term is.

preesi said...

Fac?
I just reread the transcripts and it was OBVIOUS who she was referring to.

MD states that she has a LAWYER for CUSTODY ONLY, meaning Family Law. IE not CRIMINAL. So by that admission, MD didnt have a lawyer to advise her on this matter. HOWEVER MD repeatedly stated that the FBI told her not to talk to the local LE, which NG knew the FBI would NEVER advise her to do.
NG knew that MD was sketchy and hiding things...

BTW- if you were told not to talk to people about "stuff" you dont go on tv and start talking about stuff.
She waited to tell NG that she was told not to at the last part of her interview and then right after she said it, she hung up.

She lied thru-out her interview. LE and NGs guest dont blame NG. They all have said that she did the right thing...

The fact of the matter is that MDs TOP priority should have been FINDING HER SON, not LYING and giving evasive answers.

IN FACT, MDs own MOTHER stated that her daughter killed herself cause she heard rumors that Trentons body had been found. So MDs mom doesnt think NG had anything to do with it.

I dont like NG and I think in a lot of cases she has sensationalized and jumped the gun. But she was questioning this woman trying to help her find her son, and MD wouldnt give straight answers (the same questions LE was having trouble getting out of her) and MD was cornered cause its obvious she killed her baby and MD took the cowards way out!

The fact is, if she had a lawyer she would said IMMEDIATELY that she was advised not to discuss certain things FROM THE BEGINNING.
She didnt. Instead she lied, evaded etc.

(Ive only had a lil coffee so sorry if this is choppily written)

Eff25 said...

I'm still not sure it was the smartest, let alone appropriate thing, for Grace to push as she did.

Michelle said...

Evidently, Melinda D. and her hubby were going through a very nasty divorce. She had threatened to kill Trenton in the past if her hubby did not meet her terms in certain situations, evidently. She was under suicide watch at the beginning of the ordeal. I think one of Grace's shows addressed this. You might want to check. But, Melinda was an unstable person documented by many people. They also said that should would hurt Trenton to make him cry when his dad was around. (this is what was said on the show) How much truth or witnesses I am not sure. But, I think to make it fair to everyone, they should at least state if that screen was cut from the inside or the outside. With Melinda's timeline and the route she said she was taking to the mall. My gut feeling is they will find that child in that park they are searching today or at least evidence.

Facetious Muse said...

I did some checking and this info I found at National Voice For Children.
"Last month, a judge granted Duckett a temporary restraining order against Joshua Duckett, 21, after he threatened to kill her and Trenton, according to court records. Joshua Duckett is the son of James Duckett, the former Mascotte police officer who is on death row for raping, strangling and drowning an 11-year-old girl in 1987. Last year, Joshua Duckett petitioned the court for an injunction against his mother, accusing her of harassing phone calls and threatening to take Trenton away. A judge rejected his request. Duckett family members refused comment Tuesday"

So from all the info I could find it was the boy's father; not the mother, who threaten to kill Trenton. Please let me know any other info you hve saying otherwise thank you

Facetious Muse said...

Ok I found some more info, that of course the mass media did NOT share. I as going to post that here in comments, but it is too long, check update to Duckett. Thank YOu

AnonymousPoster said...

Why is it that people think that reporters are any more than just that.. reporting what they see and how they see it? Nancy Grace's show is an opinion show based on how SHE sees the facts. Nancy rose to fame from commenting on the OJ Simpson trial when, because it went on so long they were looking for new faces. Nancy Grace's finace' was murdered, so Court TV thought she had some kind of edge, I guess.

News shows like hers, Greta, Anderson Cooper and others are not only choosing cases of attractive people, thats absurd. They choose cases that have the most sensational value and will draw the most viewers. Never forget folks, the new age of cable news is for entertainment value and profit.

Facetious Muse said...

AP I can only wonder how many know that while Nancy Grace was a DA she was reprimanded 'several' times by judges.

FRisson1 said...

Although I have not watched Nancy Grace on any program for a number of years, and I am not well versed on this particular case, I am quite aware that Nancy Grace lacks professionalism as a journalist and an attorney. Grace is driven by personal bias and beliefs rather than good legal reasoning. Grace has been criticized for her aggressive interviewing and her declarations on air that individuals are guilty before they have even been arrested or have gone to trial. Her Pompous attitude and statements that her own marriage , husband and life are beyond reproach, while other people are living a life of degradation are nauseating. "My husband would never do that", "That could never happen in my life" and "I don't know but something is fishy about that" are part of her on screen rhetoric . The only good thing I can say at least she is on TV and not in a court room or on a bench somewhere.

It is amazing to me that the producer of the show allowed her to interview an unstable individual who whether involved or not had a child missing.

"It's not journalism"

Hub Brown, a professor at Syracuse University's Newhouse School of Communication, said Grace's style of badgering interviewees and assuming they're guilty may have led to the terrible consequences.

"It's not journalism," Brown said of Grace's show. "I would call it reality TV theater. There's a time to press people . . . but she had no way of knowing at the time of the interview [whether Duckett was guilty]. Because of the woman's suicide, there's a lot we may never know now."

Rick Ellis, stated on September 14th, 2006: In some ways, the Duckett interview wasn't that unusual for Grace. It was a mix of confrontation, interrogation and blindsiding. It was a masterful job of entertainment. But it was a useless and potentially dangerous news event.

The interview--like many similar ones---spent a lot of time focusing on facts that don't really matter to law enforcement. There seems to be an unspoken assertion by Grace that it's just as important to act innocent as to be innocent.

They were answers Grace pressed hard for during last week's interview.

"Why aren't you telling us and giving us a clear picture of where you were before your son was kidnapped?" she demanded of Duckett, according to a transcript.

"Because I'm not going to put those kind of details out," Duckett replied.

"Why?" Grace asked.

"Because I was told not to," Duckett said.

"Ms. Duckett, you are not telling us for a reason," Grace said. "What is the reason? You refuse to give even the simplest facts of where you were with your son before he went missing. It is day 12."

Kubic said Duckett was following the advice of her attorney when she chose not to take a lie detector test.

Nancy Grace is a detestable individual who harassed many innocent people on her shows in the name of sensationalistic TV.

FRisson1 said...

AP Grace has a legal background and should be a liitle more professional than "just" being a reporter. Grace served for nearly a decade in the Atlanta-Fulton County, Georgia District Attorney's office as Special Prosecutor of major felony cases involving serial murder, serial rape, serial child molestation and arson. She won nearly one hundred felony convictions at trial with no losses, although some convictions were later overturned by higher courts.

Facetious Muse said...

AP Nancy DisGrace was a total bitch and gave not one iota about facts or law when she was a practicing prosecutor attorney.

FYI:
Even courts that have upheld convictions she(Nancy Grace) has won have criticized her conduct. In a blistering 2005 opinion, a panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals said Grace "played fast and loose" with her ethical duties and failed to "fulfill her responsibilities" as a prosecutor in the 1990 triple murder trial of Herbert Connell Stephens. She failed to turn over evidence that pointed to other suspects to his defense. The court noted that it was "difficult to conclude that Grace did not knowingly" elicit false testimony from a police investigator that there were no other suspects despite strong evidence to the contrary.

On top of this Nancy has said many times the murder of her fiance made her decide to be an attorney, she uses his death to advance her own agendas, yet to this day DisGrace has NOT look at the court transcipts.

DisGrace is known in the courts system as a loose caynon and before anyone gives me the BS that she got 'evil' people off the streets, I would suggest you do some research and see how many of her cases were overturned in a higher court.

DisGrace is prolly guilty of allowing some really bad people go free due to her illegal actions she practiced during her run as an attorney.

~~~~~Forever A Facetious Pain~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Smiles~~~~~~~~~~~~

preesi said...

Frisson Says
Kubic said Duckett was following the advice of her attorney when she chose not to take a lie detector test.

Nancy Grace is a detestable individual who harassed many innocent people on her shows in the name of sensationalistic TV.
-----

Melinda Duckett had no atty FOR THIS case. She had a low paid family law atty that was working on her divorce. The atty should have referred her to a criminal lawyer...
As it stands Her own lawyer gave up the info to LE after her suicide. To me that means her lawyer thinks shes culpable for SOMETHING!

BTW If you wanna discuss this further hop on over to the Court Tv Forums, Im over there. So are loads more FACTS on this case...
That being said Its too confusing to talk about this on TWO boards. So I will nicely bow out of YOURS on this matter.

See you on Court Tv if you wish.

preesi said...

One more thing guys...
This may change your mind about Mrs Melinda Duckett. Melinda was not a stupid girl, she was going to college TO BE IN LAW ENFORCEMENT, Hence the Guns and Target Practice...

Facetious Muse said...

Give me link preesi, I would love to debate this issue. Thank you

Eff25 said...

http://boards.courttv.com/showthread.php?s=c20b9f32cbd8e3de58cce5dd9ee26c97&threadid=274860&perpage=40&pagenumber=1

I verified it by finding Preesi's profile. I assume it's the same Preesi.

Facetious Muse said...

Thank you very much Eff

AnonymousPoster said...

Why are you, (frisson and muse,) attacking me for Nancy Grace? LOL Do you not even take time to read my posts or just see my name and immediately take offense? LOL

Nancy Grace is a NOBODY! She holds NO power. She is a woman who holds a law degree and by the mere position given to her, and probably because someone thinks she looks good in front of a camera makes you guys think shes somebody. You all are giving her more credibility than she deserves. She is a sensationalist. Thats all. She was wrong to confront this woman this way; thats her style. Did she present all the facts? Not likely. Did she present only those that made her show appealing? Probably. Did she encourage this woman to take her own life? We will never know. Dont shoot me, Im only the messenger!

You cannot try cases in the court of public opinion.

Facetious Muse said...

AP are you trying to start your BS with me again? I have not once 'attack' you. Goodness girl, and honestly more 'trials' are done in the medias anymore. I do not believe this is right, but it seems to be the way it is. Many times in the recent past someone gets accused of doing some horrid crime and it is all over the news. Bad thing is if and when it is found out that certain person is in fact 'innocent' the damage has been done. There are many cases I can link you to if you want.

Now AP I really hope you do NOT try to act like I have been attacking you, it would be a sad thing to see.

In neither of my replies to you, did I attack you, I stated facts that few seem to know, I really hope that you are not taking debating as attacks.

Carry On :>)

Facetious Muse said...

Some more trivia on DisGrace, she came to be known when the OJ Simpson trial was going on. The reasons why she was singled out, was due to the fact that while she was in college her fiancé was murdered and also the fact that DisGrace had been an attorney.

I guess one could call it a case of being in the right place at the right time for DisGrace rise to media stardom

Michelle said...

Wow, you all have been very busy today, thanks for the information.

Errr, Nancy Grace really kinda scares me, lol. I usually face away from the tv when she is talking because her nostrils flare so big that I think she is gonna turn into a beast. When she goes into the attack mode she reminds me of a bulldog (shivers) it is frightening.
But, anyways I think I need to get caught up, no tv or net most of the day, it was refreshing.

AnonymousPoster said...

Muse,

your comments of 4:46 pm sounded as though you were further trying to prove me wrong in some manner. Im not trying to start anything but perhaps you were? It seemed you were trying to find fault in something I said by further denouncing Grace as if I thought she was wonderful. Forgive me if I was wrong.

Now, you said more and more trials are being held in the media. They do try, but only succeed if people ALLOW them to or give them any credence. Some people believe what they hear in the media as the God's honest truth instead of waiting to hear actual facts. I blame this on lawyers also, who want to sway a juror group. Its too bad there are people who believe everything they hear on the so called news and allow themselves to try cases based on information they hear in the media. "oh, if Nancy Grace said it, it must be true."

Also, your further trivia is just what I said in my first post which read: " Nancy rose to fame from commenting on the OJ Simpson trial when, because it went on so long they were looking for new faces. Nancy Grace's finace' was murdered, so Court TV thought she had some kind of edge, I guess."

One more thing. I just received an email from a group friend who was asking for prayers for this family and the little boy. Seems they are friends of hers and she said the mother is a suspect. They still have no leads on the boy. I think prayers are in order for this family. I'm sure they would rather not have Nancy Grace or you and I discussing their situation. Too bad they have to endure the media along with the crisis going on in their lives.

Don't give the news media any more credence than they deserve.

Facetious Muse said...

LOL Michelle, now I will always see DisGrace as a bull in a China shop.

AP apology accepted.

FRisson1 said...

AP when has a debate become an attack on someone? .....a little over sensitive are you?

I find your statement about cable TV being only entertaining and that You cannot try cases in the court of public opinion, to be a little naive.

Many people take everything said on TV as the gospel. We only have to look at many of the people on Paltalk that quote opinions of Rush , O'Reilly and Hannity as truth chiseled in stone.

As far as the court of public opinion goes one can just take a look at all the people that have had their lives destroyed by suppositions and rumors passed on by the media.

Of course public opinion effects a trial or why would the judicial system allow trial to be transferred to a different venue when publicity in an area has made a fair trial impossible.

By the way this is not an attack ... just a rebuttal to your previous posts

AnonymousPoster said...

Frisson, its so hard to tell the difference between your debate and attacks.

It is the ignorant who allow themselves to try people in the court of public opinion. I stand by my comment that you cannot try cases in the court of public opinion. "Cannot" meant to express that we shouldn't. We cannot, legally, anyway.

I realize many take what they hear on TV as the gospel. Just because some do it, does not make it the right thing to do. (Why must I tell this to a grown woman?) Are we sentenced to live by the practices of people who cant use common sense? I have often asked why some liberals and democrats give Rush Limbaugh and others such authority in their own minds. He is a man with an opinion, an interest in politics, and an avenue to express it. To assume because someone has a podium and an opinion does not mean they are an authority. Please remember that not everything you hear on TV, radio and in print is true and factual information. Some, however, is. Learn to tell the difference.

You said it yourself. ..."people that have had their lives destroyed by suppositions and rumors passed on by the media."
-RUMORS-

Michelle said...

It is called responsibility. If these NEWS shows, no matter if they are on cable or a public system, have a responsibility to be truthful to the utmost of their ability. That is why we have rules and regulations. Especially with Nancy Grace. She is suppose to have experts or people who are witnesses, etc. Now, if this Duckett lady was around and she was slandered, then the problem can be taken care of in a court of law or she could come on the show and give some sort of rebuttal. She is not around and she should have a spokesperson. Just because they are opinion shows, like any debate or discussion, it should be based on facts and research. If a person outright lies, then they should be prepared to perhaps be taken to court for slander. If a show that is based on current events or news gives false information, they shoud be responsible or at least give a disclaimer at the beginning and end of the program to say it is based on fiction or opinions. Contrary to someone's beliefs on the blog, people are ignorant enough to believe what they see on these programs. I think Rush and Nancy Grace are a lil bit different. Most of his crap is based on his opinions, and hardly ever credible. That is what his show is about, right? Now, NG, she is suppose to be basing her show on court docs, expert opinion, law enforcement, etc. Her show revolves around the law, so it should be as factual as possible and give the FULL information. Not just tidbits to make it sway one way or another.

FRisson1 said...

Very well said Michelle!!!

AnonymousPoster said...

Yes, Michelle.........as you said, "should be".

It's so obviously biased of you to call out Rush as being biased as if Nancy Grace isnt. Funny. I bet you dont think Olberman is biased either. Most all shows of this nature are based on factual information, and each has a different spin on the facts. It is your mission, should you choose to accept it, to determine the difference between those facts and opinion.

This stuff is music to a sociologist's ears.

Michelle said...

AP, as I stated earlier, I am not a fan of Nancy Grace. I think Rush is a fat lying drug addict bastard. Anyone who would take him seriously is ignorant. It is his job to give you information to sway you to his opinions. As I said before NG "is suppose to be basing her show on court docs, expert opinion, law enforcement, etc. Her show revolves around the law, so it should be as factual as possible and give the FULL information. Not just tidbits to make it sway one way or another." I said NG is suppose to be basing her opinions on facts, not that she is. Which in a sense I criticized her.
AP, you believe that the views of the people on this blog would be music to a sociologist's ear. I'm sure it would be, we have many different views of the world today. Since you seem to twist and manipulate what people's views are, I think you have real sociopathic tendencies. Either you need to work on your comprehension skills, or you would be a good candidate for therapy.

AnonymousPoster said...

ha Michelle. I didnt say opinions expressed here would be music to sociologists ears. I said this "stuff".. lol That encompasses a lot. Its just that you are so easy to read. I could tell you werent a fan of Rush Limbaugh before you said it. That made your comparison invalid.

You're easy to read. THATS why YOU would make interesting observations for Sociologists.

AnonymousPoster said...

Oh, by the way Michelle. I cant stand Rush Limbaugh, but I understand what he does. It is indeed his job to present the facts and his opinion. Wake up. So does Nancy Grace. Please tell me youre not that ignorant!

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