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Nancy Grace is an American television personality and former special prosecutor who currently hosts the CNN Headline News’ current affairs program Nancy Grace in which she covers a mix of news topics and gossip. On the Internet, she has come under sharp criticism for prematurely declaring suspects in high-profile criminal cases guilty without concrete evidence or due diligence.
Grace’s self-titled talk show, Nancy Grace premiered on CNN’s HLN (Headline News Network) on February 21st, 2005. As of January 2014, the show has recorded over 500 episodes. She has made multiple appearances as a guest co-host on the morning talk show The View since her show premiered, and has also been on Good Morning America. She has appeared as herself on several scripted shows since the mid-2000s including Law & Order: Special Victims Unit in 2007, The Wire in 2008 and Raising Hope in 2012. Grace competed on the 13th season of the reality competition show Dancing with the Stars in fall of 2011. While performing a dance number on the show she had a wardrobe malfunction that resulted in a nip slip that was widely reported on, though TV viewers didn’t see the malfunction. She was eliminated during the eighth week of the competition. She made her acting debut in the 2012 television movie The Eleventh Victim.
Elizabeth Smart Kidnapping Case
During the 2002 Elizabeth Smart kidnapping case, when suspect Richard Ricci was arrested by police on the basis that he had a criminal record and had worked on the Smarts’ home, Grace immediately and repeatedly proclaimed on Court TV and CNN’s Larry King Live that Ricci was guilty, although there was little evidence to support this claim.
In 2008 Smart was interviewed by Grace on CNN regarding a sex offender bill she supported. When Grace continually asked questions regarding the kidnapping Smart appeared exasperated and eventually refused to answer questions that were not about the bill.
Duke University Lacrosse Case
During the coverage of the 2006 allegations that three Duke University Lacrosse players had raped a woman, Grace continually suggested the students were guilty on air, making sarcastic statements such as:
“I’m so glad they didn’t miss a lacrosse game over a little thing like gang rape!”
Why would you go to a cop in an alleged gang rape case, say, and lie and give misleading information?"
On the April 27th, 2007, Jon Stewart suggested in an episode of The Daily Show that Grace had someone fill in on her show the night after the rape allegations were proved false because of her previous statements.
Casey Anderson Coverage
During the 2011 trial of Casey Anthony, a mother accused of murdering her two-year-old daughter Caylee, Grace publicly supported a guilty verdict throughout the case, and as a result garnered further ire from her critics.
Image macros depicting Grace’s reaction to the trial have surfaced, often promoting the catchphrase “the devil is dancing” which she proclaimed upon hearing the verdict. The Nancy Grace audience more than doubled in the weeks after the start of the Casey Anthony trial.
Cleveland Kidnapping Case
While covering the kidnap and rescue of three women in Cleveland, Ohio in May 2013, Grace conducted a news report on CNN with fellow journalist Ashleigh Banfield. While the interview appeared in spilt screen and seemed as if the two women were reporting from two different locations, a car driving through the background of both screens reveled they were actually standing in the same parking lot. The channel did indicate in the corner of the screen that both women were reporting from Phoenix, but news site The Wire concluded they were standing about thirty feet apart.
Oscar Pistorius Murder Trial
On March 25th, Grace made an appearance on ABC Good Morning America to discuss the trial of South African runner Oscar Pistorius who has been charged with the murder of his girlfriend. When Dan Abrams, a legal analyst also featured in the segment, brought up the fact Pistorius was using his cell phone at 1:48 A.M., Grace interjected,
""To look for porn, Dan! Porn!"
Because of Grace’s history of accusing suspects without evidence and bullying victims she has become a target of scorn online and in the media. This often comes in the form of Photoshopped pictures of Grace of video parodies of her reporting style.
On January 17th, 2014, YouTuber plixplop uploaded an edited video of Grace that made it seem like she was arguing both sides of the debate on the potential dangers of using marijuana. As of January 23rd the video has over 170,540 views.
On January 18th, 2013, sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live aired a sketch that poked on at Grace and her habit of jumping to conclusions and use of hyperbole.
Use of Hashtags
On September 25h, 2012, news and humor website Buzzfeed compiled a list of Grace’ strange, morbid Twitter hashtags she has used to sum up her thoughts on daily news stories. Examples include #BabyInDryer, #DeadBabyInCar, and #HackedToDeath. Sometimes the hashtags are included after a brief summary of the news report, while other times they are tweeted without any context. Other sites such as Gawker, MediaBistro, and UpRoxx also reported on and compiled her hashtags.
Death Threat on Twitter
David Lee Simpson was arrested in July 2013 for threatening Grace, and journalist Jane Velez-Mitchell, through Twitter. A resident of Bath, N.Y, Simpson was angry with Grace for her coverage of the trail of Jodi Arias, who was charged with the murder of her boyfriend. Police found weapons and handcuffs present when they searched his car. His trail date is set for April 1st, 2014.
On April 9th, 2014, Nancy Grace dedicated a portion of her program to discuss the death of James Brian Hellwig, better known by his ring name the “Ultimate Warrior,” on the night before. In the segment, Grace was joined by Diamond Dallas Page, former professional wrestler and a good friend of the late Warrior, to remember and pay tribute to the life of an icon in the pro-wrestling community. However, shortly after welcoming Page on to the show, Grace quickly drove the focus of the story towards Hellwig’s history of steroid use and suggested a possible link between drug use and the deaths of other pro-wrestlers in the past, including Owen Hart and Mark Curtis.
Following the airing of the program, Page released a long-form statement via his Twitter account to explain his side of the story, in which he criticized Grace for trying to paint the story of his late friend in a negative light, as well as bringing in other deceased wrestlers into the discussion of steroid-related deaths.
“I went on Nancy Grace last night expecting to discuss Warrior the man. Had I known the only topic discussed would be steroids I would not have participated. At the time I was also unaware of the list that was shown to the viewing audience. To imply that all of the wrestlers on that list died from steroids was wrong and for that they owe the families an apology. Again, my only intention was to discuss Warrior the man and share some stories about how dedicated he was to the wrestling business. I am saddened that was not what happened and my thoughts remain with his family.”
After Page’s statement went live, thousands of pro-wrestling fans began calling for the cancellation of Nancy Grace Show using the hashtag #CancelNancyGrace, in much similar vein to the #CancelColbert backlash against Stephen Colbert that had taken place on Twitter the previous week. According to Topsy, #CancelNancyGrace was mentioned nearly 12,000 times overnight and became a trending topic on Twitter in the United States. Meanwhile, the backlash also prompted Change.org user AJ Keller to launch a petition for the cancellation of Grace’s show. As of April 11th, 4:20 p.m. (ET), the petition has collected more than 14,600 signatures out of 15,000 that are needed.
Nancy Grace was born in Macon, Georgia, on October 23rd, 1959. She married David Linch in April 2007, and the couple have a son and a daughter.
False Fact Nancy Grace
False Fact Nancy Grace is an advice animal meme that features a photo of Grace with an obviously hyperbolic, untrue statement presented as something Grace would say as fact. On March 26th, 2014, the day after Grace’s live TV appearance on ABC Good Morning America, Redditor muff_daddy submitted this image macro to the /r/AdviceAnimals subreddit in a post titled “Since she never seems to have a clue of what she is talking about, I give you False Fact Nancy Grace.” In less than 24 hours, the post gained over 26,000 upvotes.
Between March 26th and 27th, more than 80 instances of False Fact Nancy Grace were submitted to /r/AdviceAnimals, with at least six posts garnering more than 1,500 upvotes.
Los Angeles Times – Nancy Grace says ‘the devil is dancing’ at Casey Anthony verdict
The Huffington Post – David Lee Simpson Allegedly Threatens Anchors Over Jodi Arias Coverage