July 10, 2012
We have a rule here at Infowars: Never go after little people.
I think we can all agree that when ruthless corporate scumbags who’ve stolen millions (sometimes billions) get caught, they deserve subjection to humiliation and ridicule. The same can be said for police officers, public servants, and politicians who defile our rights.
However, when an average citizen makes a mistake, like rolling over on her baby while sleeping, I don’t believe they deserve the same kind of treatment. For one, these types of stories have no bearing on the audiences’ life and only provide entertainment. Secondly, there are bigger fish to fry.
That being said, it can be argued that Nancy Grace, whose self-described “justice themed/interview/debate” HLN show frequently covers trivial issues of little importance to personal freedoms, is at least partially responsible for the death of a Minnesota mom.
The story begins last November when Toni Medrano, 29 and mother of 5, drank an alleged fifth of vodka and passed out on her couch only to find the next morning that she had laid out on top of her baby, smothering the 3-week-old child. She was subsequently charged with two counts of manslaughter, according to KMSP, a Minnesota Fox affiliate.
While this is extremely tragic, stories of this sort are not out of the ordinary; however, Grace made it a point to instigate commotion over the mother’s giant mistake.
“Why no ‘murder one?’” she asked, seemingly confused on her own show, while she proceeded to crack open a bottle of vodka to pour out into cups, supposedly to illustrate how many drinks a fifth of vodka actually pours (as if we’re all idiots and don’t know how a bottle of liquid disperses).
As anyone familiar with Grace’s background can attest, she knows the legal system quite well. She was a prosecutor, the host of Court TV’s Closing Arguments, had a syndicated network show called Swift Justice with Nancy Grace, and also co-wrote a book called Objection! – How High-Priced Defense Attorneys, Celebrity Defendants, and a 24/7 Media Have Hijacked Our Criminal Justice System.
With such an extensive legal background, one would think that Grace would know the prerequisites of a murder one charge: the “premeditated, willful” killing of a person. However, there is no indication that Ms. Medrano had intentionally decided to smother her own baby.
The baby’s death was, in fact, detrimental to Medrano’s mental state. At the time Grace’s segment aired, Medrano’s mother tells us Medrano was barely coming to grips with her mistake and was well down the road to emotional recovery and stability. Yvonne Hill, Toni Medrano’s mother, told Fox, “She was trying to build and get by and live with what happened…When she saw that, it broke her spirit in the worst way.”
Overlooking the obvious, Grace pursues slanderous questions like “Did Mommy booze it up and kill her baby?” The answer to that is an obvious yes. The question should have been, “Did mommy intentionally kill her baby?” but I guess that would not have made for an entertaining segment.
Grace goes on to pick out things in Medrano’s life that paint her as a bad person; a weekend of drinking prior to the death of the baby and a couple of DUI’s from two years ago. All the while, Grace is pouring vodka and acting dumbfounded that Medrano wasn’t charged with murder in the first degree.
In the early morning of July 2nd, Medrano doused herself in gas and lit herself on fire. She was taken to a hospital and later died. Medrano’s mother believes that Grace’s segment played a major part in her daughter’s suicide, and apparently so does University of Minnesota journalism professor Chris Ison.
Ison told Fox 9 that cable commentary shows like Grace’s can often “blur the lines between news and entertainment.” “Media can have a big impact on a case like this — and on a person like this,” Ison told Fox. “If you are treating it like entertainment, the news value is reduced — and sometimes when you are ridiculing or making a person more embarrassed, the potential for harm can go up.”
It’s easy to see how such malicious attacks by a popular public figure on national television, especially after the loss of a loved one, might humiliate someone so bad that it could drive them to suicide.
KMSP noted that “While no one knows exactly what was going through Medrano’s mind when she killed herself, police say she was despondent over personal issues and her loved ones say national exposure of her son’s death is at least partially responsible.”
Even more outrageous is that this is not the first time a woman has committed suicide after public ridicule on Grace’s show.
Raw Story notes, “In 2006, Melinda Duckett of St. Petersburg, Florida shot herself in the head the day before an interview with Grace was set to air. Duckett’s parents said that their daughter had been savaged by Grace in the taping and that she chose to die rather than face the tidal wave of scorn that was sure to follow the show’s broadcast.”
If Nancy Grace was pushing for the death penalty for Toni Medrano, she most certainly got it.
Here’s Grace’s June segment about Toni Medrano: