I was sitting in a Toronto coffee shop, commiserating with the radiant Rosie Levine about the trials and tribulations of the modern journalist, when it hit me, us -- we are truly victims of circumstance (see Levine's TV/Radio piece in this issue) in that we must do our jobs, whether we like it or not.
|Now that they've let go the Wacko, Nancy Grace's sanity is to be feared for.|
Later that evening I tried to apply this theorem to MSNBC and Court TV harridan Nancy Grace (the mother of all misnomers or what?), as she shrieked and wailed over the verdict and chastised the jury of the Michael Jackson child-molestation case.
I couldn't do it. Grace is the epitome of dichotomy. On one hand, she's an ultra-biased bigot, railing against the hopelessly hapless Jacko like an hemorraghing hippo in heat.
On the other, she's a wired, wide-eyed doe, caught in the headlights, with nary an inkling that she herself is a victim, not only of her own prejudice, but of the inevitable ebbs and flows of a warped, wonderful popular culture that defy any and all logic -- and which Grace, clearly, just does not grasp. So, which is it? Is the graceless Grace a victimizer or a victim?
She certainly makes no bones about her hatred for, and envy of, Peter Pan incarnate, which makes her reporting of his conundrum absolutely unreliable.
She's the National Inquirer of the airwaves, she doesn't look before she leaps, and gives not a single hoot about anyone or anything beyond herself and her no doubt gargantuan paycheques. Jimmy Swaggart without the swagger. A voice in the night, a cry in the dark, a singer without a band.
And yet it's hard not to pity the poor thing as she churns up her stomach contents and strains her neck and optic muscles like a baby ostrich hatching. She really oughta take (your choice of drug here) and relax those sausage-lips.
Will it take an on-air seizure for producers to realize that this reporter should be in a mental hospital, not in front of the camera? Well, the sad truth is that it's very, very likely. Shades of Peter Finch in Network.
Grace was obviously mad as a hatter before Larry King turned her loose on his unsuspecting, undeserving audience. But now that they've let go the Wacko, I not only fear for her sanity, but also for the well-being of her viewers, who, like moths to a bonfire, cannot, inexplicably, turn her off.
My guess is that she will not get past this. She'll seethe and simmer and take every opportunity to rage against what she perceives to be injustice until she either drops dead or drives her demographic completely around the bend -- whichever comes first.
She won't commit suicide on TV, probably (perhaps unfortunately), but it ain't much of a stretch to imagine her head exploding or the eyeballs shooting out of her head. Which almost happened when the Jackson jury foreman, on Grace's own show, calmly stated, post verdict, that he has no doubt whatsoever that the Whack is a pedophile, but because he is a celebrity, the foreman and cohorts had to be careful to treat him like "a normal human being, just like everybody else."
Heck, even I was taken aback by this idiocy, until I realized it made no sense whatsoever (or, perfect sense) and thanked aloud the good Lord in heaven that I didn't have to cover the stinking thing.
And what do I do? Waste an entire column, about the second strangest creature involved in it, on it. So I am a victim then, as are all journalists, of the weirdness, the death of morality, the decimation of justice, the medication of the masses, the onslaught of chaos, the sheer, outright, abject insan...
Ooops! Sorry. You'll have to excuse me. Nancy Grace is on, and it's time for my meds. So, with a forget-it-Jake-it's-Chinatown emphasis, I'll utter this:
Hey, kids. It's not your fault! The world got weird before you even decided to write about it. But since you have, like Nancy Grace, you've got to call 'em, (perhaps unfortunately), as you see 'em.
And damn them crazy torpedoes anyway.
Inkwell Newswatch (IN)