Talk about the devil dancing: Nancy Grace gets ABC's 'Stars' for being bad

In the grand tradition of Kate Gosselin and Bristol Palin, comes this nasty character

August 30, 2011|By David Zurawik | The Baltimore Sun

I am too tired to go crazy about this. And there really are so many hugely more important things going on the world practically every day.

But ...

I cannot let the addition of HLN host Nancy Grace to the lineup of ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" pass without comment. It is such an exquisite example of how calculating and exploitative prime-time network TV can be.

Here is what I find debased about the selection of Grace: She probably got the job and the $500,000 that goes with it because she decided on her own that Casey Anthony was guilty and then, ignoring any sense of respect for the judicial system or fair play, pounded away on Anthony's alleged guilt day and night.

And when a jury did not convict Anthony of murder, and one might think Grace would show some respect for the verdict, she doubled down with her crazed, venom-dripping, death-grin delivery of the line about the "devil dancing tonight."

Here's what I wrote at the time in July:

Nancy Grace's reaction to the not guilty verdict in the Casey Anthony trial is one for the ages of cable TV.

You could not invent a character like Grace. You might think Grace would be somewhat more even-handed after the woman she characterized as a murderer was declared not guilty.

But not Grace.

After priming the emotional pump with a description of members of the defense team sitting in a bar drinking a champagne toast, Grace says, "You know what? I'm not a preacher. And I'm not a rabbi. But something is wrong with that, because Caylee is dead. ... Somewhere out there tonight, the devil is dancing."

I look at Grace on this video, and I have no problem understanding why so many hate the media so much.

In the grand tradition of Kate Gosselin and Bristol Palin, ABC is now rewarding Grace for being bad -- and not just bad, but over the top bad with the "devil dancing" talk.

What does ABC get out of it? Someone for viewers to hate.

It is such a simple and calculated formula, but it works every Nielsen-loving time, because we have become such a hating culture.

Grace is indeed a TV woman perfectly pitched to the times in which we live.

In case you haven't seen them in a hundred other places, here's the ABC release with the other contestants who will be joining Grace for season 13 starting in September:

The 12 celebrities heading to the dance floor this season, as announced tonight on ABC’s “Bachelor Pad” by “Dancing with the Stars” hosts Tom Bergeron and Brooke Burke ... are:

DAVID ARQUETTE -- David Arquette is an actor, writer, director, producer and soon to be dancer. In 1997 Arquette was discovered at Sundance for his role in “Johns.” Since that time, he has acted in dozens of feature films, including the “Scream” films, “Hamlet 2,” “The Grey Zone,” “Dream with the Fishes,” “Never Die Alone” and “The Darwin Awards.” This year he reprised his role as Deputy “Dewey” Riley in the much anticipated fourth installment of the “Scream” films. He has also joined the cast of the Disney Television interactive series, “Jake and the Never Land Pirates,” where he lends his voice as Scully, a lookout pirate parrot who helps Jake and his crew of kid pirates. In January 2003, Arquette formed a production company, Coquette Productions, with Courteney Cox. Through their company, he wrote and produced his directorial debut, “The Tripper,” as well as “The Butler’s in Love,” which he executive-produced and directed. Also under the Coquette banner he produced the F/X drama “Dirt” and ABC’s “Cougar Town,” with Bill Lawrence, which Arquette executive produces along with Cox, who stars. Up next, he will direct the 3D psychological thriller “Glutton” for Remember Dreaming Productions, executive-producing through Coquette.

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