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NANCY GRACE CONTRACTS REEFER MADNESS, THAT GRANTLAND TRANS* STORY, AND MORE IN THE WEEK IN MEDIA

Reefer Madness

Nancy Grace, who never met a murdered child she couldn’t lick her lips over in slavering glee, has some Thoughts on The Pot, and they are that marijuana will make you murder and strangle and shoot your whole family. Tell us something we don’t know, Nancy!

Before starting on her marihuana-induced psychosis about all the people tripping on the pot murdering families with their bare hands, Nancy Grace showed off some of her vaunted mad prosecutor skillz as she grilled Mason Tvert of the Marijuana Policy Project.

“In a nutshell, could you say why you think marijuana should be legalized — because, I mean, you know it’s addictive, highly addictive.”

Tvert replied that “marijuana’s addictive properties have been found to be actually pretty mild compared to alcohol and tobacco, and even caffeine.”

“So you — you are admitting it is addictive,” Grace interjected.

“Yes,” Tvert replied, “so is sex, so are video games.”

“So you’re admitting it! You’re admitting it!”

Well you can’t argue that. No, really, you can’t. You can just sort of look at her and make a face and go about your day.

But let us hear more of the ghastly Things She Has Seen.

“The reason I’m against legalization is that I’ve seen too many felonies — felonies — and I don’t mean pot sales or growing pot,” she continued. “I mean people on pot that shoot each other, that stab each other, that strangle each other, that kill whole families — wipe out a whole family.”

“You sound like you’re from the 1930s,” Tvert responded.

“No, no,” Grace replied. “The first time — there was this gorgeous lady standing in the middle of the courtroom crying, and I didn’t understand what was going on. They said she was a stockbroker. She had got addicted to pot, ended up losing her job, wrecked her car, couldn’t make her house payments on her house, so her husband got custody of the children, and now she has no house, no car, no family, nothing.”

Well, that is quite a jump there. She promised us felonies — felonies — and then only came up with a woman who lost her job and couldn’t make her mortgage payments. And that lady didn’t even murder a single family. NANCY GRACE PROMISED US STABBED AND STRANGLED FAMILIES. What a gyp.

[RawStory]

‘You Are About to Commit a Hate Crime’

500px-Lady_spyEverybody’s mad about the Grantland story on “Dr. V.” You mad? Well try harder!

The story is a beautifully reported piece of suspense, as we follow along with Caleb Hannan as he realizes something is off about the physicist whose golf putter has revolutionized … I don’t know, something golfy. (That someone has eight months to report a story about a really great putter is one of those delightful mysteries of publishing.)

The problem with Hannan’s story, and it is not a minor one, is the unrestrained delight he (perhaps unconsciously) shows in outing “Dr.” Vanderbilt’s transgenderism. DID YOU KNOW SHE WAS A MAN? he practically yells at one of her investors. The investor is like, “gee, nope, I hadn’t known that. Oh well, I guess I am gullible.” The investor has far better manners, and seemingly more empathy, than does Hannan.

“Dr.” Essay Vanderbilt committed suicide before the piece was published; Hannan calls his investigation into her fake credentials and lies a “eulogy.” And her credentials were fake. She did not work on any bombers; she was not a doctor who graduated from MIT. She sued people, a lot, and seems to have been a total jerk. Her need to control through intimidation and misdirection speaks of a kind of paranoid unraveling.

But Hannan tries too hard to justify his drilling down into the story; he is investigating because she is “defrauding” investors.

I was under the belief that what had transpired at Yar was ultimately harmless until I heard from a mysterious “silent investor” whom both Jordan and Dr. V had alluded to in our previous talks. His name was Phil Kinney. He was a retiree from Pittsburgh and he said he wasn’t the only one who had put money into the company. He had invested $60,000 — money that he believed he’d never see again. [...]

Maybe the most surprising thing about my conversation with Kinney was how calmly he took the news that the woman he thought was an aerospace engineer had once been a man, and a mechanic. “I’m pretty dang gullible, I guess,” he said. For all the hassle that came with his partnership with Dr. V, what had kept him going was the putter. That was what Kinney couldn’t understand. If Yar had simply been a scam, the story would have been much simpler. But the Oracle worked. And Dr. V seemed more interested in achieving fame as a club designer than in getting rich.

“She could have took my money and ran,” he said. “But she didn’t. She took it and built a great product.”

I’m no lawyer, but that seems like a hard case to make for “evil grifter.”

At one point, Vanderbilt tells Hannan he is about to commit “a hate crime.”

A few days later, Dr. V sent one final email. It had her signature mix of scattered punctuation and randomly capitalized words. Once upon a time I had brushed off these grammatical quirks, but now they seemed like outward expressions of the inner chaos she struggled to contain. “To whom this may concern,” it read. “I spoke with Caleb Hannan last Saturday his deportment is reminiscent to schoolyard bullies, his sole intention is to injure or bring harm to me … Because of a computer glitch, some documents that are germane only to me, were visible to web-viewers, government officials have now rectified this egregious condition … Caleb Hannan came into possession of documents that were clearly marked: MADE NON-PUBLIC (Restricted) … Exposing NON-PUBLIC Documents is a Crime, and prosecution of such are under the auspices of many State and Federal Laws, including Hate Crimes Legislation signed into Law by President Obama.”

Clearly Hannan is “thrilled” (he says so) when he discovers Vanderbilt’s career as an auto mechanic does not line up with her fraudulent (physicist, Department of Defense) credentials. After all, you report out a story for eight months, Sherlock Holmesing some lies is a pure rush. And there is no way to report that without explaining she used to have a man’s name.

(Some of the complaints on Twitter — and they were legion — revolved around Hannan’s “misuse” of pronouns, but Hannan only referred to Vanderbilt as “he” or “him” for a few short paragraphs when discussing the period of her life when she lived as a man, with a man’s name, married to a woman, and we think that’s completely correct.)

Our verdict, and it is mushy: Hannan’s tale is suspenseful and beautifully written. We even read the parts about the putter. We don’t find Vanderbilt’s suicide to be on Hannan’s head, nor his reporting “a hate crime.” Her lies were bold and brassy, and a solid basis for reporting … if you have eight months to report on a company that makes putters. (Which is probably the problem.) And if anyone had actually been defrauded. But his “thrill” about passing on her birth gender, to anyone who would listen and now millions more, is really fucking unseemly. And without it, “wasn’t actually an MIT physicist who worked at DoD, sued some people a few times, has a family who hates her” probably wouldn’t have made the cut. Stop reporting on shit for eight months, people. It makes you lose your sense of proportion.

[Grantland]

Ben Shapiro Bitches About the Oscars

pl travers emma thompsonHow are the communist liberal Hollywood Elite destroying America today, Ben Shapiro? By not nominating children’s movies for the Academy Awards! First Shapiro explains that many films that won Razzies outperformed their Oscar-nominee counterparts. This is a problem with America’s critics being snobby and ALSO with America’s moviegoing audiences being Vulgar. (Duh.) Ben Shapiro, always getting it both ways.

[But] many popular films this year were quite good: take The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, or Monsters University. The problem: These are all films with mass appeal — and some even appeal to children. But gone are days when Beauty and the Beast could be nominated for Best Picture. Instead, qualifications for Best Picture include AIDS (Dallas Buyers Club), rage against the Catholic Church (Philomena), alienation from humanity (Her), bleakness on the prairie (Nebraska), and the decay of Western civilization (The Wolf of Wall Street).

Would it be so terrible to see a Best Picture lineup including Hunger Games? Or Frozen? Or even the wildly overlooked Saving Mr. Banks?

Well, yes, that would be so terrible, Shapiro. Because we saw Saving Mr. Banks, and Her, and one was way much better than the other! (We don’t go to the movies very much, except when we are paying us to go to the movies. But Dok did not find Philomena to be a “rage against the Catholic Church,” and Snipy really loved Wolf of Wall Street. But then, they are Idaho and Minnesota Elites, and also Snipy is gaaaaaaay.)

According to the elitists, that would be a crime. That’s because it is unimportant to celebrate simple virtues such as sisterly love (Frozen) or to create a film about resistance to tyranny that isn’t set in George W. Bush’s United States (Hunger Games). It’s far more important to tell American society that it is deeply disturbed and evil. Films that do that have a better shot at Oscar gold than films that actually earn box office gold.

This is so dumb and boring we don’t even want to respond to it, like, “Why didn’t Chicken Soup for the Soul Vol. 13 get the Newberry Medal, INPEACH!” or whatever. So we will just leave it there.

[NRO]

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  • Gratuitous World

    When is Nancy Grace going to interview a key witness from the 2005 Nancy Grace Prosecutorial Misconduct Case?

  • Paul Lucas

    BOYCOTT NANCY GRACE

  • AnOuthouse

    I’ve been called a shit for brains idiot. When do I get my show?

    • MsAnthropesMr

      Do you have an agent?

  • Mahousu

    Nancy Grace would be an excellent cure for any sex addiction.

  • willi0000000

    does anybody actually watch, read or listen to this shit?

  • Spirula

    Do not, I mean DO NOT get in the way of a NG ragegasm! Denied of this essence to her life, she may end up smoking a bowl and start talking about how great the newest Coldplay CD really is before telling her husband that the twins really, REALLY need to go to Taco Bell even if it is 1am.

    • MsAnthropesMr

      MJ is a serious drug if it can make Coldplay palatable.

      • Spirula

        True that. Can’t tell you how many times I was left hanging as to how a Ramen Noodles commercial was going to end. Should I break them up or not? Is there going to be a sequel? Is shrimp or beef flavor better? It was agonizing waiting for the next episode.

  • Guppy06

    marijuana will make you murder and strangle and shoot your whole family

    No, my family makes me want to murder and strangle and shoot my whole family.

  • Guppy06

    OK, let me get this straight: Gorgeous Woman lost her job and had a bunch of things pop up that cost amounts of money that generally require a job to make. There is no mention of why exactly GW was fired, but the implication is that she was fired because of pot.

    People tend to get fired for pot rather than, say, tobacco, because pot is illegal and tobacco isn’t.

    So is our dear Nancy arguing that pot ruins lives, or that marijuana criminalization ruins lives?

  • Snarknado

    I don’t often do the over-earnest thing, Becca, but gonna have to disagree with you on a few facts about that Grandland piece.

    For one, even leaving aside the question of what gender we use for people past-tense pre-transition, Hanna DEFINITELY mis-genders her at one point (and implicitly, calls into question the legitimacy of her gender identity), when he writes, “What began as a story about a brilliant woman with a new invention had turned into a tale of a troubled man who had invented a new life for himself.” Moreover, the preceding sentences largely read as Hannan taking Dr. V’s trans status as converging evidence of emotional disturbance, which is all sorts of bullshit.

    In addition, I’d probably disagree at least a bit with your take on Dr V’s litigiousness. Based only on that Grantland piece, it seems like most of the lawsuits she filed were alleging sexual harassment and discrimination, of which trans* individuals are extremely frequent targets. Not every litigious person is Larry fucking Klayman.

    Moreover, undiscussed here (and indeed, throughout *most* of the uproar over this) is that bit towards the end where he offers a graphic description of the scene of her suicide. Now, I’m not a J-professor, but aren’t the ethical strictures against explicit representations of suicides in the press remarkably well-established and clear-cut? I remember Maddow expounding on that exact issue at great length, not that long ago, apropos the release of the Sandy Hook 911 tapes. That detailed description, which offers no news value to the piece, forces me to take a much more jaundiced view of, the decision to out this woman even if did believe there was some news value to it.

    All in all, I think that Hannan piece was incredibly asinine and stupid, and to my unstudied eyes, he appears to have crossed several ethical lines in an effort to appeal to prurient interests and “sex up” his piece. Were Dr. V’s lies about her credentials newsworthy? Yes, if a bit boring (though “golf club design remains incredibly full of pseudoscience” wouldn’t have been a bad lede). Were any of the other violations of her repeated requests for privacy in that piece newsworthy, though? Not really.

    For what it’s worth, I don’t think we’ll ever know how much it was Dr. V being “outed”, and how much it was the threat to her livelihood the legitimate bits of reporting here represented, that drove her to suicide, but my suspicion is that it is a mix of the two (particularly with the evidence *in that very piece* she’d suffered harassment and discrimination in the past weighing in favor of fear of being publicly outed), and if that *is* the case, Hannan does bear at least some of the blame..

    • rebecca

      You’re absolutely right; I’d missed the point where Hannan called her “a troubled man,” which is some fucking bullshit. I focused only on those grafs where he referred to Vanderbilt as “him” when specifically discussing her pre-Vanderbilt life, when she was Steven Kroll, married with children. Before my aunt Annie was my Aunt Annie, she was my Uncle Johnny, married with children. Back then, she *was* a man. And she agrees. Others will have different perspectives, but I think that one is valid too.

      I don’t think we can lay the blame for her suicide at Hannan’s feet, even if she *had actually done it because of the threatened outing.* I don’t think anyone can be blamed for any *adult*’s suicide, ever. That *doesn’t* mean we can’t call Hannan’s basic humanity into question. We certainly can.

      There’s a comment at Gawker I agree with: Hannan’s reaction to finding out Vanderbilt was trans smacked of gay panic, for having found her attractive.

      And I was also pretty glib about the “eight months” thing, but fleshing it out, what I mean is that: I believe that since he’d invested all that time in his reporting, he thought he owned her story. She didn’t. And that’s fucked up. She was not a public figure. His case that she had defrauded anyone — meriting an expose — was pretty fucking weak. By all account, she made a superior product. But having put that time in, he could not back down. He’d unraveled a “chilling” mystery!

      I completely agree Hannan crossed ethical lines — but more importantly, that they were ethical lines that weren’t exactly crossed for the greater good, but for his own fucking ego.

      I think the story’s crap. I maybe didn’t say that strongly enough the first time.

      • MsAnthropesMr

        I just read the piece (fuck – I hate golf). It seems to me – there’s no story, other than someone made a superior putter.

  • Andi

    “Some of the complaints on Twitter — and they were legion — revolved
    around Hannan’s “misuse” of pronouns, but Hannan only referred to
    Vanderbilt as “he” or “him” for a few short paragraphs when discussing
    the period of her life when she lived as a man, with a man’s name,
    married to a woman, and we think that’s completely correct.”

    Nnnnnope! GLAAD media reference guide states: “Avoid pronoun confusion when examining the stories and backgrounds of transgender people prior to their transition. It
    is usually best to report on transgender people’s stories from the
    present day instead of narrating them from some point or multiple points
    in the past, thus avoiding confusion and potentially disrespectful use
    of incorrect pronouns.”

    Trans people aren’t switching from one gender to another like a lightswitch. The external perception of trans people pre-transition does not override their own internal understanding of their identity. If you think someone is straight until they out themselves as gay, they weren’t straight and then gay later, you PERCEIVED them to be something they weren’t. If a trans lady decides that pursuing gender transition is the right thing to do for herself, then she wasn’t a man up until transition, EVEN IF she was perceived to be prior to transitioning, same principle. This is something that a lot of trans people bury for a long time, out of fear, shame, etc. That doesn’t make them not trans, it makes them the unfortunate victims of a society that unfairly discriminates and denigrates trans people. The choice to transition does not MAKE someone trans, it simply confirms that they are trans.

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