Opinion Brief

Nancy Grace: A 'calculating and exploitative' choice for Dancing With the Stars?

Fresh from the Casey Anthony media circus, the controversial HLN host will compete with other B-list celebrities on ABC's popular dancing show

It's official. The cast of the 13th season of Dancing With the Stars — which premieres in September — will include HLN host Nancy Grace, activist Chaz Bono, soccer star Hope Solo, and actor David Arquette, among others. Many critics blame Grace for sensationalizing the Casey Anthony trial. Indeed, following the not guilty verdict, Grace proclaimed that "the devil is dancing." Perhaps unsurprisingly, Grace's selection for DWTS is generating lots of attention, with some calling it "calculating and exploitative." Is it really?

This is just awful: Pathetic, says David Zurawik in The Baltimore Sun. Grace "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." Now ABC is rewarding Grace for her grotesque behavior. I'm sure she'll be good for ratings — but this is just more proof of our rapidly deteriorating, hate-mongering culture.
"Talk about the devil dancing: Nancy Grace gets ABC's Stars for being bad"

Come on. This is business as usual: Grace's selection is hardly outrageous, says Linda Holmes at NPR. Sure, it seems bizarre to jump from "she was very vocal about that child murder" to "let's teach her the foxtrot!' But this is par for the DWTS course. From former Speaker of the House Tom DeLay to talking head Tucker Carlson, "veterans of true public-sphere controversy are nothing new for this show." Grace is bound to be polarizing and controversial, and that's what the show thrives on.
"A whole new cha-cha: Nancy Grace goes Dancing With The Stars"

Plus, justice might be served: I'll tune in purely out of morbid curiosity, says David Lat at Above the Law. I'd been wondering what Grace could possibly do to top her maniacal coverage of the Casey Anthony trial, and this seems like an entertaining next step. It could be pretty funny "to watch the judgmental Grace get slapped around by the bitchy [judge] Bruno." Hey, "turnabout is fair play."
"Nancy Grace's next chapter: You won't believe this"

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