A 29-year-old mother from Minnesota who accidentally killed her 3-week-old baby by rolling over on him while drunk on vodka set herself on fire this past week. While the story is beyond awful, Toni Medrano's guilt and anguish were made especially bad by Nancy Grace, the CNN talk show host who dubbed her "Vodka Mom" and asked why she wasn't being charged with first degree murder.
There is no doubt that what Medrano did was beyond awful. It was horrible parenting and she deserved to be (and was) charged with manslaughter. But Nancy Grace and her ilk don't make anything better. They're like a cancer to our justice system, and the more we watch them, the more power they have.
Can't you just see her and her angry viewers picking up pitchforks and torches and whipping the villagers into a frenzy?
All of her nicknames -- "tot mom"; "vodka mom"; etc. -- they make a mockery of our justice system. Grace -- and others like her -- see the world as black and white. My 3-year-old has a more nuanced view of things than she does. She may have come off as sweet and vulnerable on Dancing With The Stars, but she is the opposite on her show where she often seems shrill and punitive.
There are good guys and bad guys, and good guys do good things and bad guys are ALWAYS bad. They're bad, not because they have problems or issues or substance abuse issues, but because they purposely planned to be awful. The world according to Grace's kind of media is a wonderfully simplistic place full of people who do everything intentionally and with malice, and then people who are good and pious and watch her show.
Give me a break. For any mom, the unbelievable guilt of killing one's own child accidentally -- even when the circumstances are wholly irresponsible and unforgivable -- is punishment enough. Obviously, our REAL justice system believed in her guilt enough to charge her with manslaughter, but they didn't believe what she did was intentional or well thought out. So where is Grace getting her information?
The fact is, we don't know everything under the sun. Shocking, I know. We can't make pronouncements about people's innocence or guilt or armchair quarterback a legal case. Grace may be a lawyer but she isn't ON any of these cases. She isn't the prosecutor and she doesn't know every detail of the investigation.
Now, all of Medrano's children who were left are motherless and that is, in part, likely due to the intense media bullying she endured thanks to Nancy Grace and her nicknames. This tragedy has no winners. My heart goes out to the children she left behind.
Do you think Grace and other talking heads need to tone it down?
Image via CNN