Nancy Grace, a self-styled “victims’ rights activist” and pioneer in the art of outrage, will air her final program on HLN next week. Slate says that the “cultural appetite for grim true crime storytelling … has never been so keen. We are seemingly more susceptible than ever to both Grace’s material and her method, to narratives about sexual violence and to blunt outrage. What happened to Nancy Grace?” Slate says Grace “has seen her cultural relevance fade.” Her ratings have fallen off. At the end of 2011,Nancy Grace ranked 18th among all cable news shows; this past September, she ranked 45th, behind the 3 p.m. Fox News talk show Red Eye. Her time slot is being filled with a show hosted by Ashleigh Banfield.
Grace’s persona was less “expert legal analyst” than one-woman judge and jury. Slate opines that “in recent years, our legal and crime narratives have begun to change shape, especially when it comes to sexual violence. The myth of rape as something perpetrated by madmen in alleyways has long faded.” It adds that, “Today we want to understand colleges’ bureaucratic oversights in adjudicating sexual assault or the ingrained biases that guide routine traffic stops.” Also, “alignment with the perspective of victims is now the default media position in a way that it once wasn’t and … Grace may even be partly to thank for this development.”