The Women’s News feature on our website today focused on the lawsuit against news correspondent Nancy Grace and CNN. The suit claims Grace pushed the mother of a missing toddler to suicide through aggressive questioning. Grace grilled the mother, accusing her of hiding something because she did not take a lie detector test and had vague answers regarding her whereabouts on the day her son went missing. The mother fatally shot herself just before the network was to air the interview.
What bothers me most in this case is that Nancy Grace casts a shadow on the profession of journalism. As a reporter, she should have gone into the interview free from bias, in this way allowing the story to emerge, giving dignity to the mother who lost her child, and perhaps uncovering the truth of what happened. But, grilling the mother — like a criminal prosecutor — with the threat of exposure through national television, is cruel and turns the interview into a stoning. It may be her employers who encouraged her to take this stand, but each and every reporter has a duty and responsibility to her profession. I may be called old fashioned, but I tend to believe that all professions, even reporting for CNN, have a responsibility to humanity. A reporter must never put a story before the welfare of another human being, and that is why it is usually safer for all involved to enter into an interview without bias.
This morning I was contemplating life while power spraying the deck at the cottage. With all the rain we’ve had this year, the algae has grown quickly, covering every surface with a thin green film that gets extremely slippery when wet. Power spraying has a zen-like quality to it — but my mind often wanders. I was thinking about dancing with our kids on the dock last night under the full moon. We watched our shadows jump and twirl. I wonder if believing in God makes it easier to live with the fact that these precious moments will one day come to an end. If I did believe in some grand design to the universe, would I stop living each moment to the fullest? I don’t want to make the trade, not yet anyway.
My husband and his sister make daily exercise look like a walk in the park. This week at the cottage I am determined to swim around the island. Today I swam a quarter of the way. Tomorrow I’ll swim half way and then the next day I’ll try the whole journey … unless the weather, or something else important — like the chocolate bars in the pantry — gets in the way. My tall, lean, gorgeous sister-in-law swims around the island every day; it takes her 20 minutes. Sometimes she swims it twice. I have to face the fact that I will never be as tall as she.
My nearly 4-year-old son starts school in a few days. I worry that someone will come into the playground and steal him away. Or he’ll run out on the road and get hit by a car. I worry that he will grow up and leave, that these precious moments we have with him will end. I worry that life will happen to him. I know it is silly. I want him to live a full life, but I know I will be the one with tears in my eyes as I give him over to his teacher on his first day of school.
Sarah Thomson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.