The judging of Toni Medrano

There may not be a sadder story than the one today from Cottage Grove, where — the Star Tribune reports — a 29 year old woman set fire to herself last week, a month after being charged in last November’s death of her infant son. She fell asleep drunk on the couch, rolled over, and suffocated him. Now, she’s dead.

Does anyone else share responsibility for how this ended?

How about Nancy Grace?

The woman, Toni Medrano, obviously had a drinking problem. The Nancy Grace website audience wasn’t much interested in considering it…

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From several accounts, Ms. Medrano saw and read it all. A friend posted this week…


I am actually a close family friend; you and anyone else tossing harsh words have no idea what happened. Yes drinking with your infant child isn’t the best thing to do, but that’s not for me to judge. This was indeed an accident, and she had to live with that accident; but Nancy Grace you have shown so much evil upon her amongst other people in the media, that she is now in a hospital after commiting suicide and she has a zero chance to live. So thank’s for demonising a person for an accidental death and causing another personsdeath. I use to be a fan, but now all I see is another rating seeking soul-less monster. Another thnig to all of you that have your thoughts about another persons life, if you don’t have anyone living in your house to tell you what your doing wrong, then maybe learn the entire situation first before you hear what they want you to hear. There are always two sides and this side of Nancy Grace simply just came from the courts to make a mockary of another mother for a wrongful death.

In today’s media environment, there’s instant judgment.

  • matt

    I have no defense for Nancy Grace, even less defense for her commenters and, for the life of me cannot understand why people would read the comments about themselves.

    She passed out drunk and killed her child, was charged with the crime, and now committed suicide. The coverage certainly did not help but to think that there were not other issues in this young woman’s life that are more to blame than the postings of CNNaholics is missing a much bigger picture.

  • Bob Collins

    //The coverage certainly did not help but to think that there were not other issues in this young woman’s life that are more to blame than the postings of CNNaholics is missing a much bigger picture.

    I can find no comment that says the other issues aren’t to blame. The question is whether the rush to — let’s face it — a lynching is a component.

    Of course, we saw the same thing in the aftermath of the Senser hit and run. People were convinced that money would buy her way out of it. Today she was ordered to prison.

    The big picture is a lot of times the people to whom technology provides a megaphone, don’t have a clue what they’re talking about.

  • matt

    If AP retires from football or Barney Frank files for divorce based on the commentariat I will concede the point…and both of those people live and are employed based on public opinion.

    Let us travel back to June 25th when you posted about parenting through the viewfinder. Now certainly the father at issue was part of the public discussion because he posted a video but you gave him a stern tsk tsk and opened it up for comments. Trying to keep persepective to the events in the two cases – were he to throw a brick through the MPR front window would you engage in navel gazing as to what you and the NewsCut commentariat had done to this man’s life or would you think that in addition to questionable parenting the man had deeper issues?

  • Bob Collins

    In order to somehow explain why those two cases aren’t related, I’d have to first get my head around the idea that they could be. Not having any luck with that.

  • matt

    Case A:

    1. Subject commits bad act,

    2. jounalist reports,

    3. comments are posted,

    4. subject commits another act.

    Case B:

    1. Subject commits bad act,

    2. journalist reports,

    3. comments are posted,

    4. hypothetical bad act by subject.

    In case A you link 2 and 3 as a cause to 4. Would you do the same in case B? If so you have wronged the subject of case B. If not the conclusion reached in case A can be called into question.

    It seems to me that the conditions that cause 1 are far more responsible for 4 than 2 and 3 put together. The danger being that we spend time as a society worrying about 2 and 3 and give short shrift to 1 and its precursors.

  • Bob Collins

    Matt, I think you’ve done a fair routine of logical gymnastics there.

    How does considering the role of the reaction to Toni Medrano’s initial situation take anything away from her responsibility?

    I realize that your conclusion is built on a foundation that it does, but how does it?

  • Pat Fair

    A tragedy all the way around. Why anyone listens to a word Nancy Grace has to say is beyond my comprehension.

    Unfortunately the airways are overrun by those like her: big mouths and bigger egos, large microphones, no compassion or humanity, and little regard for the truth if it involves a nuanced approach that necessitates an attention span exceeding a minute and a half.

  • matt

    “Does anyone else share responsibility for how this ended?

    How about Nancy Grace?”

    So we get a brief outline of the real tragedy, that has no explanation of the precursors to the tragedy (did she lose her job, was she mentally ill, was her husband deployed, post-partum depression?). So there is no real discussion on the 96% of the cause that led to this but rather a focus on the 4%. Could we solve post partum depression here? No, but if it leads to these situations it deserves discussion. Nancy Grace does not cause these problems. So what consideration has value? File it then as a “quality of discussion” complaint then if that squares with your intent for the discussion. But again each and every news org, including MPR, does the same thing as Nancy so a discussion of her responsibility in the matter seems to be a bit of the pot calling the kettle black. So then I would also say, if you feel what she did to be wrong or at least worthy of discussion for culpability than offer the fix that starts with MPR.

    I am okay with MPR and Nancy Grace. Public shaming is a valid means to shape the social conciense and to motivate behavior changes. Can it be kinder and gentler in some cases sure? But in the end, including consideration of this case, it is more humane than the criminal justice system.

  • Bob Collins

    // . But again each and every news org, including MPR, does the same thing as Nancy so a discussion of her responsibility in the matter seems to be a bit of the pot calling the kettle black.

    That’s interesting. In a Minnesota sort of way.

  • matt

    Not sure what it means to be interesting in a Minnesota sort of way…is that condescending in a New England sort of way? Does it mean it…appeals to a midwestern morality?…the kind of forward thinking that had us all drinking Grain Belt before the hipsters co-opted it type of thing?…a habit of the Gopher state to apply the specific to the general?…could only be stated in a state that elected Jessie Ventura?

  • Maggie

    I am so sad for her family and friends. What she did being very painful showed her inability to forgive herself. I’m sure that the Media didn’t help either but it sounds as though she already had some alcohol problems to begin with. Extremely sad as I believe she had older children.

  • Peter D. Manski

    Nancy Grace is all too quick to rage and throw stones at others. It seems she enjoys what she is doing. This is called BULLING! I hope she apologizes to the public and takes full responsibility for her actions by resigning from the TV network. Stop being so cold and vicious Nancy and have some heart. We are all only human and make mistakes. Instead of destroying people, you can help to rebuild them. Think about coming home with a heart full of love and joy rather than hate and misery :) You will be loved and respected….

  • Candice La Pere

    I have never understood why people watch Nancy Grace in the first place. She is ALWAYS biased in one form or another. THAT is not journalism. There are a number of Trials that don’t include her “I know it all” attitude, and that has lead the public opinions BEFORE the trial actually begins. Thus, there is no way to see how a trial is not tainted This despite evidence or lack of evidence. She is a disgrace to journalism; justice with the courts; and human decency. Yes, the woman rolled over on her baby. That happens even when people don’t drink-that is why mothers are advised not to have the baby with you in the bed. She needs to apologize to the Medrano circle-and they need to take her off the air.

  • Action

    This poor woman sadly was responible for her infants life, but unfortunately was chastized by the most critical voice in America. Nancy Grace should be banned from television. She earned her credits only because O.J. Simpson murdered his wife and her companion. She was a no name then and a poor name now. Nancy Grace, is a poor representatve of good television.

  • Lindsey

    I think it *might* interest people so quick to absolve Nancy Grace of any responsibility to remember this is the SECOND time she’s been at the forefront of this type of mess and the first time it not only cost a young mother her life BUT also cost someone (not sure if Nancy herself or HLN/CNN) to have to come out of pocket and settle a lawsuit. One would *think* after such an experience Nancy would be a tad bit more careful with trying to ensure the people she subjected to her “truth branded journalism” would be psychologically capable of withstanding the lynch mob.

    And honestly, it doesn’t take a degree in psychology to figure out a woman who had a three week old infant and was drinking to the point of unconsciousness *might* be suffering from PPD, have a drinking problem or self medicating depression or some other psychological issue. Especially since in this woman’s case she was, by ALL accounts, a good person and a good mother. NO past history of abuse or neglect. No felony/criminal record. Nothing to indicate she was a “bad” or “evil” person. A thirty second background check would have revealed that the woman was accepting her charges without attempting to skirt responsibility, suffering greatly and trying to come to terms with what she’d caused. If lowly old me can find that out with a google search, so can the folks at Nancy Grace. Nancy Grace needs to realize that not every case needs to be sensationalized and recognize the difference between someone who is truly evil and someone who made a mistake and deserves to be punished, but not subjected to a witch hunt and a lynch mob. Her body count is now at two…how many does it take for the lesson to sink in?