Just when it seemed that the racial tensions couldn't get any worse after George Zimmerman's “not guilty” verdict regarding the charge of the second-degree murder of black teenager Trayvon Martin, along comes Nancy Grace, the host of a weeknight news/interview program on the HLN cable news network, who did her best to fan the flames even higher.
Responding to lead defense attorney Mark O'Mara's closing argument on Friday night asking the jury to give Zimmerman his life back, the acerbic host growled: “Give Zimmerman back his life? He’s out on bond driving through Taco Bell every night, having a churro.”
Grace continued by charging that the defense had made many unusual arguments during the proceedings, but this one “takes the cake:”
You know, long story short, he’s got his life. Who is going to give life back to Trayvon Martin? I find that, at the very least, a very poor choice of words.
The host began that segment of her show by showing Zimmerman taking a drink of water and stating that the defendant “was breaking out in a cold sweat during closing arguments.”
She then showed a video of O'Mara's final plea to the jurors:
I need one more thing from you. I want you to really, really look at those instructions, apply them and just say 'yeah' to self-defense, find him not guilty. Let him go and get back to his life.
That's when the former prosecutor and flagship personality on the low-rated cable network hurled the racial stereotype at Zimmerman, who's half-Hispanic.
Since then, Grace has been accused of using “a very poor choice of words” herself, with some even going so far as to call her a racist for the language she used.
One of the people who joined the fray was Fox News contributor Katie Pavlich, who tweeted the video of Grace’s comments on Tuesday.
“Hi @nancygracehln, why are you racist toward Hispanic people?” Pavlich posted.
Another Twitter user whose screen name is @ConservaDeb agreed with the Fox reporter's characterization.
She tweeted that Grace “was over the top w/ the Taco Bell and churro comments! OMG! That was crazy talk! Racist!”
Allahpundit from HotAir found Grace's accusation confusing:
Did I miss something during the trial (or before) about Zimmerman being a fan of Taco Bell? Was he eating a churro on the night of the confrontation with Martin?
“I’m trying to give her the benefit of the doubt by assuming that she’s referencing a detail from the case that I’m unfamiliar with, but googling turns up nothing,” he noted.
Look at it this way, I guess: There’s at least one commentator out there who’s not trying to frame this in crude “white versus black” terms. Nancy prefers the more subtle “Latino versus black” narrative.
The blogger ended his comments with a mild bit of humor: “Next on Nancy Grace: Is America safe with an armed George Zimmerman lurking in the shadows at El Pollo Loco," another Mexican fast-food restaurant chain?
Meanwhile, @trscoop stated that the incident changed his opinion on the HLN host:
I've never found Nancy Grace more detestable than I do now. And this pushed me from ignoring her to detesting her.
“Not a peep from HLN on Nancy Grace's Taco Bell comments,” @LeonHWolf tweeted. “Congrats, HLN, you're officially less accountable than the Food Network.”
Speaking of Grace's employer, @LeonHWolf concluded: “If Nancy Grace were on the Food Network, she'd have been fired for this.”
As NewsBusters previously reported, Grace has a reputation of being too aggressive during interviews, sometimes even cutting a guest's mic off if that person disagrees with her on the topic of the night.
And for those of us who don't drive through Taco Bell every night, a churro is a fried-dough pastry that is sometimes referred to as “a Spanish doughnut.” It's interesting that Grace knew what that dessert is, which suggests that she probably spends more time eating in that fast-food Mexican restaurant chain than George Zimmerman does.