what a shock

I just finished my workout, made a cup of joe, and turned on the news. CNN, Faux and MSNBC are simultaneously reporting that Anna Nicole Smith died of an accidental drug overdose. What an appalling surprise. Who would have thought that?

If you are a regular reader of this little cyber-pamphlet, you know how I feel about this Smith thing. Her death is a bad thing for her family. It’s not irrelevant that she’s dead, but a lot of people are dead. Her death is no more or less relevant to society at large than anyone else’s. It’s not news. Her drug problem is troubling and sad, but millions of people are hooked on drugs. It’s not news. The questionable parentage of her daughter is a little ugly and too bad for the kid, but countless lives start out in difficult circumstances. Not news.

The real story behind the trainwreck life and death of Smith is the way the media have exploited it, using it as a diversion from real issues of economics, politics, the welfare of the planet, and global morality. CNN has become ANS – All Anna Nicole, All the Time. I’ve mostly stopped watching it. (Larry King simply needs to retire; he has no more place on TV than I do.) MSNBC is a little better; I like Olbermann. Faux isn’t worth mentioning, but I did.

When they cover this tripe, they do not broadcast in the public interest. Carrying round-the-clock coverage of tawdry, tabloid concerns is not the basis for an FCC license to act as a news venue.

For cryin’ out loud, let’s move on. She’s as dead as she’s ever going to get.