Monday, February 19, 2007

News, entertainment, or none of the above?

This is today's Candorville comic. I laughed out loud at it not just because it's funny, but because Alana and I were talking about this very thing over the weekend.

Click on the comic for a larger version. (In case you can't make it out, the fat guy has "Mainstream Media" written across his t-shirt):



Ironically, a little over an hour ago the local NBC affiliate used Anna Nicole Smith to introduce a story. They said something like, "Don't let the Anna Nicole Smith tragedy happen to you. Watch our segment on estate planning!" Okay, that was a paraphrase, but not by much. (Lord, but I hate the local TV stations here in Monroe...)

According to The Daily Show last week, CNN spent more time in one segment uninterrupted by commercials on Smith's death than on any story in recent years except 9/11.

Why is the death of this woman getting so much air play? Yes, it was a tragedy that she died so soon after her son, and that she left a baby behind... a now rather rich, custody-entangled baby. But other than having blond hair, big boobs (which she happily showed off in Playboy), marrying an old rich guy, and acting like a drunk prostitute on her own MTV (or was it VH1?) reality show, what did she ever do that was the least bit noteworthy?

Alana is disgusted that so much time was spent on the Smith case while Laura Edwards, a woman I trained last year, went missing without a peep on the national news. (Her body was later found. Apparently a suicide note was also uncovered.) What happened to Laura would be a much better story to cover, one that had the potential to help thousands of other people out there. Instead, a ditzy blond with a penchant for barbiturates is covered ad nauseum.

I can only assume that someone is watching all these half-witted talking heads, like Nancy Grace, go on and on about Smith's death. Otherwise they wouldn't bother pushing it. Forget the fact that the world would be much better off if the same time was spent debating global warming, fossil fuel replacements, or the continued state of decay in the Katrina-ravaged Gulf coast.

I see that a new horror channel will be starting up soon. I keep hoping that somewhere in the 500+ cable channel universe someone would actually do a news channel...

2 comments:

JAM said...

I told my wife a few days ago when yet another Anna Nicole Smith update came on, that the only good thing that might come out of all of this is that Jon Benet Ramsey might be able to rest in peace now.

Maybe we'll have to hear about Anna Nicole for the next 10 or 15 years until the next blonde dies.

Allan Goodall said...

I told my wife a few days ago when yet another Anna Nicole Smith update came on, that the only good thing that might come out of all of this is that Jon Benet Ramsey might be able to rest in peace now.

Very good point!

I'm receiving Entertainment Weekly for free for a few weeks courtesy of Books-A-Million. The first issue came yesterday, and has an article about Anna Nicole Smith... written by Stephen King. It was only a page long and actually quite interesting. He was commenting more on the phenomenon of media and public obsession with dead female celebrities than on Smith herself. It was easily the most intelligent piece I'd seen or read about her death.