Stop Crying About Anna Nicole Coverage

It's not the crime they're telling you it is
By Colleen Barry,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 5, 2007 9:03 AM CDT
Anna Nicole Smith   (KRT Photos)

(Newser) – The all-Anna-all-the-time formula cable news networks embraced after the heiress' death was not the sin against the intellect commentators are bemoaning, argues Slate columnist Jack Schafer. In fact, he says, viewers may have actually learned something from the in-depth coverage of the complex legal issues surrounding Smith.

After all, the story was a labyrinth of potential baby-daddies, lawsuits, and forensics most people would never otherwise enter, and quarter-hourly updates were justified in guiding the way. Besides, 200 million couch potatoes can't be wrong, can they? "Perhaps the Smith coverage doesn't advance democracy... but giving the audience what it wants shouldn't automatically be considered a crime."