Anna Nicole Smith coverage has gone from the ridiculous to the just plain gross, with TMZ.com showing photos of the dead woman’s refrigerator.
While Entertainment Tonight pays Howard K. Stern a reported $1 million for his “story,” E! Online and others have their head in the sands of the Bahamas, following Stern’s battle over 5-month-old ATM, er, girl Dannielynn.
Thank goodness for the steady, staid voice of establishment print media, which would never stoop to put this scoop on A1.
Caryn James in the NYT takes the media to task for gawking at Anna Nicole Smith — both in life and in death. Then she goes on to basically blame Anna Nicole for being too tantalizing not to watch: “Her sense of how to court attention was simply to show up, pose and practically say, ‘Come get me, use me.’”
Tim Rutten’s mea culpa in the LAT is a little better. In it, he explains how newspaper editors use the number of “hits” a story gets on their Web sites when determining story placement for the next day’s paper.
But he loses us at the end when he suggests journalists should use this case to reconsider this popularity contest approach, saying, “It’s a good moment for American newspapers to take a reflective breath to consider just how they want to play this numbers game — or, more important, whether they want to play it at all. If that were to occur, then Anna Nicole Smith would not have died in vain.”
Good point, Rutten. We’re sure Anna Nicole would have gone whistling to her grave, had she known her demise would restore journalistic integrity.
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