Enough With Anna Nicole!

Last night, as my son and I were eating dinner the television started airing one of the most evil shows of all time, Entertainment Tonight. Before I could run into the living room to change it to something wholesome, like a Cops rerun or Cheaters, Mary Hart had already run through the lineup of “stories” for the evening. Anna Nicole, Anna Nicole, Howard K. Stern, Anna Nicole, Britney, Anna Nicole, Britney.
In disgust, my son turned to me and whined, “why do people care so much about ‘celebrities’?”
Ordinarily, I would have just replied that it was just awful shows such as this one and Access Hollywood, Extra, and the entire lineup of E! and VH1 that celebrated the lives and times of the clueless and talent-less. Unfortunately, that’s no longer the case.
The pseudo-celebrity culture has also taken over “real” news programming. This is not something completely new, of course. Tabloid news stories such as Lacey Peterson and any missing blonde has long been the center of hours and hours of programming on all three 24-hour news networks, including the channel that loves to point out the lack of values of anybody not named O’Reilly and Hannity.
Network news shows had also slowly caught on with this trend. Ever try to watch a morning news program? There’s more celebrity news and reality show interviews than anything that has to do with Iraq or “real” issues.
I’ve long complained about this problem to no avail. But I am now at wit’s end, and must beg and plead to anybody reading this to just say no to fake news.
What has caused my anger? It all reached a zenith with the death of Anna Nicole Smith. Let’s be real; Anna Nicole was at best a D-list pseudo-celebrity. Besides an appearance or two in Playboy, and two years of one of the worst scripted-reality shows of all time, what really had she done to deserve anything beyond a thirty-second story or maybe a notice in the bottom-of-the-screen ticker that all news channels utilize these days?
Instead, all three news networks, along with the network news shows, went into overdrive. CNN went a full 90 minutes without commercials, which John Stewart pointed out means that Smith’s death was “bigger news than the President’s State of the Union Address, but slightly less than 9/11”. Larry King, Geraldo, Greta Van Sustern, Joe Scarbrough, Rita Cosby, and Nancy Grace all seemed to interview anybody and everybody who had ever met the ignorant twit.
Ok, fine, maybe since her death occurred on a Friday, generally a slow news day, they had nothing else to cover. Yet the coverage since that day has barely let up. Sure, there were plenty of tabloid angles to cover, from multiple potential baby-daddies to feuding relatives to supposed “lost interviews” that promised to explain everything. I must say once again, though, that Anna Nicole Smith is not big enough (except in breast and ass size) to justify this coverage.
James Brown had (and still has) similar tabloid-ish stories surrounding his recent death, yet those stories have received a fraction of the coverage. Why that is I don’t get. Despite a truly awful song in an awful Rocky movie, James Brown was a true musical icon. People would actually benefit from discovering his musical legacy. Nobody will learn anything from the life of Anna Nicole Smith.
What really bothers me about this whole misuse of TV time is the “experts” that the cable news channels used to explain this story to us. I’m sorry but anybody who receives a paycheck from the entertainment news shows should never be allowed to report news stories on real news channels. They’re bottom feeders whose angle on any story is less about the truth than promoting the phony musical and television stars of the week who will actually give them the time of day.
Anna Nicole is not the only pseudo-celebrity that has plagued my television in recent weeks. Professional lip-syncher Britney Spears had another meltdown this past weekend, and now any time not given to the battle over Smith’s remains has been given to explanations behind the bald pictures that should have never been more than a funny picture that we’d pull up on the internet to laugh at with our friends.
Britney, of course, is not a new topic for these awful channels. Her every move in the last two years has somehow become a news item, from her marriage to K-Fed (who’s looking more and more like the sane one in this family) to her parenting troubles to her lack of underwear to alleged hookups with both men and women. I’m sorry, but her career ended with “Toxic”; there’s absolutely no reason why this crap isn’t relegated to those magazines you find only at the grocery store’s checkout counter.
At least we know how this story will conclude. Once her hair grows back, Britney’s record label will force another album on the public. With a combination of a personal trainer and air brushing, she’ll make a Playboy or Maxim appearance where she proclaims that everything is once again right in her life. Despite a promotional budget that would make even Beyonce blush, the album will bomb (which will be blamed on both downloading and her controversial public persona), and her recording career will finally be over. Unfortunately, though, she’ll remain on our television screens as long as Mary Hart, Billy Bush, and that terrible former singer of Sugar Ray have jobs.


Anonymous said…
i would like to see kelo do a story on how anna nichole's death ties in to "the gift" from t. denny.
Anonymous said…
my husband said, "npr is getting depressing" but ans is about as depressing as u can get.

RIP anna nicole, i'm sorry ur last fuck was a skank!
Here it is, March 4. You posted this story on Feb. 20 and unbelievably, it's still rampant on tv. I only know that by chance, I'm anti-tv and anti-celeb. What the f*** is wrong with the viewers who put up with this crap? I hate to think that our world is such that we need such mindless diversion.
Anonymous said…
I totally agree. Are they that desperate for news. They talk about her every night. How about talking about someone who gained their notoriety from something other than talking her clothes off!

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