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This is an Anna Nicole Smith-free zone

Posted at 3:15 PM on February 9, 2007 by Bill Wareham (2 Comments)

I just spent the last two hours in a studio asking listeners to help support this news service. As we typically do, we had a television monitor tuned to one of the all-"news" channels. This particular channel, and I won't say which one because I strongly suspect it wasn't unique, spent a long time, at least 20 minutes from the point I started keeping track, waiting for a news conference on autopsy results for Anna Nicole Smith.

Not even reporting the results, but waiting. There was the split screen, the largest segment of which was devoted to a live shot of the mountain of microphones where the medical examiner was expected to show. Another quarter of the screen looped through a video montage of various shots of Smith over the years. I have never been so sick of looped media since I worked at the State Fair near a booth that started up a Boots Randolph "Yakkety Sax" 8-track on day 1 and didn't turn it off until Labor Day.

By the time the medical examiner was done, this whole "news" production lasted more than an hour. With all due respect to the departed, this is not the most important thing happening in the world today, so I am declaring The News Grid an ANS-free zone.

Comments (2)


Posted by gml4 | February 11, 2007 2:56 PM

This is one of the reasons "all-news" is a misnomer for cable news channels. Much like a Murdoch tabloid, they will latch onto a Big Story and over-report it, ignoring "real" news. How many folks watched the 20 minutes of still-life-with-microphone? It seems self-defeating.

It's also another reason Public Radio is such a valuable news source among increasingly fragmented media.

Posted by Hal Davis | February 12, 2007 10:13 AM