Thursday, February 22

Networks Criticized.....

Networks Criticized for Lack of Anna Nicole Smith Coverage
CNN: We Dropped the Ball

A media watchdog group today blasted the major news networks for failing to provide enough coverage of Anna Nicole Smith’s death in the 72 hours following the blonde bombshell’s passing.

The media watchdog group, which calls itself The Media Watchdog Group, took the nation’s 24-hour news networks to task for what it called “scant coverage” of the life, death and legacy of Ms. Smith. At a press conference in Washington, Carol Foyler, a spokesperson for the group, hit hard at the all-news networks for giving the Anna Nicole Smith story “short shrift.” “Instead of staying on the Anna Nicole Smith story nonstop, the networks would sometimes cut away to coverage of the war in Iraq for seconds at a time,” Ms. Foyler said. “For a nation struggling with its loss, this was like twisting the knife.”

At CNN headquarters in Atlanta, network president Jon Klein apologized for failing to provide seamless, wall-to-wall coverage of the Smith story, telling reporters, “We dropped the ball.” “I was watching our coverage of Anna Nicole Smith’s death and without warning we cut away for an 8-second story on Darfur,” he said. “I can assure you that that sort of thing will never happen again – not on my watch.” Mr. Klein added that for the foreseeable future, “at least 29 of the 30 video monitors on Wolf Blitzer’s ‘The Situation Room’ will feature Anna Nicole Smith, and the other will have that crazy astronaut chick.”

Elsewhere, Nashville Mayor Bill Purcell vetoed a bill that would have made English the official language of the city, saying that it would have discouraged President Bush from visiting.

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