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Perhaps This Was Published Late

Slate’s Jack Shafer writes “In defense of the Anna Nicole Smith feeding frenzy“:

Perhaps the Smith coverage doesn’t advance democracy in quite the same way gavel-to-gavel C-SPAN telecasts do. But the demand for natural disaster, tragedy, crime, murder coverage, and other “sensational” news has always ranked at the top of reader and viewer preferences. Giving the audience what it wants shouldn’t automatically be considered a crime.

I don’t hear anyone calling it a crime. But this saturation coverage was at least a journalistic misdemeanor.

If Shafer’s piece had run on April 1, I’d have gotten the joke.

2 Comments on “Perhaps This Was Published Late”

  1. #1 John Bachir
    on Apr 8th, 2007 at 12:42 am

    It’s particularly absurd and disingenuous for him to compare the A.N.S. coverage to “gavel-to-gavel C-SPAN telecasts”. What is this intended to suggest, that Real News is boo-rring? Is he 12 years old?

    There are thousands of other valuable, relevant, and interesting topics to cover. The A.N.S. coverage was nothing less than a journalism calamity. An embarrassment for our culture. Perhaps useful in that it provides a direct expression of what is wrong with the news media.

  2. #2 Jon Garfunkel
    on Apr 8th, 2007 at 1:18 pm

    It shouldn’t be news that cable TV covers centers on scandalicious celebrities.

    What’s telling is how differently it was covered on the cable channels. Proportion of stories on Anna Nicole Smith to Iraq: MSNBC, 1:1; CNN, 1:1; Fox News, 4:1.

    Perhaps those who insist that “the media” is not doing enough to report the “good news” from Iraq should petition to at least one of the above channels to increase coverage– and the numbers above clearly point to the laggard.