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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-26-07 03:54 PM
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Bob Herbert; Amusing ourselves to death
http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/opinion/...

Who cares if al-Qaeda is rebuilding and the globe is warming when Anna Nicole Smith is dead? asks BOB HERBERT

08:11 AM CST on Saturday, February 24, 2007

Have they buried Anna Nicole Smith yet?

Even when she tried, Anna Nicole Smith couldn't escape the insatiable gaze of the public.

Are you kidding? Anna Nicole may be dead and rapidly decomposing, but there's too much fun still to be reaped from her story to let it die just yet. This is world-class entertainment: Larry King, Today, CNN, The New York Times.

When we were kids, we were taught not to laugh at people who were obviously mentally or emotionally disturbed. With Ms. Smith, who was deeply and unmistakably disturbed, we put her on television and laughed and laughed. Would she say something stupid, or spill out of her dress, or pass out in public from booze or drugs? How hysterically funny!

Then her son died. Then she died, leaving an infant daughter. Instead of turning away chastened, shamed, we homed in like happy vultures. Whatever entertainment value Mrs. Smith had when she was alive increased exponentially when she was kind enough to die.

There are other stories out there, but they aren't nearly as much fun. The Times reported this week, for example, that al-Qaeda is getting its act together in Pakistan and is setting up training camps in an area that, apparently, we don't dare trespass in.

According to the article, "American officials said there was mounting evidence that Osama bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, had been steadily building an operations hub in the mountainous Pakistani tribal area of North Waziristan."

I imagine that there are a fair number of television viewers and newspaper readers who have trouble distinguishing the relative importance of celebrity stories, like the death of Ms. Smith, from other matters in the news, like the reconstitution of forces responsible for the devastating Sept. 11 attacks.

more...
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Mojorabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-26-07 07:34 PM
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1. Great article
and a k&R
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ananda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-26-07 11:22 PM
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2. It's the death that won't die.
Even Reagan and Ford didn't die for months like AN.
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Warren DeMontague Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-26-07 11:31 PM
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3. Gee, Bob, who signs your checks?
Why don'tcha bring it up with them, instead of bitching at us?
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