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Paul Rieckhoff Headshot

Anna Nicole Smith Died. So Did Three American Troops.

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I can't stand it anymore. For the last two days, on every cable news network, it has been non stop coverage of the death of Anna Nicole Smith. Look, I am sorry she is dead. And my heart goes out to her family. Really it does. But this is not a major news story. Not even close.

As a veteran of this war in Iraq, I beg all Americans to please keep things in perspective while the networks fill you with images of a buxom blond celebrity who was only famous for being famous.

CNN, Fox and MSNBC are all guilty of it. MSNBC (which was really getting better for a while) has been the worst. Yesterday afternoon, while a war raged in Iraq, Hammas met with Fatah in Mecca, and a House investigation into botched Iraq reconstruction efforts continued on Capitol Hill, MSNBC gave us over three straight hours of almost entirely uninterrupted coverage of the death of the spokesperson for TRIMSPA. The coverage of Smith's death has rivaled that of former President Ford's.

The week I got back home from Iraq in 2004, the number one news story in America was Janet Jackson's breast being exposed at the Super Bowl. I was flabbergasted to see that this was what the American media cared about, as my friends were taking mortar rounds and sniper fire in Ramadi and Tikrit. Now, three years later, troops are returning home to see this crap about Smith on TV 24-7.

Anna Nicole Smith died about 24 hours ago. Over the same time period, at least three of our troops and countless Iraqis have died in a war that might turn out to be the greatest foreign policy blunder in our country's history. Even as I write this, all three networks are covering a live press conference by Smith's attorney. I want to put my fist through the TV.

Wake up, America. This is not news. It does not matter. Think of our troops. Think of the Iraqis. Think of the families of people serving in Iraq right now.

You want to really support the troops? Tell the media to pay attention to the war they are fighting and dying in! Call the networks and complain, write letters to the producers, and change the damn channel.

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