As I have commented in the past, the 24 hour news networks are going to be our downfall. Last evening as I sat down to find out what happened in the world yesterday, I surfed my limited cable TV channel options. I say limited because the cable provider in our area only has about 60 stations if you just get "basic cable". In my book, 60 stations is way past "basic", especially considering that most of last night seven stations were talking about Anna Nicole Smith. I struggled to understand why she would warrant coverage of this magnitude. I can only extrapolate that there is an inverse relationship between significant contributions to the world and air time upon leaving this world. Using that theory, I can't fathom how much air time will be needed when Paris Hilton dies.
Periodically during the balance of my evening, I did some additional surfing of channels. The Anna Nicole Smith images were everywhere. In a desperate attempt to fill up air time, any person with the least bit of a left hand connection to Ms. Smith was being interviewed. As the reporters probed for answers, I realized that they had long since left the world of reporting news and entered that black hole of trying to create news. I was under the impression that type of reporting was supposed to be left to the Weekly World News and the Enquirer. It came to the point where I was actually embarrassed for the reporters who were grasping for anything and everything. Just when I thought I had heard it all, the Grassy Knoll popped up. "Can you speculate on the idea of a conspiracy?" Conspiracy? Anna's body was not even cold and the "24 hour news network" feeding frenzy had begun.
I have to admit was thankful that the diapered astronaut story was pushed to page two. It also please me that the Buxom Bumbling Beauty Contestants got moved to page three. I am however, deeply saddened by the fact that the escalation of the war and our soldiers got pushed further back. We have some important and challenging issues to address in our country such as education, health care, hunger, substandard housing, and violence. If we spent the same amount of time on those issues as we do on astronaut diapers, the death of an ex-Playboy bunny or Miss America's personal habits, the country and the world would make amazing strides forward.
Countless thousands have died in Iraq and congressional appropriations on the war just past 365 BILLION DOLLARS as we focus on Anna Nicole Smith. As participants in America and the world, our challenge is to help the country regain focus. As has been said before, as a country we have once again taken our eye off of the proverbial ball.