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Sunday, February 11, 2007

America's Newest Soap Opera: Anna Nicole Smith

Well, here you go, we here in the US have a news item to distract us from all that is going on in the world, especially that which is going on in the Mideast . Yes, now we have the death of Anna Nicole Smith to rivet us into soap opera bliss. Let's look back and remember other such news items which monopololized our television screens. The OJ Simpson trial, now everyone remembers how much time that one took up, right? ALL DAY LONG on all the major cable news channels, we watched as OJ was tried, CERTAINLY important in the lives of those around the globe at that time, and CERTAINLY more important for us to focus our attention on than say, oh well, life outside Bundy Drive. And remember that disappeared girl in Antiqua? Or at least I think that was the island, but for the life of me I cannot remember her name. No, I am not saying that it should not have been covered, but spare me please, HOW MUCH coverage and what is being IGNORED is my point. Now we have the death of a modern day tragic Marilyn Monroe. "Oh", I heard from the checker at the super market last evening, "Isn't it sad about Anna Nicole?" Sad? Yes, it is sad when any life is lost. But her death will not be the end of this coverage. I predict that in the weeks and months to come, this story will gain steam as another American insignificant soap opera lulls the American public into intrigue and "sadness". Question: Why the heck is this story so important? Please, US media, spare us the melodrama and do your job. But may I add a caveat? Do your job in a FAIR and UNBIASED fashion. Quite frankly, this just makes me want to puke!

Anna Nicole Smith and CNN

by Kevin Geary
I was up most of the night last night (well this morning, if you like). Long story why, which I won't bore you with.
Anyway, before I went to bed, I turned on the TV hoping to see some news about the historic agreement between Hamas and Fatah to join together in a coalition government in order to stop the factional fighting in Gaza which was threatening to become a civil war, and which, at least, was being reported on the internet (silly me, why would I think I'd see news on the cable news networks? I must think it's still CNN in 1989 when they still had news about things like the Berlin Wall coming down and the Chinese students facing down the tanks in Tienanmen Square!) What did I get?

I got Anna Nicole Smith! and Anna Nicole Smith! and Anna Nicole Smith! Fox, CNN and MSNBC all had A.N.S.!

Then, after going back to CNN before giving up, they had footage of Palestinians throwing stones at Israeli troops in Jerusalem over a dispute about Israel's excavations under the Al Asqa Mosque (Temple Mount to the Israelis)! Never mentioned the agreement between Hamas and Fatah. Just the usual propaganda footage of those pesky, unruly Palestinians throwing stones (as usual) at poor Israeli soldiers! After 40 years of occupation by Israelis, who have confiscated land, built illegal settlements, and generally made the Palestinians' lives utterly miserable, ignoring both international law (the Geneva convention governing occupations) and ignoring two U.N. resolutions to give back the occupied land, and then arrogantly ignoring pleas by the Palestinian religious leaders to cease digging under or near the revered Al Asqa Mosque, one of the holiest sites in Islam, I'm surprised that the Palestinians are only throwing stones!
(Imagine if someone invaded America and occupied us for 40 years, confiscating our land without compensation; saying that they had the "right" to take our land because their biblical ancestors had lived on it 2000 years ago, and then started digging beneath our most revered national monument, like the White House, and ignored pleas from civil and religious leaders to stop the work. I wonder how we'd feel?). The anger and frustration they must feel after 40 years of occupation and arrogant disregard for their land, their rights, or their religion, can only be imagined. But, at least in America, we know all about Anna Nicole Smith (actually we know nothing; but hours of speculation about the unknown cause of her death apparently are far more important to CNN and the others than anything at all in the Middle East!) And after ignoring news about the unity government agreement between two Palestinian factions bringing hope for peace in Gaza, and after showing images of Palestinian youths doing the same old stone-throwing, CNN went back to speculating about, you guessed it, Anna Nicole Smith!

A friend of mine was recently visiting the US from England. He watched American TV news for a few days whilst he was here. After some days, he said, ""How can anyone watch this drivel? It's an insult to the intelligence of a moron!"
I don't think I could have said it better myself!Kevin Geary is an artist and writer. He currently resides in Sedona, AZ.


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