'Blame us for Jon Benet Ramsey, Natalee Holloway or The Apprentice, but I'm really sorry about how we covered Anna Nicole Smith's death'. An American Network News Producer writes an open letter to the American Public on the coverage of Anna Nicole Smith's death (Yeah, I've been catching up on my occasional blog reads today, guess I'll be adding Doc Searls to my RSS-feed):
Dear American Public,
I have no excuse. I have no defense.
I am a member of the American news media and have been for some time. This means that on more than one occasion I have -- willingly or unwillingly -- foisted upon you the trite, the inane and the monumentally ridiculous, and done so under the auspices of my supposed right to inform and educate you as to important events which effect your lives... In short, I have betrayed you. I have betrayed your trust....Yet I've never felt compelled to humbly ask for any sort of forgiveness for my offenses. I have never felt true shame, both for myself and my chosen profession -- until now.
I'm sorry for the coverage of the death of Anna Nicole Smith.
The only possible consolation is that many of us are well aware of our own ethical bankruptcy in the continued pursuit of this absurdity. I could explain at length my own feelings in the matter, but better I allow an anonymous colleague of mine to be the eloquent, impassioned voice for the thousands currently toiling away on this story at otherwise-reputable news operations across the country:
"I'm sorry, but I did not spend tens of thousands of dollars in school to cover this bullshit. She's a celebrity for fucking the unfuckable; that's not an accomplishment. I actually announced to the newsroom this morning that I didn't go to journalism school to cover a two-bit Texas whore and that, if this was the kind of news we were covering, I could use my diploma for toilet paper. It's unbelievable. BREAKING NEWS???....."