Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Let Your Fingers Do the Googling

I have been ignoring the media orgy following Anna Nicole Smith's death. I care even less for the nuts of PETA. But this op-ed in today's Daily Evergreen is indicative of how even a little research goes a long way towards good journalism:
Smith was not a philanthropist, conservationist or activist. As far as I know, she did not volunteer her time reading to children at the local Boys & Girls Club, and never donated her money to help fight AIDS. Recently in American history, we have lost some of the greatest contributors to humankind, but for some reason, their deaths received half the amount of attention of Smith’s death. For instance, in March 2006 Dana Reeve, singer, actress and wife of actor Christopher Reeve, died from lung cancer. After her husband’s horrible horseback-riding injury, which left him paralyzed, the Reeves were dedicated to improving the quality of life for people suffering from paralysis. According to the Christopher Reeve Foundation Web site, the couple helped raise millions of dollars for paralysis research. Dana was an amazing mother, wife and role model who spent a decade of her life fighting for a cure to spinal cord injuries. Other major American icons who died last year, but earned little attention compared to Smith, were Coretta Scott King, civil rights activist and wife of the late Martin Luther King Jr.; Nellie Connally, survivor of the presidential limousine attack carrying President John F. Kennedy and active fundraiser for breast cancer and diabetes; and Thomas Abercrombie, famous photographer for National Geographic.
Ummmm, not exactly. While certainly not on the level of a Coretta Scott King, Smith wholeheartedly embraced the de rigeur celebrity liberal orthodoxy and did her part for a radical cause:
PETA's Statement on Anna Nicole Smith's Death

February 8, 2007

PETA is extremely upset by the news of Anna Nicole Smith's untimely death. She was a great friend to animals and used every opportunity to speak out against senseless cruelty. We always thought Anna Nicole was a perfect fit for PETA because, just like us, she not only hated cruelty to animals and loved her dog but also couldn't be ignored, and no matter what people thought of her, they always had an opinion, one way or another. A long-time vegetarian who had slimmed down into a stunning beauty when she stopped eating meat, Anna Nicole spoke out against Iams because of its cruel animal tests, spoke up for baby seals bludgeoned to death for their fur in Canada, and posed as Marilyn Monroe in one of PETA's most striking ad campaigns, "Gentlemen Prefer Fur-Free Blondes." It is a tragedy when anyone passes away before their time, but with Anna Nicole, animals have lost a true hero and PETA has lost a good friend. We will miss her.
I'm not even going to get started on another op-ed in the same issue by our old pal Jimmy Blue, who writes that "the masses should not suffer a restriction of their civil liberties because of the unfortunate mistakes of a few" and "the government is put in place to help society and keep control, not to hold our hand when we cross the street" with regards to a proposal to ban iPod usage by pedestrians in New York. He just from buying an iPod at a Pullman Wal-Mart.

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