The Anti-Anna Agenda for Journalists

The death of Anna Nicole Smith dooms me to an immediate future of commentary and analysis on any and all of the following legal issues: who will win the looming paternity suit, who will get control and custody of her newborn baby, who will get the money, and who will be responsible for whatever will she may have left. This is my fate. However, it certainly doesn't have to be yours. Save yourselves. Get out while you can.

And because I love and respect each and every one of you, I am going to give you, and my media colleagues, a list of 10 other law-related stories we all could be following instead of the Smith story which, reports, accounted for 50 percent (you read that right) of all cable news from February 8-9. Here goes:

1. Britain's Attorney General condemned the U.S. government's latest plan to try the Guantanamo Bay terror detainees.

2. Lewis "Scooter" Libby finally had a good day in court Tuesday when his attorneys questioned his successor, John Hannah, who told jurors that Libby had a notoriously bad memory. This is exactly the type of testimony the defense needed.

3. Pressure is building within the legal community to do something about the logjam of cases involving the Gitmo detainees brought about as a result of the Military Commissions Act of 2006.

4. A fascinating hearing is underway in Florida to determine just precisely how badly the state botched the execution of man killed there in December.

5. There is a serious fight escalating between the Bush Administration and the Congress over the dismissals of certain key U.S. Attorneys around the country. It is a scandal in the making.

6. In archly-conservative Utah, lawmakers rejected an outright ban on abortion and instead decided to try to pass a measure that would automatically outlaw the practice if Roe v. Wade were overturned.

7. The players' union in major league baseball this week asked a federal appeals court to overturn its own ruling that makes it easier for investigators to look into the sport's burgeoning steroid scandal.

8. A federal appeals court in Denver late last week rejected an argument made by a fellow in Utah who had declared that his constitutional "due process" rights had been violated when a state-run liquor store refused to serve him despite a valid I.D. because he was accompanied by a person who looked like a minor and who had no I.D.

9. The first Katrina-related insurance trial in Louisiana began Monday.

10. The mayor of Nashville, Tenn. vetoed an ugly piece of "English-first" legislation that had divided the city.

There you go. When you have finished adequately covering those 10 stories come back to me and I'll give you 10 more- all in the name of avoiding the prospect of counting, day by day, the growing number of men who say they fathered Smith's baby.

By Andrew Cohen |  February 13, 2007; 2:45 PM ET
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Please email us to report offensive comments.

It is tragic and comic the number of men who are coming forward to nobly admit conjugal relations with Vickie Lynn Hogan. Under normal circumstances, the archetypal American male seeks to distance himself and to take no responsibility whatsoever for his illicit spawn. Could Vickie's potential fortune have anything whatsoever to do with that? Hmmmmm?

Posted by: J. K. Rowling | February 13, 2007 04:15 PM

Why should you be doomed to coverage of Anna Nicole-related legal things? They will affect a very small circle of people and are unlikely to set any precedents that will ever affect anyone else. Instead, I encourage you to use your own list, as all those stories sound both more interesting and more relevant to the larger society. If you feel you must do the Anna Nicole stories, perhaps you could shop them to a more appropriate forum - the National Enquirer, Weekly World News and/or any Murdoch tabloid spring to mind.

Posted by: D. Falco | February 13, 2007 04:51 PM

Interesting that the Duke "rape" case, a legal lynching by the politically correct no longer qualifies for mention. I don't even remember an entry on the professional misconduct charges arrayed against Nifong.

Posted by: Constitutionalist | February 13, 2007 05:06 PM

It aint me, babe.

Posted by: ndpwp | February 13, 2007 06:23 PM

As a Michigan resident and a relative of someone incarcerated in the MI prison industrial complex I have been following the torture of Timothy Souders, especially after the 60 minutes expose last Sunday night. We are still waiting for justice for this mentally ill young man's family.

Posted by: MI resident | February 13, 2007 06:24 PM

It is right now 50/50 chance of getting the old man's money. What if, the court doesn't give her a dime? Head or tail, toss your dime.

Posted by: Siamak | February 13, 2007 07:01 PM

This is an indictment of liberal values. Smith WAS the litmus test, nay, a case study, of the values that the Hollywood media and pop culture of America hold dear. A screaming success, wouldn't you say? I'm surprised Bill Clinton and John Kerry haven't stepped forward to claim the child as theirs. All that, and Ted Kennedy as her designated driver. As they say, if the shoe fits...

Posted by: | February 13, 2007 07:28 PM

How absolutely depressing that the death of a woman (and I use the word loosely) who lacked any semblance of intelligence, grace, class, manners, verbal ability, morals, etc. would become such a major "news" story. God, I am going to be forced to watch Survivor....

Posted by: DJS | February 13, 2007 07:32 PM

Too bad that Anna Nichol cannot see all the media hype that she has created. It ain't fair......

Posted by: Rita Hooker | February 13, 2007 07:46 PM

Too bad that Anna Nichol cannot see all the media hype that she has created. It ain't fair......

Posted by: Rita Hooker | February 13, 2007 07:46 PM

I wish I could see more op-eds like this one: concise, dry and to the point. It surely reminds most us how misplaced are priorities in the media coverage of important news over less important others.
Keep up the good work, Andy. I'm waiting for the next 10 stories which get less than deserved coverage.

Posted by: Arturo | February 13, 2007 09:14 PM

Just for thought:

You need help. A little advice...Just for thought.

Posted by: Whoa | February 13, 2007 10:07 PM

After reading your first paragraph, but I'm glad I did, and glad it wasn't about Anna Nicole.

Posted by: Annie | February 13, 2007 10:51 PM

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