Scott Stanford: When Anna Nicole ruled the media


Scott Stanford

Scott Stanford is general manager of the Steamboat Pilot & Today. Call him at 970-871-4202 or email

In our "Last but not Least" segment on Page 35 today, there's a story about how the late Anna Nicole Smith has dominated TV coverage in the past week.

In case you've been in a cave, Anna Nicole - the high school dropout turned stripper turned Playboy centerfold turned ad model turned tortured celebrity - was found dead in her hotel room a week ago in Hollywood, Fla.

Anna Nicole's death has put the war in Iraq and the 2008 presidential campaigns on the inside pages. Reporting the most outrageous details of her life has become a competition among some in the media.

Don't get me wrong - celebrity news is not unimportant. My radio remains tuned to ESPN and I watch hours of SportsCenter, Mike and Mike in the Morning, PTI and other sports programming every day. I suppose news of Anna Nicole's life and death is no less trivial than that.

But I can't help but be saddened by how much time the media have devoted to the Anna Nicole story.

Here is what this newspaper has done: The day after Anna Nicole died, we ran a story and photo on Page 30. The next day, Saturday, we ran a story on Page 28. Today's story is the third. I don't know how that ranks in comparison to other newspapers.

I admit - I watched some of the E! Channel's coverage of the Anna Nicole story. I watched file footage of an E! reporter touring her new home. As she walked around the house, Anna Nicole occasionally would say things like, "Yeah, this is the kitchen. This is where we will make our food."

So many people talked about Anna Nicole's drug use and, no doubt, she appeared stoned in almost every video I ever saw of her. But it occurs to me that more than anything else, Anna Nicole simply wasn't that smart.

Anna Nicole was beautiful. She was perfect for a magazine shoot or a magazine ad. But she was never thoughtful or engaging or witty. She was, at her very best, vapid.

I often tell my staff that crazy people should be expected to do crazy things, and therefore it's not necessarily newsworthy when they do. That adage could have applied to a lot of what went on in Anna Nicole's life.

Anna Nicole became a star because men couldn't help but gawk at her. But there wasn't much beneath the surface of her beauty. That we continued to gawk as that beauty faded - that we made a reality TV show out of her life, for goodness sake - is more than a little embarrassing. That claims about the paternity of her most recent child continue to be reported, no matter how outrageous, borders on mockery.

Anna Nicole Smith died as she apparently lived much of her life - tragically. I hope she can rest in peace. And I hope we can stop gawking.

Scott Stanford's From the Editor column appears Thursdays in Steamboat Today. Contact him at 871-4221 or e-mail


mtzirkel 10 years, 2 months ago

So you, her fellow Texan, devote a whole column to Anna Nicole in which you RAIL AGAINST all the attention she got/gets in the media??!?!?! It's beyond ironical. It's laughably bizarre.



Scott Stanford 10 years, 2 months ago

No defense on the column criticisms here...

Just a note that I am not a Texan. I am a South Carolinian who lived 10 years in Texas. There are those who wouldn't see a distinction; my wife, who is a Texan, does. She doesn't think carpetbaggers like me should get credit for being a "Texan" just because we ate a couple enchiladas at Rosa's and toured the King Ranch.

Scott Stanford Editor, Steamboat Pilot & Today (970) 871-4221


JazzSlave 10 years, 2 months ago

Much ado about very little. Further, it has ever been thus. Americans have always been facinated with the antics of the rich & famous.

It used to infuriate me when so-called news programs would devote significant time to this kind of fluff. Now, it merely annoys me. From Jerry Lee Lewis' incest, Jim & Tammy Faye, Tommy Lee & Pamela, the runaway bride, et al - the reality is that these asinine stories sell papers and attract viewers.

I can't get too worked up about Scott's musings here. He should probably be given credit for not asserting paternity; and his line regarding Anna at her best should be carved into her marker.

There is apparently some problem regarding the disposition of her body, and what should be done with it. I have a suggestion: how about a taxidermist?


oofcboy 10 years, 2 months ago

just like the ones at el finex,but not as good as the ones at felice jaliscos


Hadleyburg_Press 10 years, 2 months ago

I would love to see a Saturday Night Live skit where they do a line up of all of the people who claim that they are the father of Anna Nicol's daughter. It would go something like this: Howard Stern,"I am the father of the child", Baron Von,"I am the father of the child", Body Guard," I am the father of the child", Rosie Odonnell,"I am the the father of the child", Darth Vader,"I am your father", and finally they pan to Billl Clinton who points his crooked finger at us and says,"I did not have sexual relations with this woman!"


CoJustice 10 years, 2 months ago


ps: You forgot about the trainer, and Hollywood Hatten thats in jail. Take a look at their pictures on


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