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Notes On A Circus

by Geraldo Rivera | Feb 23, 2007

Jack, a neighbor of mine over in New Jersey drove up as I stood outside, welcomed me home from Iraq, and then proceeded to blast the media for its obsession with those twin blonde disasters, dead and alive, Anna Nicole and Britney Spears.

Jack, who’s kind of a typical every man, was especially scornful of the living twin, Britney, accusing her of being a grossly negligent mother. He didn’t fault Anna Nicole as much as he excoriated reporters covering the travels and travails of her dead body, especially with so many, much more important issues out there worthy of discussion.

But Jack’s rage notwithstanding, the fact is millions of people are fascinated with the Smith story. Even those who never paid more than passing attention to Anna Nicole during her gaudy, flamboyant, excessive roller coaster public life have become invested in what happens to her remains, who gets custody of her baby, and what happens to the multi-million dollar lawsuit against the estate of her ancient and now dead husband, the late Texas oilman J. Howard Marshall.

And as her long-estranged mother battles with her sleazy, slick, drug-providing lawyer boyfriend, who’s fighting to hold off the celebrity photographer lover and probable biological baby daddy, not to mention the self-proclaimed, naughty husband of Zsa Zsa Gabor the melodrama is sufficiently layered to have something to interest everybody.

Lawyers argue jurisdiction. Pundits mock the tragic-comic judge. Skeptics urge us to follow the money. And millions just slow down to watch this complicated train wreck.

It is burlesque, exaggerated, undignified and yet, strangely compelling. And now we want to see how it all ends hoping the little baby isn’t permanently infected by the grownups circling her little body.

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