Long-distance autopsy of Anna Nicole

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Much of the coverage of the death of Anna Nicole Smith represented another low point in journalism.

CNN, which has billed itself as “the world’s most important network,â€? asked its senior medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, to comment on the death.

Wolf Blitzer introduced Gupta, saying, “Talk a little bit about what we know. A lot we don’t know, Sanjay, about the cause of her death.â€?

Gupta led off saying, “There’s a lot we don’t know as well.â€?

Talk about a reason to stay tuned! But if you stayed tuned, you heard Gupta jumble together conjecture about “the heart as being the most likely culpritâ€? – followed by “Why she would have heart problems? Not exactly sure.â€?

He continued: “Also lung problems. Could there have been some sort of a clot?… Could it have been some sort of medication problem?â€?

Blitzer and Gupta then speculated about the flu, about her weight problem, about her addiction to painkillers, about a diet plan called Trimspa, about ephedra – much of it followed up with the reminder, “Whether that had anything to do with this, we don’t know as well.â€?

So there you have it: virtual autopsy from long distance via speculation, rumors, and no direct knowledge of anything.

I am disappointed that Vioxx, Viagra, and the Virus of the West Nile were never mentioned.

As Blitzer introduced CNN anchor Jack Cafferty for another segment, Cafferty said: “Is Anna Nicole Smith still dead, Wolf?â€?

BLITZER: “Yes, we’re going to — updating our viewers coming up shortly on…â€?

CAFFERTY: “I can’t wait for that.â€?

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