At a press conference in Washington, Carol Foyler, a spokeswoman for the group, hit hard at the all-news networks for giving the Anna Nicole Smith story "short shrift."
"Instead of staying on the Anna Nicole Smith story nonstop, the networks would sometimes cut away to coverage of the war in Iraq for seconds at a time," Ms. Foyler said. "For a nation struggling with its loss, this was like twisting the knife."
At CNN headquarters in Atlanta, network president Jon Klein apolo-gized for failing to provide seamless, wall-to-wall coverage of the Smith story, telling reporters, "We dropped the ball."
"I was watching our coverage of Anna Nicole Smith's death and without warning, we cut away for an 8-second story on Darfur," he said. "I can assure you that that sort of thing will never happen again -- not on my watch."
Mr. Klein added that for the foreseeable future, "at least 29 of the 30 video monitors on Wolf Blitzer's 'The Situation Room' will feature Anna Nicole Smith, and the other will have that crazy astronaut chick."
Elsewhere, British Prime Minister Tony Blair said that no one is plan-ning a war with Iran, but added, "There was no planning behind the war with Iraq, either."
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