Anna Nicole Smith Still Dominates the News

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Even though John Kerry couldn't beat George W. Bush, somebody could--Anna Nicole Smith--according to the News Interest Index from the Pew Research Center.

According to a telephone survey of adults 18-plus, 38% said Smith was the name they had heard the most about in the news lately, with 28% naming Bush; they were followed by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton at 3% apiece and Britney Spears and Nancy Pelosi at 1%. An "other" category got 9%, while "no answer" was in third place at 17%.

Pew developed the index in conjunction with the Project for Excellence in Journalism's weekly news analysis of outlets in TV, radio, print and online. Anna Nicole Smith dominated cable news last week as well.

According to the Pew interest poll, more people were interested in the Smith story (16%) than in the 2008 presidential campaign (9%), possible war with Iran (6%) or North Korea's nuclear weapons (2%).

Still, for the seventh week in a row, the story the survey respondents said they were most interested in was Iraq at 26%.