I was a teenager during Panama’s darkest days under the Noriega dictatorship. During that time, CNN was our sole source of news about the real world—when we could get to it. (The regime would censor the news channel whenever negative news about Noriega were being broadcast. Fortunately we had friends with satellite dishes.) To us embattled civilians, CNN seemed the only trustworthy source of information.

Clearly those days are over. This is what cnn.com was featuring as its most important news items earlier today:

Anna Nicole on CNN

I’ve highlighted the items that could even remotely qualify as “news”; it represents a little over 4% of the total area given to the most important news of the moment.

Given the immense challenges we are facing today, CNN’s transformation into a gossip tabloid can only be called irresponsible. I guess dishing out the celebrity crap is more lucrative than reporting the news.

The only way for a free market economy to function well for its constituents is if they take their role as consumers seriously. So I’m voting with my eyeballs: goodbye CNN!