Cry Wolf

CNNmalaysia-2Welcome, you’re in the Saturation Room.  Long before the plane went down, the Flight 370 Channel (formerly known as CNN) had learned the ratings value of fear mongering, especially about terrorism.  Barbara Starr’s pre-Sochi hand wringing about it was just a warm up. The Flight 370 tragedy has been a much greater godsend.

For more than two weeks, “the greatest news team on television” has ignored events in the rest of the world while desperately longing for the plane story to reveal some kind of wrongdoing, preferably terrorism. This story is too big to be handled by Wolf and his pretentiously named staffers alone. Daily panels of experts have been enlisted, including some with impressive doctorates in Speculation Theory from the prestigious Grassy Knoll University.  Panels also include experts drawn from a pool consisting of anyone who ever piloted, or flew as a passenger in an aircraft.

The absence of evidence about the disaster has not hindered the coverage at all. On the contrary, it has been a blessing. Even better than the old maxim about never letting the facts get in the way of a good story is never to let having no facts get in the way. On March 25th, just as many thought this marathon might be mercifully coming to an end, the “Breaking News” was “U.S. Does Not Rule Out Misconduct”. That gave me an idea.

Here are a few other theories that I have not yet seen anyone rule out.  There is no evidence to support them either, but don’t let that stop you from tweeting.

1. Wolf Blitzer is the illegitimate son of Werner Von Braun.

2. On the 31st day of non-stop Flight 370 coverage, Ted Turner will commit suicide.

3. Nancy Grace will anchor next week’s coverage of the story. She has already identified the terrorists responsible and convicted them. Breaking News will be the execution dates.

4. Anderson Cooper will have a representative of the Egyptian government on to dispute Nancy Grace.  He will prove that Egypt captured the real terrorists responsible. They were sentenced to death one day last week, along with 582 fairly-tried co-defendants from the Muslim Brotherhood.

What’s the harm in a little speculation, right?  I am sure CNN’s has added little, if anything at all, to the anxiety and grief of the families who lost loved ones on the flight.  I am sure it has not been too stressful for the families of the two dead pilots whose lives have been publicly dissected as part of the effort to find some bad guys, somewhere.  On March 27th, the network ran interviews reminding some who knew the pilots that they were suspects.  In fairness, the opportunity to deny this and say good things about the pilots was offered. That probably helped.

Stand by, preferably in uneasy anticipation, for the next riveting installment of Cry Wolf!

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