Gosh, this is hard to admit, but Leonard Pitts Jr.’s column is on target: CNN is overdosing on the plight of the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner.
I tune in to CNN to catch on the latest headlines and breaking news. The problem with the news network, though, is that it has redefined “breaking news” to include any tiny tidbit about an on-going story that doesn’t break any new ground.
CNN’s commentators have been among the worst in trying to determine the fate of the Boeing 777 that disappeared March 8 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. It now appears to have crashed into the Indian Ocean somewhere off the western Australia coast. An international search team has deployed an unmanned submersible vehicle to look for the wreckage on the ocean floor.
But for the past month, CNN has been speculating out loud about the plane’s fate. “Experts” have actually suggested it was hijacked by someone and landed safely, or that it crashed on the Asian mainland in a forest so dense that no one can spot it.
The all-time best question, though, came from CNN anchor Don Lemon, who wondered out loud whether the plane might have flown into a black hole. Someone reminded him that a black hole would have swallowed the entire solar system … so that theory is out.
My heart breaks for the families of those who wonder about the fate of the 239 people on board the still-missing jetliner.
This incessant reporting — and repeating, actually — of what we already know, however, is getting to be too much for me to handle.
As Leonard Pitts writes in an open letter to CNN: “Granted, the missing jetliner is not an unimportant story. But neither is it a story deserving of the kind of round-the-clock-man-on-the-moon-war-is-over-presidential-assassination coverage you have given it.”
Tell us when you have something new to report.