(CNN screenshot)
(CNN screenshot)

CNN’s extensive coverage of MH370 is now on record as causing some inconvenience.

CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer, a big sports fan, set off on Sunday for north Texas to attend the NCAA championship game. His itinerary, however, was scrapped amid developments/breaking news (depending on your perspective/level of cynicism) in CNN’s marquee story. Over the weekend, sonar pulses were detected in the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 search area, as CNN’s breaking news Twitter account carefully documented:

 

 

 

Had those pings held off for a day or two longer, perhaps Blitzer could have made his trip. As it happened, however, he was en route to the airport when he received a call asking him to turn back to help with the developments. The newsman complied. On Monday afternoon, just hours before the University of Connecticut-Kentucky tipoff in Texas, Blitzer was in Washington’s “Situation Room,” introducing the story: “Happening now, breaking news — the mystery of Flight 370. An urgent race to verify not one, but two pings detected by a U.S. underwater listening device. Officials say the signals are consistent with an airliner’s black boxes.”

Blitzer was unavailable for an interview, though his turnabout was confirmed by CNN’s public relations shop. He is CNN’s lead political anchor, and his work has been central to the MH370 coverage. In addition to his 1 p.m. show “Wolf,” since March 11 he has done a string of extended, special “Situation Room” episodes from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., preempting political debate show “Crossfire” each night.

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.