The Erik Wemple Blog has been watching a great deal of CNN of late. And that means watching a great, great deal of very unsatisfying coverage of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. Yesterday’s CNN highlights boiled down to repeatedly trumpeting, trumpeting and trumpeting the revelation that the airliner had taken a sharp detour from its scheduled path. CNN replayed a graphic of that detour enough times to etch a groove in the tube of the Erik Wemple Blog. The coverage also yielded some analysis from a reporter in a cockpit; extensive discussions of varying theories; information on why family members have heard ringtones when calling the cell phone numbers of Flight 370 passengers. And on and on and on.
After CNN returned to missing-jetliner story today following a detour for the New York City building explosion, the Erik Wemple Blog hit Twitter:
On @CNN, they’re pushing the limits of a no-news news story in re: Flight 370. Speculation, theory getting very old.
— ErikWemple (@ErikWemple) March 12, 2014
In the noon hour, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo addressed just this matter on air, as follows:
Often in a situation like the mystery of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, the job is to have more questions than there are answers, because simply not enough is known. So if it seems like we’re nibbling around the edges, it’s because we are. If it seems like you’re trying to avoid the suggestion of speculation, it’s because you have to. Because the facts often will lead you in the right direction and until you have them, you can just be as scattershot as the theories and ideas that we’re hearing about where this plane may be. But the bottom line is the authorities and those who are supposed to know simply do not. So we monitor the situation as best we can, learning it what we can as we go along. One way to do that is being everywhere the story is, and that’s what CNN is doing on this and every story.
Well said: The Erik Wemple Blog will back off.
Yet we reserve the right to gripe about chyrons like this one, which appeared on CNN this afternoon:
PLANE: EXPERTS PONDER WHAT WENT WRONG
And to deplore the brain-deadness of “expert” interviews, especially this exchange between host Brooke Baldwin and David Gallo, the co-leader of the search for Air France Flight 447:
Baldwin: How tense do you think this command center is for these Malaysian Airlines folks right now?
Gallo: You know, it’s gotta be horrible.