CNN's coverage of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has reached such astounding stupidity in the past five weeks that it accomplished something previously unimaginable: uniting Bill O’Reilly and Rachel Maddow on the same side of an issue. Both cable news hosts think their counterparts at CNN should shut up about the missing plane — not that Jeff Zucker cares. CNN’s ratings are through the roof, and if it takes blind speculation or goofy props to maintain those numbers, then — dammit! — that’s what viewers will get. It's been 39 days since Flight 370 disappeared, and we still know little about what happened, but CNN keeps talking, and in doing so, embarrassing itself. Here are the network's worst moments:
The "Supernatural" Hypothesis: More than any other anchor, Don Lemon has turned himself into a punchline during CNN’s incessant Flight 370 coverage (Wolf Blitzer was already there). Lemon's first worst moment came nine days after the plane disappeared, when he "just put it out there" that maybe something "supernatural" happened.
The Black Hole Hypothesis: A few days later, Lemon showed that he hadn't learned his lesson by asking a former U.S. Department of Transportation inspector general if a black hole might have sucked the plane out of the sky.
Not a Plane, a Simulator: In late March, the network tried like hell to rent a real Boeing-777 to supplement its coverage. It failed and settled for a flight simulator in Canada that it's desperately hoarding to keep other networks away.
The Toy: CNN’s attempt to produce an actual Boeing seems a lot less ridiculous when you see how silly Don Lemon looks playing with a toy plane at his desk.
The Countdown Clock: At one point, CNN presented this countdown clock showing that only 17 days remained until the plane's black-box battery died, making its recovery nearly impossible. Ignoring the New Year's-ification of a human tragedy, it was impossible to know the precise time at which the battery would die. The clock was nonsense.
"Zombie Plane": Zombie plane? Zombie plane! Quick, someone call Rick Grimes.
Trash Talk: In his second bit bashing CNN for blathering about Flight 370, Jon Stewart gathered together a dozen or so examples of talking heads speculating about stuff floating in the ocean. It was almost always trash, which of course, led to a CNN obsession with sea trash.
"Breaking": Thirty one days into the mystery and CNN reports on this bit of "breaking news": "Families Frustrated by Media Coverage."
A Confession: The final embarrassing CNN incident didn't happen on air. In a March 17 New York Times article about the networks' coverage of the flight, an executive anonymously "acknowledged this was not really a story where reporters have been able to advance the known facts much." But, as of this writing, CNN is still going.
Most Viewed Stories
Pop Culture Died in 2009: Gossiping With the Best Celeb Blogger on Tumblr
Drake’s Views Is Available on Apple Music, iTunes
The Daily Show’s Lewis Black Addresses Live’s Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan Situation Like the Goddamn Disaster It Is
Chelsea Peretti and Jordan Peele Eloped and Their Only Wedding Guest? This Ridiculous Dog
Breaking Down Every Song on Drake’s New Album, Views
The Big Bang Theory Recap: Let’s Get Toasted
‘Isn’t This Funnier?’ New Girl Creator Liz Meriwether Recalls the Making of the Prince Episode
Trump Tries to Win Over Female Voters by Stressing How Easy Life Is for Women
Ronald Reagan’s Daughter Isn’t Too Happy With That Upcoming Will Ferrell Movie About Her Dad
Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May Once Again Attempt (and Quickly Fail) to Name Their Motoring Show
Latest News from Daily IntelligencerDavid Brooks Vows to Study America’s Suffering Masses
Will he move to a high-unemployment coal-mining town in West Virginia? A meth-ravaged exurb in the Inland Empire?North Korea Sentences Another American to Hard Labor
Kim Dong Chul was arrested for "spying" late last year.
"We're not using Las Vegas as a bargaining chip," he said. "This is real."The Bernie Camp’s Really Bad Idea of a ‘Tea Party of the Left’
The notion that there's some bipartisan supermajority out there waiting to be mobilized to enact Bernie Sanders's agenda is, in a word, delusional.Things Got a Little Out of Hand at Last Night’s Anti-Trump Protest
Orange County demonstrators clashed with Trump supporters and damaged police vehicles.Amal Clooney Offers a Fascinating Scenario for Donald Trump Losing the Presidential Election
Defeat can send strong messages.Enjoy Your Free Plastic Bags While You Can, New Yorkers
City Council speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito has backed a bill that would slap a five-cent surcharge on each one.Does Bernie Sanders Really Deserve Any Concessions From Hillary Clinton?
If Democrats actually do agree with Bernie on big issues, there's a better way to make that clear.If We Want to Be Like Denmark, Whom Do We Tax?
We need to know before the end of the Democratic primary!Republican Elites Resign Themselves to Trump
Party members both on and off Capitol Hill are coming around to the idea of Trump as the nominee.
If this is Uber's idea of guerrilla marketing, it is dark.Fresh Intelligence: Protesters at California Trump Rally Turn Violent, While Cruz Distances Himself From Even the Memory of John Boehner
Our roundup of the stories, ideas, and memes you’ll be talking about today.Obama Would Like the Media to Be Nicer, Please
The president feels "picked on and misunderstood" by the press.The Revolution Lives: Former Sanders Staffers Launch PAC to Elect Progressive Candidates
Including Republicans.It Turns Out January’s Blizzard Was Actually the City’s Biggest Ever
Sorry, blizzard of ’06.Everything Is Coming Up Trump
The Donald outperformed expectations on Tuesday, and now a new batch of state polls suggests he could clinch the nod before Cleveland without breaking a sweat.America Hasn’t Disliked the Republican Party This Much Since 1992
The last time 62 percent of America disliked the GOP, Boyz II Men and Sir Mix-A-Lot were lighting up the charts.San Bernardino Shooter’s Brother and Two Other Relatives Arrested
On marriage-fraud charges and lying to authorities.The Fairest Dice Possible According to Math Have 120 Sides and an Incredibly Complex Shape
Consider this the next time you bet with some shady six-sider.This Delusional John Kasich Ad Imagines What His Nomination Will Look Like
Even as the Kasich-Cruz "pact" begins to fall apart in Indiana, a new ad for the Ohioan shows him imagining Rapture in Cleveland.