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
New Video Shows Nic Cage As ’90s Superman
The Absolute Moron’s Guide to the Greek Debt Crisis
Beautiful Funny Women Are ‘Impossible to Find,’ According to the Very Unfunny Michael Eisner
Here’s Video of the Exact Moment Jennifer Garner Fell in Love With Ben Affleck
What’s New on Netflix: July 2015
11 Under-the-Radar Shows You Need to Catch Up On
So Apparently There Are 4 Kinds of Introversion
Man Dies After Launching a Firework Off His Head
I Was a Hollywood Personal Assistant
Welcome Back, Kotter Actress Marcia Strassman Dies at 66
Latest News from Daily IntelligencerGreek Voters Overwhelmingly Reject Bailout Terms
What that means for the future of the eurozone is unclear.Jason Whitlock and the Messy Saga of ESPN’s ‘Black Grantland’
He has been fired from the website he was supposed to create. The fallout is revealing cracks in ESPN's empire.The Party of Andrew Jackson vs. the Party of Obama
American history has come full circle.With Another Deadline Looming, a Nuclear Deal with Iran Remains Uncertain
Some reports have suggested an agreement is close, but Secretary of State John Kerry says it could still go "either way."Recaptured Convict David Sweat Is Back in Prison
He'll soon spend 23 hours a day in a maximum security cell.Man Dies After Launching a Firework Off His Head
He'd been drinking.The Presidential Candidates vs. Selfies
No, selfies will not decide the election, but politicians and their staff have had to develop some coping strategies.After Massive Upset, There’s a New Top Dog in Competitive Eating
Eight-time champion Joey Chestnut has finally lost Nathan's annual hot-dog-eating contest.A Look at the Fear and Despair in Greece
With Sunday's bailout referendum looming, one man's experience helps illustrate the tensions overwhelming the country.Study Warns of Toxic Air From Fourth of July Fireworks
More proof that everything fun is bad for you.
After last year's record number of infections, the newly reported death illustrates how the anti-vaccination movement puts those with weak immune systems at risk.Even the Times Square Characters Are Moving to Brooklyn
“I don’t come to the Boardwalk to hang out with inaccurate versions of characters."Jim Webb Decides to Join Democratic Presidential Race
"I understand the odds ..."Chocolate-Makers Help Save Cat From Engine Compartment of Pickup Truck
The cat was found trapped in fan blades after a 28-mile ride.Bernie Sanders Fills Arena in Wisconsin With Nearly 10,000 Excited Supporters
“In case you haven’t noticed, there are a lot of people here."Obama Picks a Labor Fight With Scott Walker
Is he trying to pick Hillary Clinton's opponent, too?A Brief History of Presidential Food Controversies
With a new election cycle well under way, here's a look at past political flare-ups over food and drink.Cuomo Is Much Nicer to de Blasio Than ‘Cuomo Administration Official’
"He says what he says, I say what I say, and I'll let him speak for himself."BP Will Pay Out a Record-Breaking $18.7 Billion Over the Next 18 Years for Deepwater Horizon
The money will settle claims with Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, and the federal government over the oil spill.The Labor Force Keeps Shrinking and Shrinking
Unemployment rate hits seven-year low, but the number of people who have given up hope of finding a job keeps climbing.
Even worse, it is called iBubble Wrap.England’s Own Goal Sets Up a U.S.-Japan World Cup Final Rematch
Laura Bassett will replay that moment for the rest of her life.Why Are Conservatives Defending Donald Trump?
You have picked the wrong hill to die on.The Absolute Moron’s Guide to the Greek Debt Crisis
Five years later, Greece’s financial woes are still a thing you should know about.At the Batting Cage With the Woman Bringing a Sneaky Feminism to Fox Sports
Katie Nolan, the mouthy, funny Garbage Time host, takes a few whacks at Chelsea Piers softballs and meathead fans.A 9/11 Survivor Returns to Work at the World Trade Center
Greg Carafello was a tenant of the World Trade Center on 9/11. Now he is the first one to return.On Gay Marriage, Chris Christie Says Clerks Have to Do Their Job
“When you go back and re-read the oath it doesn’t give you an out. You have to do it.”Malcolm Smith Gets 7 Years in Prison for Trying to Buy His Way Into the 2013 Mayoral Race
He was mainly guilty of wanting to be a great mayor ... and bribery.Hardware-Store Owner Amends ‘No Gays Allowed’ Sign to Make It ‘Nicer’
“People told me I ought to do it a little bit more, make it a little nicer because I’m a very blunt person."The Knicks Are Being Left Out of the Free-Agency Fun So Far
Their top priority is bolstering their frontcourt.