CNN’s widely and deservedly mocked coverage of the missing Malaysian jet is a-ok with the network’s boss mostly because a ton of people watched it. “I’m incredibly comfortable with it,” Jeff Zucker said in an interview yesterday, as reported by Capital New York. “I believed early on, right from the start, that it was an enormously important story: an American-made Boeing jet liner, with Rolls Royce engines with 239 people, disappears into thin air … That’s why we devoted the resources that we did to it.” But climate change? Meh.
“Climate change is one of those stories that deserves more attention, that we all talk about, but we haven’t figured out how to engage the audience in that story in a meaningful way,” Zucker said. “When we do do those stories, there does tend to be a tremendous amount of lack of interest on the audience’s part.” Bo-ring, at least until some melting ice caps make something vanish.
But he’s still on the fence about the forthcoming Benghazi hearings. “We’re not going to be shamed into it by others who have political beliefs that want to try to have temper tantrums to shame other news organizations into covering something,” he said. “If it’s of real news value, we’ll cover it.” The disappearance of American dignity and accountability is somehow not enough.