Too many theories, not enough facts

MalaysiaAirlines

I exaggerate only slightly when I say there’s been nothing on cable news for the last week but the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. A flight with 200+ souls on board goes missing and suddenly the situation in Crimea doesn’t exist anymore. Neither does anything else in the rest of the world.

CNN has been wall-to-wall with the missing airliner. Any other news has to be read in the chyron at the bottom of the screen. I finally tried MSNBC briefly, and true to their purpose, they had a commentator on camera, busily commenting on … the missing plane.

So I did the unthinkable. I switched over to Fox News. And eureka!! They weren’t discussing the missing airliner. Oh no, certainly not. Not when they could still be talking about … surprise! … how awful Obamacare is. Guys, you’re beating a dead horse. It’s done. It was done several years ago. That ship has sailed. Talking it to death will not make it go away any more than 50 failed votes in the House of Representatives has.  Oh, wait, they’re shifting to another story … seems there’s a plane missing somewhere between Malaysia and the middle of the Indian Ocean.

I’m as curious as anyone else about what happened to Flight 370. My best guess, all things considered, is that aliens snatched it out of midair and therefore we’ll never find any trace of it. I know that sounds silly, but it’s no less valid an opinion than those being offered up by every Tom, Dick, and Harriet on cable news. Nobody, at this point, knows what happened to the plane. What we are getting from our trusty “news” media are hours and hours of theory, speculation, best guesses, and recreations of possible scenarios. It doesn’t matter one iota that the commentary comes from pilots, former pilots, aircraft manufacturers, bureaucrats, and assorted “experts” of all kinds. It’s all meaningless conjecture. Meaningless! None of them has access to what little data exists, and even the officials who do have access cannot agree on what the data means.

This is almost as pathetic as what happened after the Boston Marathon bombing. But at least so far no one has published a front page photo of two innocent bystanders and said they hijacked the plane.

Not yet, anyway.

20 comments

  1. Now PT, there was that bit about the two forged passports… 😉

    I couldn’t resist the urge to check CNN earlier to see the latest. And whaddayaknow, there was Breaking News… Filled with yet more meaningless theory, speculation and best guesses! 🙄

    1. The passports were news. They figured out the who, what, when, where, why, and how of that and it was duly reported — somewhere in the middle of all the speculation and guessing. And there’s already a lot of baseless conjecture about the pilots, on the way to ruining their reputations without any solid evidence, and them not around to defend themselves.

      I wonder how long this circus will go on if they don’t find the plane …

      1. If nothing else the missing airliner has accomplished one thing, and that is to raise public awareness that out of a couple of hundred countries with airports only three systematically check passports against Interpol’s easily-available list of stolen numbers. Astounding.

        1. I was surprised by that myself, although I suppose it makes a certain amount of sense not to invest a lot of time and money on airline security if you’ve never suffered a terrorist incident involving your domestic airlines. And how much security is enough? It’s somewhere on a spectrum between Malaysia’s “do nothing” approach and our extreme (and extremely expensive) unconstitutional overreach.

  2. I think the Aliens got the plane. Rachel on MSNBC & the other evening hosts only had around 20% on the plane.

    Just like “The Great Seattle Wind Storm” well the almost wind storm – was forecast for up around 60 or 70 mph – so the TV crews all went out to find the wind – one went up on the Space Needle. One problem,the wind did not really show up, so we were treated to all these shots, on air reporters with perfect hair trying to lean into the wind that wasn’t.

    Then the great Carnation earthquake, maybe 3.0 knocked a few bottles of ketchup off the shelf, hours and hours coverage of the three dead ketchup bottles, took a while but a film crew finally got out there and we were treated to pictures of a few cans and bottles in the isles, my guess is the film crew put them there.

    So sad the state of today’s “news”

      1. When they test Jon Stewart’s viewers they are some of the best informed of anyone. As John lamented from time to time about how his fake news show does a better job of keeping people informed than the “real” news shows – and John’s opening is always funny and spot on with the truth

        1. Yes, he’s an equal opportunity skewerer. He’ll go after anyone who deserves it. And these days, there are so many deserving people out there …

  3. I like the conspiracy theory my talk radio (Randi Rhodes) came up with this afternoon about how some really high tech engineers were on board belonging to the company that makes the stuff that lets you turn appliances and lights on and off with your smart phone….. they were heading down a rabbit hole about how the plane control of the plane was taken over by these dudes and landed on some island at Port Blaire, Andaman Island where they have a runway large enough AND a large prison that could house all the passengers…. it was pretty wild AND fun to listen to. Almost as good as aliens. I wonder if we’ll ever get to know?

    1. I think that’s what has everyone so captivated. The possibilities seem almost endless. Still, the news is supposed to be the news, not an endless game of “Airplane, airplane, who’s got the airplane?”

  4. All this “none news” has to be excruciating for the families of those on board that flight. And as always the television 24-hour news outlets chew on it like a bad piece of meat. I wouldn’t be surprised if Fox News didn’t eventually find a way to blame the missing aircraft on Obamacare or events in Benghazi.

    1. LOL! Of course! Why didn’t I see that! My money is now on Obamacare AND Benghazi. Terrorists who escaped after burning the consulate in Benghazi hatched a plan to steal a plane and fly to the U.S. to get the Obamacare one of them needed, but after they took over Flight 370 they discovered they couldn’t fly as well as their 9/11 compatriots, since VFR isn’t much good over an empty ocean … yada, yada, yada. In any case, it’s obviously all Obama’s fault.

  5. The thing is that news hasn’t been ‘news’ in a long time. It’s all about entertainment. So naturally news stations are attracted to stories that could essentially be movies. Newscasters don’t want to be journalists anymore, they want to be movie stars (and with the salaries some of them get, maybe they are).

    The once noble purpose of being the country’s watchdog and keeping the public informed is rarely acknowledged, much less practiced. And when a journalist actually has the nerve to report a real story then they are accused of being on one political side or another, or being racist, reactionary and extreme. The press is now as political and manipulative as the federal, state and local governments – with few exceptions.

    Television and radio both were created to facilitate advertising – to sell products. That’s why initially they were free. Those shows aren’t on because somebody wants to entertain us but because they have to do something to get our attention so we’ll buy their stuff.

    Ironically now, even the newscasts are commercials, whether for glorifying the newscasters, espousing a particular view or philosophy it doesn’t seem to matter.

    It’s no wonder though – since we’ve essentially become a totally self-absorbed society on a constant quest for ‘what’s in it for me?’

    Possibly the only way to actually get news is to subscribe to the wire services, but even then it’s a crapshoot.

    Annie

    1. I agree radio and TV long ago sold out to their corporate sponsors and the political views of those sponsors. But prior to that they actually did report the news and actually did serve as the public’s watchdog. Journalists were taught in school to remain impartial and they took pride in doing so. (You’re probably too young to remember those days 🙂 )

  6. Amazing. It’s now March 18 and CNN still talks mostly about this. You’d think they’d be running out of ways to fill the time …

    The search area is now approximately the size of the US (lower 48). For a single plane. Think for a second about all the searches you’ve heard of here for a missing plane on a known course, somewhere in a few hundred square miles, vs the current search area of more than a million square miles. I wouldn’t bet a plugged nickel on their chances of finding that plane.

    1. You won’t get my plugged nickel either. The search has now devolved into an air search for debris by eye and radar and I can tell you from personal experience that the biggest obstacle to success is sea state. A Beaufort state 3, which is milder than average, is the point at which you begin to see white caps on the waves. These also produce radar returns that would hide anything small. A floating seat cushion has no return, and the chances of a big chunk of aluminum floating high enough are somewhere between zero and nil.

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