“Just like the movie “Lost” … And of course, they’re also referencing “The Twilight Zone,” which has a very similar plot. That’s what people are saying. I know it’s preposterous, but is it preposterous, do you think, Mary?”

– Don Lemon, CNN, discussing theories on the disappearance of Flight 370

On April 1, President Obama addressed the country, announcing that the goal of signing up 7 million citizens for health care had been reached.

 

(Related: Obama Speaks at Rose Garden After 7 Million Mark Reached For Healthcare signup)

 

Obama’s speech was scheduled for 4:15 p.m. EST, so I flipped to CNN around 4:10 p.m.. Unsurprisingly, they were reporting on Malaysian flight 370, the plane that has been missing since March 8. 4:15 p.m. rolled around, and CNN correspondents and guests continued to elaborate on their crackpot theories as to where the plane might be.

 

(Related: Lost Malaysian Plan Sparks Concern For All)

 

A few minutes later, CNN coverage had still not switched over to the President’s speech, so I went to whitehouse.gov to hear what President Obama had to say. As some of you know, President Obama gave a passionate and inspired speech about the goals reached under the Affordable Care Act. CNN eventually came around and tuned in to the President’s announcement as well.

 

Afterwards, I was excited to hear some commentary about President Obama’s speech, hoping to hear what the newsroom at CNN had to say about the President’s enthusiasm. Unfortunately, they switched back almost immediately  to the “breaking news” of the missing plane.

 

More than any other network, CNN has incessantly continued to produce more and more “breaking news” about the missing Malaysian flight. Updates on Russia’s invasion and annexation of Crimea, the President’s speech on health care, and all other major news stories seem to be taking a backseat to the missing Malaysian plane.

 

Now, if relevant and important news kept being released about the plane, then the constant reporting would be justified; after all, the story is fascinating and serious, as over 230 people were on the flight and are still unable to be found. Unfortunately, that just is not the case.

 

Over the last few weeks, CNN reporters have held serious panels considering the role a black hole could play in the story of the disappearing plane. They have discussed what has been deemed the “Zombie Theory,” in which 1) a potential depressurization of the plane could have led to all members on board the board losing consciousness, and 2) the plane could have continued flying on auto-pilot with no on-board oversight until the plane crashed. Comparisons to scripted television shows such as “Lost” and “The Twilight Zone” have been made and considered as possible explanations. Debris is found, reported unrelentingly, then investigated, and found to be irrelevant and not related to the plane.

 

It is possible that the pilots played a role. Debris could belong to the plane. However, if my memory serves me, investigative journalism is supposed to investigate before reporting. While these previous theories are plausible, black holes and scripted television shows are so far beyond the scope of reason that it is insulting to try to make them relevant in a situation where hundreds of missing people are the topic that is trying to be explained.

 

CNN’s mission for boosts in ratings and viewership has declined the quality of their reporting surrounding the missing Malaysian plane. While other networks have engaged in hyper-sensationalism, CNN has taken the cake. When Jon Stewart and Bill O’Reilly agree over the absurdity of reporting by a reputable network such as CNN, I believe it is time to tone down the speculation and start reporting on cold, hard facts again.

 

What do you think? Is CNN’s reporting over the top, or is it justified? Let me know what you think in the comments box below or tweet me @dannystevens91 with your thoughts!