NEW YORK – 24-hour news networks have expressed concern that the discovery of flight MH370’s black box could damage ongoing efforts to pass wild speculation off as news.
The discovery of the Malaysian craft’s black box would be a severe blow to the hopes of news network bosses intent on pulling their theories from the same black hole they think the plane could have disappeared into.
Hosts at CNN, MSNBC and Fox say they would be at a “complete loss” if they could no longer produce verbal diarrhoea in the absence of any evidence.
An inconvenient truth
With the search for the plane’s black box intensifying, there are genuine fears among major news networks that any hard data obtained would leave them facing the reality of reporting facts.
The plane’s black boxes emit “pings” at a frequency of 37.5kHz, almost as high as the frequency of baseless speculation emitting from 24-hour news networks.
MSNBC’s Ed Schultz said his team was not prepared for a scenario in which the whereabouts of the plane are confirmed, admitting: “it’s been so long most of us don’t even know what it means to report credible news.”
“It’s always a race against time trying to fill a 24-hour news cycle with absurd theories before facts hit your desk,” said CNN anchor Don Lemon.
Lemon revealed CNN turned down several “great” crackpot theories before agreeing on the premise that the Malaysian Airlines flight could have crashed landed onto a mysterious island like Lost.
“It’s an hour-long special and will be done as soon as I finish the season six box set.”
No news is good news
Malaysian authorities have made clear that if the debris from MH370 if found they would make counselling available to grief-stricken news hosts.
“We know this is a stressful time for those who claim to be journalists,” said a spokesperson for the airline. “The closer we get to finding this plane the closer they get to having to do their actual job reporting on facts.”
Lemon did hope the plane was found, but said the network was ready for a prolonged search and had plenty of filler material lined up.
In an anxious moment he said his network would be watching the search for flight MH370 with bated breath.
“If they find that plane there’ll be no chance to make things up and call it credible journalism.”
“Then what will we do?!”