CNN’s obsessive coverage of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has attracted some backlash – and chuckles – from media critics, other journalists and, of course, their social media audience.
Take CNN Newsroom host Don Lemon, who took some Twitter heat this week for his use of a toy plane in his coverage and for raising the possibility that a “supernatural’’ explanation may exist for the plane’s disappearance.
Lemon hit another home run Wednesday night, directed at former US Department of Transportation Inspector General Mary Schiavo, who offered a perfectly bemused response (in video above) to Lemon’s latest and greatest question about whether a black hole may have swallowed the plane:
"I know it's preposterous," he said, before completely negating that statement by asking Schiavo, "is it preposterous, Mary?" Schiavo had an extremely delightful answer: "A small black hole would suck in our entire universe, so we know it's not that. A Bermuda Triangle is often weather, and 'Lost' is a TV show."
Others on Twitter have been much snarkier in in their commentary:
Theory: CNN has found the missing plane and hidden it just so they can keep the coverage going.— The TN Conservative (@TennConserv) March 21, 2014
Breaking: CNN just cutaway from plane coverage.— Dave Pell (@davepell) March 21, 2014
This CNN coverage of a missing plane is the longest episode of Gilligan's Island I've ever watched.— Mimi (@MimisLifeClass) March 21, 2014
Between Newsweek's Bitcoin "scoop" and CNN's plane coverage, this year would already have a packed anti-Pulitzer field.— Hunter Walker (@hunterw) March 18, 2014
Imagine the CNN coverage if Justin Bieber had been on that missing Malaysia plane.— Greg Mitchell (@GregMitch) March 18, 2014
I'm coming around on this nonstop CNN coverage. The stamina and focus is impressive; it's bordering on performance art.— Michael Sippey (@sippey) March 19, 2014
When Russia and Ukraine go to war this week, I hope CNN can fit it into their missing plane coverage.— Conor Yunits (@conoryunits) March 18, 2014
everytime CNN leaves their missing plane coverage for Crimea coverage-- a puppy dies.— Dana Wright (@RadioDana) March 17, 2014
I hope this @CNN plane crash coverage doesn't affect their schedule of Forensic Files repeats.— Andy Kindler (@AndyKindler) March 14, 2014
Q: Why did the chicken cross the road? A: No one knows, but CNN will air nonstop discussion of theories for the next week.— Shane Rhyne (@shanerhyne) March 21, 2014
The network has received some high-profile criticism as well. NBC’s Chuck Tood took to Twitter this week to scold CNN for what he believed was an overuse of their “breaking news’’ banner.
"Another day of 'breaking news' based on finding nothing or in other words, 'not breaking news,'" Todd, who also hosts MSNBC's "Daily Rundown," wrote on Twitter on Friday morning.
"I know it may look like I am casting stones while potentially living in a glass house. But the mistakes of one news org hurts ALL of us," he wrote. "Then it becomes 'the media' is abusing 'breaking news' -- no it's not 'the media' in general."
Fox News personality Bill O’Reilly, who lost his ratings lead to CNN for the first time ever this week, also trashed the network, saying the speculative coverage was “corrupting the news business.’’
All burns aside, CNN seems to have struck a chord with some audiences: the New York Times reports that CNN’s ratings have “surged’’ during its coverage of the missing airliner, with ratings climbing 100 percent in primetime.