Hey, @CNN: Got any updates on the missing plane? Sincerely, No one ever
— Scott Kleinberg (@scottkleinberg) April 7, 2014
Here’s something I never thought I’d say, but CNN’s low point was not when it interviewed a will.i.am hologram on election night.
What’s happening now on the Cable News Network is nothing short of embarrassing and sad.
I understand there’s still a missing plane that crashed with hundreds of people aboard, but CNN has become dependent on it to the point where it’s completely obsessed. We all laugh about it in the newsroom and social media hasn’t exactly been kind, but we’re moving into unchartered territory here.
It’s one thing to devote resources and pay attention to developments. It’s another to only acknowledge the death of Mickey Rooney in the crawl at the bottom of the screen. Wolf Blitzer was already robotic, but now he’s pretty much gone over to the dark side. I picture him eating breakfast at home, drawing that all-to-familiar map trajectory of the plane in the butter.
I laugh about it, but it’s really not funny. Seriously, it’s just bad journalism. Yeah, yeah, TV is all about ratings. I get that. But CNN used to be trustworthy, even if it felt a little weird (see hologram above). Same thing happened to The Weather Channel last year when it started naming winter storms.
Even if we’re too young to remember watching it, we all know when Happy Days jumped the shark, because that term is forever part of pop culture. CNN jumped the shark about a week or two after the plane went missing.
Maybe there’s someone out there who appreciates this kind of coverage. Maybe. But if there is, I haven’t met them. It’s the further dumbing down of America, and I don’t like it. It’s a serious story with families grieving and this isn’t helping them cope.
Am I wrong? It’s OK if you think so. Let me know in the comments or tweet me.