Paris Tuileries Garden Facepalm statueNote: There’s been an update to this post, see below.

The mass media have been falling all over themselves for nearly two weeks covering the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370. Every bit of information that’s trickled out has been dissected and stretched and speculated on at length by dozens of pundits all over the place. It doesn’t seem to matter that some of it has turned out to be untrue or just isn’t clear (WebCite cached article).

They’re in the business of conveying information, after all, and they’re going to do just that — even if the “information” they convey is just airy speculation based on questionable premises and, ultimately, useless.

So it’s little wonder that CNN, the news outlet which has raised the standard of MH370 higher than any other, wandered far afield in its effort to appear to want to get to the bottom of it. As Mediaite reports, this Sunday host Don Lemon openly wondered if something “supernatural” happened to the plane (cached):

“Especially today, on a day when we deal with the supernatural,” Lemon said. “We go to church, the supernatural power of God…people are saying to me, why aren’t you talking about the possibility — and I’m just putting it out there — that something odd happened to this plane, something beyond our understanding?”

“People roll their eyes at conspiracy theories, but what conspiracy theories do is they ask the hardest, most outrageous questions sometimes, but every once in a while they’re right,” [guest Brad] Meltzer said.

Now, Meltzer (of Decoded fame) implies a “supernatural” cause for the plane’s disappearance is a kind of “conspiracy theory.” But it’s not always the case. While some conspiracy theories have supernatural elements, not all do; in fact, few of them do. And yes, conspiracy theories and appeals to the supernatural are the product of irrationality and the product of ignorance, but in reality, he’s confusing the issue.

As for his claim that some conspiracy theories end up being true … yeah, some are. But those are very, very few. Contrary to what Meltzer suggests, the fact that a couple of conspiracies here or there have turned out to be true, in no way supports the veracity of any given conspiracy theory … because even a broken clock is right, twice a day … and it remains broken, even if you happen to check it on one of the rare moments when it happens to show the correct time.

As for Lemon’s appeal to the supernatural, that’s a fucking laugh. I get that he’s trying to show he’s looking into “all” avenues of inquiry, and by his own admission is offering up a potential explanation that some in his audience are agitating for, but fercryingoutloud, it’s ridiculous. We don’t yet know what happened to MH370, but that doesn’t mean a supernatural fate must have befallen it. To think so is an appeal to ignorance, and it’s beneath America’s network of record.

It would help if CNN personnel worked harder at delving into this case and finding more verifiable and useful information, rather than speculating endlessly based on the little tidbits that dribble out from official outlets. They need to get to fucking work instead of jabbering about the supernatural.

Update: Lemon offered yet another laughable speculation last night, wondering if a black hole swallowed the plane (cached). Perhaps even more laughably, former Transportation official Mary Schiavo said that couldn’t have been it, since (she says) a black hole would have swallowed the entire universe, “so we know it’s not that.” Where does CNN get these screaming idiots?

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.

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