Hey media: if you don’t know what happened to the Malaysian flight, try reporting what you do know

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Generally, when you want to discuss an event but you are not equipped with very many facts, you are left with two choices: you can either ground your conversation in the solid realm of reality — thereby rendering the discussion more honest but less entertaining — or you can use the few bits of actual information as a launching pad to construct a wild and captivating fairy tale.

It’s no surprise that the media generally chooses the latter.

Never has that been more evident or pronounced than with the story of the missing Malaysian Airlines Flight.

I usually look upon the media’s shameless sensationalism with a sort of bemused indifference. They need viewers because they need ratings because they need advertisers because they need money, so every day must be packed with stories that are “historic,” or “outrageous,” or “controversial,” or “revolutionary.”

Everything must be a crisis. Every weather pattern must be an impending disaster. Our lives must always be hanging in the balance. Every commercial break must be preceded by a tantalizing tease that will keep us on the edge of our seats while we soak up a succession of targeted advertisements, awaiting the next news item that will surely give us some fancy new thing to fear, or hate, or be distracted by, or babble about on social media.

I get it. This is the era of news and entertainment — newstainment — and this is how it works.

But I don’t think I’ve ever been quite as disgusted as I am now, while I watch these cable news channels and online publications turn the likely death of some 280 people into a Tom Clancy novel.

It’s embarrassing. It’s gross. It’s almost sociopathic.

And it gets ratings.

I’ll say this about the news of the “vanished” airline: it’s a big story. It’s relevant. It has to do with the fate of hundreds of people. There is no question that this is one of the most confounding aviation mysteries since Amelia Earhart.

It deserves to be covered by the news.

Notice I said “covered” by the “news.” That’s very different than “converted into a Hollywood action movie, disguised as actual reporting, and disseminated in the most sensational manner possible.”

Yet you watch these channels, and what do you find? Spiffy computer graphics and eerie theme music set as the backdrop to unfounded speculation and fantastic assumptions.

On CNN, the title of their movie news reports is “The Mystery of Flight 370.” The anchors stand in front of a 3-dimensional map of south east Asia as they rehash the same bits of actual information, followed by an array of “theories.” To augment their wall-to-wall coverage of a story that only includes a handful of verifiable facts, they reach into their bag of toys and tricks and pull out model airplanes and flight simulators.

CNN is so desperate to keep the story going, that they’ve been reduced to wondering aloud about “supernatural” explanations.

They’ve even staged demonstrations on how to disable a Boeing 777’s transponders.

Hey, if this wasn’t a terrorist plot, maybe now it will be. Thanks, American media.

All of the cable channels bring in “analysts” and “experts,” seemingly in competition over who can wantonly spew the most hysterical and unlikely hypotheses. Pilots and aviation experts, FBI agents and politicians, all dance in front of the camera, spouting thousands of words that could and should be boiled down to just three: “I don’t know.”

Their speculations and guesses have quickly been cemented into the public conscience. We’ve reached a point where the “terrorist took over the plane/pilot hijacked plane himself, landed it at secret location, and now he/they/whoever are planning on repurposing at as a giant (probably nuclear) bomb” theory has become the leading explanation amongst desperate talking heads and astute social media detectives.

Without committing the sin of sensationalism myself, I believe I can accurately label this a new low point for a media that long ago reached the basement of integrity and journalistic ethics, pulled out a shovel, and started digging.

Look, we have to say it’s possible that the pilot or terrorists or the pilot and terrorists commandeered the plane, took it to a top secret location, and now intend to pack it with explosives and slam it into a Chinese/Israeli/Australian/American city. We don’t know anything for sure, so, as we are constantly reminded, anything and everything remains on the table.

But why are we sifting through the piles of theories on that proverbial table and giving so much attention to the most outlandish and remarkable ones?

The answer to that is as obvious as it is depressing: the media likes the astounding and scandalous explanations because they drive ratings. The public likes them because they are — as nauseating as it is to say this — exciting.

How else can you explain the near ubiquitous assumption that the disappearance of this plane was the result of the most unnecessarily complex terror plot in the history of mankind?

Yes, it’s possible. But, out of all the answers to this riddle, how likely is it that some country or organization or individual has the resources and know-how to kidnap an entire airplane, fly it undetected through one of the most hostile and heavily monitored regions of the world to a secret location, re-purpose it as a giant bomb, and then use it to attack their enemies? And, if this country or organization or rogue group or rogue individual can pull this off, wouldn’t they/he/she/whoever have the intelligence to think of a MUCH more direct and efficient way to set off a devastating explosion in the city of their choice?

But I shouldn’t be arguing against a theory that has no justifiable reason to exist in the first place.

Instead, let’s go over what we (probably) know for sure:

The flight took off from Kuala Lumpur a little after midnight on March 8, carrying 239 people, in route for Beijing. At 1AM, the plane sent its last automated message via something called the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System. At some point around that time, someone in the cockpit said “alright, goodnight” to air traffic control. Less than an hour into the flight, the plane’s transponder stopped transmitting. About 90 minutes after take off, military radar picked up the craft over the Strait of Malacca. Some 6 hours later, a satellite detected the last signal from the aircraft, which indicated that it was somewhere roughly between Kazakhstan and deep south into the Indian Ocean — which is sort of like a convict escaping from prison and the FBI issuing a warning that the criminal is “probably” somewhere “between California and Delaware.” Only this is even more broad, because the plane could be buried under thousands of feet of ocean water, which would mean that we might never find it.

And that’s it. That’s all we know.

All of the other details  — including the pilot’s political leanings, his flight simulator, and his “Democracy is Dead” t-shirt, as well as the Iranian passengers and the stolen passports — are, as far as we’re aware, irrelevant. To extrapolate anything from any of these extraneous facts would be reckless and misleading.

But it makes the whole story more interesting, so the media won’t be stopped.

What happens if we find the wreckage out there in the blue abyss of the Indian Ocean and an actual investigation of physical evidence confirms that this was all an accident? What if those pilots did everything they could to save the lives of everyone board? What if the media has been engaging in the aggressive character assassination of a man who died trying to save 239 people from a tragic fate?

What if the most plausible theory — an electrical fire — is also the correct theory?  It isn’t as fascinating as a complicated terror plot, or pilot sabotage, or needlessly complicated pilot suicide mission, or alien abduction, or supernatural interference, or remote hijacking via cell phone, or meteor strike, yet it is certainly the most realistic.

Unfortunately, realistic doesn’t sell.

Viewers want intrigue. They want conspiracy. They want drama.

They want fiction.

And that’s what the media delivers.

Meanwhile, 239 people are probably dead. Hundreds of families have been torn apart. Amidst the speculation and the sensationalism, real people have suffered a real loss.

But at least CNN got a ratings boost out of it.

******

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114 Responses to Hey media: if you don’t know what happened to the Malaysian flight, try reporting what you do know

  1. Virginia Baus says:

    Most of us what truth and no more speculation…the facts, just the facts.

    On Tuesday, March 18, 2014, The Matt Walsh Blog wrote: > The Matt Walsh Blog posted: ” Generally, when you want to discuss an event but you are not equipped with very many facts, you are left with two choices: you can either ground your conversation in the solid realm of reality — thereby rendering the discussion more honest but less e” >

  2. Jiminy says:

    This is less extreme than what Matt talked about but I was watching the local news after a large snowstorm once and one of the “reporters” said “One thing that has not been occurring but we’re going to tell you about anyways is the power outages.” If it is not happening, don’t report it.

    • Samantha says:

      No, not as extreme as Matt’s article, but nonetheless evidence of the news media today.

  3. Henry says:

    Good article Matt. I do think some speculation is in order, since even the most plausible theories have a number of holes, but in any case, the facts are limited enough that speculation should be confined to private conversation and blogs, with “experts” appearing on T.V. only enough to shoot down conspiracy theories, not build them up. Simple answers are usually the most probable ones.

  4. Abbie says:

    I agree-I have said it for a long time, that people want to be a part of the nightly drama that unfolds in prime-time television. So instead of focusing on the facts and taking it all at face value–they would rather extrapolate their own miss-directed sensationalistic night-mare fantasies and inflict them on the only person they can–the one in front of them. It is sick and sad–because in the end they really do hurt a lot of people, and it is intentional–this is my definition of EVIL.

  5. Steve Berman says:

    Matt, I am gratified that you are taking on a more newsworthy issue. Bravo!

    As for the jet itself, I don’t go for conspiracy theories myself, but the facts are the facts. I reported 6 days ago that the facts are pointing toward some very scary possibilities http://bit.ly/1nXFB9O

    And I’m not the only one who thinks so, Israel is taking this seriously: http://bit.ly/1gs3KPk

    The facts are that NOBODY knows what has really happened to ML370, but we are fairly sure it’s not at the bottom of the Malacca Strait or the Gulf of Thailand. It’s either a mile down at the seabed of the Indian Ocean, and the other possibility is that it’s not, and that’s the scary part.

  6. Jeff Lantz says:

    I think we in the public hold as much responsibility as the media. It’s like blaming drug dealers for the sale of drugs in the US. Yes, they have a part but if we stopped feeding our addiction the sales of drugs would diminish. Maybe we should stop feeding our media addiction and force them to move on to other stories where they can get their ratings.

  7. kim says:

    When you think you’ve hit rock bottom you find you’ve hit someone’s ceiling.

    Except for the immense sadness I feel for the families of everyone on that plane, I’ve made it a point not to pay attention and will only at the time they’ve solved the mystery.

  8. J.B. says:

    Sadly, this is the nature of any major news network – CNN, FOX, ABC, CBS, NBC, you name it. The reporters and political pundits are designed and marketed to appear as if they belong to certain groups of working-class Americans, from the gentle all the way to the bold and angry – but none of them actually “belong.” Regardless of the network in question, they are all multi-millionaires who make money by performing under lucrative contracts with wealthy media owners and promoters. They’re not really a part of the groups to which they claim to reach out. They perform for pay, as anyone should expect. Is it any surprise that the most attention-grabbing, sensational messages define today’s sad excuse for journalism?

  9. Tim says:

    How about this: the plane is either 2miles under the ocean or,…OR, it is sitting in a zillion pieces under 3 canopies worth jungle…

  10. Karen says:

    I have not watched any TV news coverage about this whole mess, just because of what you have written. I have read plenty about it. But, it makes me sick to think of the media droning on and on about “guesses”, when the families of the people on that plane, just want to know where their loved one are. Yes, I have thought of the terrorist angle and them using the plane as a weapon. After 911, who wouldn’t? But, you don’t have to report that over and over like it is a known fact! Really, any more, I seldom watch TV news, it is all a joke, especially since nobama has been in office.

  11. Javin says:

    Could… Not… Agree… More…

    Let’s also not forget how this sensationalism resulted in the arrest and subsequent prosecution (and eventual acquittal) of a man who went on to have a literal price put on his head by the Black Panther Party, and his family and life ripped apart, because he was attacked by a thug while doing his job as the neighborhood watch captain – a position he was specifically asked by the neighborhood to take. A mixed hispanic/white/black man who was lauded as being “racist” by a media that doctored his 911 call. A man who followed the letter of the law (thus the reason he was acquitted) when he was attacked by a 17 year old “NoLimitNi**a” (his twitter account name) who had regularly posted about producing/selling drugs, and was in fact at the time suspended from high school (for the 3rd time) for suspected theft/drug peddling. But that’s not the story told by the media.

    Then there’s the sensationalism of the “Bath Salts” – a very little known drug concoction that was used by some filth in some trash parts of the city, resulting in the maiming of an innocent homeless man. But next thing we’re reading is about how it’s a wide-spread epidemic that will (and they literally said this) result in the “zombie” apocalypse as they proceeded to “link” completely unrelated stories of gore from around the globe.

    I also particularly like it when other organizations (such as the CDC/WHO) use this facet of the media to justify their own existence. Things such as “Swine Flu” or “Avian Flu” or any other sudden catastrophic mass disease that they invent to scare people into running out and purchasing a pharmaceutically provided preventative or vaccine. (I actually worked in medical research while in the Army, and can guarantee you that 99% of all reported “epidemics” are not. The “swine flu” for example was a common strain of H1N1 that was no more deadly than the standard flu, and in fact, turned out to be LESS deadly.)

    But even further, I would argue that the biggest danger isn’t even the media’s sensationalism, but is rather the media’s extreme bias. A study done by an independent and non-partisan group (of course, they claim to be non-partisan, but removed the study after the complaints from the left – http://www.mrc.org/biasalerts/study-coverage-more-positive-obama-bush-or-clinton-4282009#1) showed that despite still leaning slightly left, Fox News was still the most right-leaning, and simultaneously the most balanced network… This is an indicator of just how FAR to the left all other outlets are leaning. It’s frightening when a single political party has the ability to feed the vast majority of Americans precisely what they want them to hear, and censor any dissenting views.

    • Edik415 says:

      “…despite still leaning slightly left, Fox News was still the most right-leaning, and simultaneously the most balanced network.”

      I can’t find that claim on your link, but this sentences strikes me as odd for a couple of reasons:
      1) Despite still leaning slightly left — really? I’ve never seen anything on Fox News that leaned anywhere near the center, let alone the left.
      2) Most balanced network — I’d be curious to learn the criteria for labeling a network as “balanced” in general. Perhaps Fox News appears “balanced” because of the high number of left-leaning news outlets, and they have taken it upon themselves to single handedly balance that out? (Think of a gigantic weighing scale — if there are 4 althletic men on one side that weigh 150 pounds each, it takes an 600 pound man on the other side to “balance” it out, but that doesn’t mean the 600 pound man is in better shape than the others…)

      • Javin says:

        I too have tried to find the original CMPA study, but after being lambasted by the left (they are a bi-partisan group paid by donations from both sides) and being told they would lose their “left” funding, the study disappeared.

        Essentially the study was done by tracking the programming of the span of X amount of time, and then simply counting which stories reported were politically leaning in one direction or the other, and also counting the interviews had with people from both the left and right spectrum. Talk Shows (Letterman, Ellen, etc.) I believe were removed from the statistics and it only centered around news.

        Fox was closest to center with something like 52% left, 48% right, while MSNBC was the worst with like 82% left. Obviously, I don’t have the exact numbers. But in the end, it was determined that Fox was simultaneously “slightly left leaning, most central, and most conservative.” (If I remember correctly) which is what made the report so interesting. Numerous sites reported on it, though, so you may get lucky and find someone that cached the original with a little digging.

        • Edik415 says:

          Wow…that’s shocking. Thanks for the info — I’ll keep digging. Or, I’ll probably forget by the time I get home. 🙂

    • Katie says:

      I am intrigued by what you were telling me about medical research. If you’d be willing to correspond by email, my address (here) is katiecrystal23@yahoo.com.

      • Javin says:

        Sent you an E-Mail, Katie, though if your intention is to spam-bomb me, you don’t have to bother. 🙂 It’s just a forwarder I can kill at any time.

  12. Heidi says:

    It’s because they have nothing else to report. Forget about Benghazi, forget about the ObamaCare Debacle, in fact forget about real news. It’s easier to report fallacy and speculation than the millions who are going to die because of the lack of care and having their health care rescinded by our government. According to the Dem’s spokes-model, Hillary, “What difference does it make?”

  13. David says:

    I’m actually impressed you found a way to insert the word “spiffy” into a very serious topic/article. Nicely done.

  14. RebeccaG. says:

    Just as in the case of gossip, “newstainment” needs ears to hear. In other words, it takes two to keep the story going. If people stopped being voyeuristic, tuning into every “breaking news” moment, the ratings would dry up. Period.

    • David says:

      Meh. It’s like asking people to stop gawking at flashing electronic LED billboards on the side of the road…you know, the ones that momentarily blind you with neon colors to make sure you know just how much you can save by switching to…

  15. DJ says:

    I’d like to know why they can’t track anyone’s phone. I know they turn them off or put them on ‘airplane mode’, but how do you get everyone to NOT try to contact families if they know they are in trouble–even for a minute? Remember the plane that flew into the Pentagon? Many were on their phones finding out they were hijacked and would die. One little flick of a finger would have turned on at least one phone on this doomed flight. One desperate person would have tried to contact someone. Why are we not hearing anything with this? (Apparently the NSA is able to do a lot with phones and computers that are turned off, so I’m thinking there should be something!….any ideas?)

    I have not watched an coverage because I don’t have TV, but have they mentioned anything about this? I haven’t read anything, anywhere.

    I also don’t understand why, with many past hijackings, black boxes monitoring everything about the planes and recording the pilots, and security precautions everywhere, why do they not have a tracker or something embedded into the plane where it cannot be turned off manually? If this is a ‘test’ for another terrorist plot on the US, how can they stop it? Not fear-mongering here, just wondering why they allow the manual turnoff of a tracker without backup. It doesn’t have to be used by the tower on radar (in case the reasoning is clogging their screens), it can be tracked by satellite for a specified time or until the plane is decommissioned.

    As far as the media? There will always be bias one way or the other. You have to watch opposing viewpoints to be able to get a better picture of what’s happening to form your own opinions.
    To be fair to them, many people are thinking of things, as I did, and are wondering if anyone is thinking the same thing.
    There is a big difference btw news and commentary. The evening shows on CNN, MSNBC and Fox are all commentary about news of the day. I know that when I watched Fox, they did have news on during the day at certain times. I do not know what they do now that Shep Smith has taken over all news. The other two I mentioned I haven’t seen news on in years. Just spin..

    I really enjoy your blog, Matt. Keep up the good work.

    • sorry, but if you believe a plane hit the Pentagon you are not very bright…look at footage of ANY plane crash and there will be massive amounts of debris…then look at the Pentagon..NO DEBRIS except from the building itself.. wheres the fuselage? hell wheres the bodies?? Use a different analogy next time!

      • Javin says:

        If you DON’T believe a plane hit the pentagon, then you’ve lost all credibility in my book. And you kind of churn my stomach.

        I lost a number of friends in the Pentagon on 9/11, and many other friends of mine literally spent weeks (plural) pulling out bodies, body parts, and plane debris from the building. Anyone that buys into that whole “truther” crap loses all credibility in any argument, and is actually pretty disgusting.

        And I’m a hard core right-winger by anyone’s standards.

        You have to try pretty hard NOT to find the numerous reports and eye-witness accounts that will prove you false, and to consciously and purposely ignore the lives and deaths of all of those people, and what the survivors and rescuers went through, just so you can play pretend with some absurd theory is absolutely disgusting.

        Your argument is since you didn’t personally see the gore with your own eyes, it never happened. I suppose the earth is still flat, and we never landed on the moon in your book, too?

      • cb says:

        I think the families of 125 people who died on that particular plane would find it offensive that you deny they were murdered on that day. If you take a plane loaded with enough jet fuel to get across country and crash it almost immediately after takeoff at high speed, it could disintegrate anything–including 2 very tall buildings in New York City that same day.

      • Steve Berman says:

        How ridiculous. Disrespectful of those who lost their lives that day. Next you’ll claim the Holocaust didn’t happen.

      • Micah Burke says:

        Actually there are photos of the engines, tires etc. on the lawn in front of the Pentagon. Over 20 witnesses saw an AMERICAN AIRLINES jet hit the Pentagon. The fuselage disintegrated when it hit the Pentagon at nearly mach 1. The brittle, hollow aluminum frame of the plane collapsed on impact and shoved the contents deep into it. In fact, parts came blowing out into the center section.
        Kevin Rimrodt, a Navy photographer surveying the Navy Command Center after the attacks, spoke of the passengers “there were so many bodies, I’d almost step on them.”
        Here is but one of the hundreds of photos of wreckage on the lawn: http://911research.wtc7.net/essays/pentagon/docs/scrap_lawn1_s.jpg

      • Javin says:

        Oh, and you also have a grotesquely sub-par understanding of basic physics.

      • Karen says:

        I’ve never taken the time to leave a comment here, but the anger I feel after reading this is too much to contain. My cousin and his wife, Kenny and Jennifer Lewis were flight attendants on Flight 77. I’ve seen his ash covered wallet, we buried their remains AND my own mother watched the flight from her office window in Arlington just before it hit the Pentagon. Talk to those in the Pentagon who lived through the horror and THEN and ONLY THEN, spout your opinion. How dare you tarnish the memories of my cousins and other innocent victims!! How dare you!!

      • Piss off, troll. Your disrespectful filth is not welcome here.

    • Brad says:

      Phones only work when they can connect to a cellular network. No cellular networks over the ocean and no networks at the bottom of the ocean which is where (unfortunately) all of those cell phones are probably resting.

  16. Edik415 says:

    “Never has that been more evident or pronounced than with the story of the missing Malaysian Airlines Flight.”

    I agree with almost everything in your essay, except this little sentence. I don’t think I’d say “never” in this case. This seems to be par for the course — it’s the norm. Sandy Hook? How long was that fiasco on the air, reporting the same minimal facts over and over again, with nothing but speculation added on top.

    It’s not exclusively about ratings, though. It’s about having that “big” story before someone else. THAT’S why they all sit around and talk, so that, if by some odd stroke of fortune, one of their speculations should happen to be true, then they get to say “You heard it here first.” (Which, of course, leads to better ratings…)

    The LA earthquake yesterday was the same thing, from a much different angle. All the local news networks were broadcasting when the quake hit — did you see how they tried desperately to “vamp” so they could give the story right away? My favorite was this one:
    http://www.myfoxla.com/story/24994159/watch-exact-moment-earthquake-strikes-fox-11-studios

    Listen to that quality reporting…”Alright, that’s an earthquake…that is a big earthquake…I don’t know what the magnitude is at this moment, and we don’t know where that earthquake was centered…” Of course you don’t know those things. It happened 5 seconds ago. How about “We’re gonna go to commercial for a minute while we figure out what’s going on”?

  17. jeshkahope says:

    I refuse to watch the news and people say it makes me ignorant to what is going on around me.
    “Without committing the sin of sensationalism myself, I believe I can accurately label this a new low point for a media that long ago reached the basement of integrity and journalistic ethics, pulled out a shovel, and started digging.”
    I still follow what is going on in the world but that quote is exactly why I’ve stopped watching the “newstainment.”
    “It’s embarrassing. It’s gross. It’s almost sociopathic.”
    Totally agreed and greatly appreciate this blog post.
    And even though I know the comments will get nasty toward Matt (you’ll probably be anti-people for this one as much as you were anti-pitbull for the last Matt) could people please read what he writes and respond to that instead of whatever random anger pops up from just reading the title? Please!!! The conversations/comments on his posts can be so intelligent and productive and I love to follow them so lets try to keep them intelligent and productive!!

    Thanks again Matt!

  18. Monte Harmon says:

    It’s always about the money… except when it’s a squirrel.

  19. dazhidayong says:

    You know Matt…I see your point. Really I do. But, if I were a family member of one of the missing passengers, I would want every media outlet to continue keeping the story in limelight for as long as possible to keep it in people’s minds and hearts so there might be more efforts, public and private, poured into finding my loved one. For example, when they had ordinary citizens search the grid for any sign of wreckage.

    And, if I were a survivor on the plane and it really was some crazy terror story and I was still stuck somewhere in hell 10 days later, you betcha I would be praying and hoping that everyone would be talking about this story ad nauseum for however long it took until they found me.

    I would not want people to forget until answers were found.

    Just a different perspective 🙂
    From a former Malaysian citizen (now American).

    • Edik415 says:

      See, I’m not sure that I would. If I were a family member, I think I’d prefer if every media outlet would just shut the heck up until they actually knew something new. While I suppose it’s possible, it strikes me as highly unlikely that the plane is going to be found by some private citizen who says, “Gee, this story has been on the news for a long time — I guess I better get out and start searching.”

      That said, I’m not nearly optimistic enough to think that THAT’S the reason the news outlets keep putting this story above the fold.

    • Matt (Not Walsh) says:

      Search what grid? Last contact was over miles and miles of open water. No one knows where it went down. It will never be found.

    • rahkam says:

      As a cousin of one of those on-board, I can assure you this is not what we want. We want the speculations to stop, and let the SAR operation proceed unhindered. None of this sensationalism is helping, and really that can wait until after he is found, along with the rest on the flight

      • Tazz says:

        I am a Malaysian now living in the US. One of my relatives is on the plane. I’ve seen pictures of his mom crying splattered all over the news. It is hard, waiting and not knowing. I have since stopped reading news on the American media, esp once they started talking about the pilots committing suicide and all sorts of crazy theories. One story had a picture of the pilot holding a cleaver in the kitchen and another landing his seaplane in the water. He loves cooking, and enjoys flying radio-control planes during his free time. That doesn’t make him a terrorist.

        And to hear and read about unsavory stuff being said about Malaysia is very painful. I might not live there anymore, but I still love my motherland. No one knows what happened, so perhaps they shouldn’t speculate like they have the knowledge about what really happened. I have hope, that the passengers are safe. if the plane was hijacked, they could be safe still. Why is the media intent on killing that hope?

  20. Cody P says:

    It was the same story with the Treyvon Martin shooting. Reporters bombarded the news constantly with the latest updates on the trial, from voice analysis to the character’s previous drug history and all sorts of other almost irrelevant details and side stories only to come up with the simple conclusion of “No one knows for sure what happened that night that a black guy was killed in a fight with a white guy”

    • Matt (Not Walsh) says:

      First off, it wasn’t a white guy, he was Latino. And people knew what happened, the media just neglected to report what actually happened. It was more entertaining to report the mystery. There were numerous witnesses, and tons of evidence. Not only did the media neglect to report it, they flipped it and made Trayvon Martin, who was the aggressor, into the victim. Much more entertainment can be had with a poor black kid killed by a mean old man.

      • Edik415 says:

        All the more relevant…the story was “better” when it was told that he was a white guy.

      • Javin says:

        This… So much this…

        The major argument the media reported:
        * Trayvon was a lost little child peering into windows trying to find his way home.
        * Zimmerman was a big burly white man just itchin’ for something to shoot.
        * Zimmerman continued chasing the poor child after being ordered by cops to stop.

        What they did not report was this:
        * Trayvon was peering into a home’s windows in a neighborhood that had seen a recent upsurge in burglaries. (I would be very interested in seeing what correlation there was between Trayvon’s visits to his father, and the break-ins).
        * Trayvon made a bee-line for his home after he realized Zimmerman was on the phone with 911 – so was very obviously not “lost”.
        * Zimmerman was shorter than Travon, non-white, and out of shape.
        * Zimmerman did immediately stop running when the dispatcher told him “you don’t need to do that.” He was panting and out of breath.
        * Zimmerman had only “chased” Travon so he could report to the cops which house he had gone into, but lost him due to Trayvon being in much better shape.
        * Trayvon then RETURNED to Zimmerman after he hung up with 911, and attacked him.
        * Zimmerman only fired his gun after getting his head smashed into the concrete (media did not jump on the pictures or medical reports showing the actual damage done) by this attacker, yelling for help, receiving none, and fearing for his own life.

        The reason the police did not bring charges until the Media turned this into a race-baiting circus was because it was an open and shut case of self defense. Now an innocent man has lost his family due to the stress and chaos caused (possibly even his sanity), and has to continue to hide from the paparazzi since the Black Panthers have put a price on his head (and had no charges brought against them for doing so).

        • Matt (Not Walsh) says:

          One other factor that led to the charges was Barack Obama and his lackey of an attorney general got involved and forced the issue.

        • Javin says:

          GRRRRRRR. Don’t even get me STARTED on Mr. Barak Hussein Obama. That piece of filth lost all credibility and tarnished the very office of the U.S. Presidency when he used TAXPAYER DOLLARS to facilitate protests against a man who had not even had the chance to go to trial yet. Though his statement that “Trayvon could have been my son” is about right. Both are thugs that the world would be better without.

  21. andrewpri3st says:

    Not that it matters to the content, but I couldn’t stop staring at it: The picture at the top of the article is a 747; the plane in question is a 777. I know, I know; that’s not important to the discussion, but I FEEL much better now that I’ve said it.

  22. Katie Barstow Marino says:

    Here is an interesting theory, written by a pilot. http://www.wired.com/autopia/2014/03/mh370-electrical-fire/

  23. alanstorm says:

    “…try reporting what you do know.”

    You see the problem – most of them don’t know anything, about any given subject.

    Hey, this has possibilities….

  24. Linda Storm says:

    Keep up the good work, Matt. You are 100% right, the media is no longer news-oriented, but spin and entertainment driven. I laughed last night when I heard Travis Smiley of PBS say “it was the news media’s responsibility to investigate….something” I thought, when did they become responsible for investigating anything (re: Benghazi or Obamacare or any such thing)? Isn’t that the purpose of the Legistative branch of government? All they do is talk…mostly about the Hollywood elite and other “celebrities” like the POTUS and his wife!

  25. Brett Powers says:

    A great AND SIMPLE theory for what happened: (WARNING: TOTAL LACK OF DRAMA TO BE FOUND HEREIN, but Occam’s Razor suggests it might be the RIGHT THEORY) http://www.wired.com/autopia/2014/03/mh370-electrical-fire/

    • essay33 says:

      I was just musing that journalists either have never heard of Occam’s Razor, or take great delight in ignoring it. Why go for the explanation with the least amount of assumptions when wildly speculation draws more viewers?

    • Edik415 says:

      Or, it might just be more speculation.

    • Matt (Not Walsh) says:

      Once again, I’ll throw out my absurd, absolutely impossible theory, that I’m shocked no one else has said. Alien abduction. That’s why no one can find anything. The plane and everything was taken up.

  26. Sad but true unfortunately—and it’s so hard to find some one who will report the news as the news these days without it becoming some sort of theatrical soap opera on the daytime (or what ever time) TV. And it’s just as bad on the internet. If they want ratings they should let the news speak for itself, not turn it into a carnival side show.
    I feel sorry for the families whose losses have been made such a grand spectacle of.

  27. cb says:

    And let’s not forget that wonderful bit of reporting at Sandy Hook where they reported the killer’s BROTHER was the murderer, resulting in death threats to this poor man on Facebook while he is innocently at work all the way in NYC…..oops. I guess people’s lives and reputations don’t matter when there’s a scoop to be had.

  28. Robert says:

    What’s the matter Matt, does this story get people’s attention off you? This story brings people together, black, white, asian, latino…and gets them talking to one another. It gives people some common ground and potentially starts relationships as they talk about it at school or at the coffee bar at work. And you call this story a new low for the media? That doesn’t make sense.

    • Matt (Not Walsh) says:

      Wow, didn’t think this blog post was capable of drawing attackers. Feel free to talk about it at school, or the coffee bar at work, but the media doesn’t need to keep throwing out nothing in order to keep the “story” alive.

  29. David says:

    The Langoliers ate the plane. Seriously.

  30. What? Matt recognizes sensationalism? Who’d of thunk that?

  31. AppleTart says:

    Funny, don’t you do the same? The posts on this blog are sensationalized, highly controversial topics written to bring in a lot of web traffic. As you have been fired from your previous two radio gigs, you rely on high traffic to this site to earn a living, right? Unless you improve the quality of your posts (or refuse to accept any profits from this website), I don’t think you’re in a position to criticize the media. Bit like the pot calling the kettle black.

    • Robert says:

      Kinda agree here. That CNN clip he shows of Brad Meltzer is not a very good representation of the majority of CNNs coverage. It aired around midnight one night last week. The rest of CNNs reporting is not like this. If he’s going to criticize then criticize relevantly. The media needs to quit playing the story over and over but the conspiracy theory style reporting like the clip he shows is a non issue.

  32. MidnightJenny says:

    If the plane existed in the first place and the whole firestorm of media coverage isn’t meant to distract people from other news. Wag the dog and all…

  33. Behind Door Number Three.... says:

    I would have added another choice – the one I choose most often. If you don’t have the facts (or generally don’t know what you’re talking about), don’t engage in the conversation. It is a choice for the media to say, “We don’t know and we’ll let you know when we do.” Basically, the news channels have become irrelevant and replaced in our household. We still do RSS readers with headlines, and the Economist, but it doesn’t generally make it further than that.

  34. Aren’t most “journalists” products of our formerly great public education system? What are they taught? What are any kids taught?
    http://johnwilsonbach.com/2014/03/19/poor-kids/

  35. BoKnwos says:

    Meanwhile the real news of our Constitution being obliterated and the constant warmongering of puppet “representatives” on behalf of the banking cartels and energy giants gets 15 seconds at best.

    • Matt (Not Walsh) says:

      Constitution? What’s that? I don’t think it exists to current politicians and so called “leaders of the free world”.

  36. sarahlearichards says:

    I’m sure Hollywood is already salivating at the idea of making this into a movie.

    • Edik415 says:

      It was already a six-season TV show called Lost.

    • Matt (Not Walsh) says:

      If they do, it would probably be a Langoliers type thing, or an alien abduction. Like I was saying earlier, the plane will never be found, so no one will ever know what actually happened.

  37. fictionfitz says:

    Matt, I agree, and laughed at your headline. Like others who have replied, nothing is going to change unless the ratings tell them to, and ratings are offering opposite stats. We are the smartest and dumbest species. One critique I have your post. Make it shorter. Otherwise to me, your are, with less spooky music, committing the same CNN.

  38. favoursonly says:

    And who still knows the fate of the Passengers

    • Matt (Not Walsh) says:

      There is only one who knows the fate of the passengers, God.

      • Robert says:

        You dont know that…. dude, I believe there is a possibility they might be dead. But nobody can prove that. If that plane didnt crash and has landed somewhere I cant wait to come back to this blog and read these posts that you have put up. If the passengers are dead then for the record, I admit right now that could be a possibility. Who’s the arrogant one here?

        • Matt (Not Walsh) says:

          I’m not being arrogant, I’m stating what I see as the facts. Fact: the plane lost communications. Fact: The transponder signal was lost. Fact: The plane disappeared from every possible way of tracking it. No one knows where to search, could be the ocean, could be somewhere in a jungle, could be anywhere. The plane will never be found, it’s worse than trying to find a needle in a haystack, this would be like trying to find a needle, buried in the ground somewhere in the middle of a hay field.

        • Robert says:

          Come back here if they find it…

  39. favoursonly says:

    And what is the hope of the passengers

  40. Kathy says:

    Reblogged this on To Talk of Many Things and commented:
    I miss the days when they reported the news rather than nowadays when they plan seems to be to make up the news.

  41. Actually, I’m surprised that MSNBC and CNN aren’t reporting that 370 went down because of global warming.

  42. NS says:

    spot on!!! sensationalism in today’s media is a cancerous disease… slowly spreading worldwide.. leaving behind nothing but decayed bones of lies and sham!

  43. Steve Berman says:

    Unfortunately, we’ve run out of simple explanations for this jet disappearance, so it’s up to the searchers to find it.

    When Occam’s Razor fails… http://bit.ly/1fHmES1

  44. Thank you, thank you ..matt walsh.. for a bit of sanity and simplicity.. This is a disgusting display of our media.. and , i agree..A NEW LOW….Don’t these people ever look at what they are saying????Their so called experts they keep displaying need to be on Saturday Night Live… if they need to be anywhere, Praying for those poor families caught up in this … that they are given strength and faith to weather the storm and that it will be over soon…

  45. Daniel says:

    Until the time comes where we know what happened to the plane, I actually enjoy hearing analysis on theories, even if they are unlikely. The point where they lose me is when the start to ignore reality and start giving credence to the theory that it might have vanished (literally, not tongue in cheek) or that it may have taken a page from the script of LOST. If you want to theorize that the plane may have landed safely somewhere and that lots of people are being hushed, that is fine by me (albeit Occam’s Razor says you are probably wrong), but don’t include science fiction.

    • Matt (Not Walsh) says:

      Problem is, nobody will ever know what happened. There is no way to know if after the last transmission or transponder ping, the plane changed directions. It will never be found because it’s way too large of an area to search, not to mention practically impossible to search the entire ocean to look for it.

  46. Victoria says:

    People still watch CNN? (Communist News Network)

  47. Gayatri says:

    I completely agree with Matt.Back here it is even worst. Every tiny bit of news is “breaking news” .When you finally see what is “breaking” you see something like “monkey gave birth to twins”. And then you know what the viewers feel like. More than reporting exaggerated pieces of news, what irks me the way the reporters keep repeating the same thing again and again as if undermining our IQ levels. UGH.
    But if all this stops ,the channels maybe left with an hour of news everyday. You see they need to fill the rest of 23hrs and hence all this.

  48. Hope all are safe? probably not. It does look bad and any form of authority potentially commit crime(s) to make it a conspiracy. NTDS (nothing to do syndrome)

  49. Edik415 says:

    Of course, it’s none of US who watches this garbage, right? It’s those other people with their bad tv-watching habits. Now, please excuse me while I get back to my regularly scheduled viewing of American Idol.

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