I’m not quite sure exactly when CNN went from being one of the best news organizations in the world to what it has become today. I know the downhill slide began with the Time-Warner-Turner merger. Whatever his faults, Ted Turner is a visionary and a natural born leader and when he lost the ultimate say so, things got shaky. The other big event in CNN’s lifespan was the advent of Fox News, which has had a pernicious impact on teevee news in general and not just because of their horrible politics. Fox also fixates on trivia and makes shit up.
CNN is currently fixated on the missing plane story. It’s all they’re airing right now but that’s no surprise. The only time their ratings spike is when there’s a breaking general interest news story. It’s probably a good thing that this is overshadowing the Ukraine/Crimea crisis since the media is bringing the big stupid to that story as well. They’ve over personalized it and keep banging on about Putin when it’s about Russia’s historic national interests dating from the days of the Tsars. Vlad is a mere arriviste.
That brings me to this week’s “honoree,” CNN baby anchorman Don Lemon. I’ve only seen Lemon a few times but he struck me as callow, unprepared and clearly in over his head and out of his depth. Since CNN has air time to fill and a story to inflate, he’s been guilty of some bizarre and egregious speculation. Lemon started in a few days ago and brought up every half baked, hair brained and batshit crazy theory bouncing around the internets:
After CNN anchor Don Lemon “went there” and threw out the possibility of a “supernatural”event causing the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, he spent Monday’s show inviting Twitter users to send in all their crazy questions and theories about the missing jet for debate.
Among the possibilities Lemon’s panel of experts evaluated: that the plane was “stolen” to use in a later terror attack (deemed possible), that the plane was actually in North Korea (not possible) and that pilots could depressurize the plane to cause passengers to pass out (possible).
One Twitter user even asked why CNN anchor Richard Quest filmed a recent story with Malaysia Airlines. Quest said he did fly with the co-pilot of the missing jet — but ruling out a CNN conspiracy, he said the encounter was “pure coincidence and luck.”
Can you imagine Bernie Shaw, Bob Franken, Judy Woodrfuff or Frank Sesno asking folks on twitter for “ideas” about a story such as this? Me neither. Here’s the deal: I like the tweeter tube but it’s hardly the place to ask for ideas or theories about a tragedy like this. I only hope that relatives of the people on that flight haven’t been watching this idiot’s show as he speculates wildly about supernatural causes. I keep waiting for Lemon or one of his equally dim colleagues to suggest that Bigfoot hijacked the plane and flew it to the Pacific Northwest to rendezvous with DB Cooper.
We already know that CNN anchor Don Lemon leaves no “preposterous” conspiracy theory unexamined.
But when Lemon Twitter-sourced questions about the missing Malaysian Airlines plane again on Wednesday night he went another step beyond Sunday’s “supernatural” event theory: he and his panel discussed the possibility of a “black hole” swallowing the jetliner.
He read out tweets that compared the mystery to “Lost” and “The Twilight Zone” before asking Mary Schiavo, a former U.S. Department of Transportation inspector general, to weigh in on the black hole theory.
“That’s what people are saying,” Lemon said. “I know it’s preposterous — but is it preposterous you think, Mary?”
“Well, it is. A small black hole would suck in our entire universe so we know it’s not that,” Schiavo said. “The Bermuda Triangle is often weather. And ‘Lost’ is a TV show. So I think — I always like things for which there’s data history, crunch the numbers. So for me those aren’t there.”
“But I think it’s wonderful that the whole world is trying to help with their theories and I absolutely love their theories,” she added.
Australian officials said early Thursday that two large objects which may be debris from the plane were spotted a four-hour flight away from that country’s southwestern coast, so perhaps Lemon and his panelists will have some more concrete evidence to pore over on Thursday night’s show.
I’d like to thank TPM’s Catherine Thompson for watching this maroon so the rest of us don’t have to. Her stories have video embeds if you want to watch Lemon make shit up on live teevee. I wonder if Lemon is angling to host some supernatural, cum Bigfoot show if this whole news thing doesn’t work out for him. It seems to me that he should send his resume to SyFy or A&E just in case his anchoring career craters, and he needs a gig that will properly deploy his meager “talents.”
Every time CNN tries to reinvent/reboot themselves it doesn’t go very well. So, I’m not sure if they’ll ever get back to where they once belonged. I know one thing for sure; anchors like Don Lemon are part of the problem, not the solution. CNN needs to institute a No Lemon rule and either rein him in or show him the door before he becomes an even bigger laughing stock.
Bernie Shaw and Ted Turner weep. And that is why Don Lemon is malaka of the week.
UPDATE: Being offline for 24 hours meant I missed Athenae’s Lemonic postthat quoted the RudePundit. Woe is me, bop.