Stelter interruptus: This past Sunday morning, we let the analysts settle back to enjoy some CNN.
They were watching Reliable Sources, the famous channel’s weekly show about the work of the press corps. In our view, Brian Stelter, the program’s new host, has been improving his offerings of late, after a very soft start.
Good lord! Stelter even spent the first segment asking if CNN has perhaps been overdoing its coverage of the missing plane!
We thought Jim Fallows did a poor job explaining what was wrong with the coverage. But the question was a good one.
Somewhere, the suits got nervous. After maybe twenty minutes, Fredericka Whitfield appeared and said this:
WHITFIELD (3/30/14): Hello, everyone. I'm Fredricka Whitfield, live at the CNN World Headquarters in Atlanta.Thank goodness! Finally, we were getting the latest! We had gone a good twenty minutes without any breaking news!
Reliable Sources will continue in a moment. But first, the latest on the search for Flight 370.
We pictured Stelter, Baltimore’s own, being wrestled away from the cameras. And we swear to God, Whitfield actually said this:
WHITFIELD (continuing directly): There has been a new discovery in the search zone that officials call the most promising lead so far. Australian surveillance planes spotted four orange objects about six feet long in the southern Indian Ocean. A ship will try to locate and recover them. Officials confirm several objects picked up by ships yesterday turned out to be fishing equipment and other trash.We swear to God, she actually said it! Whitfield shared some breaking news concerning a dead jellyfish!
The search operation is about to get some high-tech help as well. An Australian ship carrying a U.S. pinger locator and undersea search equipment is expected to leave for the search zone tomorrow and arrive on Thursday.
Meantime, a passionate news conference this morning by Chinese relatives of those on that flight. They demanded answers from Malaysian officials. They say they want the truth and also an apology for announcing that no one on the flight survived. Searchers in a Chinese plane spotted a suspicious object on Saturday. Well, it turned out to be a dead jellyfish.
I want to go now to our Will Ripley in Perth, Australia. That's where the search is being coordinated.
Whitfield bumped Stelter from the air for an entire segment. When Stelter returned, he was talking about the missing plane too.
But now, his segment had nothing to do with the work of the press corps, the program’s ostensible topic. Instead, he asked a PR executive to explain how Malaysian Airlines could do a better job with the families.
At CNN, the suits felt better when Whitfield wrestled the controls from Stelter. As usual, CNN was reporting “the latest,” with officials calling it “the most promising lead so far!”
This is not an April Fool's joke: This is not an April Fool's joke. For the official CNN transcript, just click here.
We see that Whitfield also did an opening segment that day, a segment before Stelter even got started. Plainly, CNN is devoted to wasting your time in every conceivable way.