CNN Is Addicted to Disaster Travel News, and It’s All About the Ratings

Excerpt from Esquire

Mar 21, 2014 4:55 pm

Skift Take

With its coverage of the missing Malaysia Air flight, CNN has demonstrated that no news is really, really good ratings news. Just don’t expect any facts muddying the speculation.

— Jason Clampet

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Joshua Paul  / Associated Press

A board in Kuala Lumpur with messages of support for passengers onboard the missing flight. Joshua Paul / Associated Press

… “When Jeff Zucker became president, everyone was curious what he would bring to CNN,” [Piers] Morgan said. “The cruise ship that was stranded at sea. I had zero interest in it. But a fascinating thing happened: I got completely engrossed in this bloody cruise ship! Around two in the morning, I told Jeff, ‘I don’t know how you did this, but I really care about this now.’ It was an event. The ratings the next day were double the normal ratings.”

They’re doing this now with an airplane that is almost definitely in the ocean somewhere, hundreds of people in it now likely dead while Don Lemon listens to whispers from a producer to stretch, stretch, stretch, to talk about the plane’s run-ins with supernovas and Jesus Christ until he hands it off to Anderson Cooper, who will do the same.

Hate Piers Morgan all you want, but he was dead right about that first instinct before he gave in. The news is headed to hell on a cruise ship filled with buckets of shit and there are no lifeboats.

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