MH370: CNN Coverage Tainted With 'Sensationalism'

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By Athena Yenko | May 9, 2014 2:40 PM EST

CNN is deemed as one of the most reputable news outlet worldwide. But writing for Talking Points Memo, Tom Kludt has observed CNN "has gotten a bit carried away with the somewhere else" and conspiracy theories surrounding the disappearance of the Malaysian aircraft.

Pointing at CNN's poll conducted on May 7, Kludt thought the news portal clearly showed how its hyped handling of its MH370 coverage had influenced the public. The CNN poll surveyed 1,008 adult Americans conducted by telephone from May 2 to May 4 based on the following category:

  • Fate of the missing airliner will always remain a mystery - 46 percent
  • Disappearance due to actions taken by the pilots or crew members - very likely at 26 percent, somewhat likely at 40 percent
  • Tterrorists - 57 percent
  • Hijackers - 42 percent
  • Aliens and beings from another dimension - 9 percent
  • Plane is somewhere else - 46 percent
  • Mechanical failure or an accident - 52 percent said 'likely;' 46 percent 'not likely'
  • In Indian Ocean - 51 percent
  • Search should continue - 69 percent
  • Malaysian government did a god job searching - 26 percent

Six of these categories were based on trivial things or conspiracy theories that CNN speculated, especially outrageous news was pollsters when asked if they believed aliens took the missing plane. It could be recalled on March 17, CNN Host Don Lemon explored the possibility that the plane's disappearance was due to supernatural events.

"Especially today, on a day when we deal with the supernatural, we go to church, the supernatural power of God. You deal with all of that. 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? I'm not one of those believers that aliens came down or anything like that. But you do have to stop and go, how does a jetliner with almost 200 people on it just disappear? How are they just gone?" Lemon said with his conversation with Brad Meltzer, host of the History Channel's "Decoded." 

Nate Silver, an American statistician, editor-in-chief of ESPN's FiveThirtyEight blog and special Correspondent for ABC News revealed an interesting data on the number of times that CNN mentioned Flight 370.

According to his data,  CNN cited "Flight 370" once every six minutes or 10 times an hour since its disappearance.

By using LexisNexis transcript search, he found that CNN had been using the term "Flight 370" 13,348 times since March 8.

Meanwhile, while CNN was interested to know American's take on the "mystery" surrounding the missing plane, a survey conducted by News Corp Australia found that 71 percent of Australians thought that Australia should not continue funding the search for MH370.

Australia had already spent $43 million as it started leading the search toward the southern vector.

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