Cable news coverage of missing plane


The Daily Show returned from its vacation and immediately went after the cable news channels for their appalling coverage of the missing airliner. In the clips below, they mentioned some crazy speculations that even I had not heard about.

(These clips aired on March 24, 2014. To get suggestions on how to view clips of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report outside the US, please see this earlier post. If the videos autoplay, please see here for a diagnosis and possible solutions.)

Comments

  1. says

    So far, hasn’t every aircraft disappearance been both temporary and the result of an accident/mechanical failure? So what does Bayesian probability tell us we should assign as a likelihood to the various complicated theories that are not “something went wrong and the plane crashed.”?

  2. snoeman says

    @ Marcus Ranum: Not a thing, as far as the media is concerned. If they weren’t lost at “Bayesian”, then “probability” sure as hell sealed the deal.

  3. says

    http://www.crimelibrary.com/criminal_mind/forensics/americas_missing/2.html

    Reports of missing persons have increased sixfold in the past 25 years, from roughly 150,000 in 1980 to about 900,000 this year. The increase was driven in part by the country’s growing population. But the numbers also indicate that law enforcement treats the cases more seriously now, including those of marginalized citizens.

    An astounding 2,300 Americans are reported missing every day, including both adults and children.

    I post that not to belittle the deaths of the airplane’s passengers, which are devastating to their families, but to exemplify how the media is overplaying this single case simply because it involves an airplane.

    The 2300 missing in the US daily alone is nearly ten times that of the number on MH370, yet none of them get this sort of media attention except at the local level (unless they’re white, blonde haired girls, of course).

  4. Mano Singham says

    @Marcus,

    That was surprising. It looks like depressurization was the culprit in each case.

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