Fasten Your MH370 Seatbelts: Journalism Is in for a Bumpy Ride

The disappearance of Malaysian flight MH370 is certainly a tragic and perplexing case. It’s been two weeks, and we’re no closer to locating the plane, or figuring out what happened on the flight itself. But, like a lot of news stories in the information age, our collective reactions are proving far more telling than the incident itself.


This is comment/question keeps appearing on message boards about the case. Apparently scores of people are under the impression that tracking the passengers’ wireless data hasn’t occurred to anyone. So much so that two separate news outlets had to gently break it to their followers why doing so wouldn’t help one bit.

Yes, this massive, multinational gathering of law enforcement officials, aviation experts, and search & rescue teams has overlooked the mobile device thing. You’re almost certainly the only person who has dared to ask that question.

Fun fact: it’s hard to track a cell phone when it’s mile underwater (which, sadly, is most likely where all the cell phones currently sit). This isn’t like a continental flight where the plane passes in and out of cell tower range repeatedly. There are no cell towers in the Indian Ocean, genius.

Conspiracy Theories

The Illuminati manages to get blamed for nearly everything of significance that goes on in the world, despite the total and complete lack of evidence for its existence. (Second only to God! Zing!)

According to a hard-hitting theory proposed by one i-am-SHER-locked, the Illuminati stole the plane, and we can tell for sure, as the missing plane was the 404th 777 airliner ever produced, a reference to the HTTP 404 error message “Not found.”

Right. Because the Illuminati, an organization with purportedly limitless resources, couldn’t think of a better way to acquire a plane than stealing one mid-flight. They couldn’t just, you know, purchase one. I guess we can sleep a little sounder at night knowing that the shadowy puppet masters who really run the world have less financial wherewithal than a typical professional athlete.

But the truly insane part of this theory is the 404 error message connection. The Illuminati want to steal a jet to start World War III. Okay. Their brilliant idea is to steal the 404th 777 ever produced as a little wink-wink nudge-nudge for “not found.”

How exactly did that meeting go down? “Gentlemen, I know there’s been a lot of chatter about our aircraft hijacking plan, and how we go about selecting the jumbo jet in question. Well, I’ve got a proposal that should satisfy everybody: You know that “404 error” message you get when you try to go online but you don’t have internet connectivity?

[Murmurs of agreement]

Well, let’s steal the 404th 777 ever produced. You see? Because the error message on the screen reads “not found.” Because the sheeple aren’t going to find the plane! Get it, guys?”

[Room bursts into applause and laughter. The plan is unanimously approved.]

This is only the tip of the iceberg. I could go on, but I’m held to a strict 750-word limit because Newslo’s editors have the patience of squirrels.

The second thing is how the media is treating this story. Sure, it’s fascinating, and we can’t fault the news networks for pandering to the public’s love of a good mystery, but given the sheer volume of coverage the press has heaped upon this thing, you’d think the Pope, LeBron James, Edward Snowden, Vladimir Putin, and Tupac were all onboard this flight. Like a school shooting, the media has successfully transformed a tragic event into a spectacle meant to be enjoyed on TV. Watch this clip of the mother of one of the flight’s passengers breaking down during a press conference

The media managed to successfully paint this as “the human side of the tragedy” when what they should have been doing is asking, “What on earth are that many photographers and cameramen doing at a routine press conference in the first place? How exactly are they serving the public’s need to be informed? And why are they snapping photos of an emotionally distressed elderly woman like she’s a naked Miley Cyrus?”

So to recap: 1) the world is filled with idiots and 2) the media is now in the business of pandering to them.