Malaysian investigators now believe the American news network CNN may have ordered the downing of Malaysia Air Flight 370 in an effort to boost its flagging ratings.
At a press conference today in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said that police were looking into the theory that executives at world’s first cable news channel may have somehow influenced someone on board the aircraft during its fateful flight.
“There are a number of suspicious circumstances in the case,” he told reporters. “But is anything more suspicious than the fact a CNN reporter interviewed the flight’s co-pilot just weeks before he disappeared?
“Whenever you have a mystery, one must ask the question: who benefits? Nobody has benefited more from the tragedy of Flight 370 than CNN. They’ve made hundreds of millions of dollars off all this coverage. That’s reason enough to be suspicious.
“If you were looking to engineer a news story, it would look a lot like Flight 370. Why else would you crash a plane in the middle of the ocean? A weeks-long search is exactly what these networks needed.”
The Most Trusted?
CNN was once a widely respected news organization which, like the BBC, used a neutral tone and international reach to provide quality television journalism to global audiences.
However, the arrival of Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News in its domestic market in the late 1990s prompted the organization to transition to a more sensationalist editorial line with little news value.
The change has not only been poorly received by journalism critics, but has also devastated the network’s ratings. Once the dominant force in American news, CNN now regularly ranks below both Fox News and its leftish counterpart MSNBC.
The one advantage the network has preserved is its coverage of breaking news events such as natural disasters, coups and celebrity deaths. However, in the case of Flight 370 many have accused the network of pushing that advantage too far by saturating its audience with non-stop updates on a slow-moving investigation.
“Since this ordeal began, CNN has often reported on developments in the case before we in the Malaysian government were aware of them,” Razak insisted. “Some say this is a measure of our own incompetence. But what if CNN were somehow behind this? Wouldn’t it make sense that they know more than we do?”
A spokesperson for the network refused to comment on the Prime Minister’s accusations, but promised full coverage if the network were charged with a crime
“If CNN goes on trial for the disappearance of Flight 370, CNN will air the proceedings live with comprehensive analysis from Jeffrey Toobin and our award-winning legal team,” the network said in a statement.