Have you had enough yet?
Let's first stipulate that the probable crash of the airliner is a human tragedy, and we should not underestimate the importance of that or make light of it in any way.
That said, the nonstop coverage has gone beyond ridiculous and has now entered the Twilight Zone.
Some of you know that one of our kids is a professional airline pilot. A week ago he was home and attended a gathering with us. He was besieged by friends asking him for his views. "I got nothin'," he answered. Yes, he's very familiar with transponders, with ACARS systems, with airline procedures. He understands pings and GPS waypoints. But when it comes to the question of what happened, he's got nothin'.
Nor, obviously, does anybody else. Nevertheless, CNN is getting a huge ratings bounce (topping Fox in some dayparts according to reports) by riding this non-story essentially full time.
Among the breathless "Breaking News" reports. . .
--There could be a new "Bermuda Triangle" into which the plane was "sucked."
--The captain was seen talking on his cell phone before he boarded the plane.
--The first officer said "good night" to air traffic control before the transponders stopped transponding and before the plane turned. (all pilots know that when you're handed off to another controller it is standard to say, "good day," or "good night," or "s'long," or "bye," or "see ya," to confirm that you're leaving his frequency and moving on to the next control center. In other words, not ominous, not a story).
99% of professional pilots would say the same thing our son did: "I got nothin'." The other 1%, including Sully Sullenberger, are propped up in front of cameras full time, engaging in useless and, I would argue, counterproductive speculation.
Meanwhile, there are serious issues brewing in our fragile old world. They're getting short shrift because of this ridiculous emphasis on a story about which very little is known.
Find the plane, find the black boxes, and let us know what happened. Until then, radio silence (and TV silence and print silence) would be much appreciated.