Time to Rebrand Wolf Blitzer’s “The Situation Room”

Relative to other recent examples of CNN’s implosion as a news organization, this is a bit of a nit. But “The Situation Room” is a downright silly name for CNN’s daily collection of speculation and misinformation about vanished planes hosted by a semi-literate, botox-smoothed Wolf Blitzer.

He's still pressing the answer buzzer on Celebrity Jeapordy

“The situation has moved to my pants.”

I know they borrowed it from the White House crisis command and control center in hopes of imparting an urgency of breaking news and perspectives of top thinkers and decision makers. But it’s laughably solemn given the embarrassing proceedings at hand. It’s also an oddly pedestrian characterization of a room that’s supposed to be the nerve center of decisive action. “Ooh, The Situation Room, sounds like the room where, you know, situations are discussed.” We provide CNN chief Jeff Zucker these alternatives for a rebrand of Blitzer’s afternoon newser snoozer:

  • The Predicament Shed
  • The Imbroglio Closet
  • The Incident Parlor
  • The Circumstance Foyer
  • The Episode Boudoir
  • The Scenario Cupboard
  • The Phenomenon Lobby
  • The Event Cubicle
  • The Consideration Dojo
  • The Development Loo
  • The Complication Tent
  • The Transaction Gazebo
  • The Occurrence Patio

Final thought. With Blitzer’s show having evolved into a daily installment of breathless chatter devoid of news or insight, I suggest my favorite alternative: The Hyperbolic Chamber.

 

 

CNN Headline: “Could Flight 370 Wash Ashore in South American Tsunami?”

OK, former news network CNN hasn’t linked the Mystery of Flight 370 with the tsunami off the coasts of Chile and Peru. Yet. But let’s not put anything past the editorial judgement of the folks who keep us informed with expert analysis no other news outlet can offer:

20140401-221436.jpg(Photo originally posted at Shit Pilots Say on Facebook.)

 

New Development: CNN Forced to Call Actual Breaking News About Flight 370 Something Else

After three weeks of calling every false report, baseless speculation and black hole theory “Breaking News,” CNN encountered a dilemma today: actual breaking news. Search crews have spotted some debris that appears more promising than previous finds, and more boats and planes are en route to a narrowing search area. Hence, “New Developments.” I love these clowns.

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Someone should explain to CNN that “Breaking News” and “Relentless Speculation” are not the same thing

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CNN has not broken one single morsel of news about the mystery Malaysian Airlines plane. It has breathlessly chased every red herring this dramatic saga has introduced. CNN parades a continuous stream of experts and observers with varying degrees of knowledge to speculate on where in the world the wayward aircraft might be.

It’s a ferociously fascinating story. I’ll watch a panel yap about what they think might have happened. But let’s call that what it is: People guessing. “Breaking News” implies that news has broken, that something new has been revealed. CNN will run the “Breaking News” title graphic while relentlessly repeating the same updates being reported by every network. Often the “latest” news is hours old.

His quest for credibility is failing

His quest for credibility is failing

And CNN’s resident aviation expert and meth-addled genitalia wrangler Richard Quest is an imbecile and a twit. He has been spectacularly wrong on almost every observation and speculation. He was almost unequivocal that the Chinese satellite photos from a few days ago were indeed showing the wreckage of the plane. Other more knowledgeable experts urged caution based on the size and placement of the satellite photo mystery debris. But Quest continued to insist with bluster that the photos showed the remnants of the downed plane. He’s a buffoon.

And Wolf Blitzer embarrasses himself in live reporting and interviews during unfolding stories such as this. Here is a typical exchange:

Thoughtful, Cautious Aviation Expert: “We just don’t have enough information to speculate on what might have happened to that aircraft.”

Blizter: “So do you think it’s possible that terrorists overtook the flight crew and diverted the plane to Yemen?”

Thoughtful, Cautious Airline Expert: “What you are asking is absolutely impossible to know.”

Blitzer: “So it is possible then. Also, did Malaysian Airlines ignore FAA guidance regarding possible vulnerabilities related to corrosion in the fuselage of the Boeing 777 aircraft? Did that create a breach in the external structure of the plane that compromised the air compression in the cabin?”

Thoughtful, Cautious Aviation Expert: “We won’t know for several days or even weeks what the maintenance record of the plane will show. And in any case, the scenario you describe is highly unlikely. There is no value in such random conjecture.”

Blitzer: “So you’re saying that the wanton negligence of Malaysian Airlines cost the lives of more than 200 passengers on that airplane?”

Thoughtful, Cautious Aviation Expert: “You’re an idiot.”

Blitzer: “Are you suggesting then that aliens cast down a beam from a hovering space pod and pulled the aircraft in with a gravitational force that earthly science cannot even comprehend?”

“♪ Rot Pockets! ♫” Nestle Recalls Diseased Meat Hot Pockets, Gaffigan Updates Material. Also, Balls.

Nestle voluntarily recalled its Philly Steak and Cheese and Croissant Crust Philly Steak and Cheese Hot Pockets because they are disgusting. No, wait, it’s because they might contain meat from “diseased and unsound animals.”

Hmm. Is this really a huge departure from the typical contents of a Hot Pocket? Don’t we have pretty low expectations to begin with?

This follows last week’s recall of 9 million pounds of tainted meat by Rancho Feeding Corporation. (Coming this fall on NBC: Meat Recall, which stars Thora Birch as a brash, no-nonsense USDA inspector with a photographic memory.)

Also, someone on Twitter asked the very valid question: When they recall meat, do they fix it and give it back to you? Like a Kia?

As always with these stories, the real fun is in the details. So let’s take a closer look at some of the meat products Rancho Feeding Corporation recalled:

  • “Beef Carcasses” (wholesale and custom sales only)
  • 2 per box “Beef (Market) Heads” (retail only)
  • 4-gallons per box “Beef Blood” (wholesale only)
  • 50-lb. boxes of “Beef Feet”
  • 50-lb. boxes of “Beef Hearts”

Apparently, the bulk of the recalled items were from the Rancho Pagan Ritual Meats Division. But here’s the real story the “mainstream media” missed:

  • 30-lb. boxes of “Mountain Oysters”

In the famous words of Barry Zuckerkorn: “Those are balls.”

That’s right, mountain oysters are beef testicles. Apparently also known as mountain tendergroins and cowboy caviar. So yet again, the news media miss the real story, and headline editors miss this golden opportunity:

“Ball Recall, Y’all”

Of course, as in all matters of the Hot Pocket, we ultimately defer to Mr. Gaffigan:

Really, Georgia? Now an Earthquake? *smears on locust repellent*

On the heels of SNOW MY GOD! 2014, and 4.1 magnitude earthquake just shook Georgia and the Carolinas. On Valentine’s Day no less.

Headline prediction for mid-November: “Birthquake!”

Most importantly an hour after this quake rocked the southeast: Why isn’t WSB TV’s Mark Winne dressed like Humphrey Bogart and reporting from the back of a Humvee?

UPDATE: Breaking: Governor Nathan Deal forms Earthquake Task Force. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed compares response to Day 1 of the last earthquake.