UPDATE, 1:40 PM: We spoke too soon. TV news types blasted MSNBC’s Ronan Farrow after he tweeted/touted this morning that he had exclusive footage of the girlfriend of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 passenger Philip Wood when she received news from Malaysia Airlines that it believed the plane went down in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Australia and that there were no survivors.
Farrow tweeted by way of promoting his MSNBC program that is telecast at 1 PM. His tweet was deleted when outrage ensued, and sniffed at his earlier self in a subsequent tweet:
1pm @RonanDaily: the latest on how loved ones received the news – and yes, we will respect their dignity and privacy in what we show.
— Ronan Farrow (@RonanFarrow) March 24, 2014
But not until CNN editor Justin Lear tweeted:
Farrow’s initial promotion of his exclusive footage of Sarah Bajc as she got the bad news about the vanished plane may have been in part inspired by his vanished audience. Friday’s telecast marked Ronan Farrow Daily’s smallest demo performance since the show’s launch on February 24 — only 38,000 demo viewers were tuned in. In total viewers he clocked 206,000 total viewers which, while not a lowest ever, is close. For comparison sake, in the 1 PM ET hour on Friday, FNC’s America’s News Headquarters clocked 974,000 viewers and 248,000 demo viewers and Wolf Blitzer on CNN logged 575,000 overall viewers of whom 147,000 were in the demo. Farrow’s tweet comes less than a week after his mother tweeted a now-deleted jab at CNN over its reporter Tom Foreman, who was reporting next to a 3-D Boeing 777 jet in his holographic studio, wondering if the world had gone mad. CNN’s Sally Kolb fired back, tweeting to Ronan’s mom:
PREVIOUS: 8:58 AM: Cable news networks and broadcast morning shows jumped into gear this morning – and CNN kept doing what it’s been doing 24/7 for a couple weeks now – when the Malaysian government announced Prime Minister Najib Razak would make a statement about missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370. They all knew something big was up in the mystery that’s dragged on with very little information for more than two weeks now – it being only the second time the Prime Minister has weighed in on the subject since the plane went missing March 8, shortly after takeoff from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, with 239 passengers and crew on board. Razak announced that they had received new analysis of satellite data, adding, “It is … with deep sadness and regret that I must inform you that, according to this new data, flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean.” (Watch
The announcement put an end, at least temporarily, to the fun news organizations had been having taking shots at CNN over its decision to cater to viewer interest with massive coverage of the search for the missing plane, despite lack of much news. Among those using CNN for target practice were Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, whose program for the first time got beat three consecutive nights by CNN’s Anderson Cooper with missing-airplane coverage, and NBC News’ Chuck Todd, who lit into CNN for its alleged overuse of the words “breaking news” in its lost-plane reporting, tweeting, like he meant it to sting: “Wait, so when did finding NOTHING get characterized as ‘breaking news’?” (CNN senior producer Vaughn Sterling shot back with screen grabs of MSNBC on which could be seen banners like the one that read: “Breaking News: No Trace Has Been Found Of The Plane Or The 239 People Aboard.”
Malaysian Airlines this morning sent a text message to families of the passengers telling them the plane had gone down in the Indian Ocean and that it believed “no one on board survived.”
Razak said he had been briefed by representatives from the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB). “They informed me that Inmarsat, the UK company that provided the satellite data which indicated the northern and southern corridors, has been performing further calculations on the data. Using a type of analysis never before used in an investigation of this sort, they have been able to shed more light on MH370’s flight path. Based on their new analysis, Inmarsat and the AAIB have concluded that MH370 flew along the southern corridor, and that its last position was in the middle of the Indian Ocean, west of Perth. This is a remote location, far from any possible landing sites,” he said.