Conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh on Friday poked fun at CNN's seemingly never-ending, controversial coverage of missing Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 — "if it ever ends."
"This morning, I kid you not, they have been running a breaking news banner on it," Limbaugh said on his afternoon program.
"It happened many times."
He said that the news alert said: " 'Breaking news: Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 May Have Lost Altitude.' "
"Really?" Limbaugh facetiously asked. "I thought it was still up there at 35,000 feet."
The airliner, carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew, vanished on March 8 and flew thousands of kilometers off
its Kuala Lumpur-to-Beijing route.
The disappearance of the Boeing 777 has sparked the most expensive search-and-rescue operation in aviation history, but concrete information continues to prove frustratingly illusive.
Recent developments center around acoustic signals — "pings" — that have been detected within the search area in the Indian Ocean.
The signals may have come from the jetliner's black boxes, which record cockpit data and may provide answers as to what happened to the plane.
CNN has been covering the mystery nonstop — meticulously reporting virtually every new detail and featuring interviews with experts, officials and analysts. News anchors and correspondents have even used airplane models to illustrate their reports.
The coverage comes as CNN seeks to re-establish itself as the cable network to turn to for breaking international news, The Washington Post reports.
The network has been ripped for its coverage by, among others, Bill O'Reilly of "The O'Reilly Factor" on Fox News and Jon Stewart on "The Daily Show" on Comedy Central.
But CNN anchors have defended the coverage, with Anderson Cooper telling TV Newser on Friday
that the Malaysian saga was a very “human” story.
"We’re talking about 239 souls on board, and their families," he said.
And, now, it's Limbaugh's turn — citing Friday's latest "breaking news" development.
"They have just discovered at CNN that the plane lost altitude, which usually happens when a plan lands — either a controlled crash or an uncontrolled crash," he said, according to a program transcript. "But, usually, there is a loss of altitude involved.
"That's why I'm gonna miss CNN's never-ending coverage of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370," he added, laughing.
"I don't mean to be laughing about it, but it's breaking news that the airplane may have lost altitude? What would be their first clue, and why did it take them a month to learn this?
"Come on, Rush, you know what they're talking about," Limbaugh added. "They've got some news that the plane dumped down to 4,000 feet.
"Yeah, and, at some point, it was at 3,000 feet, and then it was 2,000 feet — and now it's probably 10,000 feet under the ocean based on the latest ping."
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