CNN Poll Asks If Aliens Played Role in Malaysian Jet Mystery

Wednesday, 07 May 2014 11:39 PM

By Joe Schaeffer

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A CNN poll released Wednesday asked respondents whether they thought aliens were involved in the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, the jetliner that captured the world's attention in March -- and 9 percent of those polled answered in the affirmative.

The CNN/ORC International poll asked if it was "very likely," "somewhat likely," "not too likely" or "not likely at all" that "space aliens, time travelers or beings from another dimension may be responsible for the disappearance of Flight 370," reports.

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Nine percent of those polled answered either "very" or "somewhat" likely.

In an article on the poll on its website, the network played the question as straight news, reporting that, "[f]ewer Americans -- about 42% -- think hijackers may have been involved, while 9% believe that space aliens or beings from another dimension were involved."

Mediabistro notes that CNN anchor Don Lemon referred to the poll in a Tuesday segment on "CNN Special Report." He read off part of the poll results but did not mention the alien question.

The odd poll question comes as CNN continues to weather heavy ridicule over its wall-to-wall coverage of the missing airliner, criticism that began almost immediately after the story first broke in March.

On-air anchors were mocked at the time for using toy planes as props to advance speculation about the missing jet, and Lemon was later skewered in an April appearance on ABC's women's talk show "The View," with Barbara Walters saying to Lemon of his network, "You've covered this story more than any other story that I can remember."

Even President Barack Obama took his shots at last weekend's White House correspondents dinner, saying, "Yes, I am happy to be here, even though I am a little jet-lagged from my trip to Malaysia. The lengths we have to go to to get CNN coverage these days! I think they are still searching for their table," NPR reports.

Perhaps the best clue to CNN's thinking in asking the alien question can be found in Lemon's defense of his network's coverage of Flight 370 to "The View" last month.

"It's not just the ratings, but part of our mission is to give the audience what they want," Lemon argued.

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