Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The Age of Misinformation

I'm sitting here at home watching MSNBC's coverage of United Flight 923's emergency landing at Logan Airport due to an altercation onboard. In the span of 30 minutes, they have continually reported the "facts" about the incident. Granted, the "facts" have changed 40-50 times each time they report them!

At the beginning, it was an altercation between crew members on the flight. I was assured it was not related to terrorism. Then it was 3 passengers getting into fisticuffs. I was assured it was not related to terrorism. Then it was one lady going crazy and two other passengers trying to restrain her. Terrorism? Nope. Then the lady was drunk and psychotic and acted "suspiciously" (whatever that really means). Whew...excellent! Glad it was just a drunk person geeting crazy with the Cheeze Whiz on the plane...then we find out that she had a screwdriver, matches, mascara, and Heaven-forbid - VASELINE! Terrorism? I'm being told no. Uh oh. Then she mystically has a note that reads "Al Quaeda!". THE SMOKING GUN! Is it terrorism? Uh...well, let's go to our analyst Joe Blow for some analysis. Joe Blow analyzer says, "Yep...that's kinda weird. We don't know what size of the screwdriver she had, how the vaseline was brought on board, and what the note she has really said. It's too early for us to make any real assumptions."

*Cut to someone who will continue the story the anchor just gave*

"Yes! None of those items should've made it past screening! What are they doing there in London!?"

Then as I continue to watch and fight the urge to change the channel, I "find out" the lady is now claustrophobic! Holy smokes! If you are a clinical claustrophobe, why the hell would you put yourself on a plane?!

"Ooooh! Today is the day I decide to challenge and conquer my claustrophobia!"

WTF?! OK, so a drunk, agitated, psychotic claustrophobe with an affinity for Vaseline, matches, make-up, and Home Depot accessories gets herself on an enclosed plane, and wigs out 20 minutes before landing at their destination, thus, causing the plane to land early at another airport. Sounds like the end of the story there. I don't see a big deal. OH! WAIT! The note they reported earlier was actually some literature written in Arabic. Oh...and she wasn't drunk! She had a panic attack. Also, no one confirms that she had any of the things they said she did (apparently her Home Depot credit application got rejected). And the lady is 60 years old.

Terrorism? Well, no but yes but no and now maybe! The anchor now asks another new team, "What's the connection between this incident and what happened a few days ago?" The news person replies, "Essentially, nothing". The anchor then asks, "Yes, but isn't it strange that two incidents originating in the UK and planes happen within a week of each other?!" ARGH!

Nice to know there is no media bias. That's why I watch Fox News.

What's scarier? Snakes or seniles on a plane?

Currently listening :
No. 4
By Stone Temple Pilots
Release date: By 26 October, 1999

Note: This was originally posted on MySpace with comments at:
http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&FriendID=16074757&blogMonth=8&blogDay=16&blogYear=2006

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