The news network that has dedicated practically every hour of the day to the hunt for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has pulled out all the stops to supplement its coverage, including virtual cockpits, model planes, and sophisticated graphics, but that wasn’t enough.
CNN desired the crème de la crème: its own 777 airliner, the Associated Press reports:
CNN initially sought to rent a real 777 airplane for its coverage, but found it impossible. Individual airlines were also reluctant to make their simulators available. So CNN arranged time with the company uFly, from Mississauga, Ontario, near the Toronto airport, which has a simulator that is the same model of the plane lost in Asia.
Despite the mockery it has received for its speculative, wall-to-wall coverage of the still-missing plane, ratings have gone through the roof. The story is such a hit for the network that it drew weekly average ratings that are roughly equal with the 2012 presidential election.
So it’s not surprising then that CNN sent one of its employees to Ontario to shoot footage inside a plane simulator. What is surprising, however, is that it is literally blocking other networks from using the simulator by keeping it reserved indefinitely, according to the AP report.
Igor Bobic is the assistant editor of Talking Points Memo, helping oversee the site’s coverage of politics and policy in Washington. While originally from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Igor feels best at home on the beaches of Southern California. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.