Media Scare on Flight Delays a Bunch of Hot Air This Thanksgiving

November 26th, 2007 4:37 PM

Remember when you were a kid and all you had to do was cry "wolf" to get your parent or guardian to come to your aid? Well, apparently that doesn't work anymore.

Thanksgiving air travel went well; in fact it went so well it prompted CNN anchor Rob Marciano to exclaim, "Maybe the media sufficiently scared everybody."

CNN's "American Morning" and NBC's "Nightly News" reported the good news on Thanksgiving air travel, with CNN's Kiran Chetry saying it "wasn't so bad" and NBC's Amy Robach calling it a "relatively easy experience."

But both broadcasts forgot an important detail: military air space opened up by President Bush along the East Coast.

ABC's "World News Sunday" gave credit where credit was due - but left out a key point.

"Those express lanes, allowing flights to detour through military air space along the East Coast, also worked," said ABC's Jeremy Hubbard, forgetting to mention that Bush had authorized the air traffic change.

As the Business & Media Institute pointed out on August 29, while the networks were quick to blame airlines and CEOs for flight delays, the media were not as willing to blame the government-run air traffic system - a common theme that ran through 2007.

"And new airline industry numbers out today show that while millions of passengers suffer through record delays, cancellations and lost baggage - airline profits have been soaring," ABC "World News" anchor Charles Gibson said September 17.