NewsBusters Time Machine: Did ‘Black Hole’ or ‘Twilight Zone’ Swallow Plane?

March 16th, 2019 12:15 PM

It was five years ago this coming Tuesday that CNN's Don Lemon offered ridiculous, tabloid-friendly theories about what happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. Black holes? Something out of the sci-fi show Lost? The Twilight Zone? No speculation was too crazy for Lemon.

During a March 19, 2014 special report about the missing jet, the CNN anchor wildly theorized: 



Whether it was hijacking or terrorism or mechanical failure or pilot error, but what if it was something fully that we don’t really understand? A lot of people have been asking about that, about black holes and on and on and on and all of these conspiracy theories. 

Let’s look at this. [CNN graphics appear on-screen.] Noah says, “What else can you think about? Black hole. Bermuda triangle.” And then Deji says, “Huh. Just like the movie Lost. It’s also referencing The Twilight Zone, which is a very similar plot. I  know it’s preposterous, but is it preposterous?

The Twilight Zone episode Lemon referred to is called “The Odyssey of Flight 33” and involves a commercial airliner traveling back to prehistoric time. Passengers look out the window and see dinosaurs. So, yes, Mr. Lemon, I think this is a preposterous “theory” for you to be pushing on your network. 

Lemon’s guest back in 2014, former U.S. Department of Transportation inspector general Mary Schiavo, quickly dismissed the journalist: “Well, it is [preposterous]. A small black hole would suck in our entire universe so we know it’s not that... The Bermuda Triangle is often weather. And Lost is a TV show.” 

This is the same anchor who suggested CNN shouldn’t air Donald Trump’s State of the Union because of all the misinformation. Lemon is the guy who bragged about his friendship with actor Jussie Smollett before the celebrity’s hate crime claims fell apart. 

Maybe Don Lemon isn’t the right guy to weigh in on facts and reality. 

For more examples of our NewsBusters Time Machine series, go here.