- Television screens in US airports censored a report about the investigation into the Ethiopia Airlines 737 Max crash.
- New York’s LaGuardia International Airport replaced a CNN report on possible causes of the crash with a video from lifestyle publication Refinery29 about a “caramel swirl cake.”
- CNN Airport Network told Business Insider that it does not air any programming about the Ethiopia Airlines crash “or any other airline disaster.”
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Televisions in US airport terminals censored a report about the investigation into the fatal Ethiopia Airlines 737 Max crash, replacing news broadcasts with a viral cake video.
Business Insider last Wednesday saw screens at New York’s LaGuardia International Airport interrupt a report into the fatal crash, which killed all 157 people on board in March.
As the newscaster began to provide an update on the investigation into the crash, his report was interrupted by a video from the lifestyle publication Refinery29 showing a cake being iced.
However, closed captions from the crash report remained on screen for several minutes during the video. The caption read: “The pilots on the 737 Max that crashed in…”
After the interruption, a passenger in the United Airlines terminal called attention to it and pointed out the caption to another customer.
The Refinery29 video was one about a “caramel swirl cake,” which the outlet shared on Facebook in January 2019:
The TV screens in LaGuardia International Airport are run by CNN Airport Network, which operates in 57 US airports and has an audience of 250 million passengers a year.
A spokeswoman told Business Insider that CNN Airport Network is not broadcasting any coverage of the 737 Max crashes.
She said that the clip was not aired in these airports in line with the network’s policy of not airing coverage of commercial aviation incidents.
“It’s CNN Airport Network’s policy not to air programming or segments of programming related to any accident or incident involving a commercial passenger airline,” she said.
This policy extends to coverage of the crash involving the Boeing 737 Max, even though the planes have grounded: “Any programming about the Boeing 737 aeroplane that references or includes footage about the crash of Ethiopia Airlines 737, or any other airline disaster, will not air on CNN Airport Network.”
CNN Airport Network also confirmed to Business Insider that it would not broadcast coverage of the crash or the investigation that does not include any images or footage of the crash site.
CNN was airing a report on the latest developments into the investigation at the time, which showed footage of plane debris at the crash site as reporters outlined what was known about what caused the crash. The report was broadcast prior to the release of Ethiopia’s preliminary report into the disaster.
A spokeswoman for LaGuardia Airport confirmed that CNN Airport Network controls what goes on the screens, and that the airport does not alter the network’s editorial content in any way.
CNN Airport Network is part of Turner Private Networks, and it uses CNN news footage. Both Turner Private Networks and CNN are part of WarnerMedia.
The network says it “does not air footage of commercial aviation crashes and other stories that would be inappropriate for a family-friendly airport environment.”
It broadcasts 24 hours a day with a dedicated staff, with live CNN coverage making up 20% of its programming.
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