MSNBC Gets Burned By “Howard Stern” Prank Caller While Covering Ukraine Crash

A Malaysia Airlines flight has crashed over eastern Ukraine and may have been shot down by Soviet-era anti-aircraft equipment (though nothing is confirmed as yet). All 296 people on board are dead, and the possibility remains that this is a terrorist attack.

In other words, the news media should be taking this pretty seriously. But anyone who remembers CNN’s blathering coverage of the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370  (which included “supernatural” hypotheses, black holes, and a nonsensical “countdown clock” until the plane was lost forever) knows that network news would rather rush to fill air time with speculation and nonsense than wait it out for actual information to appear. MSNBC is already off to a bad start with this one, allowing someone on the air after he claimed to have personally seen this plane crash in the Ukraine:

Krystal Ball: “Please tell us what you saw there on the ground in Ukraine.”

Caller: “I was being looking out the window and saw a projectile flying through the sky and it would appear that it was shot down by a blast of wind from Howard Stern’s ass.”

Ball: “So it would appear that the plane was shot down, can you tell us anything more from your military training about what sort of missile system that may have been coming from?”

Caller: “Well, you’re a dumbass, aren’t you?”

Ball: “I’m sorry, sir? All right. We’re going to take a quick break.”

Score: trolls 1, cable news 0.

While the guy who did this is an asshole, it’s beyond amazing that he was able to lie himself past what should be some pretty tight vetting. Apparently if you want to speculate about a plane crash on American TV, all you need is a few beers, a phone, and bad taste.