Chances are, when hearing the news yesterday about Malaysia Airlines plane being shot down over Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board, you had the standard reaction of shock and horror. You might have expressed said shock and horror privately among friends and coworkers, or publicly.
And if you were President Barack Obama, you might have expressed sorrow for what happened, but cautiously kept any speculation to a minimum in the early going of the investigation.
Anyway, chances are, you didn't give way to the tasteless jokes/pranks, conspiracy theories and misplaced blame that afflicted some of our prominent media personalities, twitter parody accounts, or shock jock fans in the hours after the news broke. Unfortunately, it wasn't only Jason Biggs who reacted badly. Below are some of yesterday's other most inappropriate reactions to the Malaysia Airlines tragedy.
Apparently, Obama's first word on the tragedy was not bombastic enough for some. The Daily Mail says that the president devoted a mere 40 seconds to the event, and then made a tasteless "but I'm glad to be in Delaware joke" (even though that was indeed where he was?). America's favorite pompous former CNN host Piers Morgan seized on the "insensitive" display. After blasting the President for being too restrained in his press briefing about the tragedy, Morgan comes forth with his own conspiracy theory a mere several hours after we even learned that it happened:
And if this Malaysia Airlines was shot down, chances of the same having happened to previous one dramatically increased?
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) July 17, 2014
I'm not sure how Morgan's knee-jerk speculation is more appropriate than Obama perhaps being a bit too circumspect about what happened and his grief over it. This video cuts off before the Delaware segue, but still allows you to judge the full statement:
A Howard Stern Fan
As recounted by Salon's Daniel D'addario, a Howard Stern fan called into MSNBC's The Cycle to joke that Stern himself shot the plane down from "a blast of air from [his ass]" then tells host Krystal Ball "you're a dumbass" when she appears to take him seriously. You can listen to the "hilarity" above. Way to catch an MSNBC employee not completely listening, Stern fan, but you're the one who comes off like an emotional dumbass for your stunt.
America's favorite wingnut radio host has a totally reasonable theory himself, courtesy again of Salon. The completely understandable logic being that liberals and CNN orchestrated the tragedy, or are using it to cover up President Obama's recent border policy. Read for yourself:
"They even had a hotel chain called Interfax and everybody thought, "What? Is it fax machines?" and it had nothing to do with that. Anyway, it's a Malaysian Airlines jet. You know, I've got the British Open on to the top monitor. I haven't had CNN on all day. What do you bet they have broomed everything and are covering wall-to-wall the Malaysian Airlines flight shot down by a missile?
"I mean, you talk about… I don't want appear to be callous here, folks, but you talk about an opportunity to abandon the Obama news at the border? And, no, I'm not suggesting anything other than how the media operates. Anyway, it's eerie. It is really eerie. A Malaysian airliner. It was on the way to Kuala Lumpur. Why would it be shot down? Over Ukraine? It was shot down by a missile.
As Mediate recounts, good ol' Geraldo Rivera thought that "Vladimir Putin has blood on his hands," right after the story broke. Then there's Charlie Gasparino yelling at Simon Constable, yelling "you're so goddamn dumb" no less, for daring to suggest that we didn't yet know exactly who shot down the plane yesterday afternoon, so maybe cool it on the blame Russia talk for now? It's a fair point that the fighting between Russia and Ukraine is important context for understanding what happened, but it's still important to find out who actually shot down the plane before we escalate things, right? Also, this conversation with its "dumbasses" and "you're wrongs" is beneath these grownups' dignity.
Far be it from any of these folks to take a beat to reflect before continuing to mindlessly theorize, place blame or joke about a tragedy that's barely a day old.