New York – CNN announced Friday that it would keep Erin Burnett, host of the network’s “OutFront” program, submerged beneath a pool of water, until missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 is found. The pool is currently being built in CNN’s New York studios, and is made to resemble the part of the Indian Ocean where the missing airliner is thought to be, according to Jeff Zucker, CNN Worldwide’s president.
“To prove our commitment to this story, we will submerge one of our top on-air journalists under water, where she will cover the story with her usual grace and integrity,” Zucker said.
Zucker admitted that having Burnett host her show from under the water is a challenge, but he said CNN is “more than prepared” to face it.
“We have cutting edge technology that enables us to broadcast the show seamlessly from under the water,” Zucker said. “Erin will be completely safe, and I can guarantee you, her hair will look amazing. You will hardly notice she’s under water, except for the oxygen mask. And even the necessity of that, we’re looking into.”
Zucker denied that the move is no more than a publicity stunt. On the contrary, he said, it’s about Burnett’s commitment to journalism, as well as the network’s own commitment.
“This goes to show Erin’s commitment to this story, to go where the story leads. In this case, that’s under a pool of water, thousands of miles from anything related to the story,” he said. “This is very brave, in a TV news star kind of way. Moreover, our coverage of this disaster has showcased, and continues to showcase, CNN’s commitment to journalism, or whatever it is you call what it is we do.”