The Boeing Blackout

On October 29, 2018, Lion Air’s Flight 610, a Boeing 737 MAX 8, crashed into the Java Sea after taking off from Jakarta, Indonesia, killing all 189 passengers and crew on board.

That crash has not been mentioned once on NBC’s Meet the Press with Chuck Todd in the twenty episodes since.

On March 10, 2019, Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, a Boeing 737 MAX 8, crashed after taking off from Addis Ababa killing all 157 passengers and crew on board.

That crash has not been mentioned once on NBC’s Meet the Press with Chuck Todd in the two episodes since.

Two Boeing plane crashes, 346 people dead and no mention on Meet the Press with Chuck Todd.

And it’s not as if Meet the Press with Chuck Todd doesn’t do disasters. They do. For example, on the March 17, 2019 episode of Meet the Press, the March 15 Christchurch, New Zealand massacre, which killed 50, was a major topic of conversation throughout the show.

What might explain this discrepancy?

Boeing is at the center of both crashes and is now under criminal investigation.

And Boeing is a major sponsor of Meet the Press with Chuck Todd.

On the March 10 episode of Meet the Press, the day of the Ethiopian Airlines crash, Boeing is mentioned three times:

“Announcer: Coming up, End Game, brought to you by Boeing, continuing our mission to connect, protect, explore and inspire.”

“Announcer: Coming up, End Game, brought to you by Boeing, continuing our mission to connect, protect, explore and inspire.”

“Announcer: End Game, brought to you by Boeing, continuing our mission to connect, protect, explore and inspire.”

Chuck Todd did not return messages seeking comment for this story.

But if Todd does decide to cover the story, he might want to focus on his colleagues’ reporting on the emerging criminal investigation into Boeing.

Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal reported that “federal prosecutors and Department of Transportation officials are scrutinizing the development of Boeing Co.’s 737 MAX jetliners.”

The Journal reported that “a grand jury in Washington, D.C., issued a broad subpoena dated March 11 to at least one person involved in the 737 MAX’s development, seeking related documents, including correspondence, emails and other messages.”

“The subpoena, with a prosecutor from the Justice Department’s criminal division listed as a contact, sought documents to be handed over later this month,” the Journal reported.

Also yesterday, the Seattle Times reported that “as Boeing hustled in 2015 to catch up to Airbus and certify its new 737 MAX, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) managers pushed the agency’s safety engineers to delegate safety assessments to Boeing itself, and to speedily approve the resulting analysis.”

“But the original safety analysis that Boeing delivered to the FAA for a new flight control system on the MAX – a report used to certify the plane as safe to fly – had several crucial flaws,” the Seattle Times reported.

An emerging criminal investigation into one of the nation’s largest and most politically influential corporations should not be off the table for the nation’s most prestigious Sunday news show.

More articles by:

Russell Mokhiber is the editor of the Corporate Crime Reporter..

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