Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

I tend not to despair about the world.

This is principally because I don't expect too much from it.

Humans are a primitive species with ideas above their station. 

But not, perhaps, their TV station.

I've been mesmerized, you see, by a thread on FlyerTalk, where frequent flyers share their most intimate stories. 

An American Airlines passenger, handle B2707, offered this disturbing news: 

I just learned from the bartenders at the H/K Admirals Club at O'Hare that they will no longer tune to the national news channels on the TVs at the AC bars, because of a recent fight or fights. They will show the local news, however, during the hours it's broadcast.

Has it really come to this? Even in the exalted arena of an American Airlines lounge?

The passenger added that they'd been offered a cooking channel instead. Which, many might say, isn't such a terrible idea.

If American can spread better cuisine across the land, it might even influence its own inflight catering.  

The passenger didn't suggest that the likes of Fox News and MSNBC are completely banned in the lounge: 

Viewers of the TVs away from the bars are allowed to watch CNN or Fox or MSNBC or even a cooking channel.

You might think that this was the word of just one passenger. No news seemed to have emerged into the public domain of passengers engaging in fisticuffs caused by the musings of Rachel Maddow.

Yet, in this thread, others claimed they'd been given the same information by Admirals Club bartenders.

A poster with the handle JoePercussion1 offered: 

Bartender today referenced the same thing to another customer. They were very prompt in ensuring the local news was turned on once started. Very odd to say the least. CLT [Charlotte] always has CNN on one side and Fox on the other. Seems to keep everyone happy.

The mere thought that everyone in our country could be happy is charming.

Yet another flying talker, handle millionmiler, added their own observation: 

I noticed that the Austin AC changed the channel to a non-network affiliated local TV news station a little while back (at least as far as I have noticed when I am there).

Naturally, I had to ask American Airlines whether this flyer talk could actually be true.

An airline spokesperson told me: 

This is not accurate.

Sources within American mutter that the lounges were asked to show the local news, food, travel and the like after feedback from customers.

Some might feel these must be the remaining sane customers in America.

Frankly, I have a lot of sympathy with American, which isn't uniformly the case.

The airline doesn't want to be seen to be suppressing communication.

Indeed, I understand that if a customer desperately wants to watch Shep Smith, Sean Hannity or Ari Melber, the bartenders may happily oblige.

At the same time, why would American want to be associated with unpleasant disruption in its lounges when it already has its fair share of friction from customers, worries about the shutdown and so many other daily issues?

Ultimately, similar to so many humans, airlines want a quiet, profitable life.

Yet the fact that they must deal with America's worst and finest means they are subject to the aberrant behaviors of the day.

And there are quite a few of those right now.

Published on: Jan 13, 2019