It always amazes me how we get the news. First, early reports. Early reports are confused and chaotic but they are interesting in that respondents and reporters haven't yet had time to put together a cover story, an official line, a little set-piece speech designed to calm your deepest fears.
So it was with Air France 447 where early reports had it that the plane disintegrated long before it hit the water. It was also reported that lightning, turbulence, violent pitching and yawing had never caused a plane to disintegrate in mid-flight. Nor would the faulty speed indicators lead to that sort of thing.
Then followed the period of cautionary excess in which the public is reassured that mechanical hocus-pocus could indeed cause the deaths of 228 people. And no doubt the pitot tubes could have put out false readings.
But why does it take so long for us to find out that two of the passengers abooard the doomed jet were on the French terrorist watch list? The lead is still being checked out but it's a bit daunting when the officials will not disclose information which may cause some of us to think for ourselves. Heaven forbid.