Asiana Plane Crash: Offensively Wrong List of Pilots Read on Air After Intern Pranks TV Station
Needless to say, a local Fox affiliate’s report on last weekend’s San Francisco plane crash got the names of the Asiana pilots a little bit wrong …
Captain Sum Ting Wong, Wi Tu Lo, Ho Lee Fuk and Bang Ding Ow were in no way involved in the airline accident that killed two people last Saturday.
An anchor at Oakland-based KTVU apologized, as did the station, after reporting the fake pilots onboard Asiana Flight 214, which went down at SFO.
“We sincerely regret the error and took immediate action to apologize [on] the newscast as well as on our website and social media sites,” KTVU chief Tom Rapioni said.
But Rapioni also noted that the names were actually signed off on by the National Transportation Safety Board before the station’s noon broadcast.
Sure enough, the NTSB admitted it and blamed a smart-ass intern:
“The National Transportation Safety Board does not release or confirm names of crew members or people involved in transportation accidents to the media.”
“Earlier today, in response to an inquiry from a media outlet, a summer intern acted outside the scope of his authority when he erroneously confirmed [these names].”
“Appropriate actions will be taken to ensure that such a serious error is not repeated.”
“We work hard to ensure that only appropriate factual information regarding an investigation is released and deeply regret today’s incident.”
“The NTSB sincerely apologizes for inaccurate and offensive names that were mistakenly confirmed as those of the pilots of Asiana flight 214.”
Just the same, KTVU acknowledged that those “names” should have never made it on air in the first place, and blamed its editors for dropping the ball.
“We made several mistakes when we received this information,” an apology by anchor Frank Somerville (not the anchor who read them on-air) said.
“First, we never read the names out loud, phonetically sounding them out.”
“Then, during our phone call to the NTSB where the person confirmed the spellings of the names, we never asked that person to give us their position.”
“We heard this person verify the information without questioning who they were,” he admitted, “and then rushed the names on our noon newscast.”
“We have a lot of good people here at KTVU Channel 2. We pride ourselves on getting it right and having the highest of standards and integrity.
“Clearly, on Friday, that didn’t happen. Even with this statement from the NTSB, KTVU accepts full responsibility for this mistake.”
“So again, we offer our most sincerest apology.”
Incredible that this happened, for several reasons.
Many feel that the fake names, while clever, were in poor taste, considering that two people DIED in the crash … not to mention the obvious racism angle.
What do you think?