Sunday, July 14, 2013

Isn't this how Ron Burgundy lost his job?

Courtesy of Politico: 

The NTSB said late Friday that an intern had confirmed to a California news station the fake names of the pilots aboard the crashed Asiana flight in San Francisco, sparking an outcry in the national media and prompting an on-air apology from the station. 

“The National Transportation Safety Board apologizes for inaccurate and offensive names that were mistakenly confirmed as those of the pilots of Asiana flight 214, which crashed at San Francisco International Airport on July 6,” the NTSB said in a statement released Friday night.

“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 the names of the flight crew on the aircraft,” the agency said. 

KTVU, San Francisco’s Fox affiliate, broadcast the incorrect names of the pilots during its noon newscast on Friday, despite the fact that the names of the pilot and co-pilot, Lee Gang-guk and Lee Jeong-min, had already been released. The fake names were racially charged and phonetically offensive. 

KTVU apologized during its 6 p.m. newscast. 

“First of all, we never read the names out loud, phonetically sounding them out,” anchor Frank Somerville said, adding that the station also didn’t ask the position of the person within the NTSB giving them the ultimately erroneous information. The station also issued an apology on its website Friday evening. 

I almost didn't post this because I kind of  feel badly for the tv station.

But then I realized it was a Fox affiliate, and I thought fuck'em serves them right.


  1. Anonymous4:22 AM

    When I first saw this, I could not believe how stupid the station could be for broadcasting this. Then I was amazed that they claimed they had not "read the names out loud" to be able to figure out that these were made up. If that were the case, why did they pronounce "Fuk" as "Fook"? Then I wondered at how dense they were to be punked by some insensitive idiot at the NTSB.

    I had no idea that it was a Fox affiliate. These people really are as dull and unaware as their target audience.

    Thanks for clearing that up. It explains a lot.

    By the way, I saw on the news this morning that the airline may try to sue the TV station and the NTSB for damaging its reputation by using bogus and racially offensive names in that broadcast.

  2. Anonymous4:59 AM

    “First of all, we never read the names out loud, phonetically sounding them out,” anchor Frank Somerville said.

    Are you freaking kidding me?!? I saw it right off the bat, and they call themselves journalists? Did they all "graduate" from the University Of Idaho?

  3. Anonymous5:12 AM

    Ho Lee Fuk kids and I laughed about this for quite a while yesterday.

    Virginia Voter

  4. No wonder people who watch Jon Stewart are more informed than those who watch FOX (FAUX) NEWS!

  5. Anonymous6:40 AM

    "sum ting wong" indeed!

  6. Anonymous7:28 AM

    The moment I scanned those names, before I read about the joke, the first thing I thought to myself was, those don't look like Korean names. Haha, I guess I was technically right.

    If they had no one at the news station who had the intelligence to see that and then to go a step further and read all four and realize they were fake, then that news station should be ashamed of themselves. Management should fire every single one of them who had their hands on that news item. Perhaps that intern did the station -- and all its viewers -- a big favor by exposing the nest of fools they have dishing out their news.

  7. Dinty9:46 AM

    This is the station I watch every morning for my morning news. I kinda figured Tori was a robot because I have seen incidents in the past where she read something that should have elicited a reaction of some sort, but it never did.

    I kinda figure the "confirmation" went something like this:

    KTVU Producer: Hey, we just got this list of names of pilots from the Asiana crash off of 4chan and we need to confirm them, are you the person we should be talking to?

    Intern: Yes, absoloutely!

    KTVU Producer: OK, we have "Captain Sum Ting Wong", "Wi To Lo", "Ho Lee Fuk" and "Bang Ding Ow"

    Intern: Yes, those are the names of the pilots, though the third name is pronounced "Fook", not "Fuck"

    KTVU Producer: LOL, yea, we'll have to make sure the talent pronounces that one correctly, we don't want any angry phone calls! Great, what is your name and title?

    Intern: My name is [redacted], and my title is "Intern"

    KTVU Producer: Hmm, OK, well we'll attribute you as "NTSB Official", is that OK? Intern doesn't carry much weight as a title, and we really want this scoop!

    Intern: Sure!

    1. Anonymous12:30 PM

      Wa Tee Fuk!

      This is the first time I've heard or seen the actual names used.

      At first I thought it was a joke reading the names on the video still.

      How could someone "professional" not see this?

      How could that woman say it with a straight face?

  8. Anita Winecooler6:11 PM

    "Phonetically offensive" WTF? How can something be phonetically offensive when no one read the copy out loud until it aired?

    It's too "Convenient" that a summer intern confirmed the names, and the copy writers went with it and the graphics department let it slide, but, ultimately the blame goes to the reporter who went with it.
    When they have two people reporting, while the camera's on the previous story, isn't it the other reporter's JOB to scan copy that's up next, especially for pronunciation reasons?

    Since it's Fox, I'd even "excuse" the reporter if she at least read the names off her palm, but it's too close - three people of asian descent lost their lives and so many people are hurting.


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