Wow: KTVU Anchor Thinks Fake, Racist Names Were Asiana 214 Pilots

A Bay Area anchor who works for Fox affiliate KTVU announced on Friday, out loud and on-air, that the names of the four pilots of Asiana 214 were Captain Sum Ting Wong, Wi Tu Lo, Ho Lee Fuk, and Bang Ding Ow.

Uh. Wow.

The anchor said the names were confirmed by the National Transportation Safety Board, which… yeah, Ho Lee Fuk, indeed.

NTSB, you guys okay over there?

It released this statement that blamed the names on an intern.

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 NTSB does not release or confirm the names of crewmembers or people involved in transportation accidents to the media. We work hard to ensure that only appropriate factual information regarding an investigation is released and deeply regret today’s incident.

One more look:

Racism Asiana 214

Anyway, there’s been a bit of confusion recently about our Asiana posts, with some thinking I had “demanded” an apology from the Chicago Sun-Times for its “Fright 214” headline, and again after a Korean news presenter expressed relief that the two who died on the flight were not Korean.

Far from demanding anything from the Sun-Times or Channel A, I was merely predicting apologies would come. And I was right, but of course you knew that already, since the Sun-Times operates in a country where political correctness is valued, for better or for worse, and Channel A’s presenter let slip a pretty stupid utterance.

We’ll go ahead and make it three for three in apology predictions here. KTVU will be expressing its regret, and maybe throwing the NTSB under a huge-ass truck.

UPDATE, 3:54 pm: KTVU and its station have already apologized, which makes sense. They’re calling it a “hoax.” From Politico’s writeup:

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.

“We sincerely regret the error and took immediate action to apologize, both in the newscast where the mistake occurred, as well as on our website and social media sites,” Tom Raponi, the station’s vice president and general manager, said in a statement. A full explanation of how the station acquired the names is not yet available, although the station is now calling it a hoax.

(H/T Kevin Collier)

12 Responses to “Wow: KTVU Anchor Thinks Fake, Racist Names Were Asiana 214 Pilots”

  1. Jay K.

    now this one is fucked up and within reason for the media affiliated to this to issue a statement of apology and dismiss those directly involved.

    Reply
  2. Amanda R.

    That is totally unacceptable. I hope they track down whoever game them that information and make sure they are fired. But the station also needs some accountability. Those names are obviously fake and the anchor should have realized it the moment they started coming out of her mouth.

    Reply
    • Ander

      The station said they fact-checked the names with the NTSB.
      They in turn blamed it on an unpaid intern.
      Major fail at every point~

      Reply
  3. Ken

    Someone has to be seriously retarded to believe those names are real. The fact that they’re trying to cover their ass by saying it’s a “mistake” is yet another insult to the audience who they think are too stupid to realize they were trying to pull a fucking lame joke.

    Reply
  4. bag-o-dicks

    Those names aren’t racist.

    And the Sun-Times wasn’t racist either, so you were wrong about that too.

    Reply
    • Anthony Tao

      You’ll have to highlight where I said Sun-Times was racist. “Subliminal racism, question mark,” I believe was where I came closest, but there’s a big difference between that bit of cheekiness and a sanctimonious demand for an apology.

      Reply
      • bag-o-dicks

        You KNOW you thought it was racism. That’s why you wrote the blog post!

        If I wrote about that, the angle would be “How much of a persecution complex would you have to have to think this headline was about Asians”?

        You were like, “Uh oh. This looks bad!”.

        Reply
        • Anthony Tao

          Yeah, I get what you’re saying, I’ve written as much in the past (above, the “for worse” link, and there’s a piece in our archives about AAJA/racism), but you’re really a bit too passionate about this issue, don’t you think? Political correctness can be taken too far, but 1) it’s not THAT terrible, and 2) you can exploit it for a chuckle, as I tried (“and failed,” as I suppose several of you commenters would say) with the “subliminal racism?” headline.

          Reply
          • bag-o-dicks

            It’s not political correctness because nothing on that front page referred to Asians. It’s frustrating that you can’t see that.

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