Some of you got a chuckle out of the TV news FAIL of the year, San Francisco station KTVU's use of prank names for pilots involved in the Asiana Airlines crash at SFO: Capt. Sum Ting Wong, Wi Tu Lo, Ho Lee Fuk and Bang Ding Ow.
Asiana is not laughing: Over the weekend the Associated Press reported it was mulling whether to sue the outlet, and today says it will do just that:
The airline claims the station's gaffe last week damaged its reputation. An Asiana spokeswoman said the carrier would “strongly respond to” the broadcaster's “racially discriminatory report.”
Interesting move, seeing that the airline might have bigger fish to fry following the July 6 crash in perfect weather with a plane that appeared to be operating fine.
The station issued an apology and repeatedly said the National Transportation Safety Board “confirmed” the names.
The NTSB said that was true, but that an intern who was trying to be helpful was read the names and simply said yeah, that's them. The names, the Board says, originated at the station.
The New York Times' Mike Hale said via Facebook:
… There seem to be two possibilities. One: the truth is as simple as we suspect — that the names came from Twitter or Reddit or a bathroom wall — and the station considers this so embarrassing, so completely shattering to any faith people might have in its newsgathering, that it will do anything to withhold or obfuscate it. Two: the “source” (love the use of that word here) was actually someone inside the station. Staggering incompetence and laziness, or malfeasance.
The station has yet to explain how it got the names. Of course, two of the real identities of the pilots had already been released to the media, something someone at the outlet should have known (let alone that monikers like Ho Lee Fuk were clear fakes).
The intern, by the way, is reportedly out of a gig.
The Asian American Journalists Association said today that KTVU has agreed to a meeting with the group to discuss the gaffe.