Great Moments in Broadcasting – TV Station Broadcasts Prank Names of Asiana Airlines Pilots
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Not since “16 Candles” has there been a fake Asian name this offensive! Oakland, California television station KTVU broadcast a press release that purported to list the names of the pilots of Asiana Flight 214, which crashed at San Francisco airport July 6, killing three. But it seemed obvious to everyone but those in the newsroom that the incorrect and racially insensitive names, like Sum Ting Wong for instance, were clearly a prank.
The station issued a correction and apologized shortly after, but insisted the names had been confirmed by the National Transportation Safety Board. NTSB officials said, yes, someone from KTVU did call, but spoke only to a summer intern who incredibly verified the fake press release. Despite adequate fact-checking, the TV station went straight to air with the fake names, which were: Captain Sum Ting Wong, Wi Tu Lo, Ho Lee Fuk, and Bang Ding Ow.