The Gawker ( see image from Gawker to left) reported that KTVU quickly had to do some backpedaling after reading on the air today what it said were “confirmed” names of the pilots on board Asiana Flight 214.
The names sounded like they came out of a sick joke and that’s apparently what happened– names like Captain “Sum Ting Wong,” “Wi Tu Lo,” “Ho Lee Fuk,” and “Bang Ding Ow.”
No one apparently thought the names weren’t real until actually hearing then read on the air.
The Bay Area station came back on the air after the commercial break to correct itself, saying the names were obviously wrong, but had actually been confirmed by the National Transportation Safety Board.
Later, the NTSB would say it would never give out the pilots names and denied ever confirming them.
Now the latest is the NTSB is blaming the error on an intern who was trying to be helpful and actually did confirm the names for KTVU. The federal agency, however, said the names themselves originated from the station.
So the big question is where did KTVU get those names? Were they the victim of a prank call or a newsroom “joke” that spun out of control.
Matier and Ross of the San Francisco Chronicle report the station has been promoting its news coverage, patting itself on the back for being first on the air with news of the plane crash. The ad went so far as praise itself for its accurate information.
KTVU says it is reviewing its policy so that this type of error does not happen again.