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July 15, 2013 at 7:38 AM

Asiana fake pilot names a juvenile joke from NTSB on KTVU TV

On Friday, KTVU TV in the Bay Area reported the names of the Asiana pilots on air, and named four fake Asian-sounding names: “Captain Sum Ting Wong,” “Wi Tu Lo,” “Ho Lee Fuk” and “Bang Ding Ow.” Here is the video of the news report.

Get it? Captain Sum Ting Wong rhymes with Captain Something Wrong.

After the social media world went after KTVU and the nonprofit Asian American Journalists Association started asking questions, the National Transportation Safety Board apologized and acknowledged that a summer intern “erroneously confirmed the pilot names,” in a Friday news release. KTVU also issued an apology Friday.

AAJA released a statement saying, “Those names were not only wrong, but so grossly offensive that it’s hard for us at the Asian American Journalists Association to fathom how those names made it on the broadcast.” In fact, a KTVU staff member hung up on AAJA President Paul Cheung when he called to ask how the names appeared on air, according to Cheung.

To put this in context, this is an aviation disaster in which three people died, many were critically injured, possibly paralyzed, and the government agency charged with investigating the crash made a joke of it.

When the agency held a news conference reporting the final minutes of pilot dialogue before the crash, should we consider that a joke too? Perhaps it would be helpful if the agency’s final report about the Asiana 777 crash in San Francisco was issued in gibberish, which the NTSB could claim was Korean.


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