If someone came up and told you the name of the pilot flying Asiana Flight 214, which crash-landed at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday, was "Captain Sum Ting Wong" you'd call him out on an offensive joke, right? Unfortunately, that didn't happen during a KTVU-TV San Francisco broadcast this afternoon. KTVU, a local station serving Oakland and San Francisco, has been turning in some of the best coverage work of the crash—until one of its anchors began reading a list of pilots' "names" supposedly "confirmed" by the NTSB today:
In a painful segment, the anchor blindly reads the names out loud, not realizing that "Sum Ting Wong" sounds like "something wrong"—and is deeply offensive. Or that "We Tu Low" sounds like "we too low" and, well—ugh. A better glimpse of the "names" KTVU purportedly confirmed by the NTSB is right here:
Someone thought this was all a "funny" joke—and KTVU got fooled bigtime In fact, the names of the pilot have not been released, and as the NTSB told Gawker, it is not in their policy to release names of individuals in these situations. KTVU has since apologized for airing the names, but still seems to be blaming the list on their purported source at the NTSB:
Update, 9:45 p.m.: With reason. The NTSB released a statement, reading, in part:
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.
It is safe to assume that this intern is no longer with the agency.
A San Francisco Chronicle reporter was told by the NTSB that the names originated with the station.