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Sum Ting’s Wong All Right: KTVU Airs Fake Names For Asiana 214 Pilots

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Slade Sohmer

By Slade Sohmer on July 12, 2013

UPDATE: The National Transportation Safety Board released a statement Friday evening saying an intern confirmed the pilots’ names to KTVU. Later it said the intern only confirmed the names, which “originated at the media outlet.” Scroll below for the official NTSB statement.

This aired on KTVU on Friday. On the air. Live television.

via Bohemian.com

via Bohemian.com

The anchor says “The NTSB has confirmed these are the names of the pilots on board Flight 214 when it crashed.” It’s amazing:

Here’s the official statement from the NTSB:

The National Transportation Safety Board apologizes for inaccurate and offensive names that were mistakenly confirmed as those of the pilots of Asiana flight 214, which crashed at San Francisco International Airport on July 6.
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.
The NTSB does not release or confirm the names of crewmembers or people involved in transportation accidents to the media. We work hard to ensure that only appropriate factual information regarding an investigation is released and deeply regret today’s incident.

The plot thickens. SFGate reports:

However, in a subsequent phone interview with the SFGate’s Jeff Elder, NTSB spokeswoman Kelly Nantel made clear that the names “originated at the media outlet” and that the intern — unaware of the offensive names — was “acting in good faith and trying to be helpful” by confirming names he didn’t know.
“The NTSB does not release or confirm the names of crew members or people involved in transportation accidents to the media,” Nantel said.

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Here’s KTVU’s apology:

In KTVU’s Noon newscast on Friday, July 12th, the station misidentified the pilots involved in the Asiana Airlines crash at SFO.
Prior to air, the names were confirmed by an NTSB official in the agency’s Washington, D.C. office. Despite that confirmation, KTVU realized the names that aired were not accurate and issued an apology later in the newscast.
The correct names of the pilots in the cockpit were Lee Gang-guk and Lee Jeong-Min. “We sincerely regret the error and took immediate action to apologize, both in the newscast where the mistake occurred, as well as on our website and social media sites,” said Tom Raponi, KTVU/KICU Vice President & General Manager. “Nothing is more important to us than having the highest level of accuracy and integrity, and we are reviewing our procedures to ensure this type of error does not happen again.”

[original h/t The Bohemian]
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