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Squawks & HeadlinesKTVU producers fired over Asiana pilots' fake names

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KTVU producers fired over Asiana pilots' fake names

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KTVU-TV has dismissed at least three veteran producers over the on-air gaffe involving the fake names of those Asiana airline pilots that became an instant YouTube hit - and a major embarrassment to the station. (www.sfgate.com) More...

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jkudlick
Jeremy Kudlick 10
Fact-checking isn't that hard, but it seems failing to properly vet stories can cost a lot.
preacher1
preacher1 35
I guess I am insensitive and refuse to try and be PC anymore, but I though it was funny; not so much because of the nameplay, but because news media was trying to get all the latest info, without even checking, and just breathless, like a druggie needing a fix. Loosen up a little bit people, and enjoy life a little.
CaptainFreedom
CaptainFreedom 9
What made the whole episode funny was the stark seriousness with whcih she rhymed off the names...like her station had just scooped CNN and the rest of the world :)
DIRECTFLT
DIRECTFLT 1
Yes, KTVU's Producer's rush to get the names they were given by a "trusted source" verifed by the NTSB, and then on-air, was to simply "scoop" other media outlets. Haste Makes Waste. The "Perfect Storm" of bad info from a "trusted source", the poor judgement of a "Proverbial (NTSB) 'Intern'", and a 'Team Player" News Anchor, allowed this to happen, with the complicity of the station "Producers", of course !
btweston
btweston 3
I thought it was hilarious. But the reason heads needed to roll for this is that it suggests severe incompetence on many levels. Everyone knows that you can's say that kind of thing on a "real" news broadcast, somehow it slipped by the guy who took the names from the NTSB, the guy who wrote the script, the producer who approved the script, the guy who typed it into the teleprompter and, oh yeah... the professional broadcaster who read it on television.

This little incident almost transcends political correctness. Even if the names weren't offensive to a huge number of people... They thought that those were real names! What..... Who... How did they...?

If I owned that station I would be very interested in what the hell the people I'm paying are doing over there.
skuttlerats
Jeffrey Babey 7
With ya all the way Preacher :)
Derg
Roland Dent 1
No news no job syndrome. I once read that a good journo wants three independent sources. I don't agree on the lighten up a little. If there were no deaths or injuries then fine. No..cannot agree with you.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

preacher1
preacher1 8
I guess I am but I really don't care anymore. It has served me well for almost 64 years and I doubt I'll be changing anytime soon.
cblair0608
cblair0608 5
The mistake the news made was they "wanted to be first to air the names" and it backfired. Yes, they were wrong but my goodness, if that's the worst mistake they ever make the world will be fine. This was blown WAY out of proportion. I agree with preacher........loosen up.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal -5
You are entitled to your utter insesitiveness. But on public media, it becomes a different ball game. That I am sure life must have taught you over the years.
devsfan
ken young 3
Where is it written we must be 'sensitive' all the time?
mhlansdell00
Mark Lansdell 3
I know I am. I have never seen so much about so little. Let's get back to the big issue. Capt. One Wing Lo nor his instructor were able to fly his aircraft out of trouble. The names are insignificant.
siriusloon
siriusloon 6
The NTSB summer intern was Mike Hunt and his supervisor was Tara Rabumdier.
jlenihan
John Lenihan 6
I think it would have been hilarious if they had said they fired the 3 producers Ida Phaiktit, Ima Foney, and Willie Buleavit.
mhlansdell00
Mark Lansdell 0
And what's the significance of that? Tara didn't do the deed and Mike wasn't getting paid and no one got hurt nor could have. If you don't like the mames then stay in Korea. Please, before you hurt someone.
smoki
smoki 5
Anyone and I do mean anyone with even a modicum of brainpower would know immediately that those were probably fake names intended to be a joke. It had to pass through several hands, before several sets of eyeballs and brains before the info babe read it on air. Sensitivity? As an Al Pacino mafia movie character might say: "Fo--get about it." Even she should have caught the joke with the very first name and stopped right there with a big "WHOA wait a second" followed by an on air question to her producer. But no, instead she put extra effort into ensuring her diction was perfect while carefully pronouncing each name without once processing what she was saying. Totally brain dead. I laughed for days afterward every time I recalled the incident especially when I came to that third name down the list. That one sounds like something that might be heard on a CVR just prior to impact and who knows, maybe it was on the Asian Flight, just not in English. In fact more often than not, the s-word is substituted.
richardwarner
Richard Warner 5
I may or may not represent the majority of media consumers, but, my confidence in printed and spoken broadcast media is about 10%, and, my confidence in visual broadcast media is about 30%. Professional news organizations should strive for as much accuracy as possible--the have a VERY VERY long way to go--and they should leave April Fools jokes and stunts to Jay, David and Jimmy. I love a good joke but not from professional US news organizations that already look as if they have created a format directed at 6th graders and people studying English as a second language.
tomkennedy
Tom Kennedy 9
I'm glad the media has finally taken action on this. It was a quite idiotic (and somewhat amusing) mistake. As a science/astronomy enthusiast, I know just how hopeless the media can be with fact checking stories. I'm surprised at the ineptitude of the NTSB however. Glad to see someone got canned over it, just hope it was the responsible person and not some patsy.
andytyler
Andy Tyler 9
i understand mistakes can be made, but it was pretty clear in this case the tv station was just being plain ignorant.
SootBox
SootBox 3
Which is amazing it happened since KTVU is extremely dominant in the SF market. This isn't some rear of the pack organization trying to bust into the ratings game with breaking news, it's a trusted and well watched news outlet for that market.
AAaviator
AAaviator 8
I don't care who you are... IT WAS FUNNY!
rocketrbbie
Rob Walker 2
800freddie
Keith Furlong 6
I thought it was funny, sacking the producers is a bit harsh, I cannot believe the newsreader went through the names with a straight face, let alone just listen to herself, what she was saying, the blame if you must, goes across the board, who drafted the autocue? and who took the call from the NTSB. All of this would have blown over, sacking the producers just reminds people how stupid the station is in the first place
hwearsch
Henry Wearsch 3
Well, what do you expect when the media "parrots" whatever they hear without condidering any checking!
doublesharp44
doublesharp44 3
This isn't a case of too much political correctness or people needing to lighten up -- the pilot names joke on its own is funny (not exactly the most intelligent of jokes, but worth a laugh nonetheless) -- but rather it's a question of context. Had this joke been delivered somewhere like The Onion, South Park, the Daily Show, etc instead, no one would be complaining. In this case though, an otherwise passable joke was presented as a fact from the NTSB on a respected TV network.

Is it wrong for people to expect professionalism and accountability from journalists? Sure, firing those involved was almost certainly too much punishment for what is a tiny mistake in the grand scheme of things, but I guess that's how things work in the news industry. Letting people go is the quickest and easiest way for a news service to maintain its reputation and disassociate itself from a mistake, so that practice will not change anytime soon.

But all this talk of people supposedly being too PC and needing to lighten up is tiresome. That's not the issue. People who actually are too PC are few and far between (like the guy who told me off once for saying "black" instead of "African-American"...even though the person I was talking about was from Sweden).

I can appreciate the humor; I don't think I need to lighten up. I just don't think humor has a place in the newsroom -- it should be a place of gravity, integrity, and trustworthiness (whether it actually had those qualities in the first place is up for debate).

Anyway, it's all said and done now, so there's no point getting excited about it (irony noted).
devsfan
ken young 3
This is a typical example of how irresponsible some in the news business have become.
Present day news outlet managers put tremendous pressure on news staffs to "be the first to report". It's no longer about the events of the day. It's all about the ratings which translates to dollars.
angus55105
angus perkins 3
If it was a SNL skit we'd all be laughing are butt's off.........just saying
mhlansdell00
Mark Lansdell 2
I wish the reporters were as quick to report on some of the lawless and unconstitutional activities of the administration and some of it's agencies.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 0
Not checking? The NTSB was/is the arbiter of fact about this and any other crash in their jurisdiction.

That an intern confirmed a bunch of fake joke names does not change the fact that the news organization checked with the organization tasked with determining the facts.

Don't rewrite the facts to fit the story you want to tell.
preacher1
preacher1 0
Yeah they did!!!!
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 5
Some will find the mistake funny and some won't. To me, that isn't even the issue. News reporting's responsibility is to give the public information on actual events - not fiction. Shame on that staff for not doing its homework and shame on the individual who manufactured the fake names.
TXCAVU
Elizabeth Robillard 3
Sad part is those pilot's names, correct spelling, had been put on the Internet well before that piece aired, which illustrates how lax KTVU was.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 2
Well said. Bravo!

[This poster has been suspended.]

n7224e
BC Hadley 2
I think you're on to something. Humiliation: the ultimate punishment.
siriusloon
siriusloon 4
It's not just about being PC, it was sloppy, bad, terrible journalism. OK, I know it was a Fox station, but it was still something that should have been verified before it ever got on the air. I worked in radio for quite a few years, in two countries and in positions including on-air, programme director, and operations manager and I was also a union official. If that had happened at any of the stations where I worked, heads would have rolled because it was bad journalism. Even if the fake names announced on the air had been John Doe and Joe Smith, they still should have been fired.

And while I know it's very cool (to some people) to whine about the "PC crowd", try to keep in mind that the basic idea of PC is to be respectful. Some people take PC too far (it's OK to say someone is short rather than height-challenged), but it's basically about respect, tolerance, and being polite and what's wrong with that, you morons?

:-)
grhodes609
George Rhodes 4
While not intentional it was, of course,unwarranted but I think an on air apology would have been sufficient.
AirtranPAX
jose Barrera 4
Sorry, but this has nothing to do with PC but with sloppy journalism. And as such they should have been let go the same day they pulled this prank.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish -2
The upset was not over sloppy journalism. It was over the ethnicity of the pilots and the ethnic sounding fake names. If not for the ethnic undertones, this whole thing would've blown over long ago. The joke would've been repeated by every late night comedian ad nauseum.

This was all about cultural sensitivities and not about bad journalism. Pretending does not make it so.

Clearly it was a prank. No one can mix this up with journalism. Some poor sap who was an intern at the NTSB thought the names were so funny that he confirmed them, to see if they'd actually get aired. The rest is history.

People should stop talking pretensiously about journalism. This was not journalism. It was a joke. You can say that it was a joke in bad taste, but stop trying to have a joke meet the standards of journalism.

/sensing too many high horses that need to be gotten down from/
siriusloon
siriusloon 2
This has *everything* to do with journalism because news writers, news producers, news reporters, and newscasters all -- through action or inaction (or incompetence or laziness) -- permitted it to get on the air. It wasn't some crazy morning zoo DJ or a latenight comedian, it was a newscaster.

Whether the names were funny or not, whether they are racist or not, they were presented as facts when they clearly were fake. Good journalists would not have allowed that on the air. Bad journalism DID let it get on the air. And if a prank can get presented on the air as fact, what other inaccurate information was aired, too? This is why bad journalism has to be identified and prevented as much as possible.

"PhotoFinish" can pretend it has nothing to do with journalism, but this incident has EVERYTHING to do with BAD journalism. If you're going to get on your own high horse to try to defend journalism, you might want to get your head out of the sand and see that bad journalists allowed this to happen. The "poor sap" at the NTSB didn't put it on the air. He/she deserves to be fired, too, but so-called professional journalists were the ones responsible for airing it.

No one is trying to make a joke meet the standards of journalism, but JOURNALISTS put a joke on the air and called it a true fact. That's why it's bad journalism and not merely a joke shared among friends or mass e-mailed around the planet.

No other media outlet was fooled, just this one, and for a change, a real price is being paid. It's usually just a semi "apology" that says "if we offended anyone" without taking responsibility.
preacher1
preacher1 2
Just FYI: it did make some of the talk shows. I know Letterman had it. Don't know about the others.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
If pilots told a joke about journalists publicly over the cockpit PA it would be a joke. If they told the joke publicly over the ATC publicly regulated airwaves it would still be a joke.

It would not be piloting, as you might have us believe, even if the joke were presented to the world by pilots, in the cockpit at the time, in the middle of their daily noon-time flight.

By your standards, the "joke" would have everything to do with piloting because it happened during the course of their work, at their typical work place, that the joke was presented as factual information, over public airwaves, which makes it clear that it's piloting.

Sorry, still a joke.

/too many high horses still not dismounted/
preacher1
preacher1 2
Amen!!!!!!!!!!! especially that last line
WhiteKnight77
WhiteKnight77 2
KTVU may be a Fox affiliated TV station, it is owned by Cox Media Group and not Fox Broadcasting Company.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
My o my! Even simple colloquial 'names' like John Doe?
That's what I call good discipline and true professionalism!
preacher1
preacher1 0
I don't think the individuals did, but the station did, almost immediately after it became know. We don't know what, if any pressure that the station was under, but I think the firings were an over reaction and the producers just made scapegoats. Sad.
AirtranPAX
jose Barrera 5
Sad is the fact that they chose to ignore that the real names of the pilots (at least of the Captain) were out 30 seconds after the accident. I don't beleive they were made scapegoats. They did the deed. I imagine they had a laugh in the back room as she was reading the names....
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
To ridicule in private and to do same on public media, vast difference. That is exactly what freedom of speech and protection by law involves. Every one has to understand one's boundaries. Every freedom or liberty is relative to some basics, as prevailing in the society. That is how the laws and norms about slander, defamation, contempt evolved every where, USA included. In fact USA may be having the largest number of such suits pending in courts!
Europe may not be far behind.
jjrj77
Jim Jacobs 2
The TV people should be sued, not for what they put
out on the air, but for being to stupid to figure out it
was a joke. Stupid is as stupid does, somebody said.
cabuguas1
GEOFFREY CUKRO 2
I am a Broadcast Engineer, having worked in the New York market for 15 years. in defense of the Talent (anchor reading the news) i know from personally having worked in broadcast news, and dealing with the teleprompters, i have often seen things like this occur, intentionally by production staff, with the intent of seeing how far they can get the talent to say something "funny" on air.. as has been proven in this case, often it is in extremely bad taste. Reporters and anchors depend on teleprompters to keep them accurate and on-time. often pronunciations are included to keep their pronunciations accurate. it is through these that things like this occur.. often they follow the teleprompter without paying attention to content. this explains her almost confused sound as she pronounced it.

the producers were fired, as they should be, a crash like this is no joking manner. sometimes talent just screws up as occurred in New York when the Avianca flight ran out of fuel on final to JFK. the NBC Anchor (local) commented that it was fortunate that the plane ran out of fuel, as the lack of fuel meant fewer dead from fire.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 2
The beauty of or say trouble with humour is that for it to be good/perfect, every thing must be right, place, timing, style/manner and occasion.
In present case, timing wasn't perfect.
I tried to pronounce the name of their Chairman. I wasn't sure if I could get it right without some Korean helping me. And that was not available. So why blame others.
Its all very unfortunate. A mistimed humour.
whuband
Woody Huband 2
We all know that you cannot rely upon the IRS for accurate tax info. Apparently news sources cannot rely upon the NTSB either.
preacher1
preacher1 2
You are right on one thing, Stupid is as Stupid does. I personally think that's why 214 crashed in the first place, two stupids watched the other stupid CFIT.
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 2
Actually you could, those SOB's caught 3 mistakes on my return and nailed me for $331 a few weeks ago!!!
jjrj77
Jim Jacobs 1
talent?.....oxymoron!
m20fdriver
Dale Denisar 1
If that is the case, why are these "readers" paid huge sums to just "read" the news? Get a high school kid with good diction and a nice speaking voice and pay him minimum wage. At least we'd have the same level of education from the bubbleheads and pretty boys that "read" the "news" now.
DIRECTFLT
DIRECTFLT 1
The fired producers can certainly get hired to do radio.... where "extremely bad taste" is the "order of the day" for many many many stations in radio land.
rqdrqd
rqdrqd 4
Nothing has changed since Don Henley wrote Dirty Laundry over 30 years ago.

"We got the bubble-headed-bleach-blonde who comes on at five, she can tell you 'bout the plane crash with a gleam in her eye..."

They rushed it for ratings and now they're fired.

As for finding humor in tragedy, it's a coping mechanism for many, me included. If you find it insensitive, that's ok...but that's your burden, not mine.
TWA55
Vincent Birkett 3
Glad to see someone is not afraid to fire those who go out of bounds. Absolutely correct, this is not a joking matter and I hope others will take a Q from this episode.
rpwood
Paul Wood 3
Folks are getting two mutually exclusive incidents confused here. One is the tragedy of the air crash itself, of which no part should be made fun of, or not taken seriously. And the other is the totally inept reporting by the media, in this case a TV station. In this case, except for those with extremely thin skins, who cares. Like Preacher I' 64 and have seen more bad stuff in my life than any one should, so when the opportunity presents itself to make light of something, regardless of how tragic or insensitive the base occurence, I say go for it. Have a little fun. The names chosen for the Korean pilot's are funny, and are reminicent of a skit lampooning the reporting of the war in Vietnam in the satirical movie Kentucky Fried Movie. All the names of the Vietnamese villages and towns were of the same vane as the names used for this air crew. The NTSB intern may do better to consider comedy writing.
ccarlson3
Curt Carlson 3
As they should be. Why is it necessary to give the pilot's names anyway. It impedes the progress of the investigation, puts the pilots in danger and serves no news worthy item. Shame on the news media that puts useless items on the air without checking. It is not news but some sort of sick entertainment that pushed them to put an obvious joke out as "headline" news.
TumblingBear
Rob Harrison 2
It is remarkable that, first, anyone would believe that these were real names, and second, that anyone would be so offended that three otherwise assumedly competent producers would be fired over it. PC run amok. Phooey on KTVU. I recall, however, that the Chinese pilot that air-to-air crashed our P-3 was actually named "Wan Wing Low". The names bestowed all seem appropriate to me given the circumstances. I've been called much more offensive names for much lesser defalcations. Per Preacher, lighten up!
ToddBaldwin3
Todd Baldwin 2
For a few moments of laughter, four people at the TV station have lost their jobs, maybe their careers, and one intern at the NTSB lost their position. All that for a joke.
AirtranPAX
jose Barrera 2
Sorry but this has nothing to do with PC. It was and is simply sloppy journalism. They should have been let go the same day they pulled this prank.
preacher1
preacher1 2
While they should have recognized it, in all honesty, Miss Debby should have recognized it and choked as she read the names. In their defense, they got it from an official gov't agency, and in the rush to get it on the air, we see the results. My curiosity is why it has taken nearly 2 weeks
pjbonner
pjbonner 2
No need for jokes when people have lost their lives.
LBSPX
LBSPX -2
Hear, bloody hear, spot on.

I'm sure the victims' families found the humour really side-splitting (not).
mhlansdell00
Mark Lansdell 1
Maybe I missed something, but I didn't read the article as "they" pulled the prank. I read pretty clearly that the intern, an unpaid NTSB employee, gave the names to the TV station who failed to check them. The internet has put a lot of pressure on the different media to get information in front of the public. Something about ratings, viewers, readers and money. The writers can't write or spell and the editors are not keeping up for what ever reason. I thought it was pretty funny, but then I liked old Charlie Chan movies and #1 son. They fired the right people, but maybe news readers could be more responsible.
LBSPX
LBSPX -7
Well, you know what, good enough for the stupid idiots for not taking their jobs seriously in the first place. They thoroughly deserve it and to never work again in that industry. Send them packing off to the doughnut factory as that's where they clearly belong.

If I were the pilots, I'd be suing them for defamation of character and skin these bastard jokers of every penny they have.
clabo
gene kwiecinski 1
Is KTVU an ABC affiliate? Might've been an early version of "Will You Fall For That?", if so. :D

Still, I can't help think of the pilot episode of "Just Shoot Me...", where Maya gets fired for "tweaking" the teleprompter script for a snooty newsbimbo, and said newsbimbo reads the script with a straight face.

Still boggles the mind as to the level of retardery that was evident at 'TVU as the "gag" made it allllll the way through to broadcast.
United744
Bryan Mitchell 1
They should get fired, that's terrible that they did that regardless of the cause.
m20fdriver
Dale Denisar 1
If they were going to fire anyone, they should have fired the stupid talking heads that read the names. It just goes to show the intelligence level of the news media, lower than whale dung.
Doobs
Dee Lowry 1
You really can't fix "Stupid" can you? Way off the radar...in my opinion.
priles
Les Price 1
I may be wrong but I heard another sole had died in hospital. My appologies if I am incorrect.
JACKIETOOLS
JACKIETOOLS 1
http://youtu.be/8COo-QsIXm4. Here is the link. How gullible can you be, NTSB confirmation or not???
preacher1
preacher1 1
hadn't heard one way or other.idk
sandylns
Brian Lager 1
I think it still stands at three but Reuters reports a prominent NYC law firm has been hired by the survivors.
tlblosser
tlblosser 1
The last count is now up to three. One being run over by the San Fran Fire Rescue. They claim that the victim was covered in fire-retardant foam and did not see her. That, to me, is tragic.
rocketrbbie
Rob Walker 1
Agree Preacher. Wouldn't want to live in your world Jairam - lighten up!
lordfarringdon
lordfarringdon 1
People lost lives. This was not the time for jokes. The NTSB intern that started it didn't seem to understand the credibility and standing of the organisation he/she worked for. The interns immaturity lost his/her position. KTVU was being threatened with law suits and I would imagine advertisers were ready to pull the pin on KTVU. How many jobs were on the line for this goof? If my job went I'd be looking for some management to blame. Who would that management be? The Director of KTVU, unless he acted quickly. He did and the producers went instead. Is this PC gone mad? No. It's about people behaving in the interests of the organisations they work for, and not bringing them into disrepute. The only question is whether the rush to get the names to air truly blinded the producers to the falseness of the names or whether their suspicions were aroused but they failed to follow up the authenticity of them assuming any later problem would blamed on the source. Whatever the reason, I would imagine a lot of media outlets will be double checking their facts and sources now. That's got to be a good outcome for the public.
AirtranPAX
jose Barrera 2
C'mon... You know more than one person read those name before they were read on the air! I agree with you. That wasn't the moment to 'joke'
preacher1
preacher1 -1
As with most oriental names like that, I doubt if it even dawned on anybody at first. It probably took a minute to soak in that it was a spoof, and I think most folks realized that and had a chuckle over it privately, even if they would not admit it publicly. At the time all this came out, the plane had crashed; it had been determined that most had survived, and while not a good situation, it could have been a lot worse, and everybody was loosening up a little. Publicly, people will say how tacky and bad joke and all that. Most folks will shrug it off and go from there. It's been over a week since Asiana decided not to sue. I personally think it is silly for people to lose their jobs. PC gone mad!!IMHO
Derg
Roland Dent 1
What's your opinion of KSFO landing aids Wayne?
preacher1
preacher1 3
I don't think it was a big deal with the ILS out and properly NOTAM'ed. Plenty of other ways to land automated if need, but unless I am mistaken, the plane called for the VFR and kicked off the AP. The pilots apparently had no problem with it. SFO is in heavy fog a good bit of most mornings and there haven't been any major delays reported out of the ordinary. As far as the other post and pilots talking about the FLCH trap, that has been a know thing on Boeing Aircraft for many years and it is what it is. When everything is linked, no problem; kill the AP and the AT' are out of the loop. Anybody remotely qualified would know about it. The final report will be interesting.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 0
We have to understand the concept of 'crime and punishment'. We all know the basics of penology. It has to be corrective qua the wrong doer and preventive qua the society in general, beside many other sub areas like restitution and son.
This incident can not be any exception. For some, it may call for 'exemplary' punishment for deeper effect!
LancairESP
LancairESP 1
I played the same stupid name games in YMCA summer camp: book title "50 yards to the outhouse" by Willie Maikit and co-authored by Betty Dont. And a host of others. Childish yes - but to be fired for on instance of acting like a 12-year-old seems a bit harsh.
priles
Les Price 1
Have any of you critics ever watched late night tv? This kind of humor is common and we laugh and move on. I guess SNL should have been taken off the air years ago.
Do any of you remember the terrorist skit with Robert De Niro identifying the terrorists n after 911?. Smile,life is short.
Foxtrot789
Trevor Rubatzky 1
I don't have much sympathy... the names, whether right, wrong, racist, whatever.. are COMPLETELY irrelevant to the story.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
Many in the younger generation get a food chunk if their news from comedy programs like The Daily Show or the monologue on Letterman.

I could easily see such a joke making it onto those two ir other similar shows without any repercussion. It's a joke afterall.

Appearing instead on one of the major TV station's news program in the city in which the plane crashed was asking fit trouble. There were many victims and families still in town, as well as lots of airline employees to help deal with the aftermath.

Sounds like they overreacted because the PC crowd got overly indignant.

But after a tense week of speculation and NTSB briefings, it was the first time I was able to chuckle about the unfortunate incident.

At some point we realize the the plane won't be uncrushed, the injured won't miraculously find themselves uninjured, nor the dead brought back to life. Being able to laugh at ourselves, makes life a bit more bearable.

Lighten up sounds about right.
rocketrbbie
Rob Walker 1
All very logical your lordship, and yes, regretably, people lost lives, but not because of anything the TV station did, so why bring that into the mix? Look, this was a an innocent mistake made by an American TV station that happened to be hilariously funny, but it wasn't made as a joke, it was a mistake, so I'm going to assume that the next person to post a 'holier than thou' comment on this site has never made a mistake in their lives. And by the way let's face it folks, this could only happen in America.
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 2
Except in this post the names ARE the story.
preacher1
preacher1 4
I think "holier than thou", "I'm tolerant as long as you agree with me", and PC are all running together these days. Back in the day if you made a mistake, you got a little fun poked at you and all the snide remarks from the usual wags, and a bigger dose than usual if it got to you, and you went on about your business. It is sad to see how far we have sank.
Derg
Roland Dent 1
I had not seen that angle Wayne...I guess you are right. But will say this: I am a relatively simple ssoul and I honestly could not see the joke at first. I read somewhere that the source was an intern at the NTSB. This annoyed me because the NTSB does a hell of a good job. This kid has talent for sure. That kid would have been "on the carpet" for a 20 minute seeing too then escorted out the main door. I see an EVA had the same probs at KSFO and to me this is a significant factor into the cause of the accident. I know the EVA operation well and they just do not make mistakes like this often..if at all.
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 2
If while watching the "news" you're getting misinformation, it's a huge waste of time. It defeats the purpose doesn't it.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
You should ask the staff of the Daily Show, and the millions of viewers, for whom laughing about the news is as important as the news itself.

Not exactly misinformation. It was a joke. Trying to hold a joke up to journalistic standards just doesn't work.

There is no way that anyone with more than 2 brain cells to rub together, wouldn't recognize it as an attempt at humor, regardless of whether they found it funny or not. Especially since the names of the 2 pilots centrally involved had been widely reported from day one.
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 1
I get it - but you're comparing a comedy program with an official newscast. Apples and oranges. One is geared to humor, the other to actual world events. It's just my opinion, but I believe your theory is flawed.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 0
I don't dismiss your point. But the presence on the official news show and getting the anchorlady to pronounce those names with a straight face is part of the joke.

It was the first moment of aviation-related laughter that I had that week.

No way would this bit of reporting stand as truth. Anyone following the story knew that the redl names of pilots were other than these. Someone would eventually fact check (after if not before airing).

There was no intention to misinform. It was a joke.

Jokes are not journalism. Journalists are not prohibited from joking.

First to air mentality helped conspire to assist the mastermind who thought up this joke.
AirtranPAX
jose Barrera 0
Will you feel the same if it was an American plane and your family was on board?
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 2
Ethnicity was tangental to the joke at best. The pilots could've been Anerican or Brits, and someone would come up with funny sounding American or Brit names.

Laughing won't bring back lost family members. But neither will forcing everyone to be joyless or without laughter.
AWAAlum
AWAAlum -2
Yeah, it's called "sick humor". And sick it is.
devsfan
ken young 2
Oh relax. It's a joke.
drschwartz2
Richard Buck 0
The reason for all the hassle over the names was not to offend the Asian's, as a pilot and an American, I say the hell with the Asians, if you don't like what we do, go the hell back to Asia. It was just humor, and it's getting to the point we have to be carful what we say as not to offend anyone.
devsfan
ken young 2
That's spot on...Too many people with one mil thick skin
preacher1
preacher1 1
My point exactly. It was not meant to offend anyone. It may have been kinda tasteless, given the situation but it basically was American Humor and I for one am tired of kissing up to everyone just to keep from hurting their feelings. Loosen up a bit folks.
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 1
Plain old fashioned good manners and respectful behavior doesn't require kissing up to anyone. Has it become an impossibility to tell a joke without a healthy dose of rude? I have as sharp a sense of humor as the next, but I also honor the feelings of others...something which, according to what I'm reading here, is becoming atypical. It's sad to see.
TXCAVU
Elizabeth Robillard 0
I lived in the Bay area and I KNOW this offended Asians. I'm surprised that no one caught this gaffe given the large Asian community in the Bay area including Oakland.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
Yes, you are right to be careful. The freedom of speech is not unrestricted. There are rules and guidelines about it imposed by society as well as by Law.
AirtranPAX
jose Barrera 1
Really, phat face. It was just humor.
preacher1
preacher1 0
Unfortunately, we have law being interpreted and applied TO THE LETTER these days rather than THE INTENT, and Mr. Mittal, right, wrong, or indifferent, you will have to agree with that. A lot of laws were written with good intentions, their authors thinking common sense would apply, but common sense left the world several years back and now we have only black & white.
cparks
cparks 0
There's Sum Ting Wong with this world.
cparks
cparks 0
Damn. No one can take a joke anymore.
priles
Les Price 0
But we all keep tuning in don't we. It is tragic there was a loss of life, the fact there were only 4 is a miracle in itself. But to relieve people of their livelihood? What happened to the freedom of speech in America?
siriusloon
siriusloon 3
You should read what the Constitution says about free speech, as well as what the courts have ruled on its limits. The relevant portion of the First Amendment says, "Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press...".

The *government* can't prevent your right to free speech, but that doesn't prevent an employer from firing incompetent workers for something they said.

Kinda sad when a foreigner has to teach you about your own Constitution.
preacher1
preacher1 1
FYI: 4 Journalists but weren't there just 3 dead in the crash, or have I missed 1.
siriusloon
siriusloon -2
And they had two feet with five toes on each, which is as relevant and meaningful as your comparison.

You forgot about all of the injured people and those that were traumatized but not physically injured, so yeah, you missed more than one.
preacher1
preacher1 3
I don't think my answer had a damn thing to do with you. It was a response to Les on his post about the number dead in the crash. As far as your other reply, I said it was no excuse but there they were in the heat of battle, in the middle of something that had not happened since 911 or thereabouts, and in the capacity that it came, the NTSB WAS THE OFFICIAL BODY ON SCENE AND WAS THE PRIMARY SOURCE OF INFORMATION FOR ALL MEDIA AND THE PUBLIC. The whole damn country had a laugh as Debby was giving her briefing and touted those names. She, as everyone else, trusted her people to give her factual information and they did not. Yes, it probably should have been caught but you can get down off your horse of self righteousness and put yourself in the position of actually being human and wondering what you'd do in the same situation. Hindsight is wonderful, and in most cases perfect.
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 1
Did you know that 4 feet would have 20 toes Preacherman?
rocketrbbie
Rob Walker 1
Excellently put Preacherman!
preacher1
preacher1 1
Maybe I'm just a little dense this morning but would you mind explaining that. I am well aware of 20 toes but there seems to be something else there.
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 1
Just adding on, the above post said 2 feet have 5 toes. I'm just showing off my math skills...
Doobs
Dee Lowry 1
Hey Thrustt...don't be showing off your math skills just yet. You have 2 feet. Each foot has 5 toes. Total Toe count equals 10. Lol
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
Thrustt had it right. 4 feet with 20 toes.

Now, if 3 feet have 15 toes and 1 yard has 3 feet, how many toes in a meter?
Doobs
Dee Lowry 1
Um...16.40 toes??
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 1
What happened to reporting facts?
preacher1
preacher1 1
They don't appear to. Too concerned about being PC or offending someone.
preacher1
preacher1 1
It is not an excuse but they actually reported facts by reporting what the NTSB had given them. Their problem was in failure to recognize it as a joke, and that failed recognition, in the rush to air the next tidbit, was where the trouble started. As I said earlier, we don't know what has gone on behind the scenes but one has to wonder why it took nearly 2 weeks for the axe to fall.
siriusloon
siriusloon 2
They were not given facts by the NTSB intern, they were given fake names. The source doesn't not miraculously convert false information into truth. Do you really believe that everything the government says is true? The TV station is responsible for what it broadcasts, which is why fact-checking is part of the job description for some newsroom employees, whether they're called fact-checkers, researchers, or producers.

As for the time it took for the axe to fall, if they'd done it right away, you'd probably complain that they should have taken time to investigate. The threat of a lawsuit would have slowed things down because of how dismissals could affect liability, or the appearance of it. If the station has a union, then management would have to ensure that the process is handled correctly under the CBA. With or without a union, some of the employees who were fired, as well as others investigated for potential involvement, might have had contracts and it's necessary to follow their provisions for dismissal with cause.
TXCAVU
Elizabeth Robillard -1
While some here are "laughing" it up, the world is watching as this tragedy was turned into a joke. Salt rubbed into the grief of those involved with Asiana 214 and another source of anti-American. Bet American military stationed in South Korea don't think it's funny or American business interests.
dk60902
d k 0
Just like Ron Burgudy, "Go F!@# yourself San Diego".
WhiteKnight77
WhiteKnight77 0
One could place the blame on such sloppy journalism on Ted Turner and his need to create a 24 hours news channel with CNN. So called journalists had to have something to fill the day with and who cares if anything is really worthwhile or not. They had to have "all the stories" to be considered a worthy news source.

The sad thing is, this placed a burden on local TV stations to compete with "the big boys" of CNN and the soon to launch other 24 hour news networks that exploded on cable and satellite TV. It is no longer of reporters learning about a story and reporting on it, but reporters actually becoming the news (as often seen in weather stories of reporters standing at the beach during a hurricane).

What happened with KTVU TV is systematic of the news of today that has steadily gone downhill since Walter Cronkite left and that Edward Murrow defined.

While KTVU should have done more fact checking on the information that their source (not the NTSB as some here seem to think) gave them beyond what the NTSB intern did so they had the right info. When I heard the names, I could tell they were joke names and in the flair of books that were never written such as Green Spots on the Wall by Picken and Flicken. They should have been caught before being put on the air, but as such, people need to not be so offended by it. Does firing those who allowed those names to get read on the air really make it better?
AlexisBV
I guess you didn't get the play on names here..."mike hunt" is a classic. Didn't quite figure the other one yet (and didn't bother to Google it)
clipper54
Bob Black 0
O come on folks, this was a crafty trick, joke, whatever. You can't tell me she didn't preflite that script and rehearsed several times with coaching from tv staff, it gave the whole country a much neede laughGive them back their jobs, I say . I remember the One Wing Lo joke back on 1937 when I was nine. He was Chinese by the way
euronorb
euronorb 0
I thought It was hilarious, If the joke had been made about a "white" flight crew then It would not have gone this far, the problem Is these days, In our "PC" world that only "white" people can be called racist, well Its a two way street.
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 2
How about Ben Dover and Al Coholic...
kds3
Keith Shapiro -3
It is only funny if you are 12.