Three mid-level managers at KTVU-Oakland, CA were fired over the broadcasting of fake Asian names in the coverage of the Asiana Airlines crash, according to reports on SFGate.com.
The firings were first reported on Rich Lieberman’s 415 media website.
I knew one of those fired years ago, investigative producer Roland De Wolk, as a hard-ass, gotcha kind of journalistic guy. Not the type to let a slip like the names fiasco get through him and on the air.
But as a veteran, he probably was making enough money to make station brass make the firings “look good.”
See my full commentary at www.aaldef.org/blog
KTVU, usually known as the class of Bay Area TV operations, got pranked here.
Anchor should have known better if she screened her copy. Producers should have known. Major egg on face.
This is an example of the kind of racism we’re seeing in the aftermath of the Asiana crash, something I wrote about at the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund blog.
KTVU’s a victim here by racist pranksters who think the buck-tooth accent is still a load of laughs. But it’s been buzzing on the Twitterverse since day one of the plane crash.
Now it’s no longer under-reported. The KTVU gaffe has gone viral in a way that previous racist tweets and the Chicago Sun-Times headline were not.
UPDATE: 6:24 PDT
NTSB apparently did confirm the names to KTVU, but the confirmation came from a summer intern according to this from Huffington Post:
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.
Appropriate actions will be taken to ensure that such a serious error is not repeated.