TV Station (Mis)Reports SF Crash Pilot as 'Sum Ting Wong'
KTVU claims names were verified by NTSB
By Ruth Brown, Newser Staff
Posted Jul 12, 2013 5:11 PM CDT
Updated Jul 13, 2013 12:27 AM CDT

(Newser) – There's not fact checking, and then there's ... not even using your brain. A newscast on Bay Area Fox affiliate KTVU apparently fell for a (racist and offensive) joke, incorrectly reporting that the pilots of the plane that crashed at San Francisco airport were named "Sum Ting Wong," "Ho Lee Fuk," "Bang Ding Ow," and "Wi Tu Lo," SF Weekly reports.

The network later apologized, but said an NTSB official in Washington had "confirmed" them. It wasn't exactly an official. Per the NTSB: "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 kicker, as Mediabistro notes, is that KTVU had just been boasting about its "100% accurate" coverage of the disaster earlier this week.

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Showing 3 of 112 comments
Jul 22, 2013 11:52 PM CDT
I am not surprised the interns did his. Ever since the generation of Walter Cronkite reporters retired, the news has been transformed from reporting facts and incisive investigation into entertainment and humor. Given the latter is the norm today, why wouldn't interns think such names were acceptable in a news report? It was entertaining and humorous.
Jul 22, 2013 8:38 PM CDT
Will we ever know who pulled this pranks off? It's AWESOME!
Jul 15, 2013 3:00 AM CDT
Can't we laugh for a little while for a change? This is absolutely hillarious. I wish to thank KTVU for releasing the prank. That is all it was. A prank. There is no wong here that is punishable by death, firings or lawsuits. Look, I've been called every name imaginable because my roots are Spanish/Mexico. I would say that I am more American than most being the discoverer of the Continent was Spanish. I was born here. This is truly my country. I have never sued anyone. It comes with the territory. The Red White and Blue territory. It is in our American culture, and human nature to be assholes. Look how many times Django and all the people who saw the film heard the word and no one is suing for hearing it. Suffice it to say, that I had never laughed so hard. For the record I love Korean and Chinese people. My laughter was not a put down of who they are, but of what was said in the prank. Still all in all, many people walked away from this accident. It could have been a total loss of life. Condolences to the families of the girls who lost their lives and the severly hurt. 1492