NTSB intern confirmed fake joke-names for Asiana crash pilots to local TV news (video)

Oh god, this is embarrassing. It took me a second to figure out the “joke.” A local newscaster was reporting on the Asiana plane crash at San Francisco’s airport last weekend, and someone put joke names for the pilots on the teleprompter and left them there. The news host didn’t realize it and read the names:


Let me translate:

Captain Something Wrong

Way too low

Holy f*ck

Bang, ding, ow! (sounds of the plane crashing).

It now turns out an NTSB intern “confirmed” the insane names to the TV station.  But that doesn’t make sense.  Why would an intern say “yes those are the names”? That’s not “acting outside the scope of his authority” – it’s confirming names the intern knew to be false as Captain Sum Ting Wong certainly wasn’t on any NTSB list of pilots, was it?  So the intern lied.

Or were those names on some internal NTSB list?  This answer from the NTSB makes no sense at all.  Or did the intern “give” the local TV station offensive names he made up?


UPDATE: Stephen Colbert and the Daily Show cover the Asiana pilot-names joke snafu (video)

Here’s the video of the newscast, and below that the video of the TV station apologizing.

A reader pointed out that this sounds an awful lot like when ABC Denver mistaken reported the title of Paula Broadwell’s book about her affair with Gen. Petraeus as “All Up In My Sn*tch” instead of just “All Up.”  I’ll have that video at the bottom of this story.

ABC Denver reportedly calls name of Petraeus biography: "All up in my snatch"

ABC Denver reportedly calls name of Petraeus biography: “All up in my snatch”

First, the newscast:

And here’s the apology mentioning the NTSB’s role:

And here’s ABC Denver with the Petraeus snafu:

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

Share This Post

58 Responses to “NTSB intern confirmed fake joke-names for Asiana crash pilots to local TV news (video)”

  1. Jake Pannel says:

    He was stopping to check the gps

  2. JJJK says:

    Dont you think that a bit different from broadcasting it on the fking news where few billion people are watching?

  3. fk u america says:

    laugh and move on?
    would you be fking happy if someone called your fking family by that name?

  4. james says:

    Making fun of people out of someone else’s misfortune, at least 3 people died from that crash. Sorry I don’t find the humour.

  5. JASON says:

    hahaah, that was hilarious!

  6. Name says:

    Bet that interns toast they didnt think that out very well

  7. Paula says:

    Can’t they take a f’n joke?

  8. Ninong says:

    UPDATE: Asiana has decided to sue KTVU-TV to “strongly respond to its racially discriminatory report” that disparaged Asians, Asiana spokeswoman Lee Hyomin said. She said the airline will likely file suit in U.S. courts.

    She said the report seriously damaged Asiana’s reputation. Asiana hasn’t determined whether to launch a similar suit against the NTSB, Lee said.

    Neither the station nor the NTSB commented on where the names originated.

  9. Ninong says:

    If you listen to the original video, you will clearly hear someone — perhaps the camerman? — laughing his ass off starting at the 18-sec mark. It’s very noticeable.

    The apology by the KTVU anchorperson claims that the names were verified with “an official” of the NTSB but in fact they were confirmed by a young summer intern. The way it was reported in one of the SF blogs is that some intern at KTVU called the NTSB and asked the young intern who answered the phones to please confirm the names and then read them to him. The NTSB intern couldn’t believe the KTVU person was serious, since the first name on the list is commonly-used joke name, and went along with the gag by saying, “yeah, those are the names,” or words to that effect.

    Did anyone see anything yet in the news about where KTVU got the names in the first place? That had to be an inside job. I wonder if the camerman was in on it and that’s why he couldn’t help but bust out laughing at the dumb-as-dirt anchorperson as she read off the list of names with a straight face?

    Anyway, just for the record, the pilot of Asiana Flt 214, the B777 that crashed at SFO, was Lee Kang-kuk and the instructor-pilot was Lee Jung-min, according to Asiana CEO Yoon Young-doo. Lee is a very common family name in Korea, so I doubt the two pilots are related to each other. In any case, Lee Jung-min will be held responsible for the crash since he bears full responsibility for the aircraft, not the trainee pilot. The trainee pilot has more than 10,000 hours flying time, including 27 previous landings at SFO in other aircraft, but he has a total of only 43 hours flying the B777.

  10. ArthurH says:

    Then that explains during their correction they gave the pilot’s name as Jim Shoe.

  11. BillFromDover says:

    I believe that it was the actual NTSB that confirmed these names, not a radio station.

  12. BillFromDover says:

    How many people saw the teleprompter technician when this was read on the air, or the producer, or the stage director?

    This was a majestic team fuck-up that’s gonna live in the anuses of history and be hard to surpass!

  13. Dum gai says:

    Lol… You people are taking yourselves way to seriously. It’s funny, laugh and move on.

  14. lejaune says:

    The TV station probably had correct names but wanted to confirm them with NTSB. The intern then told the station that those were wrong and gave them the “corrected spellings”. The TV station was too embarrassed to admit that they were pranked by an intern.

  15. benb says:

    Huh? The crew was Korean; they have Korean names.

  16. hefetone says:

    It is a prank/joke folks. Kinda like people making fun of my Italian heritage with the joke:

    Hey, do you know about your Italian snow tires?


    Well, Dago, Dago, Dago, and when Dago flat, Dago Wop-wop-wop!!

    Funny stuff. Or my son, when he was in high school turned in a writing assignment about ‘best friends’ and he wrote about his friend Haywood Jablowme.

    There is no sense of humor sometimes in liberal-land.

  17. karmanot says:

    Sorta like Jew wanna go?

  18. karmanot says:

    Channel 2 is no prize for Oakland. It’s the worse air rag in the Bay area.

  19. zorbear says:

    I think he had his blinker on the whole time as well…Did anyone check to see if a seatbelt was dragging on the runway?

  20. karmanot says:

    Needs to fired.

  21. karmanot says:

    They have their hair on too tight. It hurts to think.

  22. karmanot says:

    True, but Cletus if you watch them often enough you will notice the similarities to the SIMPSONS.

  23. karmanot says:

    I’m with ya on this one.

  24. karmanot says:

    SF Local news and its unquenchable interest in the banal makes FOX news look brilliant.

  25. karmanot says:

    Worse, the Asian pilot ran into the only barrier on the runway by driving too slow.

  26. TheOriginalLiz says:

    While I agree with your last sentance, on the rest, we will have to agree to disagree.

  27. Cletus says:

    See, but it’s not the same as that. In that case, it’s meant to offend both the reader/listener who finds it offensive and the target of the label. This was done in the guise of humor, and not meant to be malicious to that particular ethnic group. And before you may say “so is blackface”, it’s not. Blackface is meant to be degrading. Making up Asian sounding words points more back at the ignorance of the source rather than the target.

  28. wafflewaffle says:

    Pretty sure the second name was “we too low” not “way too low” and the title of the book is “All In” not “All Up”. That one should have been easy to figure out.

  29. Ninong says:

    Here’s the latest update on this ridiculous episode: http://blog.sfgate.com/matierandross/2013/07/12/1937/

  30. ckg1 says:

    Guess I got a downvote for the second reason… Like I said, I know it’s in poor taste, but that’s what people in the Bay Area have to do: Punish those who F up. And KTVU did that.

  31. luther_wu says:

    “A faulty landing gear is suspected” said Asiana chief mechanic Won Hung Lo

  32. TheOriginalLiz says:

    those names are not targeted at a particular characteristic (ethnicity, etc.) of the teacher, they are just general stupidity.

  33. TheOriginalLiz says:

    the same way that goppers referring to the president as “Obammy” is racist. It’s a made-up ethnic or colloquial sounding name with a derogatory meaning or root used with no intention other than to insult or humiliate.

  34. Richard Hertz says:

    Its about a racist as making up names in grade school when a sub teacher filled in for the teacher. Ivanna Tinkle, Jack Meofff, etc. I guess that was racist too. IDIOTS.

  35. ckg1 says:

    Dare I say it, but….


  36. HolyMoly says:

    Further proof that many in today’s media are mere stenographers (this was not print media, so the video equivalent of a stenographer, I guess). They don’t question anything the government tells them…apparently even in blatantly obvious cases like this one.

  37. schemaXYZ says:

    Sorry, I know it’s a tragedy and nothing can be done to salve the wounds. But this is hilarious.

  38. bushtheidiot says:

    Somebody watched too many episodes of the Simpsons . . .

  39. ckg1 says:

    The people of San Francisco and the Bay Area should do two things:

    1. NEVER watch KTVU again, for any reason.

    And, on a similar note…

    2. Tell the station “U Can Suk It”. (Yes, I KNOW the comment’s in questionable taste.)

  40. ckg1 says:

    The late, great Frank Magazine in Canada refered to news anchors as “Bingo callers.”

  41. NCMan says:

    It wasn’t an anchor who took the info over the phone and put it into the teleprompter.

  42. paaat says:

    I have not heard the origin of the names, but the way I understand it, the station called the NTSB to verify them. An intern at the NTSB answered the call, but didn’t believe it was really a news station. He thought he was being pranked, so he says something like “yeah, sure, those names are correct…” And the station ran with it…

  43. nicho says:

    It’s racist.

  44. Cletus says:

    I expect this from “Fox and Friends”, but a local affiliate? I expect better of them…

  45. Cletus says:

    Serious question – how is making up names that sound Asian in itself racist? I can understand if she had said “The NTSB has determined the crash was caused by the pilots driving in typically Asian fashion — too slow,…” Now that’s racist! But making up Asian sounding names is not attributing a particular trait to that race, it’s just Anglo gibberish.

  46. Thom Allen says:

    When I first saw this, I thought the whole thing, video included, was part of a prank, like something Onionish. Hard to believe that no one involved: anchor, editor, producer, camera people never thought that, with blatantly obvious “names” like that, it might be a prank in spite of the NTSB’s confirmation. Maybe someone decided to do a little Fox hunting.

  47. guest1 says:

    I lol’ed

  48. AnitaMann says:

    Not the media generally. Actors… ahem, I mean anchors.

  49. nicho says:

    Don’t these people read these things aloud to themselves before they read them on the air? Or is that too professional?

  50. Ninong says:

    Hey, don’t forget, Channel 2 is an Oakland station and always has been. They’re located in Oakland, where they have always been. After Sutro Tower was built, they moved their transmitter from the top of San Bruno Mountain to Sutro Tower, but that doesn’t make them a San Francisco station. Sure they advertise themselves as covering San Jose/San Francisco/Oakland but they’re in Oakland.

    So let’s be sure to let Oakland claim all the glory for this little debacle. LOL

    P.S. — They’re also the local Fox affiliate (since the day Fox was created), so you can’t expect their TV anchor persons to be able to catch something like that. I’m always surprised when they pronounce last names correctly.

  51. UncleBucky says:

    Seems to me that a staffer thought that the “host” was not smart enough and so put the names to see if they would get corrected, the slide rejected or (more fun for the staffer), the fake names read on the air.

    The staffer who prepared the slides needs to do penance.

  52. NCMan says:

    It really says something about the level of intelligence of those who work for the media that they can get “punked” so easily.

  53. cole3244 says:

    wherever this originated that person needs to be held responsible and identified so everyone knows their views.

  54. karmanot says:

    San Francisco is a very sophisticated city, but the local news is as embarrassing as Texas on any given day—- and that’s something.

  55. A friend thinks a radio show might have called them and pretend to be the NTSB. And if so, I’d get the radio show hosts fired – joking about tragedies in which people die, with racist ethnic jokes mind you, is not funny.

  56. Naja pallida says:

    Seriously, there’s some unpaid intern at that station laughing his ass off right now.

  57. Kstbn says:

    All I can say is O.M.G. How embarrassing!

  58. emma852 says:

    like Maria answered I’m in shock that you able to profit $5832 in 1 month on the internet. did you look at this page w­w­w.K­E­P­2.c­o­m

© 2019 AMERICAblog Media, LLC. All rights reserved. · Entries RSS