The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is blaming the intern for a prank involving KTVU and the Asiana plane crash at San Francisco International Airport almost one week ago.
According to the NTSB, a summer intern confirmed the names of Asiana Flight 214’s pilots as Captain Sum Ting Wong, Wi Tu Lo, Ho Lee Fuk, and Bang Ding Ow.
Unfortunately, KTVU believed the intern’s confirmation and went ahead with their broadcast, which will probably go down in internet video infamy as one of the worst-timed racist fake name pranks in recent history.
The NTSB added that their poor summer intern apparently acted outside the scope of his authority by confirming the incredibly incorrect names of the pilots (the flying pilot’s name was actually Kang Kook Lee). Apparently confirming fake racist names was not in his unpaid job description.
The organization also apologized for the “inaccurate and offensive” names that were confirmed. The NTSB statement read in full:
“Earlier today, in response to a media 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 fake names were read during a noon broadcast on KTVU. The news station later apologized both on air and on its website for the error. They explained, “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.”
In an effort to take some of the attention away from them, the NTSB also added that its intern did not come up with the names. Rather, spokeswoman Kelly Nantel stated that “the names were presented by the station, to the intern for confirmation.” So, while the NTSB intern played a part in the KTVU prank, he assuredly did not come up with “Captain Sum Ting Wong.”
And while the NTSB never confirmed the intern responsible for confirming the erroneous names, they assured, “Appropriate actions will be taken to ensure that such a serious error is not repeated.” While punishment is likely necessary, we’re pretty sure the poor NTSB intern will think twice before he handles something outside his job duties again.