UPDATE: DOUBLE Ho Lee Krap! You must see what this TV station reported at noon today & an NTSB intern confirmed.

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The NTSB now confirms an intern did verify for KTVU-TV the erronerous names of the crew on Asiana Flight 214. Here’s a statement issued from NTSB: 

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.

For its part KTVU-TV accepts full responsibility for this amazing error in news judgment and common sense. I hope news managers across the country are paying attention and asking themselves “Could it happen here?”

The answer is yes and it has. This just happens to be a little more humorous and jawdropping than most of the significant errrors that are occurrring too regularly at the local and network level, particularly in breaking news. Maybe it’s time the TV news business does what the military and the fire service do when bad mistakes happen. How about a news stand down where newsrooms work on the basics of confirming facts before relaying them to the public. Here’s KTVU-TV’s statement:

On Friday, July 12, during the KTVU Channel 2 Noon newscast, we misidentified the pilots in the Asiana Airlines crash.

We made several mistakes when we received this information. First, we never read the names out loud, phonetically sounding them out.

Then, during our phone call to the NTSB where the person confirmed the spellings of the names, we never asked that person to give us their position with the agency.

We heard this person verify the information without questioning who they were and then rushed the names on our noon newscast.

Even with this statement from the NTSB, KTVU accepts full responsibility for this mistake.

We issued an apology later in the noon newscast, and we also apologized on our website and on our social media sites.

We have a lot of good people here at KTVU Channel 2. We pride ourselves on getting it right and having the highest of standards and integrity.

Clearly, on Friday, that didn’t happen. So again, from everyone here at KTVU, we offer our sincerest apology.


I thought this story about a TV station reporting the names of the pilots of Asiana Flight 214 as seen in the picture below was itself a hoax (and I am sure that is your initial thought reading this). You would think no one could really be that dumb to put these names on the air. And you would be wrong.

Sad to report the hoax was on San Francisco’s KTVU-TV and they fell for it. They broadcast these names on the air during the noon newscast today, followed a little while later by this apology:

Earlier in the newscast we gave some names of pilots involved in the Asiana Airlines crash. These names were not accurate despite an NTSB official in Washington confirming them late this morning. We apologize for the error.

 Ho Lee Fuk is right.

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