Just how bad does an intern have to mess up to make an entire US government department issue a press release disavowing the intern’s actions?
San Francisco’s KTVU news was running a story on the crash of the Asiana Flight 214, which ended up in at least three deaths and many more injured when it crash landed at San Francisco’s airport.
To make sure that its graphics and newscasters had the correct spelling of the names of the crew on the flight, KTVU contacted the National Transportation and Safety Board, which has jurisdiction over plane crashes.
They got hold of an intern, who, apparently, had given his brain away for the afternoon and was running on — well, I’d say autopilot, but that’s almost as bad as what the intern did — pure bodily functioning, with no brain work at all.
Yep, the intern said, these are the names.
Read them carefully. Sound them out in your head.
Yeah, not only did someone think this was funny, but multiple people at the news station saw these names and said, basically, “Looks good to me. Let’s run it.”
Firstly, do I have to even suggest just how insensitive it is to make fun of the crew in this instance. We still don’t know exactly what happened, but even crew that might have been negligent don’t deserve this sort of thing to happen to them.
Secondly, I think the racism thing is pretty blatant here and not something I need to go into.
The thing I can’t believe is that the KTVU reporters, graphics folks and anybody who happened to be at the station that day didn’t take a look at these names and think that — maybe — something might not be quite right. Possibly they should suggest another call to someone else to — you know — double check the names.
The NTSB has issued a press release stating that “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 later issued another press release saying that, although the intern erroneously confirmed the names, they actually originated at the television station. Which means, they’re saying the news crew came to the NTSB and said, are these names — Captain Sum Ting Wong, Wi Tu Lo, Ho Lee Fuk, and Bang Ding Ow — the actual, real names of the plane crew?
And the intern thought nothing of it? And the news crew actually went to the NTSB with that?
I really don’t think the full story has been released on this one yet, nor do I think it ever will be. The intern will be running for cover, the NTSB will stonewall until the whole thing goes away and the KTVU will start hitting extra hard on all those prostitutes walking the streets so they can stir something salacious into the pot to make people move on from their perfidy.
Not just a new low for interns, dudes, but a new low for television news (which I honestly didn’t think was possible) and for people in general.