KTVU Anchor Reads Fake, Racist Names in Asiana Crash Report

Why wait for “Anchorman 2” to hit theaters when we can just tune in to KTVU’s coverage of the Asiana flight 214 crash? Proving some newscasters will literally say anything put on a teleprompter, Channel 2’s afternoon anchor Tori Campbell read four obviously fake—and blatantly racist— names that supposedly belonged to the pilots of the Boeing 777 that crashed while attempting to land at San Francisco’s airport on July 6.

Campbell reported that KTVU had exclusive information on who piloted the ill-fated landing, which left two girls dead and dozens injured, and listed the following names:

• “Sum Ting Wong”
• “Wi Tu Lo”
• “Ho Lee Fuk”
• “Bang Ding Ow.

Ho Lee Fuk, indeed.

KTVU reportedly told Gawker, as well as viewers on air, that the National Transportation Safety Board supplied the station with erroneous names. But a NTSB official later told Gawker, “I don’t know who [KTVU] got that from, but we do not release names.”

KTVU president and general manager Tom Raponi released the following statement: “We sincerely regret the error and took immediate action to apologize, both in the newscast where the mistake occurred, as well as on our website and social media sites. 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.”

As columnists Matier & Ross point out, KTVU beat its chest in a promo lauding its own coverage of the Asiana crash, as the TV station’s coverage was apparently first on air, online, on Twitter and Facebook (where every second counts), and first to have reporters on the ground, in the air and interviewing a passenger on the flight.

KTVU News Director Lee Rosenthal reportedly says in the promo: “Being first on air and on every platform in all aspects of our coverage was a great accomplishment, but being 100 percent accurate, effectively using our great sources and social media without putting a single piece of erroneous information on our air, is what we are most proud of as a newsroom.”

And now that’s all been rendered meaningless.

UPDATE: The NTSB has confirmed an intern provided KTVU with the fake pilot names.

Josh Koehn is a former managing editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley.


  1. “…Proving some newscasters will literally say anything put on a teleprompter…”

    Josh,come down of your high horse. Your colleagues in the tabloids, blogs print media… are not immune from getting sucked in – it may not be racist or bigoted but you guys publish stuff from supposedly “credible” sources like mayors, councilmen, community leaders that is factually deficient and biased on a regular basis.

    Haven’t seen too many corrections or apologies here even after posters with varying (even polar opposite) points of view furnish more complete information complete with verifiable sources   that tend discount SJI’s “official” versions- SJI tends to remain attached to is brand of agenda driven “reporting” rather than getting at the truth.

    • THanks for posting this link ( http://www.ntsb.gov/news/2013/130712.html ).

      It makes my earlier point. Look at the way these “Journalists” (HACKs) were so quick to jump on KTVU!  Koehn/Matier&Ross; and every other JOURNO out there who is blinded by their own agenda driven BIAS should be ashamed!

      Now, to pile on… Thank goodness we have Barak Obama in the White House and Summer Interns working at the NTSB… 

      Why is it when one brand of politician is in charge blame falls on an “Intern” or the most recent occupant of the White House from the Republican party. 

      prediction:  Somehow the comedian/Intern will somehow be linked to George Bush and then this will all make sense to the media.

      • The problem with polemics these days is the internet allows people to research and spear through Ann Coulter type of opinions fairly quickly making the poster look less credible and distill their character into trolling talking points.

        What is the story here, the NTSB confirmed the names. The names were confirmed by an intern. If the intern wrote those names down as joke and then confirmed those names, then that particular intern has no real common sense. I doubt that intern would be invited to any civil service job in the near future. But if the intern confirmed those names because he is basically learning on the job and may not have had the proper instructions, those names still have had to have come from some one. Where those racist names came from should be investigated.

  2. The only people upset are the PC professional whiners, the rest of us have a sense of humor. The accident was horrible, but common sense must prevail.

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