Skip to comments.“Sum Ting Wong:” Learning from the San Francisco Crash Reporting Fiasco
Posted on 07/14/2013 6:36:05 AM PDT by Kaslin
Youve probably heard about the airline crash reporting fiasco. Last Friday during a live midday newscast, KTVU TV in San Francisco reported as fact that the names of the pilots on board the Asiana airlines flight that recently crashed in that city were Sum Ting Wong, Wi Tu Lo, Ho Lee Fuk, and Bang Ding Ow.
Shortly thereafter it was determined that the information, which the television station allegedly acquired from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), was not factual, but instead a racially insensitive joke. Within less than thirty-six hours after the incident not only had KTVUs management apologized (multiple times), but so also had the NTSB, admitting that a summer intern had acted outside the scope of his authority and had quite intentionally provided false information to the news agency.
The damage done in this situation is probably incalculable at this point. Has KTVU TV, or any of its employees, sustained damage to their credibility? Will the television station be sued for their insensitivity, or might the NTSB be sued by KTVU? Nobody wins in any of these scenarios, yet they are all plausible.
Instead of merely laughing at the incident or being offended or angry Americans should stop and consider what is to be learned from it. Even local small businesses and non-profit organizations should consider how they, too, could be mislead by a government agency or drawn in to a controversy quite un-intentionally.
Its convenient to blame this all on a summer intern. But we are talking about the NTSB, an agency of our government that we trust in times of crisis to investigate such things, and we presume that the information they give us is accurate and will be helpful.
So once again, trust in our U.S. federal government has been violated. It fits a pattern. Its similar to the U.S. Department of Justice, an agency that we trust to investigate and prosecute crimes fairly and equitably, having spent our tax dollars to fund protestors at the trial of George Zimmerman. It falls in line with the IRS using its power to target and harass religious and educational groups who articulate opinions that are different from President Obamas. It is despicable and it is should not be tolerated.
But what would happen if your place of business (or your school or church or other non-profit organization) received a call or a visit from somebody purporting to represent a government agency, and that person was conveying some sort of vital information? Would you know how to handle that appropriately? Would you be prepared to fact-check it and verify it?
What if that person was making an inquiry demanding to search the premises, investigate personnel, or some such thing would you and your associates know to demand to see a search warrant or some other appropriate court documents? If a federal agency like the NTSB can mislead an entire big-city news outlet, then a local, regional, state or federal government agency could easily manipulate most local small businesses and non-profit operations. Its sad, but it is our reality Americans are in many ways on the run from their government, and we do ourselves no favors by pretending otherwise.
When agents of government cant be trusted to follow the laws of the land, it becomes more difficult to expect lawfulness from those whom government is supposed to serve. Hopefully a critical mass of Americans will soon wake up and began demanding better government. But for now this is the government that many of us have asked for, while many others have passively allowed it to ensue. The wiser among us will be honest about this, and take appropriate precautions.
Liberals are too uptight. They need to take a few tokes and chill out.
You have to have a sense of humor to survive today. These pilot names were as funny as Robert DeNiro’s list of terrorists on Saturday Night Live.
...and then there is this
Take the delay in implementing 0bamaDontCase, please.
Humor is destroyed by overanalysis.
It was a classic prank and a hilarious one.
All the navel-gazing needs to stop on both sides.
KTVU is by the way a very leftist Fox affiliate.
Most of them would consider this to be very funny.
That does not mean that they don't take this accident seriously. They will analyze it down to the smallest detail and modify any faults in their own procedures that are exposed by this accident.
But they will all the while make graveyard jokes.
The author of this story is silly.
“The person actually guilty of the hoax is probably sitting at a desk in the KTVU newsroom eating popcorn.”
I’ve seen where the same list of names had already appeared on Twitter. So the real problem is someone at KTVU tried to get away with a simple Web search rather than go to the proper sources....I suspect.
Sum Ting Wong
Wi Tu Lo
“Ho Lee Fuk
Bang Ding Ow
...and reported far and wide by that intrepid reporterette, Sum Dum Ho.
Pilot Wai Tu Loh was clutching the yoke upon impact (how long was the stickshaker on before then?).
This is the first I’ve heard of this report. If a broadcaster did something like that, I find it in very poor taste.
There are lots of Tings Wong. Not just with story.
Moe, at Bart's suggestion, asks his clientele: "I'm looking for 'Amanda Hughankiss' ", with the expected results.
I can do the calculation
Media integrity before getting punked .001 and after .001 so with the rounding the damages are approximately....
.001 cents give or take a nickle.