Obviously, with the racist joke amazingly aired without their recognition at noon on Friday, KTVU has been doing some massive damage control. The video broadcast clip has been going viral not only in the San Francisco Bay Area, but no doubt nationally. I was seeing the video, image or article posted or linked to on Facebook all Friday afternoon.
Going beyond KTVU’s initial tepid on air apology shortly afterwards as well as posted web apology, I definitely wanted to see how KTVU tackled this issue during their 6:00 PM evening broadcast. You can take a look for yourself, but I felt that anchorman Frank Somerville made a deeply felt and sincere apology on behalf of KTVU. Clearly, I’m sure that Somerville and the rest of the KTVU staff are very embarrassed that this happened – and especially Tori Campbell, the anchorwoman who read the teleprompter of with those fake racist Asian names.
Obviously, the rush to be first and to get a scoop ahead of other news organizations can lead to disastrous result. Most notably that comes to my mind is CNN & Fox News erroneously reporting that the Supreme Court had struck down the individual mandate in Obamacare. Also, the names of the training pilot and the trainer pilot had already been reported a few days ago – Lee Kang Kuk and Lee Jung Min respectively. Given that the Asiana Airlines crash has been the number one local story this past week, it’s kind of shocking that the news staff didn’t recognized they were being conned.
What is still not clear to me is who came up with those names – someone within KTVU or the NTSB intern? From the NTSB statement, it was a little ambiguous. I find it hard to believe that someone within KTVU would have come up with such a prank since I have to imagine that such a person would know it would blow up in the station’s face? It’s much easier to believe that an immature college summer intern. I wonder when we’ll find out more info regarding the intern (if ever?). I wouldn’t be too surprised if his (or her) summer internship just ended…