Racist Joke: Asiana Airlines 214 Pilot Names Reported On-Air by SF Bay Area Local TV News KTVU

The crash of Asiana Airlines flight #214 last Saturday is no laughing matter. But someone else at the San Francisco Bay Area local television news broadcast KTVU thought otherwise – erroneously reporting that these four were the pilots:

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

When I first read the names, I was like WTF? But when I saw the video, I was like, how did the new reporter or the person feeding the teleprompter not know the names were fake. This literally like something out of The Simpsons. I actually feel a little sorry for the news reporter, because she is clearly clueless that these names are *clearly* fake while reading the names of the pilot.

Later, KTVU issued an apology and stated that they received those names from the NTSB (which was false).

Despite what KTVU said, the NTSB is quoted in saying:

“NTSB Public Affairs Officer Peter Knudson just told Gawker that the NTSB’s policy is to never give out pilot names in these situations, which contradicts KTVU’s claims. “I don’t know who [KTVU] got that from, but we do not release names,” he said.”

So obviously this is a joke done in poor taste. Some how, I am not surprised that KTVU is a Fox affiliate.

As a friend of mine on Facebook had commented, the news editor must have been “E. D. Yut.” Or as fellow 8asians colleague Joz commented, “Ho Li Kuraapu.” I hope KTVU gets to the bottom of this and does something about it. Surprisingly, this racist prank is being widely reported in the news – I’ve seen it in The Huffington Post, The Atlantic, Gawker, etc…

Living in the San Francisco Bay Area, last week’s crash really gripped me. Not living too far from SFO, I dropped by one afternoon to see the wreckage myself, which was pretty unbelievable. A photo I took with my DSLR:


I’m hoping those who were injured and those that are still hospitalized make a quick recovery and my heart goes out to the parents of the two Chinese girls who perished from the crash.

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About John

I'm a Taiwanese-American and was born & raised in Western Massachusetts, went to college in upstate New York, worked in Connecticut, went to grad school in North Carolina and then moved out to the Bay Area in 1999 and have been living here ever since - love the weather and almost everything about the area (except the high cost of housing...)
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