Asiana Airlines Crash: There is Sum Ting Wong With These People

The Asiana Airlines flight 214 tragedy met ignorance and racism when a San Francisco Bay Area television news station, KTVU-TV, was fed incorrect information from a summer intern at the National Transportation Safety Board. 

The intern deceived the TV outlet by confirming the "names" of the four Asiana pilots, names that were in reality the intern's own creations and, as the NY Post describes, that "caricatured Asian names."


KTVU-TV claims to have "heard this person verify the information without questioning who they were and then rushed the names on our noon newscast." The station's worst offenses in this situation are just ignorance and incompetence, and the intern is the immature bigot, but this ignorance and incompetence is nevertheless irresponsible.

There ought to be undeniable fragility involved with this news broadcast, as it is obviously rooted in a plane crash from which three people have already died. All information that is gathered, especially pertaining to the pilots, is part of an ongoing investigation to understand why the plane crashed and how to prevent future tragedies. KTVU-TV not only disregarded the necessity of this fragility, albeit inadvertently, but discredited its reputation as a viable news source.

In its apology statement, the news outlet admitted that "we never read the names out loud, phonetically sounding them out." That is an understandable omission in procedure, but multiple people from KTVU still had to hear the supposed names of the pilots and write them down and display them on the television screen, not to mention co-anchor Tori Campbell who read them out loud, rather phonetically, to all her viewers.

It is a prank that is cruel to the victims of the Asiana flight 241 tragedy, to Asian people who endure generalizations and bigotry, and to the gullible broadcasters at KTVU-TV who earnestly wanted to report the news.

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Maggie O'Neill

I'm a senior in high school, where I am chair of the Republican Club, am an editor of the newspaper and serve in student government.

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