Public relations representative for Asiana Airlines, Ki Won Suh, said that the Asiana Airlines is already thinking of suing Oakland TV station KTVU and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) for irresponsible reporting naming its pilots Captain SUM TING WONG, WI TU LO, HO LEE FUK and BANG DING OW, NBC News reports.
These names were obviously pun made to Asian-stereotyping spellings of phrases like "Something Wrong", "We are Too Low" and "Holy F_ _ _k."
KTVU had made the racially offensive report following a confirmation from NTSB. The incident happened in the wake of an Aisiana Airlines flight which crash landed last week in San Francisco.
In its defense, NTSB explained that the erroneous names were confirmed by an intern of the network.
In an interview with Reuters, Kelly Nantel, a spokeswoman for NTSB, said that the intern was a student volunteer who was tasked to answer phone calls BUT was clearly instructed to pass any media queries on to authorized media representatives.
Both KTVU and NTSB apologized for the erroneous reporting even before reports of possible law suit from Asian Airlines.
According to an official statement from KTVU Channel 2:
"On Friday, July 12, during the KTVU Channel 2 Noon newscast, we misidentified the pilots in the Asiana Airlines crash. We made several mistakes when we received this information. First, we never read the names out loud, phonetically sounding them out. Then, during our phone call to the NTSB where the person confirmed the spellings of the names, we never asked that person to give us their position with the agency."
"We have lots of good people here at KTVU Channel 2. We pride ourselves on getting it right and having the highest standards and integrity. Clearly, on Friday, that didn't happen. So again from everyone here at KTVU, we offer our sincerest apology."
The NTSB apology went:
"The National Transportation Safety Board apologizes for inaccurate and offensive names that were mistakenly confirmed as those of the pilots of Asiana Flight 214, which crashed at San Francisco International Airport on July 6... a summer intern acted outside the scope of his authority when he erroneously confirmed the names of the flight crew on the aircraft.
The NTSB does not release or confirm the names of crewmembers or people involved in transportation accidents to the media. We work hard to ensure that only appropriate factual information regarding an investigation is release and deeply regret today's incident.
Appropriate actions will be taken to ensure that such serious error is not repeated."
However, The Asian American Journalists Association decided that even with its apology, KTVU is "hardly off the hook."
The association president Paul Cheung said, "We fail to understand how those obviously phony names could escape detection before appearing on the broadcast and were spoken by the news anchor. We urge KTVU to conduct a thorough review to prevent similar lapses."
On its Friday report, Tori Campbell, news presenter for KTVU read the report supported by seemingly credible graphics, "KTVU has just learned the names of the four pilots who were on board the flight. They are captain Sum Ting Wong, Wi Tu Lo, Ho Lee Fuk and Bang Ding Ow. The NSTB has confirmed these are the names of the pilots on board flight 214 when it crashed. We are working to determine exactly what roles each of them played during the landing on Saturday."