Published July 13, 2013
OAKLAND, Calif. – A San Francisco Bay Area TV station has apologized after reporting bogus names of the four pilots aboard Asiana Airlines flight 214 that were a play on Asian names.
KTVU-TV co-anchor Tori Campbell read the racially offensive names on the air Friday. The report was accompanied by a graphic with the phony names listed alongside a photo of the burned out plane.
After a break, Campbell apologized for the error. She said a National Transportation Safety Board official confirmed the names to the station.
Video of the report spread across the Internet Friday.
Paul Cheung, president of the Asian American Journalists Association, released a statement saying KTVU's reporting of the names was "not only wrong, but grossly offensive." The phony names caricatured Asian names, said Cheung, who also is interactive and graphics editor for The Associated Press.
In a statement on its website, KTVU said it had made a mistake by not phonetically sounding out the names.
"We heard this person verify the information without questioning who they were and then rushed the names on our noon newscast," the station said.
The NTSB also apologized and said a summer intern "acted outside the scope of his authority" when he erroneously confirmed the names of the flight crew.
"Appropriate actions will be taken to ensure that such a serious error is not repeated," the NTSB said in a statement.
Neither the station nor the NTSB commented on where the names originated.
Flight 214 crashed Saturday at San Francisco International Airport, killing three and injuring dozens.