KTVU Buries News of Asiana Airlines Lawsuit over Fake Pilot Names

Last week, the Fox-afiliated KTVU fell for a prank, repeating offensive fake names for the pilots involved in the crash of Asiana Flight 214 last week.

[S]even-year veteran KTVU producer Brad Belstock closed his @producerBB Twitter account after his last Friday tweet just moments after the names were read aloud on the air by Tori Campbell. He was producer of the noon newscast.

His last tweet?

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The station apologized later Friday, noting that the NTSB also apologized (because its summer intern erroneously confirmed the names).

As journos like to say, “Get it first, but first get it right.”

Their tone was very different than it had been earlier in the week, when KTVU issued a triumphant press release, “Viewers Choose KTVU for Coverage of Asiana Airlines Flight 214 Crash at SFO(First on-line. First with alerts to mobile devices. First on Twitter & Facebook.) The report also manages to get in a few digs at rival KGO, noting that “ABC National News repeatedly used aerial footage from KTVU NewsChopper 2” (not the local ABC affiliate, KGO).

It’s still morning in California, so it’s possible that soon KTVU will follow up, but the latest development is that Asiana is planning to sue KTVU over the error.  I haven’t been able to find an on original copy of the Asiana statement mentioning the lawsuit, but I found an AP story with a Seoul dateline dated about 10 hours ago.

The only mention of the lawsuit on the KTVU station website is a tiny item from a news service. (KTVU didn’t write it, and the head honchos may not even know it’s on their website.)


Asiana Airlines plans to sue a TV station that reported fake names of the crew of the jet that crashed in San Francisco earlier this month. — www.ktvu.com.