Always trust a teleprompter.
After all, they never contain misspelled words, incorrect phrases, or fake names which are meant to fool the media.
But the last scenario is exactly what happened yesterday to the midday news crew at KTVU TV, a Bay Area Fox affiliate.
In other words, they got Punk’d.
On July 12th, KTVU News was reporting on the latest development in the July 6th crash of US-bound Asiana Airlines Flight 214 from Seoul, South Korea to San Francisco International Airport. KTVU co-anchor Tori Campbell covered the story during the station’s noontime broadcast and announced that the NTSB had just released the names of the pilots, reading them aloud on the air. What she did not realize was that the names as confirmed by the NTSB were completely fake. They were made up by an intern at the NTSB who had intended on playing a tremendous prank on the news media.
And KTVU fell for it hook, line, and sinker.
Truthfully, Ms. Campbell should have known that something was awry when she saw these names displayed on her teleprompter:
Captain Sum Ting Wong
Wi Tu Lo
Ho Lee Fuk
Bang Ding Ow
Yet, she proceeded to recite the phony pilots’ names as they appeared on screen. Here’s the video:
Predictably, media outlets like the Huffington Post, MSNBC, and the LA Times are insisting that the fake pilots’ names are racist in nature. If so, then this SNL sketch from December 7th, 2002, in which Robert De Niro is on the hunt for such nefarious terrorists as M’Balz Es-Hari, Haid D’Salaami, and Hous Bin Pharteen is racist as well:
In fact, everything is racist. At least, that’s what Chris Matthews’ teleprompter told me.
And I always trust a teleprompter.
UPDATE (7-15-13): Asiana Airlines has announced that it is going to sue KTVU to “strongly respond to its racially discriminatory report” which disparaged Asians, Asiana spokeswoman Lee Hyomin said. She said that the airline will likely file suit in U.S. courts:
It takes a lot of gall to sue someone after you have just crashed one of your planes.
UPDATE (7-17-13): Asiana Airlines has decided to scrap the idea of suing KTVU for reading aloud the list of faux pilots’ names as supplied by the NTSB. Although the station’s news report “seriously damaged” the airline’s reputation, they are likely going to focus on their “seriously damaged” reputation resulting from the plane crash itself.