Intern Fired After Confirming Racist Pilot Names To KTVU After Crash

Speaking of Asiana Airlines Flight 214, the National Transportation Safety Board intern who confirmed the false, racist Asian-sounding names of the pilots to an Oakland TV station has been fired. Did he really expect to keep his job after that?


TV station KTVU on Friday embarrassingly reported that the names of the pilots involved in the disaster were "Sum Ting Wong," "Wi Tu Lo," "Ho Lee Fuk," and "Bang Ding Ow." They later said they got that information from the NTSB, who blamed it on a summer intern.

NBC News and CNN report that this intern is no longer with the agency, citing government officials. Meanwhile, the NTSB also says the names didn't originate with them; so where did they come from, and why did the intern confirm them?


Here's what Politico reported about the unnamed intern:

“I can’t get into details except to say that we are taking appropriate action,” [NTSB spokeswoman Kelly] Nantel said, adding, “It’s unfortunate because he’s a very intelligent young man who made a very big mistake.”

Nantel told POLITICO Pro that NTSB was working to make sure the mistake won’t be repeated and are scrubbing their process “to see if there was a step along the way where maybe it wasn’t clear to him what his role was.”


Clearly, the intern was stupid for confirming these names, wherever they came from.

But if you ask me, the real blame here lies with KTVU. We all know that self-awareness isn't local TV news' strongest suit, but was everyone at the station so clueless that they couldn't figure out the names were fake? This is some straight-up Anchorman shit right here, folks. When I watch that clip I still can't believe it happened in real life.


KTVU now faces a lawsuit from Asiana Airlines, who say the names damaged their reputation. Not unlike, you know, the plane crash.


Hat tip to Mary!

Share This Story