Epic KTVU Fail: Anchor Reports Pilot Names Including ‘Sum Ting Wong’ and ‘Wi Tu Lo’

Chris Ariens, Media Bistro, July 12, 2013

On today’s Noon newscast on KTVU, the station claimed it had “just learned the names of the 4 pilots on board” Asiana flight 214 which crashed last Saturday. But the station was given bad information that made it all the way into the newscast. If you read the names it becomes immediately clear this is a joke, which went unnoticed by the newsroom, producers and the anchor.


About 15 minutes later the station corrected its mistake, but claimed an NTSB official had confirmed the names.

Earlier in the newscast we gave some names of pilots involved in the Asiana Airlines crash. These names were not accurate despite an NTSB official in Washington confirming them late this morning. We apologize for this error.


The NTSB has released a statement saying a summer intern “acted outside the scope of his authority” and mistakenly confirmed the fake names for KTVU Friday morning:

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.

Earlier today, in response to an inquiry from a media outlet, 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 released and deeply regret today’s incident.

Appropriate actions will be taken to ensure that such a serious error is not repeated.


The AAJA responds: “Those names were not only wrong, but so grossly offensive that it’s hard for us at the Asian American Journalists Association to fathom how those names made it on the broadcast.”


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  • RHG


    • Oil Can Harry

      Looks like Orientals fly planes about as well as they drive.

  • David Ashton

    South Korea had a Foreign Minister called Lee Bum Suk.
    The Turkish ambassador to Queen Victoria’s Court was reputedly named Mustafa F*q.
    How childishly xenophobic – but how funny!

    • Sick of it

      Oh come on, surely the Turks did that deliberately.

    • There is a common Vietnamese given name spelled “Phuc”. It’s pronounced pretty much the way you’d expect.

  • capnmorgan5150

    Oh man, that is priceless! Somebody wasn’t using their brain today.

    • Manaphy

      KtVU got trolled.

  • Fighting_Northern_Spirit

    Reportedly the airline is suing KTVU, but not the NTSB. We must remember the real tragedy here is someone made a joke, not that three people died due to airline incompetence.

    • IanJMacDonald

      I heard that the airline has hired attorney Fee Tu Hai at the the law firm Hu Yu Su Ing, LP, to represent them.

  • capnmorgan5150

    “The roles each of them played…”

    I suspect at least one of them was urinating in some brand of cola.

  • ncpride

    The funniest thing about this is the anchor reading off those names so accurately and professionally, seemingly oblivious to the joke.

    • Eagle_Eyed

      I think by the end she knew. It was just at that point what can you do?

  • Spartacus

    Yu So Wei Cis !

    • Whirlwinder


  • bigone4u

    I know of a creative intern who’s looking for another job about now. As to the airline’s claim that its reputation was damaged by these fake names, that’s bizarre, given that the lawsuit opens them up to more negative publicity about the cause of the crash, which appears to be pilot error.

  • IstvanIN

    They have nerve suing over a joke considering that they killed a whole mess of people due to Sum Ting Wong because they were We Tu Lo.

  • I turned off Fox-Chicago years ago when I heard a black morning anchor refer to
    Net a Porter as Net ah por-ter. Cripes it’s a play off the black sung song with a French title “Pret a porter”.

    “Journalists” in this country at this point are incapable of independent thought / intelligence.

    • MBlanc46

      If you’ve ever thought that news readers didn’t have a clue what they were reading, you were right.

  • Nathanwartooth

    I thought that this was really funny when I watched the clip.

    I’m not sure how anyone could be offended by this or call it racist. It was obviously just a prank.

    The names even tell a story! Read it like a story and it becomes even funnier.

    • ncpride

      Yes, the names are in a particular order that make it all the more funny. People may be offended, but this prank was flat out hysterical, and I haven’t laughed so hard in weeks.

  • dd121

    The more times I watched the clip the harder I laughed. The funny part was not the play-on-words names but the stupid news reader who had no recognition what she was reading.
    To the people who are suing: get over yourselves.

    • They really should, not least for the reason that anyone who takes themselves that seriously is positively begging to be the butt of more jokes.

  • I think it’s funny. but I love ethnic jokes.

    Have you heard about the gay Scotsman?
    He liked women more than he liked money.

    What’s the difference between an Irish wedding and an Irish funeral?
    One drunk.

    What does an Irish wedding have in common with a V-2 rocket?
    They both run on the same fuel.

    What’s the difference between a 747 jet and an Englishman?
    The airliner eventually stops whining after it lands in Sydney.

    In any multi-ethnic country, ethnic jokes are inevitable. The fact that this made TV news and was deadpanned by an unwitting announcer is hilarious.

  • Lop_Eared_Galoot

    Clearly she knows nothing about modern air travel.

    Airlines have been too cheap to hire separate relief crews, flight engineers or radio navigators since the mid-80s at least.

    It’s all two crew, two engines, and wotsa wuck if the glass goes dark under the name ETOPS.

  • Dave4088

    Hilarious. But the prankters must not have realized that only whites can be on the receiving end of ethnic jokes and humor.

  • Romulus

    Lmao!!! Thats hysterical!!! Hope the judge has eniugh sense to throw out the suite.

  • Fredrik_H

    I loved when she read “Ho Lee…” and then there was a slight pause, like it dawned on her what she was reading, before “Fuk”.

  • MBlanc46

    Not only offensive, but grossly offensive! When is “My People” Holder going to weigh in on this unnecessary naming? Oh, that’s right, they’re only chinks. Almost as bad as honkies. Eff ’em.

  • saxonsun

    Simply excellent.

  • MarkTenneyNewMathDoneRight

    My guess is the intern is Asian. The joke is that the White employees at TV station wouldn’t challenge an Asian intern even on names like these. This is what intern intended.