I woke up laughing this morning. One of the last things I read last night before going to bed was that Southwest Airlines has terminated the captain of that Boeing 737 that landed nose-first at LaGuardia Airport in New York City back in July of 2013. Apparently the copilot was making the approach, but the captain took over when the aircraft was only 400 feet in the air. SWA says it was a violation of its policy for the captain to do something like that.
Well I woke up thinking about that crash, and my thoughts drifted to the Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 that crash-landed at the San Francisco International Airport also in July of last year.
You remember the Asiana crash: It was the one in which the local San Francisco TV station KTVU erroneously and hilariously put out the names of the flight crew as: Captain Sum Ting Wong along with crewmembers, Wi Tu Lo, Ho Lee Fuk and Bang Ding Ow. The KTVU female newscaster read them with the gravitas you’d expect of a professional delivering a tragic news story. She said that the names came directly from the NTSB. If you’d like to see and hear it again, click HERE.
The NTSB quickly issued a correction, giving the somewhat weak excuse that they were put out by a “summer intern.”
Regardless of how the names were generated and released, it says much about the current state of television news that the station had to rush them on the air. Nobody, from the assistant who called the NTSB to the line producer to the person who typed them into the teleprompter to the air personality herself had the sense to read them and go, “Uhhhhh…this doesn’t sound right - let’s double-check this.” In fact, the station later apologized and gave an even weaker excuse than the NTSB’s: They admitted that no one actually read the names out loud. Really? Are they trying to make us believe that no one could have read those names and not realized that they were bogus? Come on…
Alright, all of this is old news. What struck me as funny this morning was that *if* the NTSB’s story is true, then the “intern” who purportedly perpetrated this hoax must still be laughing about it as well. I’ll bet he wakes up every morning laughing his ass off. For he not only manipulated a television station, but he created a minor international incident, as the Koreans were highly and understandably insulted.
What was the pedal-to-the-metal rush to release the names of the crew? It’s not hard to imagine a news producer at a TV station yelling at his staff to get as much information on an event as possible and get it on the air, NOW!...before the competition can get it out, of course. But could not somebody have said, “Whoa- hang on a tick!” Nope! Not in this day and age. Which is why I have such disdain for the media…all media.
Ho lee fuk, there is sum ting wong with TV news, all right! Every time they do something like this I just laugh and laugh.