Saturday, July 13, 2013

This Racist Joke About A Plane Crash Isn't Funny

Somebody either at KTVU-TV or the NTSB is in serious trouble for a racist joke that ended up getting broadcast as news on a San Francisco television station.    

Some genius thought it would be hilarious to come up with offensive names for the pilots of Asiana Flight 214 that crashed in San Francisco last Saturday with now three people dead.

NTSB policy is to not release the names of pilots or crewmembers involved in aviation accidents to the media. When KTVU-TV called Friday morning wishing to do just that and get that information for their ongoing local reporting on the story, according to a NTSB press release a summer intern acting outside their authority erroneously released the names that ended up being read during their noon broadcast.

When they realized the embarrassing error, KTVU-TV apologized on air and on their website blaming the NTSB

An Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 airplane lies burned on the runway after it crash landed at San Francisco International Airport July 6, 2013. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)Despite the finger pointing at each other, both organizations quickly apologized and owned up to their parts in the station being pranked. 

But you also have to ask yourself how diverse is KTVU-TV's staff if a racist list of names got through their multilayered fact checking verification process in a station that has a broadcast area with a sizable Asian population?

It also isn't funny because three people have died so far in this aviation accident with six others still hospitalized and being treated for their injuries as the NTSB investigation into the crash continues.

NTSB has promised action to ensure it doesn't happen again.  But whoever did it better start updating their resume. 

TransGriot Update: The Asian American Journalists Association is justifiably pissed off about what happened and isn't buying the clueless act of the NTSB or KTVU-TV.   Somebody in one of those orgs came up with the offensive name list.  

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