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KTVU falls for hoax, airs racist names for pilots

KTVU fell for a hoax today when it broadcast on its noon news the purported names of the pilots of Asiana Airlines Flight 214 that crashed at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday. The names, which were read by anchor Tori Campbell and shown on a Chyron, were obviously fake: “Sum Ting Wong,” “Wi Tu Lo,” “Ho Lee Fuk” and “Bang Ding Ow.” Campbell read them without batting an eye. Call it a Ron Burgandy moment. Later in the newscast, she apologized. (On the video, the names are at :43.)

The blunder occurs at a time when KTVU is airing promos boasting that the station was first on the air with the crash Saturday. The Chronicle indicates that the station isn’t commenting beyond the apology.

Some obvious questions:

• How did this fake info get into the newsroom?

• Who confirmed it at the NTSB?

• Didn’t the producer and anchor know that the real names of the pilots came out earlier in the week, and that announcing them now was old news?

• Why didn’t anybody realize the names were fake before they went on the air with them?

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