Asiana Airlines to Sue TV Station Over Racially Offensive Newscast

Asiana Airlines flight 214
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Friday newscast has already gone viral online

Asiana Airlines plans to sue San Francisco TV station KTVU-TV for slander after a Friday newscast featured racially offensive and fake names during a report on the pilots of the plane crash at occurred at San Francisco International airport earlier this month.

An anchor for the Oakland-based news station read the bogus names aloud with an accompanying graphic last week, before apologizing after a commercial break. Asiana claims the report damaged the reputation of the airline.

While the source of the fake names is still unknown, the National Transportation Safety Board has apologized for the incident, saying an intern mistakenly confirmed the names of the flight crew, according to a report by the AP.

Video of the newscast has since gone viral online, surpassing the seven million view mark just three days after being uploaded to YouTube.

Asiana spokeswoman Lee Hyomin said the South Korean company plans to “strongly respond to [the] racially discriminatory report,” and will likely file the suit Stateside.

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  1. cheeseheadmike says:

    Where’s Ron Burgundy when you need him…?

  2. occultology says:

    This is clear proof that ‘News Anchors’ are brainless teleprompter story regurgitates, NOT real journalists. And where were the proofreaders and news editors before this idiocy even reached the anchor desk? Obviously they are all too dependent on what nameless & faceless others decide they should report as ‘news’. Not even half a brain working in the newsroom that day, or any day for that matter. Thinking is also a ‘Super-Power’.

  3. dee says:

    “Asiana claims the report damaged the reputation of the airline.”

    Oh please, crashing a plane damages your reputation – not a reporter reading fake names from a teleprompter.

  4. s says:

    How does a news station and a prankster represent a whole country made up of millions of people? Yes, that was ignorant, but so are you.

  5. s says:

    How does a news station and a prankster represent a whole country made up of millions of people? Yes, that was ignorant, but so are you.

  6. kiwibrooklyn says:

    KTVU-TV you are on notice. That this obvious prank made it to air without anyone picking up what are clearly four fictitious names (Ho Lee Fuk???) is beyond reproach. Heads need to roll. Including the Editor and Manager. Shameful. Utterly shameful.

  7. leviathan0999 says:

    This, if true, is an inane waste of Asiana’s time and money, and would be a huge waste of courtroom resources as well. Were the station’s news team idiotic dolts? Of course they were. But how does Asiana prove intent, even recklessness, on the station’s part when the NTSB admits it wrongly confirmed the names? How do they show damages?

    There’s a guilty party somewhere, a prankster who gave the silly names to the news station. Suing him or her may be legally justifiable, although I can’t imagine it would yield sufficient damages to be worthwhile.

    But suing the station for being too stupid to know it was being pranked is just about as dumb as the station’s news team was in the first place.

  8. Very irresponsible on the part of Asiana to make public such an intent at this time. First, damages are questionable at best, for a variety of reasons. Second, the airline should focus upon assisting the injured and their families. From a purley business perspective, they should begin to repair their reputation due to the crash and perceived negligence of the pilots. Even threatening frivolous litigation over such a cavalier news report that nobody in the media or the public domain took seriously is ill advised. The hammer should fall on those responsible at KTVU, but Asiana should keep quiet.

  9. Tony says:

    No just the ones without morals

  10. Michael Anthony says:

    Wow! Investigation less than 2 weeks old and poster Naegele has all the answers. I’m sure u can share how smart u are, but aviation professionals never jump to conclusions. Only fools would suggest conclusions at this point.

  11. After what the airline’s pilots did, its senior management would be well-advised to put a leash on their lawyers. This is bad press for an airline that may see Toyota-like lawsuits against it in the future.

    See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/04/toyota-and-lexus-vehicles-are-unsafe/#comment-2611

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