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U.S. media make racist reports on Asiana Airlines crash

Posted July. 15, 2013 07:28,   


Major U.S. media including conservative cable channel Fox Network and leading Midwest daily Chicago Sun-Times made racist reports on the Asiana Airlines crash. Amid criticism that the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board is trying to blame Asiana pilots for the crash, it gave the racist names of Asiana pilots to the cable TV, triggering anger of Asian Americans.

Anchor Tori Campbell of KTVU, a subsidiary of Fox and San Francisco TV station, said in noon news Friday, ""KTVU was just learned the names of the four pilots who were on board the flight. They are Captain Sum Ting Wong, Wi Tu Lo, Ho Lee Fuk, and Bang Ding Ow." The four names clearly made a joke sentence of "something wrong, we’re too low, holy fuck, and bang, ding, ow," which could be pronounced by Asians not fluent in English. It received criticism of making sarcasm on Asian airline and victims and making a caricature of the accident.

Shortly after the segment aired, the news clip went viral on the Internet and quickly drew considerable backlash from Korean residents in the U.S. and many American people. The Asian American Journalists Association said "Words cannot express the outrage we feel." Asiana Airlines said Sunday, "The reputation of the four pilots and of the company had been seriously damaged by this report," adding, "The company is reviewing taking legal action against both KTVU-TV and the NTSB."

This is not the first racist reporting on the latest Asiana accident. A week earlier, Chicago Sun-Times ran a front page with headline "FRIGHT 214," which people saw as blatantly racist. The headline echoed the linguistic alteration frequently used to stereotype an Asian accent.

The National Transportation Safety Board and KTVU belatedly apologized for the incident but faces criticism since they did to disclose why it happened and who were responsible. KTVU`s news came five days after the crash to which some say it was a mistake in disguise. The National Transportation Safety Board admitted it mistakenly confirmed the names but blamed an intern for the false names. It said, "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." KTVU also said, "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."