Pranked California TV Station Reports Asiana Flight 214 Pilots Names As ‘Sum Ting Wong,’ ‘Wi Tu Lo’

One wonders how this got past an editor:

Bay Area Fox affiliate KTVU purportedly learned the names of the flight crew of Asiana flight 214, which crashed last Saturday at San Francisco International Airport, killing two. These—“Sum Ting Wong,” “Wi Tu Lo,” “Ho Lee Fuk,” and “Bang Ding Ow”—are not their names. The newscaster’s credulous reading puts it over the top.

Later, they were forced to issue:

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 the error.

Let me guess the name of the NTSB official was Ya Dis Wite

Video at the link.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. “Damn it! Who typed a question mark on the teleprompter? For the last time, anything you put on that prompter, Burgundy will read!”

  2. al-Ameda says:

    Ha …… and, for years KTVU has been thought of as the most respectable of the television news stations in the San Francisco Bay Area.

    As the news stations become less professional and more reliant on using social media as sources to get a story out quickly, I think we can expect more of this crapola.

  3. stonetools says:

    Have to admit I laughed.
    Seriously, how didn’t anyone understand instantly it was a joke. Three names like that?

  4. BIll says:

    Asian Americans take are regularly treated as second class citizens by the media in this country.

    MSNBC headline from the 1998 Olympics- American beats Kwan
    Seattle Times from the 2002 Olympics- American outshines Kwan

    Michelle Kwan was born in Torrance California. That’s apparently a foreign country to those two organizations. Either that or a form of bigotry towards Asians is prevalent in major news organizations.

    Ironically the Seattle Times reported on MSNBC in 1998 only to commit the same act 4 years later.

    A prominent golf writer named Ron Sirak thought Kim Saiki is Japanese. Again, California must be a foreign country because that is where Ms. Saiki was born.

    Dan Jenkins another golf writer tweeted in 2010 about 2009 PGA Champion YE Yang being somebody who he got Chinese take out food from.

    Mark Reason of the Daily Telegraph wrote in a long 2009 diatribe about how Asian golfers are taking over Women’s Professional Golf ‘Ten of the top 13 players after the third round are from Asia or have Korean dads. The last four words to me proves it was bigotry, not nationalism on display in Reason’s thinking.

    Getting recognition in the US from the media can be difficult sometimes. Rory McIlroy is chosen 2011 Player of the year by Golf Magazine. He had won one tournament, the US open a golf major championship.

    Yani Tseng of Taiwan won 11 tournaments around the world including two majors. Who’s player of the year again?

  5. Dean says:

    Pure pranking brilliance.

    Unbelievable media stupidity.

  6. Dazedandconfused says:

    Tu Sunh. Hue Tu Sunh.

  7. 11B40 says:


    I can’t imagine such a thing happening in the multi-legal, multiculturally diverse San Francisco Bay area (aka Pelosiland) even across the little water in even more multi-legal, mutliculturally diverse Oaktown (aka Oakland).

    And besides, everybody who’s been across the big water knows that one-half of Koreans are named Kim and the other half are named Park.

  8. Dave Schuler says:

    I’m guessing that a prankster called in, identified him (or her) self as an NTSB representative, and they didn’t bother to check.

  9. BIll says:

    Dave Schuler says:

    I’m guessing that a prankster called in, identified him (or her) self as an NTSB representative, and they didn’t bother to check.

    The NTSB excuse is a load of BS. Why? The names of the pilots have been known for several days. That KTVU broadcast was done today.

  10. BIll says:

    The NTSB has apologized for confirming the names. KTVU isn’t off the hook. The names came from somewhere. A writer in the newsroom or someone involved with the broadcast still sounds most likely to me.

  11. anjin-san says:

    @ 11B40

    Conservatives who can’t afford to live here love to trash the bay area. Conservatives who can afford to live here often do.

  12. jukeboxgrad says:

    Stolen from the thread at Politico:

    “That intern that confirmed the story, was that Ben Dover by chance?”

    “I think it was Haywood Jablome.”

  13. jukeboxgrad says:

    People interested in this sort of thing should start with “Car Talk’s Official Staff Credits,” which has about 700 items like this: “Air Traffic Controller – Ulanda U. Lucky.” Link.

  14. sam says:

    Ron Burgundy and Ted Baxter tweeted their support of the station using the hashtag #fukusf

  15. sam says:


    The sign in the window of the CarTalk offices in Harvard Square: Law Firm of Dewey, Cheatem, and Howe.

  16. Anderson says:

    The misbehaving intern probably could not believe the stupidity. “Confirming” these names was not possible.

  17. Tyrell says:

    This is hilarious. It is hard to believe that no one spotted the name joke immediately. I don’t think
    there was any disrespect to anyone, just a joke and having fun. I remember Jay Leno reading those hilarious wedding announcements with the crazy name combinations. And that did not bother anyone. I remember the “Polock” jokes of the ’70’s and what about the bar jokes about Catholic and Jewish pastors? No one is offended by those. We live in age with increasingly thin skinned people who can’t take a joke and all this pc junk with people going around being made to apologize for everything.

  18. Matt Bernius says:


    I don’t think there was any disrespect to anyone, just a joke and having fun. […] We live in age with increasingly thin skinned people who can’t take a joke and all this pc junk with people going around being made to apologize for everything.

    Right on! Your list of actually funny racial/ethnic humor should have included minstrel shows too! I mean black-face was all in good fun! Nothing possibly offensive there…

    Hell, the news casters should have borrowed Andrew Dice Clay’s joke about how they probably blindfolded that squinty-eye’d pilot with dental floss too!

  19. BIll says:

    An article first published on KTVU’s website on Wednesday evening gave the names of the pilots. Just one more reason to believe this was no accident.

  20. anjin-san says:

    We live in age with increasingly thin skinned people who can’t take a joke

    Although this was actually funny, in spite of the grim subject matter, it’s not a big stretch to see why some people don’t get the joke considering that there are bodies in the morgue.

  21. 11B40 says:


    If I can have just one more bite of your hospitality apple, I would like to add that it was a couple of decades ago that “Jeopardy” (the game show wherein contestants are given the answer and they have to supply the question) adjusted my image of the intellectual level of our TV Talking Heads. You see, the program broadcast some kind of celebrity week contest and the media types were not impressive in a good way. Up until that point, I had kind of surmised that someone in those positions would have a good education and understanding of how the world is, was, and will be operating. “Jeopardy” thus contributed significantly to my own education.

    Lastly, I think that there should, in fact, be some kind of special Emmy award for the total politically correct earnestness with which the announceress delivered such complete nonsense. Her determination to properly pronounce Oriental names probably contributed significantly to her “tunnel vision”.

  22. anjin-san says:

    Her determination to properly pronounce Oriental names

    Some would say that wanting to pronounce anothers name correctly is simple good manners. Others would say that, in a newscaster, it is professionalism.

    In the bizzarro world of the American right, a simple courtesy becomes somehow sinister…

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  24. 11B40 says:


    Greetings, anjin-san:

    That “professionalism” of which you keystroke, is accuracy included ???

    There used be a business paradigm about the difference between efficiency and effectiveness that would seem to be analogous. Pronouncing misinformation well is neither “good manners” nor “professionalism”, it is failure in all its glory.

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