Wi Tu Dumb

At the end of last night’s post I touched on the moronic blunder by the San Francisco news station KTVU-TV after it read aloud four bogus names of the pilots who crash landed Asiana Airlines Flight 214 on July 6, killing three and injuring hundreds. Not only were the names inaccurate, but they all contained insanely obvious hidden meanings, and were very racially insensitive.

Since I had other fish to fry yesterday, I thought I could just mention it at the bottom and be done with it. I figured it might even be old news by today. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized how impossibly dumb this mistake was.

And it most certainly deserves its own post.

By now, you should have all seen it. Anchor Tori Campbell reported that the network had retrieved the names, and that they had confirmed them with the National Transportation Safety Board. She then proceeded to read the names, completely unaware that she, and her news station, were the victims of a very obvious prank.

See for yourself, if you haven’t already.

What makes this so mind-boggling is that the names aren’t that cleverly disguised. Perhaps if you saw one of them by itself, you might be deceived for a moment. But the four together, even a 9-year-old should be able to see right through them.

These are like Bart Simpson jokes. One utterance of them aloud should have exposed the names for what they were, and they never would have been read on live television. Also, Mike Roch says hi.

But somehow, someway, a group of news producers and writers failed to see the humor that was embedded in those fake names, and they rolled with it. Shortly after reading them on air, the network issued an apology, and reaffirmed that the names had been approved by the NTSB.

As a result, the NTSB responded by claiming a summer intern was the one who confirmed the names. Because as we all know, summer interns are usually given very important responsibilities like that.

And if someone thought this story would simply go away, well they clearly don’t know how the world works. Asiana Airlines is suing KTU-TV for “damaging the airline’s reputation.” You know, because crashing a plane wasn’t damaging enough.

And here’s a brilliant joke that I can’t take credit for: To pursue the suit, they’ve retained the services of legendary local attorney Mi Su Yu.

Again, no words in the human language can possible explain how this all transpired. For a group of professionals to actually be hoodwinked by such an immature — yet hilarious — prank is nothing short of astonishing. What’s been lost in all of this, by the way, is how the station acquired these names to begin with? Clearly no one with actual credibility would have tried something like this, so it’s feasible that they simply received an anonymous email, and in their desperate desire to break the news, they actually took it seriously. Bravo.

Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if the summer intern answered the phone, heard the names, and confirmed that they were real just because he or she thought it would be funny. I mean, if you’re an intern, who gives a shit if you get fired?

Stephen Colbert was all over this on his most recent show, and issued a hysterical three-minute diatribe in response to this messy situation. It is well worth the watch.

Does the network deserved to be sued? Who knows. Probably not. But do they deserved to be mocked and ridiculed for the remainder of time? Absolutely.

I must have watched the video about a dozen times already, and it gets funnier with each viewing. The way the anchor pronounces each name is almost too good to be true. It really is almost like the Simpsons sketches, when Moe Szyslak says each fake name perfectly so as to fully embarrass himself. Well that is exactly what happened here. And I love how she enunciates “Ho Lee Fuk” as “Ho Lee Fook,” as if her thought process was, “Well, I’m going to slightly alter the pronunciation of that name so as to not offend anyone.” Well, that backfired.

News outlets are often accused of being ignorant, fear-mongering, or politically or agenda driven, but it’s nice to see one in the spotlight for just being plain stupid. It’s quite refreshing, and I for one hope that the cast and crew keep their jobs so that they could provide us with more humor in the future.

Before I wrap up here, I must do my due diligence as a credible news blogger and close the book on Cory Monteith. Apparently the toxicology results were expedited due to great popular interest, and have already been released by the British Columbia coroner. Unfortunately, it’s what many suspected — a deadly mix of heroin and alcohol.

Which I guess means that the true marker of success in life is whether police speed up your toxicology reports if you accidentally overdose.

It is almost a little sad to know that Glee fans, who I would assume lie in the ages of 13 to 18, are suddenly exposed to this. When you’re young, you don’t expect your favorite actor on your favorite television show to die suddenly from drugs. However, it’s never too early in life to learn about the ill effects of such dangerous stimulants. So, if you’re looking for any silver lining — any at all — in Monteith’s death, it’s that maybe he’ll influence some young kids to stay the fuck away from heroin.

It’s that simple.

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