Asiana Airlines suing KTVU for racist fake name report

(UPDATED) In the aftermath of KTVU's on-air racist fake pilot name prank debacle, Asiana Airlines has announced that it is suing the TV station -- but not the National Transportation Safety Board -- over the incident that "damaged the company's image": Asiana to sue San Francisco TV station over names.

It was an epic, mind-blowing fail. The names, which were presumably plagiarized from a fourth grader's joke book were actually displayed and read aloud on air. KTVU said the names were confirmed by the NTSB. The NTSB blamed a summer intern. KTVU issued not one, but two apologies. I'm hoping multiple people got fired.

And now, the airline has confirmed that it will take legal action against the Oakland TV station for allowing the racially offensive names to get on the air. Asiana claims the gaffe "seriously damaged the reputation of the four pilots and the company." The NTSB, however, is apparently off the hook:

Over the weekend, the Korean airline had said it would sue both entities after an intern at the NTSB mistakenly confirmed "inaccurate and offensive" names as those of the pilots of Flight 214, which crash-landed nine days ago at San Francisco International Airport.

The bogus names that phonetically spelled out phrases such as "Something Wrong" and "We Too Low" were read during KTVU's noon broadcast Friday. The airline called the report "demeaning" and said it was "reviewing possible legal action."

On Monday morning, the airline seemed to have a partial change of heart, at least concerning the NTSB.

Airline spokesman Na Chul-hee said Asiana has retained a U.S. law firm to file a defamation claim against the TV station. But, he said, the company didn't have plans to file a separate suit against the NTSB.

"After a legal review, the company decided to file a lawsuit against the network because it was their report that resulted in damaging the company's image," he said.
I really don't know what good taking legal action is going to do for Asiana Airlines -- they're still the ones who have a crashed airplane, three deaths and dozens of injuries to deal with -- but hey, if a defamation claim turns the screws on whoever's responsible for this bullshit, so be it. KTVU and NTSB have claimed fault, but neither entity has sufficiently explained how this went from somebody's dumb joke to getting on air.

More here: Asiana to sue San Francisco TV station over names.

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