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Report: Fake Asiana names sent to KTVU weren’t meant for air

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An email sent by a local aviation expert to KTVU containing fake names of four pilots aboard Asiana Airlines Flight 214 was an “internal joke” that wasn’t supposed to air, a new report revealed on Friday.

San Francisco media journalist Rich Lieberman reported via an insider on Friday that the email was sent as a joke and was not intended for broadcast.

“I don’t think (the person) who sent it could ever imagine that it would have made air,” the unidentified source told Lieberman.

On Thursday, The Desk identified via a source at the station that the email was sent by a local aviation expert who had a history of passing along credible information in the past.

Lieberman did not identify the source of the email as an aviation expert but did say that the source “is now at the heart of the investigation.”

On July 12, newsreader Tori Campbell misidentified four pilots aboard Asiana Airlines Flight 214 as Captain Sum Ting Wong, Wi Tu Lo, Ho Lee Fuk and Bang Ding Ow. The mistake, for which the station has apologized numerous times, resulted in the firing of three employees. KTVU has also attempted to scrub YouTube of the gaffe by claiming copyright infringement against several accounts, although it has been met (successfully) with some pushback.

Flight 214 crashed upon landing at San Francisco International Airport on July 6. The crash resulted in the deaths of three passengers.

Rich Lieberman: Fake Asiana names were internal joke, weren’t meant for broadcast

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).