Saturday 25th October 2014,

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Retired KTVU Reporter Speaks Out About Former Station’s #Asiana On-Air Gaffe. @AAJA

posted by Randall

Lloyd LaCuesta

(correction: An earlier version inaccurately quoted Lee Rosenthal, News Director at KTVU. The quote has now been corrected.)

Former KTVU reporter Lloyd LaCuesta, who spent 35 years at the Fox station in Oakland, wrote “with sadness”  a letter to KTVU General Manager Tom Raponi about today’s on air gaffe.

Under the subject heading “pilot’s name’s,” the Emmy-award winning LaCuesta wrote:

 I have watched with pride the professionalism and enterprise of KTVU in covering the Asiana Airlines crash.  I was crowing to people here about how I worked at that station.

  Now, I am trying to defend the station over the airing of prank pilots’ names. 

  I hope that you will make every effort to tell the public the complete story about how this happened.  I make no judgements and I understand that a NTSB summer intern confirmed the names, but common sense indicates that simply sounding out the names would have raised red flags.  The correct journalism practice still calls for two confirmations of a story.

 Earlier today on KTVU’s Noon News, the station’s morning and noon news anchor read the names of four pilots on board the Asiana crash.

The names were all made up and obviously were intended as puns.

The Asian American Journalists Association issued this statement:

Those names were not only wrong, but so grossly offensive that it’s hard for us at the Asian American Journalists Association to fathom how those names made it on the broadcast. We choose not to repeat those names.

Some could argue that it wasn’t entirely KTVU’s fault. The station said it had confirmed the names with a phone call to the National Transportation Safety Board, which is investigating the crash.

Earlier in the afternoon, the NTSB said it had no role in confirming the names. But when pressed by KTVU and others, the agency looked deeper into the matter. By evening, the NTSB issued an apology.

“A summer intern acted outside the scope of his authority when he erroneously confirmed the names of the flight crew on the aircraft,” the agency said in a statement. “Appropriate actions will be taken to ensure that such a serious error is not repeated.”

Despite the NTSB’s apology, KTVU is hardly off the hook.

With such a vaunted reputation among local news stations, we expected much more from KTVU. We fail to understand how those obviously phony names could escape detection before appearing on the broadcast and were spoken by the news anchor. We urge KTVU to conduct a thorough review to prevent similar lapses.

After AAJA issued it’s original statement, KTVU Lee Rosenthal returned AAJA’s call for a response.

“It doesn’t make things right,” Lee Rosenthal, KTVU’s news director, conceded during a chat with AAJA’s MediaWatch Friday evening.   He admitted questions that should have been asked weren’t

“We can assure you that none of this was premeditated nor was there any malicious intent in any way,” Rosenthal said.

What do you think about the latest gaffe regarding coverage of Asiana Flight 214? Share your thoughts below.

 

 

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8 Comments

  • RE: Retired KTVU reporter speaks out about station’s Asiana gaffe: Apparently Americans can’t even watch Asians die without making racist remarks.

    Feels nice to be welcomes in this country.

  • RE: Retired KTVU reporter speaks out about former station’s Asiana gaffe:I BELIEVE in KTVU being a former Bay Area resident myself, however, checks and balances were not made so, yes, the station is held liable versus professionalism but not against racism. KTVU knows how sensitive race issues are especially in a highly diversified place in America like San Francisco, Oakland, Daly City, and San Jose. I defend KTVU in that regard.

  • RE: Retired KTVU reporter speaks out about former station's Asiana gaffe: "I hope that you will make every effort to tell the public the complete story about how this happened." Exactly! It still doesn't add up (even with the NTSB statement).

  • From @mochachinoface via Twitter RE: Retired KTVU reporter speaks out about former station's Asiana gaffe: …#ktvu…its a fox syndicate–is it that hard to FAUX the news

  • RE: Retired KTVU reporter speaks out about station’s Asiana gaffe: Procedurally, steps were overlooked, but it’s the larger cacophony that disturbs me over this–with others coming up with their own versions of fake Asian names, comments about Asians and driving, etc. Hard to understand the mockery being made of Asians, though quite obvious from where it stems, because a Korean jetliner crashed and where Asian lives were lost.

  • RE: KTVU reporter speaks out about KTVU gaffe: “We can assure you that none of this was premeditated nor was there any malicious intent in any way,” Rosenthal said.
    WTF??? Pardon me Mr. Rosenthal, but how could it not have been premeditated or without malicious intent with such obvious insensitive mockery!!!

  • “It doesn’t make things right,” Lee Rosenthal, KTVU’s news director, conceded during a chat with AAJA’s MediaWatch Friday evening. He admitted questions that shouldn’t be asked weren’t.

    Hey, AsAmNews: Your post mangles the KTVU news director's quote and should be corrected ASAP. Thanks.

    “It doesn’t make things right,” Lee Rosenthal, KTVU’s news director, conceded during a chat with MediaWatch Friday evening. Rosenthal acknowledged lapses in the reporting process. Questions that should have been asked weren’t, he said.

    • Thank you for pointing that out. It has now been corrected.

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