Listen to me on KTRS/St. Louis every Friday, 3-6pm CT

Monday, July 15, 2013

Blaming The Messenger

Asiana airlines is suing the San Francisco TV station that mistakenly reported the names of the pilots of flight 214 as "Sum Ting Wong," "Wi Tu Lo," "Bang Ding Ow," and "Ho Lee Fuk" (video here).

It was a stupid mistake, a prank pulled off by a summer intern at the NTSB who gave the station the information, and was aired without anyone double-checking who the source was or, apparently, reading the names out loud. The station has apologized at least twice (video here), and the NTSB has done the same, but the airline is suing, claiming that the report damaged Asiana's reputation.

Um, no. What hurt the airline's reputation was their Boeing 777 crash-landing at SFO after hitting the seawall with the tail of the plane. That -- plus 24 straight hours of non-stop coverage of the carnage -- might have caused some potential passengers to re-think their choice of air carrier. But the only reputation that was damaged by the TV station's report was to its news department.

Update 7/17/13 10:33am...Asiana has decided not to pursue the lawsuit against KTVU or the NTSB. No word on whether the airline will sue the seawall at the end of the SFO runway, however.