Two bloggers are reporting that KTVU got the phony Asian names of pilots on the Asiana Airlines jet from a former commercial pilot who previously consulted with the station and was considered a reliable source.
Blotter Matthew Keys reported this on July 25 and Rich Lieberman had the story on Aug. 6.
The sources quoted by Keys and Lieberman wouldn’t identify the former pilot who told the station that the names were Captain Sum Ting Wong, Wi Tu Lo, Ho Lee Fuk and Bang Ding Ow.
Lieberman said that KTVU Managing Editor Michelle Toy read the fake names prior to the broadcast and questioned their authenticity, but approved the list after she was told that they had been confirmed by the National Transportation Safety Board. The NTSB intern who “confirmed” the names was an intern who was later fired.
Although three KTVU employees were fired because of the gaffe, Liberman said a source at the station told him that Toy remains on the payroll because “KTVU didn't want to offend the Asian Community. They'd already did so with the fake name scandal and they were worried about a backlash." However, she is being transferred from managing editor to social media editor, Lieberman says.
The station, which has apologized for the gaffe, has refused to say how it got the fake names. It's put its employees under a gag order to stop them from talking about the situation, Lieberman says.