UPDATE: NTSB blames guffaw on summer interns, posing even more questions about who’s in charge at both the NTSB and the station.
Are you serious?
Or should I say this is R.U. Serious speaking, and I am an expert in the matter of fake names.
And I’m curious, how does one manage to get such obviously fake names past a major market news editor and on the air? Because this is really messed up…
How obvious do they have to be, and how big of a coup is it to get the pilots names on the air that you don’t fact check them and your broadcast looks ridiculous?
Watch and have a good laugh at the names, and a sad feeling in the pit of your stomach that no one is in charge any more, and the news could broadcast ANYTHING!!!!
UPDATE: The SF Chronicle has confirmed what commenter Mike C told us earlier, that summer interns working at the NTSB confirmed the bogus names when the station called before going to broadcast. There’s no word as to where the names came from prior to that, although I have seen several unconfirmed stories that the names were generated by the NTSB as well, making it appear that interns at the NTSB are unsupervised enough to pull off a badly tasting hoax.
Where is the supervision? I know it’s summer vacation time, but I also know I’ve worked with interns enough in an on-air capacity to know not to give them control of any major content.
This excuse is unacceptable by both parties involved. This page has gotten hundreds of hits because the goofy names are printed in the lead photo, and people are coming here to see if these crazy names were really sent out there.
Here are some questions that baffle me:
— Why was it important for KTVU to be the first to confirm the pilots’ names? I can certainly understand how the pilots’ names are important to the story, but so important as to rush them? Clearly speed was the cause of this error. “We have the names, we need to run them ASAP!”
I may have hesitated just out of respect for their families (had they been real).
— What’s going on at the NTSB that an intern confirmed names that are not real? If they didn’t generate the original list (and it’s hard for me to believe they didn’t), why confirm names that aren’t even remotely close to the real pilots names? And if they didn’t generate them, who in any communications office is going to just give a head nod to names they haven’t checked out? Weird.