You know the ones we mean:
Yep, the Bay Area Fox affiliate that broadcast those all-too-obviously phony names for the pilots of that tragic Asiana Airlines flight that crashed on landing at San Francisco International Airport, is pulling a classic Stalinist move.
They’re evoking copyright claims to pull videos of the disastrous broadcast off the Internet.
Scott Jones writes at FTVLive:
It appears that KTVU is getting sick and tired of being the Internet’s whipping boy.
The station that made quite possibly the most embarrassing mistake in TV news history (and that’s saying a lot) is now trying to scrub the Internet of the video of their anchor reading the fake pilot names for Asiana Airlines Flight 214.
KTVU is filing copyright infringement against posted YouTube videos on the incident.
Of all the mistakes KTVU made on this story, trying to cover it up is one of the worst.
TVSpy’s Kevin Eck quotes KTVU station manager and vice president Tom Ramponi on the rationale for the bone-headed move:
“The accidental mistake we made was insensitive and offensive. By now, most people have seen it. At this point, continuing to show the video is also insensitive and offensive, especially to the many in our Asian community who were offended. Consistent with our apology, we are carrying through on our responsibility to minimize the thoughtless repetition of the video by others.”
Right, and if you believe that, we’ll give you a good price on some swamp land in Florida.
Meanwhile, nobody’s been fired at the station, even though that’s where the farce originated. There is, however, an investigation, and Matthew Keys of The Desk offers some details:
As an investigation permeates between KTVU and their parent company Cox Media Group regarding last week’s Asiana Airlines gaffe, the search is on for the staff member who will take the blame for the mistake.
The spotlight is on Lee Rosenthal, the newly-minted news director who assumed his managerial duties in April. Rosenthal replaced outgoing news director Ed Chapuis, who left for unknown reasons three months earlier. According to sources at the station, the replacement came with several operational and procedural changes at KTVU, which caused morale to stoop inside the newsroom and may have been the precursor to the station’s recent mistake that landed KTVU in the national spotlight and eroded its reputation as the Bay Area’s authority in local television journalism.
More from Bay Area media blogger Rich Lieberman:
[T]he 33 year-old Rosenthal’s fist-pumping never went over well inside the newsroom and this was well before the fake names la affair with Tori Campbell. Rosenthal might escape this major blunder that has forever tainted KTVU’s gold-standard image and reputation but Cox Media, leading a low-key internal investigation of the matter, may not be so forgiving. As a leading station insider told me, “in the end, someone has to go.” Indeed, and Rosenthal might have company. Stay tuned.
*Some of you have barked, “Enough of this, (KTVU), already.” Really? I have news for you: This is the talk of EVERY TV news operation in the country. From big-market NY City to small-town Iowa! For better or worse, this indelible blunder has been THEE talk of the back room where anchors, reporters, producers, editors; the whole shebang. I know this because several prominent industry people told me. And when people like Stephen Colbert and the late-night comics are referring to this, you know it’s reached cultural critical mass. I rest my case.
Ah, the joys of television news. If you make an error in print, it’s immortal. But if you do it on the tube, well, poof!