I mean, really, how could KTUV-TV...

Monday, July 15, 2013

I mean, really, how could KTUV-TV...

...not know what they were putting out over the public airwaves in the aftermath of July 6th's fatal Asiana Airlines Flight 214 at San Francisco International Airport?

Watching coverage of the crash, I was struck by how little information was being reported about the accident... in today's electronic and digital immediaverse, while all is not instantly known, what passes for news, flows freely.

And if any have mercifully missed the horrendous flub per­petrated1 by the Bay area's KTUV-TV, here's the gist of it...

Screen capture of KTUV-TV's coverage

...and the television station's mea culpa.

(The only part of anchor Frank Somerville's statement I really bought into is when he admitted "...we rushed the names onto our Noon broadcast.")

Damned right they did, TV news being what it is today, get­ting it right sits second chair to beating the competition.

But I categorically reject KTUV-TV's explanation that...

"...we never read the names out loud, phoenetically sounding them out."

How do you not do that, even if it's to yourself as you are transcribing the "names?" Is the staff and on-air personnel at KTUV-TV that brain-dead?

There's other questions to be answered, such as where did KTUV-TV obtain the fake names in the first place?

(Probably some adolescents who've been giggling to themselves ever since.)

Winging it on-air with live coverage is a tricky business, as that Nesconsett nitwit Soledad O'Brien learned during the day following JFK Jr.'s death, but my favorite example was the evening of June 17, 1994 during the notorious "white Bronco chase."

I was desperately trying to watch Game Five of the NBA Knicks/Rockets Finals, NBC insisted on dual coverage, one small box in the corner evoted to Patrick Ewing battling Hakeem Olajuwon with the rest of the screen devoted to the boring procession of Los Angeles Police and Sheriff's cars, lights flashing, led by double-murder suspect O.J. Simpson in a white Ford Bronco.

The only possible explanation for this is that it was known that the former football great and Hertz pitchman had a gun with him, and TV wanted to catch his suicide or final gun fight with police, "live, as it happens."

Then NBC's Tom Brokaw took an on-air call from a purported eye-witness to some of the events as the low-speed chase neared Simpson's Brentwood home, and the news anchor was interviewing the caller and pressing for more information until the words "Baba Booey" were uttered and the national audience slowly realized that they were being pranked by a Howard Stern listener.

KTUV-TV should be red-faced about their ignorance and unprofessionalism for some time to come.

  1. With the inexplicable help of some low-performing Summer intern at the National Transportation Safety Board. And how did that Summer intern get hired by NTSB in the first place?

    A friend suggested that "a bikini shot was probably included with her résumé," and although I pointed out that the NTSB statement referred to the intern as a "he," Penn State and the Catholic Church have show us that gender isn't important in such matters.


1. Babs Ramsay said...

I get a fit of the giggles every time I read the names. I've heard this called racist... how silly. It's just funny funny funny!

It's just stupid, is all... not that stupid stuff can't be "funny funny funny." Like you, my wife has been giggling all morning!

Of course it's not "racist." Neither was the "a chink in the armor" business that got one guy fired and another suspended from ESPN last year. To me it simply highlights how much in disrepair is the current state of the media.

2. Jackie Bennett said...

Speir, it seems to me this politically correct speech that we are now required to use is nothing but a gag order. Whatever happened to free speech – even the opinionated and rude kind?

Madame will note that it's still alive and well with OtBB. And it's not that we are "required to use" anything, it's simply that in not doing so we risk opprobrium from the mindless masses. [shrug]

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