The wreckage of Asiana Airlines Flight 214. (Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated…)
Really, Asiana Airlines? One of your planes is involved in a disastrous crash-landing that killed three girls and injured many other passengers, the early investigation is pointing fingers at your pilots, and your big action plan right now is to sue a Bay Area TV station for using fake names for the pilots?
Admittedly, the broadcast was a stupid mistake. Personnel at KTVU-TV somehow didn’t get the racially offensive “humor” behind some online comments that gave the airline’s pilots such names as “Capt. Sum Ting Wong” and “Wi Tu Lo,” and then fell for the apparent practical joke of a (hopefully fired by now) summer intern at the National Transportation Safety Board who confirmed the made-up names.
Not the smartest broadcast crew in the world, perhaps, but the station apologized profusely, and U.S. law tends to take a protective stance toward media that quickly own up to mistakes and correct them. So this doesn’t sound like the strongest legal plan in the world, not to mention that the airline’s sense of insult seems a little out-sized -- and insensitive all on its own -- compared with the tragedy on the runway.
It’s something like the old sticks-and-stones taunt. Stupid and insensitive comments pale in comparison to the images of that blackened airliner and the reports of death and serious injury. Contrary to what Asiana’s lawyers might be telling company officials, a good offense isn’t always the best defense. And in this case, its offense isn’t all that great either.
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