NTSB Intern Fired After Confirming Racist Asiana Pilot Names to KTVU

Tuesday, 16 Jul 2013 04:54 PM

By Morgan Chilson

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An NTSB intern who confirmed fake, racist names for the pilots of the downed Asiana flight has been fired from the National Transportation Safety Board, The Washington Post reported.

The intern confirmed the names when called by KTVU, a California TV station. The offensive names went on the air, and the station has apologized. So has the NTSB.

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But Asiana Airlines is planning to sue the TV station, saying the station’s publicizing the fake names damaged its image.

The intern was supposed to be handling media telephone calls for NTSB and passing them along to appropriate personnel within the agency, The Huffington Post said.

After BuzzFeed’s Andrew Kaczynsky confirmed the pilot’s firing on his Twitter account, people made comments about the fact that the intern position at NTSB was unpaid.

The Washington Post published an article about how interns often take the fall when an embarrassing error like this one occurs.

Wrote Emily Heil, “Blaming the intern for cringe-inducing faux pas is a time-honored tradition. Interns, after all, make the perfect fall guys, with their reputation for cluelessness and laziness, and their status somewhere underneath the lowest rung on the Washington ladder. There’s little respect for a group whose patron saint and most infamous alum is Monica Lewinsky.”

Although most media sites aren’t naming the intern, The Desk said it was a Cornell University junior who held the unpaid position at NTSB.

The article also challenged KTVU’s assertion that the station dealt with the matter by quickly rectifying the name mistakes on its websites and social media sites. The Desk said the station actually didn’t correct the names for four hours on its social media sites.

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Related stories:

Asiana Pilot Lacked Training on 777, But Was Experienced Pilot

Asiana Pilot Bright Light Story Investigated in Boeing 777 Crash

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