Saturday, July 13, 2013

But What Happened to Ho Lee's Brother, Wat Ta?

Reporting on the recent plane crash at San Francisco Airport, a SFO news station fell for a prank pulled by an "intern" at the National Transportation Safety Board and actually presented this information on air:

This ranks right up (or down) there with U.S. NEWS' referring to the first man to set foot on the Moon as "Neil Young."


Ryan Wynns said...


If I were working with that intern and he were to disclose this prank of his to me before he was to submit it, I'd say, "Pfft, nice try, dude, but they'll catch and reject that *right away*."

That's not how things went *at all* ... and the results are hilarious! Not because of the prankster's puns in and of themselves, but because the talking head anchor lady read the names straight through live on the air, remaining none the wiser the whole way through.

Sadly, this happened because television news has far too many pampered telepromoter-reading shills and not nearly enough independently-thinking, true investigative reporters.

-- Ryan

Chris Barat said...


I don't think that a "lack of truly investigative reporters" was really an issue here. This gaffe could have been avoided if the station had simply had a competent fact-checker.

Apropos of media gaffes: Nicky just read me a media headline in which NY Governor Cuomo announced a "head" (read: heat) advisory for the state today.