NTSB Intern Fired for Confirming Racist Asiana Flight 214 Pilot Names to News Station
11:38 am, July 16th | by Grace Rasmus
O, to be an intern! (Note: In case you don’t know, I’m an intern. If you hadn’t guessed that already, I’m going to go ahead and take that as a compliment. Thanks!) My situation is unique in that I get to publish things with my name on it — how cool is that!? — but most people on the intern grind have the gift (?) of total anonymity. Most aren’t given enough responsibility for there to be even a remote chance of totally screwing everything up for everyone; at the end of the day, what’s the worst that could happen? We get the boss’s coffee order wrong? We file something — gasp! —incorrectly? Big whoop. It’s not like any intern has the ability to annihilate the reputation of an entire organization, right? Right!?
A National Transport Safety Board intern found out the hard way last week that, in fact, an intern can totally screw up all the things when he erroneously confirmed fake (and super racist) names to a San Francisco television station. No, the pilots of Asiana flight 214 were not named Captain Sum Ting Wong, Wi Tu Lo, Ho Lee Fuk, and Bang Ding Ow. Those are (obviously) ficticious names, made to sound like “something’s wrong,” “we’re too low,” “holy f**k,” and “bang ding ow.” Ugh, even just typing that out makes me feel like a bad intern; I can’t even imagine how hard the NTSB intern is cringing right now.
The NTSB issued an apology for the confusion, saying that “a summer intern acted outside the scope of his authority when he erroneously confirmed the names of the flight crew on the aircraft,” adding that they would never release the name of individuals in these types of situations. Asiana Airlines is now suing the TV station that published the fake names, KTVU. Oh, and that intern has just been fired; I hope he uses all of his free time to think about how the rest of us summer interns are now living in fear that we’re somehow going to screw everything up too.