In medieval times the court jester was there to say things that no one else would dare. To point out truths, lurking right before the eyes.
And so it was yesterday, when someone played an ill-timed prank on San Francisco FOX affiliate KTVU. The news anchor read out the supposed names of the flight crew on Asiana Airlines Flight 214, which crashed last week at SFO.
The names included:
Sum Ting Wong
Wi Tu Lo
Ho Lee Fuk
The kind of sophomoric puns you might expect to see on a late night comedy show, but the clueless anchor read the text from her teleprompter with a straight face.
The incident lit an outrage on mainstream and social media. The station apologized and said that they had received the information from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
Having passed the buck, the NTSB then said that a summer intern had “erroneously” confirmed the names. But just blaming it on an intern’s mistaken confirmation, doesn’t explain where the names came from in the first place.
But who said what, or government ineptitude, won’t expose the real truth here.
The real truth that this prank shows, is that what passes for news is in fact whatever an official source provides to the talking heads who deliver it to the public.
If it comes from an “official source,” then its just got to be true, right?
Wong. Err, I mean Wrong.
KTVU might fire the anchor to show how serious they are about preserving their integrity. But why? She was just doing her job, the same as a hundreds of other news anchors across the country.
Real news is almost dead. That’s the story that no news program wants to report. It’s not a joke, but occasionally we need a jester to point it out.