Ron Burgundy is reading the news in San Fran

One of the best lines from that movie is how Ron Burgundy will read anything put in front of him.

Well some broadcasters in the Bay Area got duped in a similar fashion following the horrific crash there recently of an Asiana Airlines plane.  The station was all excited to have discovered the names of the pilots and read them on the air.  Unfortunately for them the names were fake and really offensive.  Almost as bad as telling San Diego to go F themselves.

So in what is likely an attempt to take attention away from the fact that their airline killed three people and injured dozens more, Asiana Airlines is suing the TV station for damaging their reputation.  The names used on the broadcast were "Sum Ting Wong," "Wi Tu Lo," "Ho Lee Fuk" and "Bang Ding Ow".  The broadcaster read them without batting an eye.

The broadcasters apologized later in the broadcast, but that wasn’t enough for the airline.  The station responded by reporting that they got the information from a NTSB intern and apparently that story was confirmed.

Of course this lawsuit has not merit.  If anyone’s reputation was hurt by this broadcast, it’s the person who read it without thinking anything of it by the 3rd or 4th name.  The airline’s reputation was hurt by the accident.

Even if you felt that the story was somehow defamatory, to win a defamation lawsuit, the plaintiff would have to show blatant disregard for the truth on part of the defendant.  It seems impossible to meet that standard here as they got their “facts” from the NTSB.  So even if they should have been more careful or come off as stupid, the case probably has no legs.

The airline is pulling a pure PR move in my opinion.  It might take some attention from them, but not enough to make it worth their while.  They’d be way better off focusing on how to prevent a tragedy like this from happening again and compensating the families of the young girls who were killed.

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