Heads have rolled over KTVU's airing of four prank pilot names after the San Francisco plane crash last month—four station staffers and one NTSB intern lost their jobs. But until now, we had no idea where the fake names actually came from.
Bay Area media blogger Rich Lieberman says the names were emailed to reporter Roland De Wolk by "an ex-pilot who had worked with KTVU in the past and was considered to be trustworthy."
"You better check these, (names), out", said De Wolk after he passed the names over to newsroom personnel. KTVU's Managing Editor, Michelle Toy, who saw the list and whose duty, (among normal news procedures), was to read the names out loud, phonetically, raised the issue that the names sounded suspicious. Told that they were confirmed by an NTSB official, (later to be known as an intern), [Toy] OKed the list.
"At least 4-5 people" saw the names before they were read on the air.