“Last week, an anchor for KTVU-TV read the fake names — apparently someone’s idea of a prank to use fake Asian-style names that sounded out distress calls and curse words,” read a July 17 Associated Press report. The National Transportation Safety Board swiftly accepted the dirty end of the stick.
“Earlier today, in response to an inquiry from a media outlet, a summer intern acted outside the scope of his authority when he erroneously confirmed the names of the flight crew on the aircraft,” read the July 12 statement by Kelly Nantel of the NTSB Office of Public Affairs. Asiana proposed and then later dropped the idea of a lawsuit against KTVU-TV, which avoided legal action with an on-air apology the same day.
“We made several mistakes when we received this information,” read the statement. “First, we never read the names out loud, phonetically sounding them out. Then, during our phone call to the NTSB where the person confirmed the spellings of the names, we never asked that person to give us their position with the agency.” Ouch.
Rolling Stone is placing a Jim Morrison-like image of suspected Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on its Aug. 1 cover with headline: “THE BOMBER: How a Popular, Promising Student Was Failed by His Family, Fell Into Radical Islam and Became a Monster.” The backlash to the cover has been immediate and white hot.
Sgt. Sean Murphy, a tactical photographer with the Massachusetts State Police, felt so strongly he released several never-before-seen photos of the Tsarnaev manhunt to Boston Magazine to counteract Rolling Stone, at the cost of his job. Rolling Stone has stood behind its cover. It hasn’t apologized, despite enormous pressure.
The Rolling Stone article’s author, Janet Reitman, is a great journalist who wrote the 2011 book “Inside Scientology: The Story of America’s Most Secretive Religion,” which I enjoyed very much. I have no doubt the article will be top notch. Personally, I found the cover itself a bit icky. But, then again, I didn’t feel great when Justin Bieber was selected twice, either.
Rob Burgess, Tribune night editor, may be reached by calling 765-454-8577, via email at email@example.com or on Twitter at twitter.com/robaburg.