The statement said that an NTSB summer intern, in response to the station’s inquiry, “acted outside the scope of his authority when he erroneously confirmed the names of the flight crew on the aircraft.”
However, in a subsequent phone interview with the SFGate’s Jeff Elder, NTSB spokeswoman Kelly Nantel made clear that the names “originated at the media outlet” and that the intern — unaware of the offensive names — was “acting in good faith and trying to be helpful” by confirming names he didn’t know.Since this summer intern wasn't identified the media and public are left to take the NTSB's word that it was indeed an intern and not some staffer trying to cover rear by blaming an intern. No word on whether the offending young lad has been sent home or not. Maybe they will begin a 30 day top-down review to identify the problem and report back to Obama (who is no doubt outraged).
Americans of east Asian descent are also understandably outraged:
“Even if the NTSB confirmed the information, the names originated from somewhere – and we fail to understand how those obviously phony names could escape detection before appearing on the broadcast.”Yes, the lingering question...which goofball in the Fox newsroom either sourced it or put someone else up to calling the NTSB to confirm these phony names. If it was a prank it's not hard to imagine an intern in the Fox station being told the fake names and told to call the NTSB to confirm, only to have an intern there either dumber than the Fox person or one who sensed the most awesome Faux News punk ever and simply confirmed the names.
Or maybe he felt like someone was trying to punk him and simply agreed and hung up. Or maybe interns weren't involved at all. Maybe the source of the names came from some semi-reputable source and the Fox outlet decided to double-check by calling the government, who helped lead them astray. It's hard to say.
Perhaps the CIA will produce a video explaining everything. Or maybe Holder can check the phone records.