It’d be nice to say that American media doesn’t hate this country. It’d be nice to claim that the American press, while maintaining objectivity and balancing against bias, is still inherently American – that they are patriots who love this country even as they report on its defects. Recall the quote from Daniel Patrick Moynihan while Ambassador to the United Nations: “Am I embarrassed to speak for a less than perfect democracy? Not one bit. Find me a better one. Do I suppose there are societies which are free of sin? No, I don’t. Do I think ours is, on balance, incomparably the most hopeful set of human relations the world has? Yes, I do. Have we done obscene things? Yes, we have. How did our people learn about them? They learned about them in the newspapers.” And that is important.
But we cannot say these things when the American media, time and again, illustrates its utter hatred for the nation and its people in those newspapers and on television. Having judged the American project kaput after the election of Donald Trump, they are now stooping to the level of defending the North Koreans – perhaps the most brutal and heinous regime in the world today – thanks to some side-eye from its minister of propaganda, the sister of Kim Jong Un. If the headlines are to be believed, “North Korea heading for diplomacy gold medal at Olympics” is the story American media want to tell about this moment.
I wish this was an exaggeration. Witness this story from CNN today, with its dripping credulousness in attacking Mike Pence with a story sourced entirely to a diplomatic source close to the North Korean regime.
“The senior diplomatic source said Pence “degraded the image of the United States as a superpower” by meeting with North Korean defectors along with Otto Warmbier’s father, and by speaking strongly against North Korea on multiple occasions.
“Fred Warmbier accompanied Pence during his visit to South Korea. His son Otto was jailed in North Korea and died upon his return to the US last year after suffering extensive brain damage…
“The source also described as “undignified behavior” Pence’s decision to stay seated and to not applaud the unified Korean team at the opening ceremony, adding that the Vice President “took the low road instead of acting like a big brother.”
Let’s be clear about what this is: this is 15 year veteran reporter at CNN, Will Ripley, just straight up delivering North Korean propaganda whole cloth to an American audience, simply because it criticizes the Trump administration. Of course, Pence’s actions were intentional and bringing victims of this brutal regime to light was not taking the low road, it was showing North Korea what we think of them. But leave it to CNN to just parrot what any critic says about this country without a thought to context.
And CNN’s not alone! Bre Payton reports:
“Kim Yo Jong’s brother is starving his own people in order to develop nuclear weapons he’s threatening to use against the United States and other countries, but you might not know that about her based on these headlines.
CNN: “Kim Jong Un’s sister is stealing the show at the Winter Olympics”
YAHOO: “All swagger and smiles, Kim Jong Un’s mysterious sister gets her star turn at Winter Olympics”
YAHOO: “Kim Yo Jong: N. Korea’s political princess”
BBC: “Kim Jong-un’s sister: ‘Sweet but with a tomboy streak’”
WASHINGTON POST: “The ‘Ivanka Trump of North Korea’ captivates people in the South”
ASSOCIATED PRESS: “At Olympic Games, Kim Jong Un’s sister takes VIP seat”…
“This favorable news coverage of the Hermit Kingdom didn’t come out of a vacuum. Last month, NBC’s Lester Holt visited a luxury ski resort in Masikryong, North Korea, where a crowd of people dressed in matching outfits milled about in the background. They were probably forced to show up and ski in order to make the regime look good, as photo ops with compulsory attendees are a frequent regime tactic to hide the country’s terrible living conditions.
“As my colleague John Daniel Davidson pointed out in his critique of Holt’s coverage: “More than 40 percent of the population are malnourished and more than 70 percent rely on food-aid. There is no tourist industry to speak of. The only reason to build such a resort in such a country is to propagate a lie about the deplorable conditions there.”
“Those skiers won’t be the only North Koreans forced to put on a show to make the regime look good. North Korea has sent 229 young women dressed in identical outfits and colloquially known as an “army of beauties” to cheer on its Olympic team.”
Learn more about North Korea’s lipstick diplomacy here.