Friday, March 04, 2011

An Idiot in the World

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer plays up his “inside look” at North Korea that he’s trying to sell as unique and groundbreaking. In reality, a trained Chimpanzee using Youtube could get the same look at the minder-led sightseeing of the NorK Potemkin villages and monuments to Kim Il Sung.

Donald Kirk:

This flight of fantasy became even more ludicrous as Blitzer sought to give an impression of a "rare" look at the same stuff everyone gets to see on tourist trips to Pyongyang - the Great Study Hall of the People, once described to me by a North Korean minder as "the world's biggest library", classrooms of privileged kids studying English, a look at a fruit farm, a small "factory" of some sort, the usual empty streets and avenues.

The whole program, aired for nearly an hour by CNN last weekend, reached an apotheosis of silliness on the final day on December 20 when Blitzer wanted to believe he was hearing the distant explosions of South Korean military exercises in the Yellow Sea around the island that North Koreans shelled in November. Blitzer assured viewers that the island was not all that far away - apparently not willing to reveal that it was 150 miles (231 kilometers) due south, more than a little out of earshot of the loudest blasts.
Ground-breaking stuff there, Wolfie, but the fact remains that you’re a willing idiot and a flunky. A ugly, inhumane regime wanted a megaphone, and for the sake of a story, you gave it to them.
The North Koreans' greatest coup, however, was the skill and ease with which they got CNN to publicize their eagerness to negotiate while the South Koreans appeared as provocateurs for insisting on staging more exercises.

Namkung, a veteran of 40 visits to North Korea, appeared off and on throughout the program, offering supportive views bereft of any trace of doubt about the North's motives, much less any mention of the North's failure to live up to previous nuclear agreements.
Bush was right. It’s pointless to negotiate with them until their actions show a change in direction toward improvement – not the other way around.