March 3, 2005

North Korea, Without the Reality

Hugh Hewitt is rightly outraged over an L.A. Times article titled "North Korea, Without the Rancor", that could at best be termed a puff piece, and at worst, shameless propaganda. The North Korean "businessman" who consented to be interviewed "in an effort to clear up misunderstandings" about life in North Korea, is given a platform by the Times writer to suggest that the starving and oppressed millions of North Koreans are happy with their lot in life under the Benevolent Leader. She mentions the State Dept. figures of 200,000 North Korean citizens living in "detention camps" only to give her anonymous interviewee a chance to call that criticism "unfair and hypocritical". (I mean really, define "political prisoner" anyway).

I'm just thinking she might have mentioned that human rights groups have documented much of the horror that attends daily life for the North Koreans. She might have mentioned that to call someone from North Korea "a businessman, with close ties to the government" is to be redundant, though I suppose saying those things might fall under the category of "rancor", and we'll have none of that, thank you.

One nice touch by the Times writer, Barbara Demick is how she refuses to even swing at this fat fastball over the heart of the plate:

...he faulted the United States for the collapse of a 1994 pact under which North Korea was supposed to get energy assistance in return for freezing its nuclear program. The agreement fell apart after Washington accused North Korea in 2002 of cheating on the deal, and the U.S. and its allies suspended deliveries of fuel oil.

Note first the passive voice as the "agreement fell apart", and worse, the failure to even mention that the U.S. accused them of cheating on the deal because they were...um, cheating on the deal, a fact they recently owned up to publicly.

Hugh has email addresses and phone numbers if you'd like to register your displeasure with the Times for peddling this deceptive nonsense. He's also got some sample letters that have already been submitted, and lots of related links.

UPDATE 3/10: Hugh Hewitt has a piece in the Weekly Standard on Demicks puff job.

Posted by dan at March 3, 2005 11:37 PM