Propaganda on the Front Page

Hugh Hewitt is off on a show-long rant over today’s risible LA Times front-pager about North Korea. The Times certainly deserves the abuse; the article, by Seoul bureau chief Barbara Demick, is comprised mostly of quoting a former North Korean “diplomat.” After a tiresome and unchallenged litany of Kim Jong Il’s propaganda, it lurches into the familiar lines of old “people are people” human-interest stories from the unlamented Soviet Union:

“There is love. There is hate. There is fighting. There is charity…. People marry. They divorce. They make children,” he said.

“People are just trying to live a normal life.”

Well, yes. Of course, that’s a bit more difficult when you’re living under a totalitarian state where you and three generations of your family can be sentenced to death for daring to question the “dear leader.” Funny how Demick didn’t mention that, or even question the validity of a guy who’d been a high-ranking member of the DPRK government–for one thing, you certainly aren’t allowed to leave that country if you don’t fit that description.

Of course, this story was hardly the first time the LA Times or the MSM in general has pulled a Duranty regarding North Korea. The Times itself employes nutbag columnist Robert Scheer, a longtime apologist for every Communist state that’s ever existed. Scheer personally signed on to a letter expounding on the wonders of Kim’s odious father Kim Il Sung after a visit in 1970.

It’s hardly fair to single out Scheer, who’s so far out there only the MooreOns still take him seriously, and even they are probably just being polite. There are plenty of examples of previous DPRK love from the MSM, from figures placed quite a bit higher than the Times’ pet Red fossil. Our old pal Eason Jordan was kowtowing to Kim on CNN’s behalf two years ago as part of his ongoing Dictator Suck-Up tours. Jordan said of Kim,

And I’ll say one other thing about him, from people who have met him, they say that he’s a fanatical CNN viewer, and of course we’re grateful for that.

ABC’s Peter Jennings gleefully ran with the DPRK propaganda just last month, accusing George W. Bush on the air of ‘inciting’ the North into buidling nukes (er, Peter, they’ve been working on them since before Bush was even managing a baseball team).

I could go on, but nobody is really surprised by this. Like the worst of the moonbat Left, much of the MSM seems to operate under the rubric, “Hey, they hate Bush. I hate Bush, too. So how bad could they be?”

Sadly, the answer is very, very bad indeed. Not that it matters when your own hate is the most important matter of all.


38 Responses to “Propaganda on the Front Page”

  1. Horst Graben Says:

    It seems that the democratic slide into the aybss is steepening. What sort of cocktail is most appropriate for spectators of a train wreck.

  2. Eric Says:

    “I hope the Juchists love their children too…”

  3. NukemHill Says:

    Jeez, Horst. Anything with Vodka, of course….

  4. richard mcenroe Says:

    But remember, Rolling Stone says the Democrats must convince working class Americans that they share their values… surely this is an excellent first step…

  5. Bubba James Says:

    Send ‘at Kim feller down here’n we’ll make him squeal like a pig. He kin change his name to kim BUNG ill.

  6. SR Says:

    One of the most striking fact I came across about North Korea is that the average height of the North Koreans is 3″ shorter than the average South Korean, due to stress and malnutrition. Tells you something, doesn’t it?!

  7. Callimachus Says:

    Somewhere in L.A., Michael Moore is stockpiling footage of North Korean children flying kites.

  8. Gerry Says:

    Thanks for the Dept. State report on conditions in the Hermit Kingdom. It’s rather dry, but informative. If one would like to get a real feel for that country, read Anthony Daniels ‘travelogue’, “Utopias Elsewhere”, 1991, not really 14 years out of date. His analysis/account of his visit to NK is devastating. Agitprop, Potemkin village displays (Pyonyang Department Store #1, involving thousands of ‘actors’). This in a book that includes Cuba, Viet Nam, and other places that have since changed quite a bit (Albania, Roumania). A tour de force of criminal regimes.

  9. Bryan's Basement Says:

    The bright side of genocide

    Hugh Hewitt is very very angry at the LA Times’ disgustingly cheerful article about North Korea. The article is a sympathic interview with an alleged North Korean

  10. Decision '08 Says:

    Miscellanea:Nursing Your Inner Conspiracy Theorist

    VodkaPundit and Hugh Hewitt catch the L.A. Times pulling a Duranty (hat tip to Instapundit)…

  11. fernando Says:

    Great rant, Stephen. Agree with everything you say, and you say it well.

  12. fernando Says:

    Sorry, I should have said Will.

  13. rosignol Says:

    But remember, Rolling Stone says the Democrats must convince working class Americans that they share their values… surely this is an excellent first step…

    Erm… does anyone else remember when most Democrats *were* working-class Americans?

  14. jrf Says:


    Are you tired tonight or just beaten down?

    I am somewhat a nubie to the political blogs – I have learned a ton over the last year – and when I read Hugh’s article I was fired up….not irrational.. Just cautiously optimistic.

    I do not care how many negative articles the LA Times (or any paper)prints on any topic, please keep your fire for progress!!

    Especially now! Look at all the positive developments around the world….I can’t wait to read the latest developments every morning!

    The ownership of power is shifting… have influence….I am just one person. Lets not allow the repeated screw-ups of a major new organization ( insert name here ____) to dampen our Vodka Spirits!!!!

    If I have misread your article I apologize – I am reading this after a long day…….and a couple Buds…..random thoughts from a optimist who enjoys your posts…

  15. Ed Says:

    Byrd Droppings

    Hugh Hewitt asks, “Have the Democrats already lost the filibuster fight?” Incidentally on Thursday afternoon, Hugh was absolutely smoking on his radio show–and for good reason, as he caught the L.A. Times entering Walter Duranty-land in their attempt …

  16. No Illusions Says:

    Beyond bias: A front page outrage from the L.A. Times

    The hopelessly la-la-leftist L.A. Times published an interview Thursday with a North Korean "businessman." This was a straight interview piece, except that there really aren't any intelligent questions from the writer, nominally …

  17. Jabba the Tutt Says:

    @Horst, for a train wreck, drink a Bloody Mary of course. ;^)

  18. Rod Stanton Says:

    LAT has been a Communist propaganda arm since the Communist shot putter from Stanford took over 45 years ago. I subscribed for decades but canceled my subscription in ’88 after complaining to the editors abour the lies the kept trying to pass off as “news”; and getting “no satisfaction”. The Trib who took over years ago is almost as bad. Remember the lies they told about the Swift Vets last Summer.

  19. Ulysses Says:

    It certainly should not be surprising that the LA Times ran a human interests story about the

  20. Mike M Says:

    I literally can’t believe that that article was printed in a United States newspaper. I’ve grown pretty immune to liberal bias and lies in the media but this has my blood boiling.

    I was in Korea a year ago. I stayed with someone who calculates the range arcs of DPRK artillery. I saw tank barricades on the highways and barbed wire lining the coastline of South Korea. I stood on the Dora Observatory and looked across into what can only be described as a modern day honest-to-god Mordor.

    This garbage is worthy of the North Korean propaganda machine. To portray Nortk Korea as some poor little country suffering because the mean old United States won’t play nice is an utter perversion of the truth and an insult to the intelligence of the American people. Knowing that there’s a 95% chance it was greenlighted as nothing more than a hit piece against Bush’s policies makes it even more disgusting.

    It makes me sick and ashamed that one American wrote this article, and at least one other edited it and found it worthy to print. The rot that has consumed the left in this country is complete. This leaves no doubt.

  21. Jim Says:

    The saddest part of all this is the trivialization of the North Korean people and their suffering. I believe the situation North Korea is far worse than we can imagine.

    When the place collapses, a human disaster of biblical proportions is going to be revealed to the world. And, of course, it will all be our fault.


  22. Pete The Elder Says:

    North Korea: Headquarters of Tyranny

    Hugh Hewitt points out this ridiculous article in today’s LA Times that defends the North Korean government. Here are some excerpts, “We were hoping for change from the U.S. administration. We expected some clear-cut positive change,” the North Korean …

  23. lawhawk Says:

    It’s not just North Korea that MSMers are trying to refashion as chic locales with populations full of sunny dispositions. MSNBC tries doing the same with Cuba:

  24. MtViewGuy88 Says:

    I can say right now that right after North Korea falls we will find out that the North Korean government may have mistreated their people so badly that it makes the despicable acts of Josef Stalin look like acts of charity in comparison.

    The Los Angeles Times should be ashamed of themselves for writing a “Walter Duranty redux” article.

  25. mmurray821 Says:

    Just more wood to throw on the funeral fire of MSM. Just look at the latest numbers from the news agencies. Fox News has more than all the old MSM combined.
    BREWHAHAHAHAHA!! The flying monkeys from the Dark Side are coming for you LA Times!

  26. Blogotional Says:

    LA Times Outrage Continues

    I think the that specter may be a little more insidious than that. Remember the initial outrage that brought Eason Jordan to the world’s attention?

  27. Cool Breeze Says:

    “Tells you something, doesn’t it?!”

    Yes, SR, it does tell us something.

    It tells us that Kim Jong Il’s state-wide promotion of GRASS as a dietary supplement during the recent periods of starvation and famine ripping his peasantry subjects wasn’t as beneficial to their well-being as he had led the peasantry to believe…
    and that people are NOT cattle, sheep or horses.

    Cool Breeze

  28. dave Says:

    First thing that struck me about the article was it’s use of one source. I would have gotten an F on any one-source story I wrote in J-school back in the day.

  29. Rob Says:

    I lost failth in the LA Times a few years ago when they ran 2 different stories. The first was a correspondent following the plights of a Palestinian family, the second was about how Syria ain’t as bad as the US government wants you to think they are.

  30. A.R.Yngve Says:

    “It’s like any other country. There is love. There is hate. There is cannibalism. There are the poppy fields the army forces us to grow instead of food. Why is America so hostile to our country?”

    I have no idea.

    Now let’s stick our heads in the sand again, so that later we can say “We knew nothing about what was going on! That’s why we didn’t do anything sooner.”


  31. My Sandmen Says:

    Call Me Ishmael…

    Nevermind the fact that Mrs. Demick’s surreal editorial indulgence, purchased for Kim Jong-Il divine forgiveness from the world Left for his crimes against humanity, and likewise justification of more of the same…or worse.

  32. PacRim Jim Says:

    Juche or the highway.

  33. Brian Tiemann Says:

    My favorite bit is:

    “We Asians are traditional people,” he said. “We prefer to have a benevolent father leader.”

    Let’s here a big collective “Who’s this WE, white man?” from Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand, India, post-Mao China, Taiwan, and South Korea…

  34. Paul Lee Says:

    For anyone who has doubts about the reality of the situation in North Korea, please read the following NBC reports:

    After knowing what is happening to the people of North Korea (which is mostly ignored by the dictator-coddling MSM that don’t want to lose their bureau offices in Seoul and Beijing), can anyone believe the LAT or any other people who want to go soft on Kim Jong-Il?

    I am Korean, by the way, and I think maintaining and uncompromising hard-line is the only way to deal with obvious megalomaniac, deal-breaking real-life fascists like Kim.

  35. rosignol Says:

    Mr Lee- what, in your opinion, would be the optimal way to remove Kim while causing a minimum of misery and destruction for the population of North Korea?

    IMO, North Korea has much in common with a hostage situation.

  36. Paul Lee Says:


    Unfortunately, I think our options are very limited in dealing with North Korea. NK currently has about 11,000 artillery pieces pointed at Seoul, which has a population of more than 10 million. Even a pre-emptive strike on their nuclear facilities would result in the deaths of tens of thousands of innocents within minutes of war breaking out again on the Korean peninsula, and will surely result in the deaths of millions by the time that war will end.

    I believe Bush is correct with the current U.S. stance on 6-party talks and maintaining an unyielding stance. Any talk of 2 party direct talks is politically naive and would only strengthen the North.

    The main obstacle is that China, Japan, South Korea, Russia, and the U.S. all disagree about what should be done about the North. China routinely repatriates (under the eyes of the MSM, who generally ignore the story because of fears of offending China and losing their preceious Beijing bureaus) tens of thousands of refugees who manage to escape across the northern border. The refugees face certain torture and summary execution back in the North.

    South Korea is also still futilely pursuing a “sunshine policy” initiated by Kim Dae Jung, the former president. The idea is that openness will bring about the kind of change that will lead to its eventual demise a la communist Eastern Europe. However, the big problem is that hard cash is being used as the carrot – the North just takes it, but absolutely none of the “sunshine” is allowed to penetrate into society for such beneficial change to occur. In fact, since Kim Dae Jung’s administration, the ROK has unfortunately propped up the collpasing NK government by funneling as much as $US 5 billion to the North, with no resulting “openness” (here’s a clue – the North makes sure “openness” is never experienced by any of its citizens).

    Japan has also historically been lax about preventing cash from flowing from the ethnic Korean community in Japan back into North Korea. Much of this cash is derived from illegal gambling and drug money, and the North is very dependent on this hard cash to keep it afloat. It also does a lot of business selling weapons, and this is only possible because no one wants to make it illegal for the North to continue shipping those weapons out by sea. Again, the fear of provoking an unpredictable North trumps the policy of “benign” appeasement.

    Basically, what we see is just a repeat of the pattern that we see time and time again around the world, i.e. the international community looking the other way because letting the kinds of evil happen is easier than trying to clean up the problem. It doesn’t help that NK is led by someone who can genuinely be considered insane, who has control of the largest standing army in the world located only a dozen miles away from a small country with a population of 45 million people.

    So, what’s the solution? Isolating the North as much as possible, and hope that kind of pressure will induce positive changes internally.

  37. Says:


    The L.A. Times has truly distinguished itself by running Barbara Demick’s puff-piece on North Korea (!), featuring an interview with…

  38. Simon World Says:

    Asia by Blog

    Asia by Blog is a twice weekly feature providing links to Asian blogs and their views on the news in this fascinating region. Previous editions can be found here. **Note: The new Daily Linklets posts will also contain links to interesting China, Asia a…

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