Monday, July 13, 2009

interesting take on the US journalists being held in n korea

Let them get a teeny tiny taste of what likely happened to those who have been caught when that part of the porous border was plugged up. Let them get experience a little of what they condemned others to. I mean, geez, it's not like these three accidentally crossed the border: It was a deliberate act that any reasonable thinking person would know was putting others at risk. Others that they were ostensibly there to help by highlighting their plight. Except that's not really what it was all about for these three. Ultimately, I believe in my heart, true motivation was to get that scoop, do the thing all the other journalists had not done.

read the rest here


KRIS said...

that guy is an asshole. fact.

kushibo said...

Ah, KRIS, you've been reading my blog: I am an aßßhole.

But I know why I'm an aßßhole, so I'd like to hear why you think I am. My view may be misanthropic, at least toward Lee, Ling, and Koss, but my greater concern is with the lives of the North Koreans they willfully (and knowingly, I would assume) put at serious risk.

KRIS said...

the key word you use there is "assume." as someone who actually watches (well, watched) Ling's reports on a regular basis, it is obvious that she was making attempts to expose issues to her viewers (Vanguard is aimed at Current TV's audience whose viewer demographic is "young adults") that they would rarely have a chance to be exposed to. Journalists take risks because those risks can educate the publish on issues that need attention. You talk about Ling, Lee, et al as if they went into this trip like they were going to Disneyland. Personally, if I were planning on sneaking into North Korea, I would've made damn sure I'd said goodbye to my family and indicated to them there would be a chance I wasn't coming back. If that were the case, don't you think that Ling-Lee-et al's families would be less shocked by the events that have occurred? also, to "get that scoop" as being the reason they were there is, yes, misanthropic. there have been extensive reports on North Korea and what is occurring there. Just last week, a man was on the Daily Show discussing a book he wrote about the underground railroad leading out of NK into China. There is no "scoop" here, these journalists were simply trying to inform viewers of what is going on--and if you ever watch their show on Current you know that it is less stylized, less over-produced and even more accessible for younger viewers than many mainstream media programs are.

But regardless of whether they had the intent to enter into North Korea (and by they I mean Ling and Lee not their guide) and regardless of the reports that they are currently staying in a "guest house" (as someone who has only ever been to the DMZ and read books written by non-Americans who have worked in North Korea, I obviously can't give a first-hand account of what this looks like, but I bet is' not the Hilton.) Ling and Lee were sentenced to 12 years of hard labor. That's longer and more harsh than journalists or anyone else has gotten under similar circumstances. You completely ignore all of the foreign policy implications that surround US-North Korea relations and conjecture that all Ling and Lee will be required to do is apologize and maybe something more to be released.

as for the book--assuming NK does what you says it should and allow Ling and Lee to "stew" in a labor camp so they get a real taste of what others have would be perfect for a book. your suggestion would help them get the riches you feel they don't deserve.

KRIS said...

and back to the pre-planning. Despite all the English reports that say this was pre-planned and the border crossing took place during the night, a Chinese article from a short while after Lee and Ling were captured implies that it was unplanned and, in fact, occurred during the day time []

I understand your worry about future refugees no longer having the ability to cross the border in that area, but shouldn't we instead direct our attention to human rights violations that are causing people to flee NK and that are resulting from attempted fleeing ( instead? Perhaps, instead of taking a "misanthropic" view of this situation or viewing it from a "they were right" vs. "they were wrong" situation, perhaps it's time to step away from the internet and blogosphere and try to do something about aiding all of those people NK has oppressed, captured, tortured and killed- journalists and non-journalists alike.

by using the words "willfully" and "knowingly" you try to imply intent. there may have been negligence (again, we really shouldn't be assuming anything as any reports given to us by the NK government should be taken with an entire salt mine, as well as any reports given by the US State Dept) on the part of Ling and Lee but without journalists doing what they were doing, the public would never have seen the atrocities (of all parties involved) occurring in places like Vietnam, Burma, Afghanistan, or Iraq or any other flipping place on the planet where non-journalists are not able to go. The journalists weren't just wandering around, Ling and Lee were interviewing people who wanted the world to know what is happening there and to accuse them of willfully going into NK for the purpose of self-aggrandizing I find to be, as I've previously written, an asshole move.

kushibo said...

I like those answers much more than your original comment. I'm busy trying to catch a plane right now, but I will try to right a meaningful response a bit later.

I do think you make some valid points, and to a considerable degree I agree with many of them, though certainly not entirely. I elaborate later, of course.

In the meantime, is there an English-language translation of the March 24 piece that you linked to?