Saturday, March 05, 2005


North Korea Agent Barbara Demick

I forgot to cover this on Thursday when I was listening to it on the drive home, but Hugh Hewitt did a great job of tearing down Barbara Demick, Korean news desk correspondent who wrote an article praising North Korea all of the while refusing to call it a murderous regime. Hewitt summed it up perfectly on his blog.

"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."

So ends this morning's ode to North Korea,
"North Korea, Without the Rancor," courtesy of the Los Angeles Times, which thought it "journalism" to publish an extended interview with a North Korean agent posing as a businessman. And what does he have to say? Among other things, that the United States was responsible for the collapse of the 1994 Clinton-Kim Jong Il agreement. And: "Is there any country where there is a 100% guarantee of human rights? Certainly not the United States."

This piece is much, much worse than the mild apologetic,
"Kim Jong Il May Be Crazy...Like a Fox" which ran in the Times on February 17.

And this piece is written by Barbara Demick -- the Times' bureau chief in South Korea! She is supposed to know something about the North, but obviously doesn't, or refuses to tell her readers what the situation is like in that desperate country.

Imagine a 1938 Los Angeles Times piece, "Germany, Without the Rancor": "There is love among the Nazis. There is hate. There is fighting. There is charity....People marry. They divorce. They make blond children..."

"The Jews? Why always the Jews? Is there any country where there is a 100% guarantee of human rights? Certainly not the United States."

One thing I could never figure out is why people are driven to take the sides of our enemies, or even become apologists. Barbara Demick, obviously someone who couldn't wait to get to South Korean so she could take a trip to North Korea to write about how great it is, is one of the reasons why I say that the Los Angeles Times digs itself into a hole. I, for one, subscribe and enjoy the LA Times, but cannot stand it when they have some fanatical writer who slipped through the cracks and ends up on the front page. All in all, [the] Times is a great paper, and a majority of the writers and columnists are great people with good heads on their shoulders. But, as with the case of Barbara Demick, it's not hard to see how one bad apple can ruin the bunch.

Hewitt has an update from today (Friday, March 4th) that follows another article that was submitted by Demick that follows the same path we expected her to take.

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