In 7 Tweets, the Media’s Strange, Glowing Coverage of North Korea at Olympics
Lyndsey Fifield / Chrissy Clark /
The Winter Olympic games are well underway in Pyeongchang—giving the media endless opportunities to highlight (in addition to the incredible feats of athleticism) the developing political climate and tension between North Korea and, well, just about every other country on Earth.
In an attempt to thwart the U.S. from drawing attention to its abysmal human rights record, North Korea sent some of its highest-level officials to Pyeongchang—including Kim Jong Un’s younger sister, Kim Yo Jong.
But, as it turns out, the U.S. media had little interest in drawing attention to the brutality of the Kim regime anyway.
Many mainstream media outlets were happy to put a spotlight on 30-year-old Kim Yo Jong—even going so far as to deem her the “Ivanka Trump of North Korea.”
What’s missing from their coverage? The Kim dynasty is a tyrannical dictatorship. Kim Jong Un has repressed political opposition, executed senior officers and even executed his own family.
The United Nations found their human rights atrocities were so heinous they were deemed crimes against humanity. More than 120,000 people are estimated to be imprisoned in North Korea’s prison camp system. Detainees are subject to forced labor, torture, starvation, and rape.
Thus, it came as a shock to many Americans to see the media’s strange coverage of the North Korean presence at the Olympics.
Here are some of the worst offenders:
1. Kim Yo Jong gets the red carpet treatment from CNN, saying, “If ‘diplomatic dance’ were an event at the Winter Olympics, Kim Jong Un’s younger sister would be favored to win gold.” Seriously?
Kim Jong Un's sister is stealing the show at the Winter Olympics https://t.co/1EenqF8pi7 pic.twitter.com/KULtJBtTEz
— CNN (@CNN) February 10, 2018
2. How dare our vice president try to “sabotage” the North Koreans’ charm?
Despite Mike Pence’s sabotage, North Korea’s ‘charm offensive’ appears to be working https://t.co/oUNbxH7qj9 pic.twitter.com/SBnfbnulfY
— ThinkProgress (@thinkprogress) February 12, 2018
3. The New York Times couldn’t hide its palpable hatred for the Trump administration.
Without a word, only flashing smiles, Kim Jong-un's sister outflanked Vice President Mike Pence in diplomacy https://t.co/c2gTuSTF9e
— The New York Times (@nytimes) February 11, 2018
4. One of the most recent reminders of the sheer evil of the North Korean regime was the horrific death of Otto Warmbier. His father, Fred Warmbier, attended the Olympics opening ceremony as a guest of Vice President Mike Pence—hoping his presence would remind the world of what North Korea did not just do to his son, but countless other innocent people. And how did the media cover his presence? Like this.
Fred Warmbier criticizes North Korean Olympic spirit https://t.co/fBCvzUE2ax via @BrentGriffiths pic.twitter.com/VcjBeBHauo
— POLITICO (@politico) February 11, 2018
5. Don’t normalize the American president—normalize dictatorship!
From the same people who don’t want you to “normalize Trump.” pic.twitter.com/I6CjrnciKK
— Lyndsey Fifield (@lyndseyfifield) February 11, 2018
6. This is the kind of glowing praise usually reserved for movie stars.
"I hope the day we become one comes soon and hope to see all your friendly faces in Pyongyang." Head held high, Kim's sister returns to North Korea https://t.co/ObRerGVIQ2 #Pyeongchang2018 pic.twitter.com/R1j5E31ON3
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) February 12, 2018
7. The subtext here is clear as day—the left believes Ivanka Trump is “complicit” in her father’s “evil administration,” much as Kim Yo Jong is complicit in the actions of an actually evil regime.
Kim Yo Jong, the ‘Ivanka Trump of North Korea,’ enthralls people in the South https://t.co/je3xveZwYM pic.twitter.com/5xaLkavfq2
— Anna Fifield (@annafifield) February 10, 2018
However, many people—even some liberal journalists—were quick to fire back against the media’s grotesque praise for the brutal regime.
Media & left: If you are speaking in a calm voice about the duly elected POTUS we don’t like, you are enabling actual dictatorship.
Also media & left: This actual dictator is v. charming & glamorous! YAS, Pence & Trump are PWNED. Slay, kweeeen.
Me: I’m surprised I’m surprised.
— Mary Katharine Ham (@mkhammer) February 11, 2018
I can report South Koreans here in Pyeongchang are not as enthralled with Kim Yo Jong and the North Korean cheerleaders as it seems some media are back home.
Something about N.K. killing, starving, & imprisoning its people while threatening South Korea with nuclear annihilation.
— Willie Geist (@WillieGeist) February 11, 2018
My theory behind Kim Yo Jong-Gate is that many of us in the West can no longer comprehend the depravity of a regime like North Korea. We spend so much time calling minuscule things Hitler-like, we've forgotten how to process true evil
— Saagar Enjeti (@esaagar) February 12, 2018
Reuters looked strong in bringing home the gold for North Korea today but coming through late, the New York Times. Think Progress will have to settle for the bronze #olympics pic.twitter.com/fIEoqmTs37
— Stephen Miller (@redsteeze) February 11, 2018
She “outflanks” him in operating concentration camps, starving citizens, torture, rape of female prisoners, and murdering her own family members. Your glowing coverage of this tyrannical regime is insane. https://t.co/yP688cDpWT
— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) February 11, 2018
Here's something you may not know about me: I studied genocide and lived in Cambodia for over a year. I have walked the killing fields and know the survivors. The brutality that humans are capable of is something I am academically and emotionally quite familiar with.
— Bethany S. Mandel (@bethanyshondark) February 11, 2018
If you hate US leaders more than you hate the Kim Jong-un regime, you really need to read up on North Korea.
Committee for Human Rights in North Korea: https://t.co/wSWqutmlFW
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) February 11, 2018
I have to say that I really am stunned by the media's treatment of N. Korea. I thought the one stupid CNN piece online would be an anomaly. But it's a trend. It really does make the MSM look like they will embrace pure evil just so long as it positions them to ding Trump/Pence.
— Jeff B. (@EsotericCD) February 12, 2018