Media

Mainstream media fawn over North Korea at Olympics — and ignores their massive human rights abuses

The mainstream media fawn over North Korea at the Olympics. (David McNew/Getty Images)

The mainstream media, including some of the nation's largest news outlets, have fawned over North Korea's presence at the Winter Olympics since the games' opening ceremonies on Friday.

What are they saying?

  • CNN: CNN came under fire on Saturday after they declared that Kim Jong Un's sister, Kim Yo Jong, was "stealing the show" at the Olympics. They claimed Yo Jong “would be favored to win gold” if “diplomatic dance” were an event at the games. They even declared Yo Jong to be North Korea's "answer to American first daughter Ivanka Trump."
  • NBC: NBC was forced to delete a tweet after they praised North Korea's cheerleading team as "so satisfying to watch." Many have observed the women on the team likely have no choice to cheerlead for North Korea.
  • ABC News: "North Korea's 200-plus cheerleaders command spotlight at 2018 Winter Olympics with synchronized chants."
  • Yahoo News: "All swagger and smiles, Kim Jong Un’s mysterious sister gets her star turn at Winter Olympics.
  • The Washington Post: "The ‘Ivanka Trump of North Korea’ captivates people in the South."
  • The Wall Street Journal: "The North Korean cheer squad’s presence was impossible for even the skaters to ignore."

Many found the coverage extremely distasteful and highly confusing given North Korea's dictatorial regime and extensive record of human rights abuses.

Some of the articles noted North Korea's human rights abuses and the nuclear tensions the isolated country has with the U.S., but otherwise, the articles spoke positively of North Korea's presence at the winter games.

The coverage of Yo Jong was most confusing given her close relationship to her brother, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. In fact, as director of the Propaganda and Agitation Department of the Workers’ Party of Korea, Yo Jung has been personally sanctioned by the U.S. government for being a key figure in the North Korean government contributing to the horrid human rights abuses of the North Korean people.

Regarding the cheerleaders, Ian Bremmer put it best: "They’re human hostages of a criminal regime. It’s the most heartbreaking thing we’ll see at the Olympics.

What are some of NK's human rights abuses?

According to Human Rights Watch, the North Korean government tightly controls the movement of its citizens in and out of the country, tightly restricts access to media and prevents free expression, speech and media, commits "inhuman treatment" of citizens and prisoners in the equivalent of slave or concentration camps, participates in slave labor and has horrid labor laws.

(H/T: Becket Adams)

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