The New York Times managed news of the aftermath of North Korea’s missile test, and Obama’s non-response, by saying as little as possible about the tyrant who holds the region’s fate in the palm of his hand.
In an April 6 story, The Times actually managed to discuss the missile launch without ever using the name of North Korea’s ruler — Kim Jong-il — as if this had no bearing on the nation’s potential for aggression.
In a follow-up story on Friday, the paper finally talked about Kim’s involvement in the crisis, when it reported on his “election” to another 5-year term as tyrant supreme.
The closest it came to describing the nature of the regime he runs was to call the body which elected Kim “the rubber-stamp Supreme People’s Assembly.”
Introductions are in order. New York Times, meet Kim Jong-il — the 67-year-old paranoid Stalinist who succeeded his father (Kim Il-sung) as the absolute ruler of North Korea.
For at least two decades, famine has been widespread in the country. Kim deliberately starves his people to finance his million-man army, and pay for its acquisition of nuclear weapons.
North Korea is the world’s worst human-rights abuser. Torture is widely used and dissent brutally repressed. Conditions in the nation’s vast complex of political prisons are appalling. Border guards have orders to “shoot on sight” those trying to flee the worker’s paradise.
Like his father before him, Kim has never given up his dream of conquering neighboring South Korea. The Kim family has created an atmosphere of perpetual paranoia, where a foreign conspiracy lurks behind every rock and tree. It would be hard find a nation whose possession of ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons is more terrifying.
But, to report these realities would have demonstrated the absurdity of Obama’s plan to deal with this clear and present danger by running to the United Nations for sanctions, and limiting our own ability to respond militarily.
In news coverage (so-called), The New York Times’ first rule is: Say nothing that might embarrass the messiah-in-chief, or call into question his policies.