WTF MSM!? The media’s weekend North Korea fawning was as bad as you can imagine

· February 12, 2018  
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North Korean
GANGNEUNG, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 10: North Korean cheerleaders perform during a visit by United States Vice President Mike Pence to Gangneung Ice Arena on February 10, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea. Mr Pence is on the final day of a three day visit to South Korea where he watched last night's opening ceremony in close proximity to North Korea's ceremonial head of state Kim Yong-nam and Kim Jong-un's sister, Kim Yo-jong. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

Straight-up propaganda …

This is CNN … During the opening ceremonies for the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, Vice President Mike Pence sat while athletes from North and South Korea entered the stadium. The Left was apoplectic. On Saturday, CNN weighed in with a tweet linking to an article. The tweet said: “Kim Jong Un’s sister is stealing the show at the Winter Olympics.” The article was even worse. The response to CNN’s take was strong and fast. People with functioning brains who understand that one shouldn’t help a murderous dictatorial regime spread propaganda called CNN out.

CNN’s original article made no mention of the brutality of the North Korean Kim regime. You can see that here in this archived version of the story. Later in the day, the article was updated to add the word “brutal” in. No editor’s note explaining the change was provided by CNN. This was meant to blunt the attacks on the network, and to try — laughably after the fact — to offer balance. The damage was done, and it only got worse as the weekend progressed.

Jake Tapper’s 24 hours of silence … Over 24 hours after the original story, CNN’s Jake Tapper weighed in with his take via Twitter. Tapper tweeted: “If you hate US leaders more than you hate the Kim Jong-un regime, you really need to read up on North Korea.” That’s great, Jake, but why did it take so long to get that message across? Especially since the “hate” was coming from his own network. Did you have to “read up” on North Korea yourself?

Others at CNN blamed Trump … When such a colossal mistake in coverage was made, you would expect those associated with the organization making the mistake to have some self-awareness. Unfortunately, you’d be wrong. While some like Tapper and CNN’s Salena Zito called out the media for the ridiculous, fawning coverage, others at CNN found a way to Blame Trump. For her part, Zito tweeted:

CNN’s Chris Cuomo swiftly shot back at Zito with the following tweet:

Cuomo’s tweet is a revealing look into how media types actually thinks. To them, there have not been decades of biased coverage against conservatives. No, this animosity against the media is some new phenomenon that’s all because of President Donald Trump. The real deal? Trump harnessed an already significant mistrust of the media and rode it to victory.

Cuomo’s colleague Oliver Darcy also lamented that there was such a large backlash against the media over the coverage. Darcy, like Cuomo, blamed the distrust of media on Trump and conservative media. This comes from a guy whose partner in media coverage at CNN, Brian Stelter, regularly has Dan Rather on his weekend television show. It’s hard to argue that the president falsely accuses people of making things up when you lionize people who were fired for making things up.

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Not just CNN …

Avalanche … There was an avalanche of media fawning over North Korea, all of it flattering to Kim regime. Here are just some of the more egregious takes:

  • ABC News: “North Korea’s 200-plus cheerleaders command spotlight at 2018 Winter Olympics with synchronized chants”
  • NY Times: “The North Korean ‘army of beauties’ cheered on the unified Korean women’s hockey team.”
  • NY Times:: “Kim Jong-un’s sister turns on the charm, taking Pence’s spotlight”
  • ThinkProgress: “Despite Mike Pence’s sabotage, North Korea’s ‘charm offensive’ appears to be working”
  • Reuters: “Head held high, Kim’s sister returns to North Korea”

And that’s just a representative sample. The fawning over the North Korean “cheerleaders” was especially chilling. Remember these are people who undoubtedly have family members at home who have been held hostage by the regime to make sure the cheerleaders perform well and do not defect while in South Korea. That’s how regimes like that work.

The voice of reason … As the media lovefest with North Korea was going on, an unlikely source emerged as the voice of reason. On Saturday evening, BuzzFeed tweeted:

Exactly. And the piece linked in that tweet was even more direct: “PSA: Kim Jong Un’s Sister Is Not Your New Fave Shade Queen. She’s a Garbage Monster.” Two things to remember here. BuzzFeed is the organization that published the Steele dossier, even though the publication couldn’t verify it. Also, the organization is best known for its viral videos. This weekend was extremely bizarre.

What does it all mean … I just finished filming a segment about the last 72 hours in media coverage of North Korea with CRTV’s Steve Deace. We discussed what to make of what we just witnessed. Remember this is nothing new; the media has been lionizing murderous regimes like the Kims for decades. During the 1980s, the media painted the Soviets in a better light than Reagan. As Michelle Malkin explored in an an episode of “Michelle Malkin Investigates,” the New York Times’ Walter Duranty was a propagandist for Josef Stalin during the 1930s. And it isn’t just communists whom the media has done puff pieces on. Ten days before Hitler rolled into Poland and started WWII, the NY Times did a puff piece titled “Herr Hitler at home in the clouds.”

When the mainstream media was able to keep complete control over the narrative, before the internet and talk radio, portraits such as the one that emerged over the weekend were not challenged. This weekend the media did more to harm to its own credibility than any amount of tweeting by Donald Trump could have done. Republicans just got a little closer to keeping the House and the Senate in November, because the media just reminded Americans of what the alternative looks like.

Communist propaganda-free zone …

Unlike the mainstream media, WTF MSM!? is a communist propaganda-free zone. In fact, I’ll continue to call out the media when its “journalists” lionize murderous communist regimes. That’s my promise to you. Now, can you promise me something? Help more people enjoy WTF MSM!? in their inboxes! Just invite your friends to join the fun by sending them over to the WTF MSM!? email signup page. Then send me an email me at to share the good news of how many more people you’ve invited to get the email. As always, feel free to tell me anything questionable you see the media do. Together, we can fight back.

Author: Rob Eno

Rob Eno is the editor of Blaze Media’s WTF MSM!? newsletter.