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Thursday, January 25, 2018

Holt Lester sides with Kim Jong-un, mass murderer

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Lester Holt's travels in North Korea have given a favorable view of that dictatorship.  This is unfortunate.

NBC's Lester Holt traveled to North Korea in advance of the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea in order to inform the American public about the situation there.  North Korea is possibly one of the most tragic examples of what 21st-century despotism is capable of.  The Human Rights Watch World Report 2017 claimed, "North Korea remains one of the most repressive states in the world."
Holt's report can be described only as despicable.  He follows a long line of Western reporters who have been willing tools of leftist dictators.  They were and are accomplices in the mass murder of millions of people.  Pulitzer Prize-winner Walter Duranty is perhaps the best example of this, as he tried to minimize the impact of Stalin's policies in Ukraine.  These policies led to the deaths of millions of people.
Holt reported from a Potemkin ski resort as apparently happy North Koreans were enjoying their time on the slopes.  Holt also interviewed "people on the street."  To everyone's surprise, they all mimicked the party line.  Had he interviewed someone with suicidal tendencies who wanted to tell him the truth, the tape would never have gotten out of the North.  Holt claimed, "It's impossible to know what people on the street really think."
Holt's report covering the Olympics has the added benefit of attacking President Trump.  It was an opportunity to portray North Korea in a favorable light while accusing the U.S. president of giving an adolescent response to the North Korean dictator's threats.
In response to Kim Jung-un's threat Trump tweeted, "North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the 'Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.  Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!"  This "mine is bigger than yours" technique may sound undiplomatic, but it might just be a language Kim Jong-un understands.
Were previous professional diplomatic efforts successful?  The 2008 Congressional Research Service report claimed that the U.S. provided North Korea with over $1 billion in assistance between 1995 and 2008.  This does not include aid provided by the U.N. and NGOs.  Much of that aid originated in the U.S.
In addition to billions in financial aid, former U.S. secretary of state Madeleine Albright gave Kim Jong-il, Kim Jong-un's father, a basketball signed by Michael Jordan.  This aid comes from ordinary American taxpayers.  This money is going to a man whose net worth is reportedly $5 billion.  The need for aid was necessitated by a climatic phenomenon that seems to frequently attack socialist countries.  North Korea claims that it has been hit by its worst drought in a century.
Holt's mission was important to NBC.  The network  did not want any mistakes.  Holt is not the sharpest knife in the drawer.  It was important enough to be supervised by NBC News president Noah Oppenheim.  Oppenheim is playing the role played by CNN's former head, Eason Jordan.  Jordan wrote an op-ed in the New York Times entitled "The News We Kept to Ourselves."  In it, he explains how CNN intentionally distorts the news.  In order to maintain access, a reporter must not offend his source.  This is understandable.  However, when the source is responsible for mass murder, moral considerations enter the equation.  NBC apparently has decided to take the side of the mass murderers. 
John Dietrich is a freelance writer and the author of The Morgenthau Plan: Soviet Influence on American Postwar Policy (Algora Publishing).  He has a Master of Arts degree in international relations from St. Mary's University.  He is retired from the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.

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