Without explanation, Sunday’s Boston Globe ran a 3-day-old and controversial article recycled from the LA Times. It is about North Korea and documents an interview in Beijing with a North Korean “businessman with close ties to the government” (surprise!). This article's uncritical repetition of the North Korean Party Line has caused quite a stir since it appeared in the LA Times last Thursday. See Power Line here and here, and Hugh Hewitt here. This is my favorite little quote from the piece:
He said Americans have a wrongheaded notion that North Koreans are unhappy with the system of government under leader Kim Jong Il. ''We Asians are traditional people," he said. ''We prefer to have a benevolent father leader." He also said US criticism of North Korea's record on human rights was unfair and hypocritical. The State Department in its annual human rights report characterized North Korea's record as ''extremely poor." It said that 150,000 to 200,000 people are in detention camps for political reasons and that there continued to be reports of extrajudicial killings and disappearances. ''Is there any country where there is a 100 percent guarantee of human rights? Certainly not the United States," he said. ''There is a question of what is a political prisoner. Maybe these people are not political prisoners, but social agitators."
Why, pray tell, did the Globe decide that we in Boston needed to be subjected to this piece of purest excrement that is correctly described as one that could have been penned by Walter Duranty? Did they need to recycle something from another publication to fill the space? Was it media solidarity with their sister NY Times Corporation publication? A way to say “in your face” to those who were offended by the LA Times article? I can only guess.
However if they are going to proceed along this line, I have some suggestions for pieces in a similar vein they could run in future Sunday Globes:
The soft side of Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness
Pinochet shows tenderness with neighborhood teens
Bomber says that Beslan village was over-run with too many children
Congolese war-lord says coked boys are his happiest soldiers
Islamic slaveholder speaks his mind about how much he taught his charges
Al Axa Martyrs Brigade explains that Israeli teenagers will be happier when dead
Nazi ex-pat believes that Dr. Josef Mengele was a "misunderstood humanitarian"
A Janjiweed freedom fighter insists that Darfur women really ask for it