Monday's HOT MIC
No matter what, the New York Times's first instinct is always to blame America first:
Forty-one percent of North Koreans, about 10.5 million people, are undernourished, and 28 percent of children under 5 years old have stunted growth. When my 4-year-old daughter visited Pyongyang in 2013, she, all of three feet, towered over children twice her age. The hunger is devastating. And it’s our fault.
We are trying to inflict pain on the North Korean regime to stop the development of nuclear weapons and missiles. That’s understandable. But in the process, we are also punishing the most vulnerable citizens and shackling the ability of humanitarian agencies to deliver aid to them.
As I like to say on Twitter (@dkahanerules) all the time: Gee, that's too damn bad. And so is this:
Deaths from malnutrition have remained a closely guarded secret by the Venezuelan government. In a five-month investigation by The New York Times, doctors at 21 public hospitals in 17 states across the country said that their emergency rooms were being overwhelmed by children with severe malnutrition — a condition they had rarely encountered before the economic crisis began.
Which "economic crisis" might that be?
Before Venezuela’s economy started spiraling, doctors say, almost all of the child malnutrition cases they saw in public hospitals stemmed from neglect or abuse by parents. But as the economic crisis began to intensify in 2015 and 2016, the number of cases of severe malnutrition at the nation’s leading pediatric health center in the capital more than tripled, doctors say. This year looks even worse.
Spiraling from what? You have to read all the way down to the bottom of this sob story to find the hint of an answer:
The Venezuelan government has used food to keep the Socialists in power, critics say. Before recent elections, people living in government housing projects said they were visited by representatives of their local Socialist community councils — the government-aligned groups that organize the delivery of boxes of cheap food — and threatened with being cut off if they did not vote for the government.
But hey -- it's the centenary of the Bolshevik revolution in the Times's favorite former country, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Celebrate diversity!