Mystery Rodman Theater 3000
What is it with Wolf Blitzer and his reports on UFOs over North Korea? Yesterday, as Twitchy notes, the CNN anchor described former NBA freakazoid Dennis Rodman's visit to North Korea as a "diplomatic triumph." Was he kidding or serious? Blitzer doesn't sound like he's being ironic in the clip below. In any case, this is CNN:
And who could forget Wolf's 2005 interview with another strange alien media being also just back from North Korea, CNN founder Ted Turner:
Speaking of Rodman, Christian Toto adds, "HBO's 'Vice' Endures PR Nightmare as Dennis Rodman Toasts North Korea's Kim Jong Un:"
Former basketball great Dennis Rodman joined a delegation of athletes -- including the Harlem Globetrotters -- as part of a cultural outreach effort with North Korea. The plan? Use the sport of basketball to bridge the chasm between the Communist country and the West, and VICE cameras which capture all of it.
It's the kind of feel-good move you might expect out of Hollywood, not a fledgling news program (executive produced by Bill Maher) trying to make its mark on journalism.
Too bad Rodman turned the effort into a PR blunder, calling North Korean leader Kim Jong Un an "awesome guy" and said his father and grandfather were "great leaders."
Rodman wasn't finished gushing over the young dictator."He's proud, his country likes him--not like him, love him, love him," Rodman said of Kim Jong Un. "Guess what, I love him. The guy's really awesome."
Wow, where on earth -- or in the alternative universe known as CNN -- would Rodman get an idea like that?
Related: "Kanoodling With Kim."
Update: At Commentary, Max Boot writes:
The New Criterion and PJ Media might have to retire their Walter Duranty Prize named after the infamous New York Times correspondent who whitewashed Joseph Stalin’s crimes during the 1930s. I think Dennis Rodman has earned a lifetime achievement award in this category, as Bethany’s post makes clear. It is hard, certainly, to top his fawning tribute to the current and past dictators of North Korea.
Boot adds, "One wonders what Time Warner Chairman and Chief Executive Jeff Bewkes thinks about the use of his shareholders’ money to fund a public-relations extravaganza on behalf of the worst regime on the planet?"
Why would Bewkes object now, considering the earlier examples in the above post from Time-Warner-CNN-HBO representatives Ted Turner and Alina Cho?