Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Tripping at the North Korean Border

Tonight on ATC there is a truly otherworldly report from "commentator Lauren Keane" who has lived in China for a year. Keane traveled to the border of North Korea and peers into that country through tourist binoculars. It is a truly strange story in that there is nothing of substance in the report--nothing at all. Keane apparently has no knowledge of North Korea and she fixates on a Ferris wheel that she sees and comments, "From where I'm standing, it seems fake. Is it 3-D? Like a lot of things in North Korea, it looks like it hasn’t budged in years." Funny that she says "a lot of things" though her knowledge of North Korea seems gleaned from her observations through the binoculars. As she states: "That's the thing, when you are an American on the shore of China, looking at the shore of North Korea. All you have is a couple of images seen through a pair of binoculars: a fountain with a fish out of water, and a Ferris wheel that never twirls." Yes that's all you have, so why does NPR give her a full three minutes to share her banal musings?

I have a better idea. At the University of Chicago there's a scholar of North Korea named Bruce Cumings who would be a great guest to have on the show. He's no apologist for North Korea, but he's also not a parrot for the nonsense that comes from our own "Dear Leader." He's written a very well reviewed and interesting book on North Korea, and here's his website, maybe NPR could contact him?

1 comment:

Pravit said...

Hurf, durf. Although this is almost a year late, not only did I go up to Dandong, I crossed the North Korean border, and nobody let me go on NPR for 3 minutes.