Top marks to Paul Watson for this nipping satire, published in today’s Guardian:

‘In fact it is almost impossible to find any piece of positive European journalism relating to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). The days of cold war pantomime journalism and great ideological battles might be over, but North Korea remains an area in which journalists have free licence for sensationalism and partiality.

The lack of western sources in North Korea has allowed the media to conjure up fantastic stories that enthrall readers but aren’t grounded in hard fact. No attempt is made to see both sides of the Korean conflict: it is much easier and more palatable to a western audience to pigeonhole the DPRK as a dangerous maverick state ruled by a capricious dictator and South Korea as its long-suffering, patient neighbour.

[...] Whatever your view on the actions of North and South Korea’s governments, the hypocrisy of using one-sided journalism to label North Korea a rogue, propaganda-led state is surely self-evident and fans the fire of intolerance and animosity. The Korean divide is a complex, multi-faceted political situation. Nobody benefits from turning it into a moral melodrama and we should demand more from our supposedly impartial media.’

One assumes this must be satire because the alternative, tough as it may be to believe, is that by publishing this the Guardian – a great newspaper with a distinguished history – has embarrassed itself. And why would it want to do that?

Of course the Guardian can print what it likes but it is occasionally worth recalling that not every contrarian or counter-intuitive argument is actually either useful or interesting. Sometimes it’s just a sign that the author is a pillock.

Tags: Democracy, Dictatorship, Media, North Korea, South Korea, The Guardian