Every mainstream media outlet in the United States was raring to go with this one. Rather than waiting to do some detailed, firsthand reporting to figure out whether or not North Korean leader Kim Jong Un actually executed the men and women responsible for botching the last summit with President Donald Trump, they just ran ahead with reporting from a highly-biased South Korean newspaper. In doing so, they embarrassed themselves with one of the biggest fake news stories of the year. Well, if you don’t count Russian collusion, which remains the U.S. media’s biggest – and still ongoing – failure of the 21st Century.
From Bloomberg to NBC to The New York Times, left-leaning media outlets essentially re-printed a story from South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo newspaper that accused Kim Jong Un of “purging” his top nuclear negotiations staff after things went awry with Trump in March. According to this report, parroted dutifully by U.S. media, the dictator had sent many of his top aides, including top nuclear envoy to the United States Kim Hyok-chol, to forced labor camps as punishment for their failures. Others, the report said, were simply executed.
This report, which was fit to print in every mainstream paper of record and fit to broadcast on all of the major news networks, relied on a single unnamed source from within the North Korean regime.
It blew up the very instant that Kim Jong Un was photographed next to a very alive, very non-labor-camp imprisoned Kim Hyok-chol at a musical performance on June 2. Whoops!
Oh, how were they to know? After all, would anyone put such a purge past the evil madman of the DPRK? No, no they wouldn’t. On the other hand, aren’t our nation’s newskeepers supposed to do some basic background research before wildly repeating the claims of a foreign newspaper? After all, not everyone was so quick to believe this wild tale. Longtime reporter Tim Shorrock, who has decades of experience reporting on the Korean Peninsula, was skeptical from the start.
“Incredible that Bloomberg would run this story based on one source quoted by the completely irresponsible and rarely accurate Chosun Ilbo. I don’t care if it is South Korea’s largest newspaper, as the Post constantly refers to it. It has a history of false stories,” Shorrock wrote on May 31. “It’s important to keep tabs on this one, which if uncorroborated could turn out to be one of the biggest fiascos in journalism history.”
But you’ll notice that there’s no widespread scandal. No one is going out of their way to apologize or correct these stories. It just flies right out of our collective consciousness so that the liberal media can keep pretending they are the guardians of truth in our Western world. Fake news wins again.