Friday, September 24, 2004

Journalism 101

Reading over the front page of the Korea Times today, I found this article on scrapping the Security Law

Four parties (all very "progressive") are joining forces to completely do away with the Security Law, which maintains laws and policies that restricts pro-communist and pro-North Korea activities among the South Korean citizens. The GNP, the only conservative party to speak of these days, wanted only to revise it.

Well, I'd tell you more about but I'm afraid I might be too biased. Let me just have a professionally trained journalist, one Ryu Jin, take it from here.

Here's Ryu making a great effort to fairly represent the GNP's take on this issue.

Dominated by staunch conservatives who show knee-jerk reactions to communist North Korea across the border, the GNP has vehemently opposed the abrogation of the draconian law while calling for an amendment instead.

Now that's good journalism. Excellent choice of descriptive adjectives, wouldn't you say?

Now an amateur might have wrote it like this:

"Composed of members who are still wary of communist North Korea, the GNP strongly opposes the abrogation of the law, while calling for an amendment instead."

Now how in the hell would bland reporting like that help our dear readers to understand how they are supposed to think about this issue? It wouldn't! Confusion would reign.

Here's more from Ryu "The Spew" Jin.

Rep. Kim Yong-kap, an ultra-conservative from the GNP who has often declared his preparedness to lose everything to save the security law, collapsed earlier in the day for five minutes, while giving an impassioned speech at the Assembly against the move to terminate his prized law

Again, very well done. Note how describing Rep. Kim as an "ultra-conservative" allows us to realize that this is a kooky extremist whose words should not be taken seriously.

Oh, and good thing there aren't any "ultra-liberals" in the Korean government who would sell out South Korea to the North. Not at all. They are all "progressives." Isn't that a nice sounding word? Don't you want to be a progressive too? You aren't anti-progress, are you?

Let's say one more time together: "progressive." mmmmm.....nice....

Ryu continues to school us on professional journalism in Korea:

The law, enacted in 1948 and subsequently revised seven times, has long been a source of contention, often being used by iron-fisted regimes as a tool to crack down on pro-democracy activists and opposition figures. North Korea has long demanded the law be dropped as a prerequisite to improved relations with the South.

Yes, used by iron-fisted regimes...that is so true. Do we all understand how evil this law is now? It crushes pro-democracy activists! Especially the communist ones! Don't you see that we need to completely throw out this dirty bathwater and anything else that might be in the tub?

In a major setback for the Uri Party, however, the nation's two most revered judiciary bodies _ the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court _ recently upheld the National Security Law and accused the Uri leadership of trying to strip the country of its last defensive measures against the communist North.

Now this really pisses me off. How can Roh and "Our Party" institute a real democracy with all these checks and balances throwing a monkey wrench into the works? Where's the progress if they just can't do whatever they want?

Honestly, why can't conservatives see that the Sunshine Policy has dramatically succeeded in changing North Korea and that they are no longer a threat? With all the amazing progress we've had so far with North Korea, can you imagine just how super-lovey Kim Jeong-il and co. will become once we completely get rid of all laws and policies that shield us from speedy reunification?


Why can't the GNP just feel the love* that radiated forth from the 2000 intra-Korean summit?

Why do these knee-jerking, draconian law loving super-duper ultra-conservative wackos insist on clinging to outdated beliefs that North Korea is still the enemy?

Anyway, thank you Ryu Jin, and even bigger mad props to the fine journalism institutions in Korea that serve the people of Korea.

By the way, I don't mean to get off topic, but here are some completely unrelated news stories I also read on the front page of the Korea Times today...

Seoul alert for possible NK's missile test

North Korea threatens to turn Japan into a sea of fire.

Oh, and tucked away in a corner on the second page (no link, buy the damn paper if you want to read it)was something about North Korean ships crossing into South Korean waters again (but leaving once warning shots were fired). An honest mistake though, could happen to anybody. Well, maybe South Korean navy ships never do that, but obviously they've just been lucky for the past 55 years. And besides, it's not like anybody dies that often from these accidental intrusions anyway.

*retail price: $500,000,000 US (hey, you try to fund a nuclear weapons program just on illegal drug sales alone!)

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