The Marmot's Hole Blogger
6/21/2003
 
God, I really hope the Chief of Staff didn't actually say this

I don't know how the hell I missed this Chosun Ilbo editorial from June 14, but if it's true, I have no clue why Moon Hee-sang still has a job. According to the Chosun:

Speaking before a seminar organized by the Journalists Association of Korea, the Cheong Wa Dae chief of staff, Moon Hee-sang said, "If the president should set out to kill [elements of the] news media, there are lots of methods available, and all have claws." People doubted their ears as he went on to say, "There could be a tax investigation as soon as right now."
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph... but wait, it gets better. A little later:
"I think they'll get hurt if they don't take seriously what the president symbolizes," he went on to say. Then he shocked everyone when he said, "When you kick your puppy, all your neighbors will kick your puppy, too - and this is the president we're dealing with."
The Chosun had fun with that one:
We wonder whom Moon should be giving this lesson to - he must know that the press has repeatedly stressed how the president is a symbol of the state and that he should act and speak accordingly. And you cannot say it's suitable for a top aide to the president to compare the president to a dog.
Moon was apparently on a tear, however:
Moon just kept going, saying that there needs to be "freedom for journalists to say 'no,'" and then asked "where has the Dong-a Free Press Committee gone to?" [Marmot's note: the Dong-A Free Press Committee was a group that protested press restrictions during the military dictatorships] It was at this point that he drifted as far as possible from what's appropriate for his position. You just can't figure out how the second self of the president, who is supposed to maintain order throughout the land, can tell journalists to resist the editorial policies of their news organizations and in doing so have them stop their criticism of the government. This is an open agitation of internal discord within the media.
Unfortunately, I have not found reference to this incident in any of the other newspapers, but given the Noh Administration's well-known love for the media, I have no reason to doubt the Chosun's editorial (or its news piece on the incident here). I do know this, however - in a democratic society, elected officials (and their staff members) simply cannot be making statements like this. Yeah, the Chosun has an agenda. Big deal, so do the Hankyoreh and OhMyNews. God, I really hope the GNP (Grand National Party) succeeds in getting MBC and KBS-2 privatized, even if those bastards used the TV networks while they were in power just as much as the current government does.
 
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