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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

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My piece on North Korea on Monthly Review Zine

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I wrote a piece on North Korea and the Sony Hack over at Monthly Review Zine.  Here's an excerpt:

The news media, for their part, abandon all journalistic integrity when reporting on the DPRK.  On a regular basis, respected and widely read publications publish baseless, sensationalist, and racist stories about the country.  Many of these stories are easily sourced to satirical sites -- others to right-wing Fox News-esque South Korean newspapers.  Stories that hundreds of thousands of people read include Kim Jong-Un feeding his uncle to 120 starving dogs, forcing all North Korean men to get his haircut, and sending the DPRK soccer team to work in the coal mines after failing in the World Cup -- stories which were all fake.  The things we are ready to believe about North Korea prove more about the brainwashing of us than of the North Koreans themselves.  These stories are often corrected by the media sources themselves after they have already been published, but they are rarely as much of a fun read as the original stories.  In the "free market of ideas," baseless and racist propaganda yields a higher rate of profit than principled journalistic inquiry.

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