Journalism 101: Don’t Ask Oppressive Regimes If They Are Doing OK And Expect An Honest Answer
This is really a new low for journalism–if that’s what we’re even calling these people still.
The Amazon-controlled Washington Post has just published a report about how the North Koreans are puzzled about Trump’s latest tweet. There’s already a great deal of confusion involved in the preceding sentence so let’s cut to the chase: in order to try to prove Trump lied about gasoline lines, reporters at WaPost thought that residents of North Korea would be a reliable source.
By the end of the article the reporter in question had wrapped her story in so many twists she began to trip over them herself. The second to last paragraph reveals the truth — there are indeed lines forming for fuel. The President was right again.
If you are short on time, scroll through to the last section of this article to read how she spilled the beans and told the real truth in the end!
After all, North Korea has a sparkling record of honesty and transparency, right?
WaPo’s Anna Fifield, acting in her role as the Post’s bureau chief in Tokyo began her little tirade by asking the perfect question to the wrong party. Fifield wondered just where the information — released by the President regarding fuel in North Korea — was coming from. She should have been more worried about where the information she was publishing came from, but in her state of haste she didn’t even bat an eyelash at regurgitating just what the North Koreans would want her to.
Indeed, Fifield had this unconvincing tidbit to inject on behalf of the pint-sized Pyongyang Rocket Man:
Residents in the North Korean capital are scratching their heads. Although there are reports of price increases, they’ve seen no queues at the few service stations in Pyongyang, a capital of some two million that has more cars than it used to but is still far from congested.
This was the first of many red-flags that were strewn about an article that seemed desperate to paint the president in any negative light — even if that meant taking up the North Korean propaganda mantle. Thankfully, Anna Fifield was terrible in her role as propagandist and the entirety of her report is filled with holes.
One respondent told Fifield that North Korean traffic was the worst he had seen it on Friday, that Sunday was quieter than normal but that Saturday seemed fairly normal. For Fifield, as long as Saturday was normal that meant it was just like any other week.
The interesting aspect of her bias (and what led Fifield to manipulate her readership) is that she ironically thinks that by fueling the North Korean regime the West would have a better opportunity to negotiate. She thinks that if the Koreans are given everything they want before reaching the table, then they will miraculously give us everything we want without a struggle as well. See for yourself, in her own words:
That means the sanctions will have little effect on the desired goal now — reversing North Korea’s missile and nuclear programs — and could diminish the leverage that the international community has over North Korea in the future. For example, when it needs to persuade North Korea to come back to denuclearization talks, the analysts said.
Does Fifield really lack the common-sense necessary to see the wisdom in these sanctions? It really should not be so hard for anyone with a pulse, quick, someone check hers just to be sure!
Sanctions give us a bargaining chip for later. By taking away fuel now, internal pressures and unrest within the regime will make it harder for the autocratic brat to retain order. It also forces the North Korean military to work under foreseeable constraints that highlight an impending shortage they cannot afford. And Winter approaches.
Buried: Fifield Accidentally Admitted Her Report Is Bogus
I’ve saved the most important detail of all for last, of course: Fifield accidentally admits that there are shortages and difficulties obtaining fuel at the North Korean pumps right before ending her report. She writes:
There have been some limitations on filling jerry cans, but this appeared to be a measure to stop re-selling…
In other words, fuel is being rationed. Fuel is so scarce–continually so–that people are attempting to re-sell fuel. Under what conditions is one able to re-sell fuel for a higher price than it was bought at the pump? The only condition where this is possible is during a rationed shortage.