Dennis Rodman’s North Korea Vs. the Media’s

Jason Ditz, March 04, 2013

White House Denounces Dennis Rodman

No, seriously, they did. The White House issued a whole statement condemning the Dennis Rodman visit to North Korea, and North Korea for allowing him to visit, insisting “celebrity sporting events” of this kind are unacceptable.

The administration’s position reflects the always sympathetic media’s own stance on Rodman’s visit, putting it somewhere between an outrage and a joke. Only ABC’s George Stephanopoulos even gave the basketball star anything resembling a fair hearing on his visit, and he faced a flurry of criticism for doing so.

Whether they’re more officially outraged at Rodman “propping up” North Korea (as though he was actually capable of doing so) or North Korea for propping up Rodman isn’t even clear, and the reality is that the reaction more reflects on North Korea’s status as faceless “bad guy state” and the discomfort of having anything happen there that isn’t a de facto outrage.

Official condemnation seems little more than a cursory nod at this point, as so eager is the administration to discredit Rodman’s visit, or pretend it never happened that they declined publicly to even debrief him on the matter, unheard of for a rare visit to North Korea

Sports have long played a special role in opening up nations, and if there’s one thing the Obama Administration seems determined to avoid it is an “opening up” of North Korea. How else can one explain that the US reacted with condemnation when North Korea offered to sign a peace deal officially ending the Korean War. It’s been 60 years since the war was really being fought, but US administrations seem more comfortable with keeping the war officially on, seeing a state of peace as an unacceptable “compromise.”

Having Dennis Rodman feted by North Korea’s leader, and worse yet, having him come back speaking of him as a friend undermines the official position of North Korea as a carefully sealed black box from which only vaguely-defined cartoonish bad guys can emerge.

After 60 years one would think the US would at least be resigned to North Korea’s existence, but officials seem stubbornly comfortable in the status quo. Even in 1995, when Japan sought to play a little “sports diplomacy” with North Korea, sending legendary pro wrestlers Antonio Inoki and America’s own “Nature Boy” Ric Flair, the US played no role. Nearly 20 years on, the US government still seems uncomfortable with the prospect of a thaw, and it is only a single basketball player with an unconventional reputation that manages to find time to visit. And he gets denounced for it.




48 Responses to “Dennis Rodman’s North Korea Vs. the Media’s”

  1. Why is anyone–including antiwar.com–taking Dennis Rodman seriously? Especially if George Stuffingenvelopes–one of the most accomplished hired liars in history–is doing so?

    C’mon, Jason! Your credibility is so well established on this site. Don’t go and ruin it.

  2. Why is anyone, including antiwar.com, taking Dennis Rodman seriously? Especially when George Stuffingenvelopes–one of history's most accomplished hired liars–is doing so.

    C'mon, Jason! You have earned such gravitas with your posts on this site. Why risk ruining your creds?

  3. Dennis Rodman for U.S ambassador to the UN….. If Bonkerz BoltOn can DoIt…. So can Rodman..
    He can rebound like no other……. He wormed his way into U.S. N. Korea politics… and "friends for life" with Kim Jong Un………. I was hoping that Obamma would appoint Rodney King Secretary of State after Hillary flunked out, because we need someone likable.. but alas our guy Rodney had another appearance to make. . Now I'm thinking that Dennis could fill the bill…. and his hair is REAL…. Leaders warm up to him…… He is certainly UP to the task, and with a foot to spare… He is a peacemaker amongst a populace of child killers… Yoo…. Dennis… GO…!!!

  4. To be honest I was more embarrassed for the North Koreans in stooping so low to allow Rodman into their country. They could have done better.

  5. [...] Dennis Rodman’s North Korea Vs. the Media’s [...]

  6. "Jim Hodge – Allied Home Mortgage have been attacked by lawyers and the liberal press. A self made man of humble means is working hard to restore the jobs lost by these baseless attacks"

  7. The US is no better than North Korea!!
    How many Native Americans did USA slaughter as well as African Americans.
    This country is built off blood and has violated human rights since its birth.
    today we continue to do this but not on our own soil but that of foreign soil. NOrth Korea is at fault but we are as well so to point a finger onlu makes US more hypocritical.
    Rodman should be left alone. The guy is only showing that peace can be established even by the smallest things and who knows abiut North Koreas new leader we dont know him.For all we know he has no choice but to allow such oppression that was left to him. There might be more to whats going. on over there than we know. NOw Rodman might not be completely informed but he is trying to make peace …stupid or not he is trying to make a difference in a positive way. Just because he befriends this leader doesnt.mean he supports the alleged tyrannical views. As for White house Commentis on how North Korea should focus on its own peoples well being. I think. They should do the same. Doesnt seem like they are. Sports are about teamwork and following fundamentals even somthing so simple can have great effect. Who knows but US should back off the guy. I say this being neutral and to be honest never particularly a fan of Rodman.

  8. As for the comment above on Child Killers. How many babies are aborted a year in US.
    Is that much different?

  9. I agree.

  10. Knowing this website I am pretty sure that this same author (and most of those who read antiwar) who thinks "Sports have long played a special role in opening up nations.." which brings some sort of legitimacy to a horrible dictator who gives hes people no rights, murders, rapes and imprisons freely, would be against a similar visit to Israel, an open liberal democracy…. pure hypocrosy

  11. It should of course be obvious why the US government and mainstream media do not want the "opening up" of North Korea:

    No US government wants the public to understand what really happened in the Korean War, beyond the official propaganda narrative, because "the good guys" won't look so good after all!.

    Fishmongers sell fish; warmongers sell war.

    Read this for starters:

    North Korea and the United States:
    Will the Real Aggressor Please Stand Down?

    By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers.
    US political leaders and media pundits trumpet North Korea's recent testing of missiles and nuclear weapons as a great threat. But the US mass media do not tell the whole story.
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article3

  12. Most the people on this site don't take the US state departments view of the world seriously.

  13. " which brings some sort of legitimacy"
    And where do you get this from? Him getting on a plane and meeting the leader of the country means he or anyone has to agree with everything that country's leaders do? This is a straw man argument. A logical fallacy. Nixon can talk and make deals with Mao. FDR can talk and make deals with "Uncle Joe". An aging sports star can't even visit North Korea and meet the leaders? Doesn't that say how pathetic American foreign policy is? What has isolating North and Korea accomplished the last 40 plus years? That policy is a total failure. Even Dennis Rodman can see that! And btw. Israel is a disgusting apartheid state.

  14. Any show of praise for such an animal gives him legitimacy, this guy and his family are up there as the most brutal dictators in the world. Her should be totally isolated. Israel is the only free open democracy and the Jewish state is the only one in teh mideast to give arabs full human rights and freedoms… Apartheid is just a world used by ignorant people who prefer to side on teh side of muders and dictators than on the only free country in the mideast….

  15. Bruce whats wrong with you? Do you know anything about North Korea, are your politics so twisted that you would praise such a brutal regime and the expense of a free open democracy… Let me guess you are a human rights campaigner – so typical its sad

  16. We need new approach to solve problem in North Korea. War is not an approach. It is prohibited for problem solving.

  17. OOOOOO if you don't know the difference…. between killing other peoples BORN children in a war based on lies and forged documents and being free of Government pressure to give birth to horribly deformed fetuses, you need to do a lot of work on your knowledge base. That particular rant of mine is derived from this:

    Epidemiologists at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, along with a team of Iraqi physicians conducted a national cross-sectional cluster sample survey of mortality in Iraq in 2006. Their study concluded that the number of ‘excess Iraqi deaths as a consequence of war’ had reached 655,000. They published their results in the British Medical Journal ‘The Lancet’ in October 2006. According to the study’s authors, between May 2003 and June 2008, 50 percent of Iraqi children under fifteen years of age were killed by coalition air strikes… And the well-respected British group, Opinion Research Business Survey, calculated the number of civilian deaths, as of October 2006, at a low of 733,158 to a high of 1,446,063.

    It was this sentence to which I allude in "nation of chldkillers":

    "between May 2003 and June 2008, 50 percent of Iraqi children under fifteen years of age were killed by coalition air strikes"

    So we killed half their children under 15 with a war which was public relations engineered with lies, forgeries and innuuendo…. and worse, now that we know they lied and forged, NO ONE is investigated, arrested or grilled…… So what else can a thinking person conclude, but that America is O.K. with murdering other peoples CHILDREN… Otherwise show me some actions to refute this easy to draw conclusion…….

  18. What "free democracy"..are you referring to?

  19. Jeff's msg … you can't be nice to the people I've been trained to hate.

    Some people get very upset when the propaganda that's been planted in their heads gets exposed by a bit of reality. They feel so smart that they've memorized all the propaganda and learned to hate all the right people, and they get mad when the world reveals itself to be more complicated than the comic-book plot line they've learned to follow.

  20. And that's after we decimated the generation before with the Clinton/Albright sanctions that killed more than 500,000 children under 5 according to official UN reports.

  21. American opinion, as represented by politicians and the media, is sick. Maybe beyond sick into seriously insane. Look at the combination of stories on this site. American leaders circling the globe giving speeches at home and abroad condeming peace talks with Iran, trying to scuttle any progress that has been made, and driving hard for the war with Iran that they want to start. These are considered respected opinions by other politicians and the media, when in fact this is dangerously insane.

    Meanwhile, someone dares to travel to another country and speak of peace, and both he and the other country are vigorously attacked for even thinking that there might be peace.

    I live in an insane nation that has already killed millions of people, and apparently that has only teased a blood-lust that seems determined to kill millions more.

  22. If Rodman likes North Korea so much, why doesn't he move there? Maybe he can take Ted Nugent and Wayne LaPierre with him. They can call themselves "the 3 stooges."

  23. Yeah, he's head and shoulders above Kerry, way more attractive than Albright, and, smarter than Clinton. Go, team America!

  24. Actually, I was making no comment on the government of North Korea, praise or otherwise.
    I was merely referring to the historical context of the 'Korean War'.
    If you know anything about that, you might be shocked by the brutality of your "free open democracy."
    Did you read the article I linked to?
    A response to that article would be more useful.

  25. Is that you, Warren? Get back to work, the baby needs new shoes, and 24 billion ain't cutting' it!

    Mrs. Buffet

  26. Sorry about the double posting, above. When my first message did not appear to post, I repeated the comment process.

  27. I just learned from a YouTube documentary that the US killed 20 million people in the UN war in Korea, while leveling the landscape with bombs.

  28. "…to a horrible dictator who gives hes people no rights, murders, rapes and imprisons freely…". NK's leader may not be a model of democratic leader but he is not going around invading, plundering and murdering other people. As for the accusation that he rapes and does other horrible things, have you been to NK? If you haven't, shut your mouth. If you want to believe Fox, CNN, the NYT, WaPo, and so on, it's your problem. To us in the rest of the world your leaders are not only the most hypocritical but also the most bloodlust terrorists. Compared to Obama, Cameron, Hollande, Netanyahu and their lackeys, Kim Jong-un is an aficionado.

  29. The response to Rodman's trip is amazing. North Korea has never attacked the United States, is that clear? The United States inserted itself into a civil war on the Korean Peninsula and refuses to leave after the shooting stops. Un takes office and continues the policies of his predecessors much like Gorbachev. Perhaps this is an opening to stop the "war" and make peace. If we can repair relations with Japan, Germany and Viet Nam there is no reason we can't play nice with North Korea.

    Calling Un "an animal" just fuels the attitude that North Koreans are just a little less human than the rest of us and makes them easier to kill. Despite the differences between the GOVERNMENTS of the United States and North Korea, they are still creations of God and as such have the same rights as do we to Life and Liberty.

    How much does it cost American taxpayers to keep the troops in Korea? Oh, yeah, money is no object when it comes to the MIC…it's time to stop this madness.

  30. The eccentric Dennis Rodman is too easily dismissed. The round mound of Pyongyang should have invited the round mound of rebound.

  31. I think its an Only Nixon Could Go to China thing.

  32. I just love how all the people in this commentary just rip on North Korea when in fact none of them have ever been there. In addition, they only know North Korea from what they have been told from the U.S. Government and U.S. Media. North Korea is such a backward and hermit kingdom as we are told by our media that they would let Dennis Rodman into their country who could badly influence the minds of their children, lol. I say good job Dennis.

  33. I have more respect for Dennis "The Worm" Rodman than for the US government. The point is that the government has the audacity to attack Rodman for doing what any truly free man ought to be able to do: travel where he damn well pleases. The government is out of control.

  34. "

    As for the comment above on Child Killers. How many babies are aborted a year in US.
    Is that much different? "

    Is that serious? I didn't know bible thumpers frequented this site, they're usually more pro-killing than anyone else. What a ridiculous comment. If there's no difference in that then there's no difference in nuking a country and masturbating. Both kill many multitudes of living things. The difference is that kids have experienced things, and kids typically want to remain living.

  35. Also, N Korea IS vastly superior morally speaking to the United States. They've never even had the capability to kill as many people as we have.

  36. [...] SOURCE: ANTIWAR [...]

  37. The US wouldn't even let Kim Jong iL get some tap shoes. Now that's pretty low down. I know he's dead, but would it kill Capezio to have sent him some tap shoes ???? Good for Dennis. At least someone is acting like a friendly person.

  38. North Korea has constantly threatened the USA as well as its allys South Korea, Japan etc… It is run by a brutal dictatorship that has been testing Nuclear weapons and will do what ever it can to stay in power… Its leaders are animals and less then human and should be thrown out of power so their people can enjoy the liberty you are talking about. North Korea is one of the largest threats to world unrest and a North Korea who decides to start a war will cost the US and teh world much more than the troops stationed there. STOP TRYING TO PROTECT TYRANTS!

  39. Who has troops stationed on Whose border? A roaring mouse is no danger the The United States(the country in which I live and am forced through taxation over which I have little or no control, to support). If North Korea is a threat to South Korea, Japan, etc. that's THEIR PROBLEM. This is the problem of "entangling alliances" that George Washington(you may have heard of him) and others warned about at the founding of this country.

    How am I "protect[ing] a tyrant"? Unless you think it's the job of the U.S. to police the world it's none of the U.S.'s business. I'm sick and tired of being taxed to protect countries that are fully capable of protecting themselves…Hey, World, I'm not your Daddy, sugar or otherwise.

  40. Dear Hatecamel,

    It’s interesting that I should read you views on Christians. I no more read that than I clicked on my daily devotional site and read this: http://odb.org/2013/03/06/bumper-cars/

    Please do not judge all those that say they follow Christ by those that seem to reject His teachings. He told us to love our enemies, not many seem to be able to get their minds around that even if they go to buildings once a week that have His name on the sign.

    In Christ’s Love,
    Mark

  41. Almost immediately after reading your comment I went to my daily devotional and read this: http://odb.org/2013/03/06/bumper-cars/

    Please don't judge all those that say they follow Christ by the actions of some that would seem to contradict His teachings. We are to love our enemies; a concept may have a hard time accepting even while going to buildings every week that have His name on the sign.

    In Christ's Love,
    Mark

  42. I've listened to this 'love it or leave it' tripe ever since I was growing up during the Vietnam War. Can't you people ever come up with a more thoughtful response to people you disagree with?

  43. This is really interesting, You are an excessively professional blogger. I have joined your rss feed and sit up for looking for more of your excellent post. Also, I’ve shared your website in my social networks

  44. Hey dipshit, Rodney King died 2 yrs ago.

  45. You're just mad because Rodman didn't wear the dress that you liked so much on him.

  46. Amen Brother!

  47. Yaa Michael… That would be why i wrote "but alas our guy Rodney had another appearance to make." What didn't you understand Michael… That the other appearance was a funeral or to make his triumphant ascension to God's house in the cozmos… OOOO I misspelled cosmos too. But to bring in the Oz effect….. Michael, maybe you should be reading less demanding material.

  48. "Jim Hodge – Allied Home Mortgage have been attacked by lawyers and the liberal press. A self made man of humble means is working hard to restore the jobs lost by these baseless attacks"