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US Amb. Calls Out NBC for Falling for Fake News From NK Communists

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For those who want to chart the downward spiral of NBC’s news division, one needs only to look at the diminishing returns of its nightly newscasters.

First, Huntley and Brinkley, the distinguished duo who were contemporaries of Walter Cronkite. Then, Tom Brokaw, the man credited with coining the term “the greatest generation.” Then, Brian Williams, the anchor who was shot at in a military helicopter just days after he won the Daytona 500 in a Yugo with a group of trained hamsters as a pit crew.

And now we have Lester Holt, who can easily be deceived by a North Korean act of fakery so blatant anyone with one working eye and two functioning brain cells could suss it out for themselves.

Holt, as well as a fair number of the network’s bepeacocked crew, are over on the Korean Peninsula to promote the 2018 Winter Olympics. The games, which will be held in PyeongChang, South Korea, will be broadcast on NBC.

The host of the NBC Nightly News decided to take a jaunt up to the communist North in order to visit the Masikryong ski resort, described by Yahoo as “a facility that was personally ordered by Kim Jong Un and is typically empty.”

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Yet, the anchor told his audience that the ski resort was a “source of immense pride for a country trying to present a new and modern face to the world.”

“We have been treated with respect here,” Holt said as he delivered his report from Masikryong on Monday, noting that members of both the South Korean and North Korean teams would be training there as part of an ersatz Olympics alliance.

Now, see if you can notice what was wrong that Lester Holt didn’t. U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell certainly did.

Do you think that NBC was fooled by this obvious North Korean ruse?

Did you spot it?

Yes, the fact that every single individual skiing at the resort seems to have chosen ski clothing that looks like it all came from the same outfitter doesn’t seem to have registered with Holt during his report.

Or, as Yahoo News put it: “But as Holt delivered the TV report, he failed to notice that the North Korean government appeared to have drafted in skiers who wore identical outfits in an attempt to give the impression of a busy and progressive ski resort.”

There is an alternate explanation, which is that Holt wanted to make it out of North Korea in a better state than Otto Warmbier. This is perhaps understandable, although detaining and/or torturing a foreign news anchor usually isn’t a good way to ensure your country’s continued existence.

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Either way, you really do have to hand it to Lester Holt and NBC. They either didn’t realize a ruse when they saw one or they lacked the courage to call it as fake news. Neither one is particularly flattering.

A New York Post editorial slammed NBC’s “coverage” hard:

‘Yes, NBC is eager to promote next month’s Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. But that hardly required anyone to travel north of the DMZ to film propaganda for a regime that enslaves 25 million people — and holds another 50 million southerners as quasi-hostages, under constant (if low-grade) threat of war.”

If Lester Holt and Co. didn’t realize a starving dictatorship was putting on a show for them via a “thriving” ski resort, why should we take anything they say seriously?

If they did realize it was a put-on and kept up the show, what they ended up airing was nothing more than propaganda for the North Korean communists … so why should we take anything they say seriously, either?

Say what you will about Brian Williams and his fake news, but at least he could probably tell when when the North Koreans were putting him on like this.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture