You hardly ever expect to find a hero or even a sympathetic character among the North Korean political classes. They're pretty much scumbags who wreak whatever vengeance they can on anyone pointing out their scumbaggery. The KorComs especially hate journalists, and if foreign reporters stray into criticism, however mild, the Morning Calm Stasi arrests them, gives them a hard time for a while, then -- if the ink-stance wretches are lucky -- boots their free-press arses out of the country.
BBC reporters recently learned the meaning. Invited to cover the first "party congress" there in decades, they made some sort of error. It might have been failing to write in every lede that Kim il Whosis really is the sexiest man in the world. Anyway, according to the AP:
O Ryong Il, secretary-general of the North's National Peace Committee, said the journalist's news coverage distorted facts and "spoke ill of the system and the leadership of the country."
This is common in that woebegone excuse for a nation and would not have seemed noteworthy until one recalled another recent news report, a little closer to where we live. It seems that Ted Cruz's dad, the Rev. Mr. Rafael Cruz, took to his pulpit and announced that God wanted all of us to vote for Ted.
That, too, is quite ordinary among the American right-wing authoritarian populist set. God has me on speed dial and here is what He told me you must do. Standard stuff, immediately dismissed and soon forgotten unless it is directed at one Donald Trump who read it and raced for a microphone to fulminate.
“I think it’s a disgrace that he’s allowed to do it. I think it’s a disgrace that he’s allowed to say it,” Trump said during a telephone interview on "Fox and Friends."
Maybe Kim and Don could arrange a little conference. It shouldn't take them too long to write up a nice, clear list of what folks are and are not allowed to say. Come to think of it, they should invite Hillary, the presumptive queen of American political correctness.