You’re kidding me. After all those ethical compromises, the AP can’t even get the North Korean
minders journalists in its Pyongyang Bureau to bring it within a half-mile of the rocket and launch pad His Porcine Majesty starved so damn many kids to build? So the AP’s latest “exclusive” is a story by Foster Klug, who is based in Washington, writing about commercial satellite photographs shown to him by a local think tank, which probably purchased them commercially. Why, Digital Globe photographs are so damn exclusive, I’ve purchased and posted them myself while I was looking for something newsworthy — in this case, something you sure as hell won’t see the AP writing about.
What’s puzzling to me is that North Korea seems pretty eager to show off its new toy. Why not show the actual rocket to the only news agency that was willing to stoop to throwing away its objectivity, credibility, and dignity to get exclusive access to something newsworthy? Sure, you could debate the AP’s Faustian compromises to get that access, and we’d continue to wonder what the AP chooses not to cover for fear of upsetting its new hosts, but at least that would be newsworthy.
Next up: Jean H. Lee’s exclusive man-on-the-street interview with Vice-Marshal Pak Su-Chol, who challenges western perceptions by revealing the peaceful purposes behind North Korea’s uranium enrichment program, and David Guttenfelder’s exclusive photo essay of three darling little tykes who were taken from their parents’ home during infancy and trained to juggle butcher knives while riding a unicycle and wearing ghoulish mercury-based makeup!
Correction: Foster Klug, I’m told, moved from Washington to Seoul a few years ago. And to be clear, I have no complaints about Klug’s reporting. He’s been covering this story for years, and nothing I’ve seen in his reporting ever revealed his biases to me (though we all have them). My point stands nonetheless — there are a lot of newsworthy things happening in North Korea, but none of the reports I’ve seen from the AP’s bureau in Pyongyang so far have enlightened its readers about any of them.