I think we’ve just reached the point at which reality is just too absurd for parody, so I’ll just let you read the latest and judge for yourself. Somehow, I don’t think comparing Kim Jong Il’s birth to the nativity at Bethlehem is quite the angle KCNA should have chosen to win over the hearts and minds of middle America. I would, however, like to commend Jean H. Lee for (1) putting her byline on the story, (2) helpfully acknowledging that “[s]ome foreign historians dispute parts of Kim’s eight-volume memoirs as well as the official biography published by North Korea in 2001,” and (3) keeping it classy when responding to criticism of the reporting from her bureau.
Some friendly advice for the AP, since I can see you in my visitors’ log, over there in Ryugyong-Dong, Pyongyang: snark won’t answer the questions about your coverage and its compromises, or make them any less compelling to your increasingly squeamish colleagues. Why not offer a frank and transparent defense of the exact nature of your relationship with the regime you’re covering? Of course, that defense can only begin when you fully disclose the terms of your agreements with that regime.
Update: So what I wanted to show you at that second link has since vanished, but I kept a screenshot: