Commentary

P.R. Genius Kim Jong-un Hijacks Olympics

Since when did Kim Jong-un become a public relations mastermind?

Ever since before the Winter Olympics got underway last week in the southern portion of the Korean peninsula where he wields no power, the North Korean supreme leader seems to have hijacked the attention of the world's Olympic media.

You would have thought the Spice Girls had decided to reunite from all the excitement that has been generated by the attendance at the Games of Kim's sister, Kim Yo Jong.

Meanwhile, I'm thinking: Is she really his sister? Are we sure he even has a sister? Has anyone in the gaga U.S. media double-checked this? For all we know, Kim hired someone to play his “sister” for two weeks.

In case you haven’t heard, Kim’s little sis (or whoever she is) has come south to PyeongChang in South Korea to attend the Olympics.

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She heads up an apparent entourage of North Koreans, including athletes, a cheerleading squad said to number almost 250 members and, presumably, various officials and chaperones.

She draws attention and photographers wherever she goes, like she is North Korea's Princess Di. Her every move has been chronicled -- who she shook hands with (South Korean President Moon Jae-in) and who would not shake hands with her (U.S. Vice President Mike Pence).

A story on CNN.com was typical of the coverage. The story carried the headline: “Kim Jong Un's sister is stealing the show at the Winter Olympics.”

Among other things, the story reported on what Lil’ Kim wrote in a guest book of some kind that was said to be the South Korean president's: “I hope [North Korean capital] Pyongyang and Seoul get closer in our people's hearts and move forward the future of prosperous unification.” Yeah -- as if that will ever happen.

The CNN story follows this stellar example of North Korean statesmanship with a paragraph positioning Kim Yo Jong in terms related to the Trump administration -- as if readers of this story wouldn't understand it otherwise.

“Seen by some as her brother's answer to American first daughter Ivanka Trump, Kim, 30, is not only a powerful member of Kim Jong Un's kitchen cabinet but also a foil to the perception of North Korea as antiquated and militaristic,” the story said. Yes, it actually said this.

There is so much wrong with this paragraph that I hardly know where to begin. For openers, how do the writers of this story (there are three shared bylines) know Miss Kim is “powerful” in her membership in this supposed “kitchen” cabinet of her brother's (if he is her brother)? The answer is: They don't know. But they wrote it here because they read it somewhere else.

Then there is the “seen by some …” phrase. Seen by whom? The story doesn't specify who sees Kim Yo Jong as Kim Jong-un's “answer to” Ivanka Trump. Where did this originate? A pundit somewhere? The U.S. State Department? Stephen Colbert? Who? Probably no one in particular.

As for Kim Yo Jong's position as a “foil to the perception of North Korea as antiquated and militaristic,” heaven only knows where this comes from. Is it because she is only 30? Does her relative youth (not that 30 is so young) make her “hip” or more open-minded than her older “brother” and his cohort of uniformed military men in those big hats they wear?

The point I am trying to make here is that sometimes these kinds of stories are more self-fulfilling prophecies than real stories.

This story's central assumption about Kim Yo Jong -- that her presence at the Winter Olympics has “hijacked” them -- is really only true in the context of the number of stories like this one. In other words, this was a story that had a headline before it had a story.

So a story had to be concocted to fulfill the headline's idea that Kim Yo Jong has drawn more attention at the Olympics than the much more deserving athletes who do such incredible things (such as U.S. snowboarder Jamie Anderson in midair in the photo above).

Well, maybe she has or maybe she has not. And if she has, she is not the p.r. mastermind behind this hijacking. Her brother is, and he has been aided and abetted by the world's news media.

8 comments about "P.R. Genius Kim Jong-un Hijacks Olympics".
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  1. Kenny Kurtz from creative license, February 13, 2018 at 1:44 p.m.

    Truly, a sad state of affairs, this is what "media" has been relegated to.

    Trash heap.

    And to whatever degree this "sister" to a brutal, murderous dictator has been able to charm anybody, or hijack anything is commensurate with the degree to which our predominantly left-leaning media is able to "be OK" with brutal, murderous dictators.

    The left would love to make it appear as though the "horrors" of our President Trumpenstein are equivocal to the horrors of this brutal dictator, and his murderous regime. Such equivocation is sickening, and makes it so very easy for the Kim Yo Jongs of the world to "rise to the top."

  2. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, February 13, 2018 at 2:07 p.m.

    It's tough to listen to our American media gush over the Norks who less than a year ago threatened to attack Guam. Kim's sister gets to go back to her country and say the West loves North Korea (and not be lying). Apparently, any enemy of Trump is a friend of the media.

  3. David Mattson from Not Ordinary Media, February 14, 2018 at 1:58 p.m.

    Since when did KJU become a PR genius you ask?  When he dubbed Trump a 'dotard' might be the original breakthrough...

  4. Rick Thomas from MediaRich Marketing, February 14, 2018 at 3:07 p.m.

    Maybe the United States should have sent a delegation to the Olympics instead of only the Vice President.  Maybe the United States should have sent the First Lady to represent the country instead of Mike Pence who did nothing more than increase tensions between the U.S. and North Korea.  Maybe this administration should have sent a woman even Ivanka to ease those tensions.  

    When somebody steals the show then we as marketers have to give them their props.  Maybe she did a better job and maybe had this administration been focused on this once every four years Winter Olympics someone on this staff could have reacted in real time and sent an American woman to out do another woman from North Korea now being run by a madman. 

    This was easy. 

    When KJU wins the marketing game your team must be focused on other crisis issues, oh that's right they are focused on other crisis issues.
     

  5. Kenny Kurtz from creative license replied, February 14, 2018 at 8:08 p.m.

    That's funny. KJU winning the marketing game? If Trump has proven anything, it's that when the left makes an idiotic comment like "the brutal. murderous dictator is winning the marketing game" you can rest assured that the paradoxical truth is that Trump is winning the marketing game. When the brutal, murderous dictator "dubbed Trump a dotard?" Yes. That's right. Trump won that round too. Just look at the campaign. Everybody was sooooooo wrong. Every times the left said "stick a fork in Trump, he's done" for something he said, or did, it turned out the opposite was true. Not only was he not through, he was HELPED. That the left is apoplectic over what a narcissistic businessman is getting done as president, absent political correctness, and with accountability in Washington FINALLY will guarantee Trump another four years. CNN was sooooooo wrong about everything, and they remain wrong about everything. CNN alone is guaranteeing that we get four more years of Trumpenstein, so twisted and ridiculous have they allowed Trump to make them. One thing's for sure... if the left says something is bad, it's good for Trump, and his future.

  6. Kenny Kurtz from creative license replied, February 14, 2018 at 8:16 p.m.

    Uh Rick. Adam had his tongue in his cheek on this one. The so-called "sister" of the murderous and brutal commie dictator is not really "stealing the show" even if some apologetic liberals would like to float that ridiculous boat. And what the hell did Pence do? Be stoic in the face of the atrocities committed by a brutal, murderous dictator? Mike Pence "increased tensions?" Really? How did he manage that?

    The brutal dictator is lobbing nuclear missiles over Japan, and threatening to wipe Guam off the face of the earth while starving his whole population, and murdering North Koreans that dare complain that there's nothing to eat, and "Pence is stoking the tension?"

    Come back to Planet Earth.

  7. John Capone from Whalebone replied, February 15, 2018 at 12:46 p.m.

    Kenny, not sure how Pence at the Olympics can be seen as anything better than completely tone deaf. Pence is who the administration sends when it wants to troll. Not sure about his having increased tensions with North Korea, but he certainly has increased them within his own country and between the government and the athletes representing the country it purports to serve. Pence’s very public anti-gay agenda and repudiation of out Olympic athletes. 


    Pence is a coward and a bully, not some cowboy in some neclear-age western. 

    Come back down to earth. 

  8. Kenny Kurtz from creative license, February 15, 2018 at 2:55 p.m.

    Not sure what you're talking about, John. First, I haven't paid much attention to these Olympics.

    What did Pence do that was "tone deaf?" What did he do to increase tensions within the United States, and between government and athletes?

    I'm unaware of an anti-gay agenda, or any repudiation of our athletes. What have I been missing, or is this just in your own head?

    Oh, never mind, it's clearly in  your own head. Your last sentence, in which you smear Pence as a coward, and a bully make it clear that you've got some axe to grind. Pence is far from either one of those things.

    Are you one of those people that worship at the altar of government, that believes that government should be some sort of savior of the people "it serves?"

    Pence went, he saw, he chose not to shake the hand of the purported sister of a brutal, murderous dictator, and then he went home. Asking  aanything more of him than that is idiotic.

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