Al Gore: Half Man. Half Bear. Half Terrible Person.
As a journalism major, I find the actions of the North Korean government (okay, just Kim Jong-il) to be generally repulsive. Usually, I ignore international bullshit, but the latest news out of Pyongyang is pretty bad. Two young journalist’s working for Al Gore’s independent news outlet, Current.TV, were convicted of entering the country illegally and sentenced to 12 years of forced labor. Even better, they are now up for additional charges and awaiting additional penalties. That’s pretty fucked up. Worse, my favorite Vice President (okay, favorite in the last ten years), Al Gore thought it seemed like a good idea to do nothing. Well, not nothing. He did decide to ban any reports of this atrocity from being mentioned on his network.
Imagine if you worked for a Go-Kart place (I’m not speaking from personal experience of course) and you get injured. I don’t mean like you tear your hamstring. I mean you have a Go-Kart land on your head and you go into a coma. Now, let’s say your Boss finds out. But, instead of calling the hospital or letting every worker know about what just happened, he just drags you body into a back room and puts a burlap sack over your bleeding body. Yea, that’s what Gore did. Oh, and in case you didn’t follow the analogy, he’s the boss.
In case you didn’t already hate how lawyers make themselves look like inhuman monsters sometimes, here’s the complete response written by an employee about what Current.TV is doing to repress any discussion of both journalists, Euna Lee and Laura Ling.
I’ll confirm that we’ve been told not to talk to anyone about it. We got an email the day it happened from our CTO saying not to talk to any media types that were out on our sidewalk, and an email saying not to discuss it in public forums/facebook/comments of blogs/etc. One of our reporters said something on her facebook and I believe she was told to delete it. We were also told not to show up at the vigils, I’m not real sure what would be the problem in going to those, but there you go.
We’ve got a fairly overzealous legal department so I’m guessing it half stems from them. We’ve got a standing “don’t talk to the media about anything, refer them to our media liaison” order for the most part that goes around so that aspect is nothing new… it’s just that the entire “hey, lets all ignore this whole situation entirely from the top down” thing for a media company seems a bit weird.
We don’t have any details on why we’re not supposed to say anything and if anyone tells you they do, they’re lying. We just know we’re not supposed to… and with this economy I think most people are under the impression that if a rough patch comes and more layoffs happen, why give someone a reason to put you at the top of the list.
Nobody likes it, Laura was one of the nicest people that worked in the SF office and I’m sure it’s killing the people in LA even more.”
So, naturally I am a little pissed at Man Bear Pig right now and the fact that these girls are probably getting smacked around while the legal department at Current.TV tries to figure out how long their first public statement should be. It doesn’t help that Lee happens to have her extended family in South Korea, which as you might expect isn’t in Kim Jong-il’s Fav 5. T-Mobile sucks.