Heard the sad news about 2 American TV journalists sentenced by North Korea to 12 years hard-labor. Their alleged crime was illegal entry into N Korea, which basically means they were conducting interviews at the border when the N Korean guards saw them, went over to the other side and forced them to come with them. This other news about 2 Kashmiri women, on the same day, only amplifies how secure people in border areas may feel with the runaway security guards all around them. In the latter case, the charismatic new Chief Minister, young Omar Abdullah, even dismissed the local allegation of rape and refused to entertain any investigations until the valley boiled for 7 days!
Coming back to the first news, these 2 reporters, in their 30s, have been charged with espionage and found guilty in a 'show trial'. US media, of course, is requesting that the innocent journalists not be used as pawns in what is actually a diplomatic stand-off. Their case is no more than North Korea dipping its toes in the Obama waters. They will tailor future provokations to US based on how the new administration tackles this negotiation and crisis. Neither the US nor North Korea have anything to lose, but the winner gains powerful credibility in the region.
What surprised me, though, was that these 2 ladies who risked their life to collect some politically sensitive, award-worthy news do not work for any news organization (like BBC or Reuters) at all. Their employer is a Silicon Valley start-up known as Current TV.
The Current TV home page is full of fluffy, sex-and-sensationalism type "news". They call it mash-ups and claim to offer some sort of "user defined" criteria of what qualifies as news. Whatever that may be, I did not see where a serious reportage about refugees from North Korea (that the 2 ladies were allegedly investigating) would find a place anywhere on this site.
Sample a few headlines:
Flavored Lube Tasting
So Where is ET Anyway?
'Big Brother' Entrants Revealed
What could have motivated two young, female journalists working for a web-tabloid to cross the border (or even venture close enough) into known hostile country during a known period of hostilities? Even if they got out of there OK, there's no way their 'serious' report would make it past the sub-editor at Current TV. Hell, I had a hard time finding even the story of their own plight on that site! Makes me wonder, what were the little ladies reeaallllly up to? Hmmm.
To cherry the cake, Current TV is founded by the man who invented the Internet itself-- Mr. Al Gore. Wow.
Is it just me, or is there an inconvenient truth lurking out there.... somewhere...?
PS: For a context of what the title of my post refers to, read this (be warned, though)