Western reporters have had a few days to mull over the video of wailing North Koreans publicly displaying their grief. Days and sleepless nights of prolonged analysis have led the Times to a shocking conclusion: this outpouring of grief for a murderous dictator may not have been entirely sincere:
A day after North Korea announced the death of its longtime ruler, Kim Jong-il, televised video and photographs distributed by the reclusive state on Tuesday showed scenes of mass hysteria and grief among citizens and soldiers across the capital. The images, many of them carefully selected by the state Korean Central News Agency, appeared to be part of an official campaign to build support for Mr. Kim’s successor, his third son, Kim Jong-un. [Italics added]
No, really? Part of an official campaign? And here we were thinking that this was a spontaneous outpouring of sincere public grief. Thank goodness we have the Times as our paper of record for such trenchant and enlightening analysis of world events.Next up: NY Times reporters investigate the historical record and discover that the Nuremberg party rallies may not have been spontaneous expressions of popular enthusiasm for the Hitler government, but may actually have been staged by the regime! Also just in: Stalin era trials of prominent ex-leaders may have been scripted propaganda events rather than genuine courtroom dramas.We look forward to a Times investigation of professional wrestling on television. We suspect that the reality may be more complex than the simple contests portrayed on the screen; persistent rumors suggest that in some cases at least the outcomes are predetermined and the matches choreographed. Only the Times can tell for sure.