Tuesday, August 05, 2008

[The Hankyoreh, July 18 2008] [Editorial] The Lee administration seizes media control

Yesterday and the day before, things happened that should never happen in a normal democratic country. The day before yesterday, the Korea Communications Standards Commission decided to hand down what is officially considered a “heavy penalty” to MBC’s “The Producer’s Notebook” (Pidi Sucheop) by ordering it to issue an apology to its viewers. The decision was approved by only those commission members appointed by the administration and the ruling Grand National Party, with opposing commission members absent. Yesterday morning, the cable news broadcaster YTN held an extraordinary shareholders’ meeting that lasted for only about 40 seconds, essentially to choose Gu Bon-hong, formerly President Lee Myung-bak’s special aide for broadcasting during his campaign, voting to do so while private security guards prevented employee shareholders from entering the meeting and speaking.

These events each happened in a flash and remind you of a coup d’etat. Both moves were things the administration had been working on with a lot of interest, so it shows you that the Lee administration had been hanging low because of public opinion expressed, as it has been, with candles, but has now come out in earnest to seize control of the media, without the slightest concern for what anyone will think.

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