Vice Media and Dennis Rodman have just given the Kim regime some great domestic propaganda to show their people how decadent Americans are:
PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — Former NBA star Dennis Rodman brought his basketball skills Tuesday and flamboyant style – neon-bleached hair, tattoos, nose studs and all – to the isolated communist country with possibly the world’s drabbest dress code: North Korea.
Arriving in Pyongyang, the American athlete and showman known as ”The Worm” became an unlikely ambassador for sports diplomacy at a time of heightened tensions between the U.S. and North Korea. Or maybe not so unlikely: Young leader Kim Jong Un is said to have been a fan of the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s, when Rodman won three championships with the club.
Rodman is joining three members of the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team for a Vice Media production to air on HBO in early April, Vice founder Shane Smith told The Associated Press in an exclusive interview before the group’s departure from Beijing.
Smith said the Americans hope to engage in a little ”basketball diplomacy” by running a basketball camp for children and playing pickup games with locals, and by competing alongside top athletes of North Korea – formally known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. [Associated Press]
The North Koreans could not have asked for better propaganda than Dennis Rodman to reinforce the stereotype of evil, monster Americans that the North Korean public is indoctrinated with from the day they are born:
It appears Rodman is having the propaganda effect the Kim regime is expecting:
Shown a photo of a snarling Rodman, piercings dangling from his lower lip and two massive tattoos emblazoned on his chest, one North Korean in Pyongyang recoiled and said: “He looks like a monster!”
At least the Globetrotters look presentable though the afro is sure to draw some stares:
This whole basketball diplomacy idea is a bunch of nonsense. If this was about basketball diplomacy there would be no HBO special, no one would be getting paid anything, and Dennis Rodman would be the last basketball player you would want to send on such a mission. Vice Media is in North Korea because it is a hot topic right now and they know this will cause more people to watch their show when it airs on HBO in April. They also know Dennis Rodman in North Korea is another great way to draw eyeballs to their show. For Rodman’s part he just likely needs the money so is willing to play the part of a circus clown in North Korea. I am assuming the three Globetrotters are also getting a decent paycheck as well to participate.
(Note: I am assuming these guys are getting paid by Vice Media though the article does not say.)
So basically everyone is getting what they want, Vice Media: exposure, Globetrotters and Rodman: money, and the Kim regime: domestic propaganda. This is the type of engagement that the Kim regime is more than willing to continue to agree to if they can keep getting American circus clowns to come to their country and be domestic propaganda props for them.