NBC Ignores American Arrested in North Korea, But Slams Palin Photo

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Troubling news broke out of North Korea early Sunday morning after an American citizen was arrested by North Korean officials on Saturday. “It has been confirmed that another American has been arrested in North Korea's capital, Pyongyang, which about 120 miles north from here from Seoul,” reported ABC’s Bob Woodruff during Good Morning America. It’s shocking news that hits just as tensions between the U.S. and communist regime are near a boiling point. Despite those facts, NBC’s Willie Geist failed to mention the development during his show, Sunday Today.

“His name so far is not known,” noted Woodruff. “But the Sweden embassy, America's only real connection to North Korea's government has been told that he is a Korean-American in his 50s,” he added, “And had been in North Korea for about a month, working on relief efforts.”

The reasoning behind the arrest was “unknown,” according to CNN at the time, but they also reported that “The US State Department on Sunday said it was working on the case.”

Woodruff stated that “today's news really marks the third detention of a U.S. citizen by North Korea in the past 16 months.” One such American detained was Otto Warmbier, who was sentenced to “15 years of hard labor for allegedly removing a political sign from a hotel wall.” The other prisoner was Kim Dong Chul. North Korea claims he was a spy and he’s not doing 10 years of hard labor.

Instead of reported this disturbing news, Geist chose to harp on the White House photo-op involving former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, Ted Nugent, and Kid Rock.

After touting New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski’s photo-op in the Oval Office with President Donald Trump, he noted that “later that same day, more celebrity guests in the oval as former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin visited President Trump for dinner and brought along her pals Ted Nugent and Kid Rock.”

He then chastised the trio for daring to pose in front of a portrait of First Lady Hillary Clinton:

The three later took a mocking photo in front of the official portrait of former First Lady Hillary Clinton. That's pretty gross. I mean bring whoever you want to the White House. That part’s pretty gross.

Geist’s criticism of the photo lasted roughly 30 seconds. That’s time that could have been used for a simple new brief to inform his viewers of the North Korea situation. It’s a very bold example of Geist’s priorities. Perhaps Geist would have cared if the person detained was a fellow NBC employee.

“NBC News correspondent Richard Engel and his four-person crew have been freed unharmed after being kidnapped inside Syria and subjected to five days of forced moves and death threats,” wrote The Washington Post in late 2012. 

Transcripts below:

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ABC
Good Moring America
April 23, 2017
8:10:43 AM Eastern

PAULA FARIS: Also this morning, there's a brand-new development in the rising tensions between the United States and North Korea.

DAN HARRIS: An American is now being detained in that country. And ABC’s Bob Woodruff is in Seoul, South Korea, with the latest.

BOB WOODRUFF: Well, good morning, Dan and Paula. Yes. It has been confirmed that another American has been arrested in North Korea's capital, Pyongyang, which about 120 miles north from here from Seoul. Now according to some reports, he was making his way out of the country. Arrested at Pyongyang's international airport. His name so far is not known. But the Sweden embassy, America's only real connection to North Korea's government has been told that he is a Korean-American in his 50s. And had been in North Korea for about a month, working on relief efforts.

This detention comes as tension is really growing. North Korea has launched missiles this year. But they're still recovering from their failed test on March 22nd. Also, the U.S.-South Korea join training exercises are continuing over the Korean peninsula.

Now today's news really marks the third detention of a U.S. citizen by North Korea in the past 16 months. One is Otto Warmbier who was a student from the University of Virginia. I did make a request to see him on our trip to Pyongyang a couple of weeks ago but that was denied. And Kim Jong-Un is using these kinds of arrests as bargaining chips. Dan and Paula?

FARIS: Certainly, is Bob Woodruff reporting from South Korea this morning. Thanks, Bob.

...

NBC
Sunday Today
April 23, 2017
8:20:24 AM Eastern

WILLIE GEIST: Gronk even found his way into the oval office where he got a fist bump from the President of the United States which, of course, he quickly tossed up on Instagram.

Now later that same day, more celebrity guests in the oval as former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin visited President Trump for dinner and brought along her pals Ted Nugent and Kid Rock. The three later took a mocking photo in front of the official portrait of former First Lady Hillary Clinton. That's pretty gross. I mean bring whoever you want to the White House. That part’s pretty gross.