Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Still no apology from MBC, and more provocations on the Chinese front

A quick update regarding the xenophobic video recently aired by MBC (see "Foreigners"):
- MBC didn't budge: still no apology at this stage
- the deafening silence from other mainstream media and from national authorities continues
- outraged citizens remain vocal: the Facebook group ( passed the 8,000 members mark
- a petition demanding an apology from MBC has been initiated, and over 1,800 people have already signed it (

My opinion remains unchanged:
- Is there a minority of foreigners behaving badly in Korea? of course, just like there is a minority of Koreans behaving badly.
- A journalistic investigation on the issue is respectable, but this MBC video is not a journalistic investigation.
- I'm afraid this is not even bad journalism, but pure propaganda. Too disturbingly similar to a texbook guerilla operation (trial balloon, wedge strategy, fake debate...) in an asymmetric war. Deliberate hatemongering from a minority who, beyond foreigners (who are not the actual target), intend to undermine Korea's democracy and Korean core values.
- This imposture should be exposed and denounced. Even if this provocation is an infinitesimal occurence in a sea of love, and even if over-reactions can feed the negative dynamics searched by the provocators. That's a classic: exposing the imposture requires some kind of spotlight, and in asymetric wars against democracies, provocations are cheap ad campaigns.
- In order to protect the nation, it is essential that, beyond the international community, local mainstream media do their job as well, and that they use their own spots to expose this fake debate, this 'us vs them' imposture.

Actually, when I first saw that video, it reminded me of a similar low cost propaganda operation carried a few months ago, when a Korean cable broadcaster aired a short revisionist program where Koreans claimed Confucius was Korean. An heresy for anyone who knows Korea and the way Koreans are educated. Ask any Korean and he'd feel insulted to learn about such a program. The actual targets were Chinese: the aim of the game was to fuel hatred, and judging by the reactions in online fora, it seems to have worked.

Speaking of China and provocations. After mentioning that other video yesterday in a discussion, I delivered my usual pitch on the sick ping-pong game between ultra-nationalists in the region (Korea, Japan, China), very similar to the ping-pong game between fundamentalists* (same imposture: these "best enemies" need each other, and the louder they scream at each other, the less audible the moderate majority, thus the need for mainstream media to speak up and to expose the imposture).

Then I mentioned China's very controversial Northeastern Project, and the revisionist attempts to rewrite history by distorting facts, destroying evidences, or forging others (eg Koguryo revisited). People were surprised to learn how the Great Wall of China itself was being distorted (about this "Hanschluss" attempt, see "Great Wall of China - Anschlussing Korea (continued)" - April 2009).

Coincidence, the second round of "conclusions" by Chinese revisionists has just been released**, confirming my fears from three years ago: the history of Korea and Tibet has just been redrawn.

Back in 2000, the Great Wall used to be 6,000 km long. It grew to 8,851 km in 2009, and now "officially" measures 20,000 km - half the Earth circumference!

By 2015, I bet Northeastern Project "Historians" will find underwater stones from the Great Wall circling around Dokdo.

Seoul Village 2012
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* I wrote a "Universal  Declaration of Independence From Fundamentalism" about that one
** on the cover of today's Chosun Ilbo (Korean edition):

20120608: at long last, a mainstream Korean media reacted to the MBC video (article in JoongAng Ilbo today: "임신·에이즈 문제 외국인이 일으킨다? 한국인은 괜찮고?). Big media are also mentioning the scandal in the US (WSJ) or France (Le Point)
ADDENDUM (Greater Wall of China)
I was later interviewed about the "Hanschluss" by Barbara Demick for her article "China says Great Wall is longer than previously thought" (LA Times, July 17, 2012), and subsequently quoted in ABC News ("Great Wall of China allegedly longer than previously reported", July 18, 2012)


  1. Thanks for sharing this info, Stephan. I have joined the FB page and signed the Aavaz petition.

  2. And thanks for adding your voice to the moderates. 2,144 signatures collected to date (2,500 needed): see link.


Thank you for your comments and remarks. Also for your patience (comments are moderated and are not published right away - only way to curb the spam, sorry). S.

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