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“[Observer] Arirang gets rid of annoying outside views”

February 28th, 2007 . by Gerry-Bevers

Today a friend gave me a newspaper clipping of a February 23th Joongang Daily article, in which the foreign writer talks about censorship at Arirang TV. The writer was a regular guest on an Arirang program called “Korea Today.” The following is an excerpt from the article:

We could say whatever we wanted, and we could disagree with each other.

All went well for some time. Then, last spring, we were discussing, for the umpteenth time, Korea’s favorite gripe ― Japan’s attempt to sanitize its history. In planning my script, I decided to get real about this issue ― Japan is not the only guilty party. But I know that this is a touchy issue, so I planned my script to lay some groundwork before coming to the point.

As disgraceful as Japan’s whitewash is, Japan is not alone in perfuming its history. American history is taught entirely differently today than when I was in school. For example, the treatment of the American Indians by the European settlers used to be glossed over as the advance of a superior civilization.

And even in Korea, controversial textbooks exist. But when the American ambassador protested to the Education Ministry about a school curriculum containing alleged anti-American distortions, he was brushed off with the explanation that Korea’s sacred allegiance to the “freedom of the classroom” forbids the government from imposing correct doctrine on what teachers should teach. I mildly concluded: Does the “freedom of the classroom” apply in Korea, but not in Japan?

When I showed up for the Friday afternoon taping, I was told that I could not say that. I could say that Japanese textbooks were distorted, and that American textbooks used to be distorted. But the fact that anyone had questioned the truth of Korean textbooks was unmentionable.

Link to the full article


43 Responses to ““[Observer] Arirang gets rid of annoying outside views””

  1. comment number 1 by: GarlicBreath

    Hal Piker should be fired for living in Korea so long and not knowing what any casual visiter of Korea would notice in one minute:

    In the words of CM a Kyopo right wing nationalist:

    “that Koreans are dog-eating, finger-chomping, unoriginal, emotionally underdeveloped, rationally challenged, xenophobic misogynists… except for Korean women, of course”

    Now what did HaL Piker expect.

  2. comment number 2 by: surabaya johnny

    One of the other blogs recently had a comment I found to be perfect about Arirang. The commentator stated that Arirang felt more like a North Korean show than a South Korean show.

    I find Arirang a total embarrassment. They get physically attractive people without any sign of mentation and have them parade across the screen. Unfortunately, Arirang promotes the kind of bluster, shallowness, and arrogance that projects an extremely negative image of Koreans to the world. If this blog is truly anti-Korean as is claimed, it should support Arirang to the max.

  3. comment number 3 by: GarlicBreath

    Ariyang would make goebbels proud.

  4. comment number 4 by: ponta

    the fact that anyone had questioned the truth of Korean textbooks was unmentionable.

    ………..

    South Korea is shown as a society without controversy, where government policies are wise and unchallenged, where only economic statistics and cultural festivals engage public attention ― in short, a society without flesh-and-blood human beings. Rather the way, in fact, that North Korea pictures itself.

    That is my impression too, but isn’t he supposed to know, as Lonkov warned, in Korea you don’t question Korean nationalist assumption?
    …..I am being sarcastic.
    It was good for Korea that the JoongAng Daily, a Korean news paper, published this article.
    Is it available in Korean version of JoongAng
    Daily?

  5. comment number 5 by: wiesunja

    They get physically attractive people without any sign of mentation and have them parade across the screen.

    Come on, that sums up Korean culture to a T. All form, no substance and superficial. It’s not just by coincidence that everything in Seoul still has that cheesy, brainless 80’s look and feel to it.

  6. comment number 6 by: jion999

    One guy discribed the society of current ROK as “Matrix of ultra nationalism”.
    If you feel a doubts about your world and study the history by yourself, you would be said, “welcome to the real world” by Morpheus.
    However, once you hear this voice, you would have to fight as a “chinirupa” (traitor) with ultra-nationalists of Korea for ever.
    Foreigners in Korea are also included.
    Now, Mr. Gerry-Bevers is playing the role of “Neo”.

  7. comment number 7 by: jion999

    There were many “Neo”s before in Korea.
    Korena woman professor in Japan was criticized as “ex-bar girl” by MBC.
    Korean guy who criticized Queen Min was arrested and sued.
    Korean singer who declaired “chinirupa” was forced to quite job.
    Japanese teacher of an university in Korea was fired because he wrote unti-Korea books.
    Mr. Gerry-Bevers. You are not alone.

  8. comment number 8 by: tomato

    As disgraceful as Japan’s whitewash is

    You know, this phrase is the favorite of Korean ultra-nationalists and other Japan-bashers around the world- but where the heck is the white-washing? Apparently, these guys know nothing about Japan.

  9. comment number 9 by: ponta

    In one respect, it is good we have a mirror for Japan. Let’s learn something from our neighbour.

  10. comment number 10 by: lirelou

    Gerry, for your friend:

    “For example, the treatment of the American Indians by the European settlers used to be glossed over as the advance of a superior civilization.”

    Damn! It wasn’t the advance of a superior culture/civilization? I guess all cultures / civilizations are equally relative. So now it’s civilizational relativity? Perhaps that is why I was never hired as a history teacher. Well, maybe Mel Gibson’s Apocaliptico will change a few minds as to the glories of Meso-American culture. You are decrying Korean political correctness and showing evidence of your own. Shades of Grey Owl!

  11. comment number 11 by: umetaro

    military/technological superiority does not a superior culture/civilization make.

    http://www.ratical.org/many_worlds/6Nations/

    also, mel gibson is a tool.

  12. comment number 12 by: Gerry-Bevers

    Lirelou,

    I do not really understand your comment, but I was not “decrying” anything with my post. Also, not allowing someone to point out that Korean textbooks have also been accused of whitewashing history is not political correctness, but censorship. There is a big difference.

    By the way, my friend is not the writer of the article.

  13. comment number 13 by: kteen

    지들끼리 잘~ 놀고 있네…

  14. comment number 14 by: Matt

    지들끼리 잘~ 놀고 있네…

    응?

  15. comment number 15 by: wiesunja

    지들끼리 잘~ 놀고 있네…

    Korean Insercurity Alert! The tribalism insecruity is hurt. LOL.

    Give me a break..Koreans are the most tribal creatures in the world. Ever wonder why the word “wangtta” is Korean and not foreign? It’s that Korean penchant for trying to feel superior to others by grouping and labeling. I figure that is why democracy is such a strange concept for Koreans to understand. They are so obsessed with trying to always rank things (I am better than you, My school is better than you, I am from yangban heritage, Our son is #1 in his class at SNU, Our neighbor has a Rolls Royce, etc.) that they cannot understand or accept the concept of equality. That is what makes Koreans go crazy…to actually consider the utter scary thought that, “Hey, you mean I am not superior? I am just as equal to the barbarians that I always look down upon?”

    But you see…the Korean character is weak and very insecure..like a 5 year old child. Because of this insecurity and cowardice, the only way to make him/herself feel worthy is to go the opposite direction and engage in such bigotry and boasting of one’s superiority to make up for feelings of inferiority. The Korean character is probably the biggest treasure chest in the world for psychology’s research into what fuels insecurity and inferiority complex in humans.

  16. comment number 16 by: wiesunja

    “[Observer] Arirang gets rid of annoying outside views”

    Translation:

    Korean: “Annoying outside views”
    =
    Rest of the Normal Civilized World: “Evidence and Truth”

  17. comment number 17 by: kteen

    wiesunja,
    I’ve never seen a rolls in korea before, have you?

    And talking about cowardice, aren’t ‘you japs the real cowards, Denying the nanjing massacre, denying the existance of the Unit 731, etc.?

  18. comment number 18 by: wiesunja

    ren’t ‘you japs the real cowards

    Yep, sooner or later..the true peninsular barbaric racist comes out! Funny how you Koreans are so predictable.

    Hey kteen (wjk, or whoever you are)…it’s really cute when you people get foaming at the mouth angry! It’s like watching a bunch of rabid monkeys at the zoo fighting over who has the bigger banana (LOL).

    Koreans…they offer very little in terms of intellect but loads of entertainment!

    BTW, I am sorry to disappoint you, but I ain’t Japanese! Boy, I bet that makes you even 10 times as angry, doesn’t it? LOL

  19. comment number 19 by: tomojiro54

    Wiesunja and kteen

    Both of you should stop over-categorizing. There are no homogenous “Korean” or “Japanese”.
    If you both try to justify your arguments hiding behind these categories, not having enough courage to admitt that what you have posted is, in the end, YOUR personal opinion, then you both are “cowards”.

    Regardless which nationality you both belongs an opinion is always an opinion from a personal point of view.

  20. comment number 20 by: wiesunja

    By the way, kteen, talking about cowards…

    I guess in Korea, the concept of “coward” or “brave” is quite different. I guess Korean “bravery” is kind of like how that Kim Sun Il guy was screaming and begging for his life like a little girl in the videos that were shot before his execution. Notice that none of the kidnapped hostages from other countries did that..all were stoic and brave until the end.

    Or maybe brave is like the Korean boxer who sulked and sat like a little baby in the middle of the ring after he got his ass kicked by his US opponent during the Olympics because his coaches didn’t get the bribery check to the officials on time that time around.

    Or maybe bravery is like the head builder for the Sampoong Dept. Store who ran out of the building hours before he knew of the imminent collapse sacrificing his employees and innocent customers.

    Yeah…I really think everyone aspires to Korean bravery!

  21. comment number 21 by: tomojiro54

    Wiesunja, you are disgusting.

  22. comment number 22 by: wiesunja

    tomojiro54, matt…

    Sorry about that. Just having a little fun with my good old friend, kteen. He is just too funny to leave alone sometimes. I promise I wont hurt his inner child anymore and cut with the attacks on Koreans which seem to make his hair go on fire. LOL

    But don’t you think it is interesting that Koreans always resort to spewing, “jap” this..”jap” that, and then claim, “Hey, Japan is so racist to Koreans!” Hilarious.

    Notice that no other members resort to calling Koreans, “flat faced gooks” or “gook dog eaters” etc. That’s the difference in maturity and civility btw the Korean trolls and other people.

  23. comment number 23 by: kteen

    You ‘guess’. It means you don’t know sh** about korea, so KEEP THE SHUT!
    oh, and btw, I’d like to see you ‘dying like a martyr’. Anyone care to execute wiesunja in public?

  24. comment number 24 by: tomojiro54

    YOU ARE NO DIFFERENT from any other disgusting ultra nationalists on this planet.

    NO one has a right to mock about innocent civilian who was raped his life by terrorists.

    You are sick!Just disgusting! I don’t care of your nationality. You are sick.

  25. comment number 25 by: kteen

    I might be funny, but did anyone ever tell you how pathetic you are?

  26. comment number 26 by: kteen

    Hey, tomojiro(a japanese, i presume?) is telling you now!

  27. comment number 27 by: wiesunja

    tomojiro a Japanese? Hahaha..yeah, right. More like a Korean posing as a Japanese. There are tons of them out there. Kteen, there’s an idea for your next tactic..not that it hasn’t already been done before by millions of your countrymen.

    Yawn…come on, entertain me with some more Korean behavior. It’s funny!

  28. comment number 28 by: tomojiro54

    kteen

    Yeah, I am a Japanese but again, nationality don’t matters. What you say, what you write matters. I don’t deny that personal opinions are influenced by circumstance(in which country you were born, raised, received education, what is your nationality and so on), but in the end, what matters is the person.

  29. comment number 29 by: wiesunja

    Its very interesting and quite ironic what has happened here, but all it does is prove the point that to the Korean mind, race and nationality are the only things important to defining a person. When Koreans want to hurt or attack someone, attacking and saying very offensive things about a person’s nationality or race is the first, and sometimes only thing they will do. It proves how tribal their mentality is…almost like a pack of wolves or dogs.

    Notice how kteen was so upset with what I wrote. Fine. However, he did not attack me personally, but rather he spewed out a rant full of racial epithets and profanity (again, a very typical Korean characteristic) against Japan. He did this even without knowing that I am not even Japanese. The only people in the world who resort to such idiotic and insecure behavior are Koreans. Seriously, Koreans behave like some psychotic jealous stalker to Japan. Everytime they wish to release anger and hatred, regardless of who or what the source is, they feel better if they can get scream “F-cking Jap!” in their rampage. Really scary actually. If a black person had broken into and robbed a Korean’s house..the first thing he would yell and scream is “F-ck you, Japanese!” Seriously…the Korean mind is a piece of work.

    The ironic part is that while trying to hurt or attack me by yelling “jap” (which of course I could care less since I am not Japanese), he in fact attached tomojiro54 who supposedly is Japanese (which I still doubt, but anyways). In other words, it is ironic that the very same entity that kteen wished to attack and hurt is the one who came to support him in the end..which is the reason why I still highly doubt tomojiro’s supposed “nationality”. But anyways, that is not the point…what was the point? Oh yeah..that Koreans like kteen are very entertaining to watch in action. LOL!

  30. comment number 30 by: tomojiro54

    Wiesunjya

    STOP categorizing. “When Koreans want to hurt or attack someone” blah,blah,blah.It seems that you have conducted a kind of 悉皆調査 against every Korean, if that’s true then I listen to your arguments. As far as I know NO ACADEMIC acomplished that. So if you did that, well you should recieve an academic awards and deserve to be refferenced as the ultimate expert about Korean studies, a international leader in that. もしあなたの名声に気づいていなかったしたら本当に申し訳ございません。ぜひ研究成果を開示していただきたいと思います。もし私が無知であなたの御高名に気づいていなかったとしたら恥ずかしい限りです。さぞ日本の韓国学では知られているのでしょうから。

    but unless if you did not accomplish what I have mentioned above in Japanese, then you are a racist or a big mouth.

    気づいていないようですので、あえて私がこのような議論をするときに心にとめていることをお話したいと思います。あくまで個人的な感想です。簡単に相手の意見を「典型的な韓国人の議論だ」とか安易にレッテルを貼らないほうがいいですよ。特に人種問題に敏感な欧米では典型的な人種差別的な言い回しと扱われます。

    賢明な議論の仕方とは思いません。ちなみにテロリストの犠牲になった韓国人の方を笑いものにした書き込み、正直な話、今でも吐き気がします。

  31. comment number 31 by: wiesunja

    Hi Tomojiro,

    Please do not be offended for me asking but are you a Jainichi (sic)? In other words, a “Z”apanese?

    You know very well that if you were to put that (z)apanese writing on any other webboard, people like kteen would tell you to stop writing that (z)ap jibberish, right?

    I still have my suspicions on why you defend people like that..unless of course you are..

    Oh, never mind.

  32. comment number 32 by: tomojiro54

    Wiesunja

    No, I am a Japanes with no korean blood. But apparently, your standard for classification whether someone is “Japanese” or “Korean” seems to be “anyone who agrees with my opinion is a Japanese”, “anyone who doesn’t is a Korean or a Zainichi”.

    A very shortsighted view.

    But, well, it seems you are overcoming the problem of “nationality” (sarcasm intended).

    Men, have you ever lived abroad?

  33. comment number 33 by: Aki

    I thought that wiesunja is just a funny guy who loves prank.
    But I am inclined to think that he/she is a 賢者 who used to be oppressed in history for saying truth that is too severe for commoners to accept his/her opinion.

  34. comment number 34 by: stumpjumper

    What is going on!

    Hey, wiesunja

    You are hurting everyone here. I don’t know what is your intention of being here, but stop making racist comments! By doing that, you are bringing down the credibility of this blog and as well as Japanese side of the arguments!

    This not a hate site! Please behave yourself if you want to be heard. I believe Tomojiro-san was making valid points. Please reread his comments and think about what you have said.

  35. comment number 35 by: T_K

    kteen, mind translating this?

    지들끼리 잘~ 놀고 있네…

    It’s hard to study Korean where I live.

  36. comment number 36 by: wiesunja

    your standard for classification whether someone is “Japanese” or “Korean” seems to be “anyone who agrees with my opinion is a Japanese”, “anyone who doesn’t is a Korean or a Zainichi”.

    Absolutely 100% wrong. Unlike Koreans, I really don’t care who is Japanese or not. As a matter of fact, look around this board… dogbert, garlicbreath, matt, gerry bevers, surabaya johnny, and many others who are in agreement with me..not a single one of them is Japanese. From my knowledge, only ponta, jion999 and I guess you (still in doubt) are real citizens from Japan. I think that this is what makes the Korean mind get so fuming angry. They would like to believe so badly that the only people who could possibly criticize their beloved Korea are Japanese people.

    You see Koreans so desperately wish that Japanese were the only people in the world who criticize Korea because it would give them more fuel to engage in their number one joy in life which is to deride and ridicule Japan to make themselves feel better about themselves and to ensure that this same hatred and insecurity is passed onto the next generation…similar to redneck hicks in the KKK. However, when they realize that almost all of the people on internet blogs who criticize Koreans for their racist, childish, and idotic behavior are in fact, westerners or non-Japanese, it really makes them upset because their wish and dream that all negative comments about Korea can only be made by Japanese is shattered. As a result, their hate mongering and bigotry towards Japan would be less justified and make less sense which is definitely not something that Koreans want. As disgusting as the concept may seem to most normal people, Koreans desperately want to make sure that their racism and hatred of Japan gets as much credible support from foreigners as possible. Thus, they will try to label anyone who makes a negative comment about Korea as a Japanese even when he is not. It is very sad indeed, but I guess this is how deep their jealousy and insecurity is.

    But in the end, they only end up shooting themselves in the foot because their irrational and somewhat comical behavior ends up making Koreans appear to be maniacally obsessed and mentally deranged just like a stalker who imagines things that aren’t real, just as I described. Look at how kteen automatically labeled me as a Japanese, and believe me, he is definitely not an isolated case. The majority of Koreans would love to say that a Japanese person was responsible for the IMF bailout, the collapse of the Sampoong Dept. store, or for the rainstorm that ruined their picnic last week. However, this would probably even too ridiculous for a Korean to admit so it must be quite frustrating for them.

    In any case, back to question, I know that Japanese people are definitely not the only ones who agree with me. There are PLENTY of people from N. America, Europe, Asia, Oceania, etc. who will agree that Korean bigotry, jealousy, and inferiority complex is indeed very pathetic and quite the turn off. I don’t think you need to be Japanese to understand that. All you need is a brain.

    However, anyone who tries to defend Korea’s hypocrisy or racism by always diverting the topic by saying..”Um…what about Japan! They killed 1 billion Koreans! So don’t you dare mention anything criticizing Korea ever again!” is definitely without doubt Korean.

  37. comment number 37 by: stumpjumper

    Darn, wiesunja

    You are coming too strong. Tomojiro-san said “seems to be “anyone who agrees with my opinion is a Japanese”. You do give the impression to the people who read your comments.

    Yes, there are Koreans that fits your description, but there are others too. Don’t be generalize all of them. I think that is what Tomojiro-san want to say.

  38. comment number 38 by: wiesunja

    Yeah, I have to agree with you stumpjumper. What is it about the internet though that attracts only those types?

  39. comment number 39 by: stumpjumper

    What is it about the internet though that attracts only those types?

    You made me smile:) I believe for most of them, the internet is the only way to the outside world. If you don’t have face to face interaction with real people, it is easier to grow “hate” towards someone they don’t like or care about. It is sad but true.

  40. comment number 40 by: tomojiro

    Wiesunja
    Sorry, I thought you were Japanese, so I posted some of the replies partialy in Japanese. But still I think that you and kteen’s argument weren’t proper in shouting “Japanese are…” or “Korean are…”.

    As I said, each of us have limited experiences so we should be humble and not to try over categorising the opponent and labeling their opinion with nationality.

    I am a Japanese, I have my own opinion but I can’t speak for all the Japanese so I try to avoid the word “Japanese” or “Japan” as much as possible. Of course not always I suceed in that…

  41. comment number 41 by: kteen

    Wiesunja,
    I apologise for being an ass.

    *I am a Korean.

  42. comment number 42 by: lirelou

    Gerry, I’m not ignoring your comment back to me. I just figured that my reply would get way off topic, and I don’t have your email for getting my reply off-line. Have a good weekend!

  43. comment number 43 by: kjeff

    wiesunja is a Korean.