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“Song Won-seop’s Universe: Rain was not insulted”

May 14th, 2007 . by Gerry-Bevers

The following is the first part of a Korean article that talks about how Koreans jumped the gun in assuming that Stephen Colbert insulted Korean pop singer “Rain.”

[JES Song Won-seop] Was Rain really insulted?

On the 14th, various Korean media reported that popular American comedian Stephen Colbert (pronounced as “콜베르”) ridiculed Rain on his TV program. After the report, there was the predictable uproar of Korean netizens voicing their indignation.

However, the situation on the Internet this time developed differently than it had in the past in that even people in Korea who actually saw the video could be seen asking, “How can this be seen as ridicule?” …. (Link the rest of the Korean article)

I think this incident was another example of a Korean reporter trying to stir up anti-American sentiment in South Korea by claiming that an American was again insulting Korea and Koreans. The reason it did not work this time is that there was video evidence showing Stephen Colbert was not trying to insult “Rain,” but was actually complimenting him. Koreans with enough English skills to understand the jokes could clearly see that. Even the anti-American Koreans out there probably realized that they would look foolish if they tried to use this incident as a means to propagate anti-Americanism.

Chosun Ilbo Article: “U.S. Comedian Rains Mockery on Rain”

Link to a previous post on the incident


10 Responses to ““Song Won-seop’s Universe: Rain was not insulted””

  1. comment number 1 by: GarlicBreath

    Let me see….

    This post is about how Korean media stirs up anti-American hatred. This should come as no suprise to anybody who knows and uderstands Korea. I wonder how many posts before Japan and the USA are broght up.
    Blame shifting should be an olympic sport for Koreans.

  2. comment number 2 by: kjeff

    Gerry,

    I think this incident was another example of a Korean reporter trying to stir up anti-American sentiment in South Korea by claiming that an American was again insulting Korea and Koreans.

    Don’t you think you’re a little loose on your ‘association?’ A bit of possible contradiction…If you’re “ignorant”, don’t you think it’ll be rather hard to “stir up anti-American sentiment in South Korea by claiming that an American was again insulting Korea and Koreans.”? Maybe you know the reporter better than I do…

    The reason it did not work this time is that there was video evidence showing Stephen Colbert was not trying to insult “Rain,” but was actually complimenting him. Koreans with enough English skills to understand the jokes could clearly see that.

    I have to say these are two very carefully worded, and structured, sentences. They are not incorrect, but to me, the focus is rather heavy on the “evidence” and not the discerning viewer “with enough English skills.” Arghhh…maybe I’m reading too much into it…
    BTW,
    What’s the Chosun Ilbo’s link for? Pretty straight descriptive article to me…in English at least…

  3. comment number 3 by: Gerry-Bevers

    Kjeff,

    You can be anti-American and ignorant at the same time; in fact, I think most anti-Americans are ignorant.

    In his rush to post an anti-American article, the reporter obviously did not bother to check the intent of the comedian or even get an accurate translation of the script. Since similarly inaccurate articles have been accepted by Koreans in the past, the reporter probably assumed that any inaccuracies in the article would be overlooked by Korea’s anti-American crowd.

    The Korea media said that Colbert insulted Rain, and they would have probably done follow-up stories to blowup the incident further if their mistranslations and misinterpretations had not been exposed.

    The Chosun Ilbo article is an English version of the original Korean article that I translated, except that it has corrected the translation errors. That is why I posted it. Why do you ask? Does it bother you for some reason?

  4. comment number 4 by: kjeff

    Gerry,
    I notice that you’re presupposing that he ‘wanted’ to write “an anti-American article” to begin with. I do understand what you meant though.

    Why do you ask? Does it bother you for some reason?

    I’d read the original text in Korean that you linked earlier, and THEN your translation, and I pretty much agreed with you that the reporter didn’t really understand Colbert’s routine. Until your response above, I actually didn’t recognize that they were the same article. I didn’t feel that the reporter was ‘missing’ anything in the English version.(That’s why I asked) To me personally, and you may have input on this as an English teacher, the words ‘mockery’ and ‘ridicule’ don’t necessarily have negative meanings in English, as parody(a popular form of comedy in the U.S., but not in Korea), often takes form in mockery and ridicule.(in contrast to a mere ‘insult’, which how I’d perceive it in Korean)
    P.S. Still don’t get how Colbert was complementing Rain as some have suggested though. However, to be parodied, by someone of Colbert’s caliber, goes to show that you’ve made it, baby…you..matter. I don’t think he’s complementing Republican pundits in his popular alter-ego.

  5. comment number 5 by: HanComplex

    Not really surprised with Korean reporters trying to build up anti-American sentiment. So what else is new. What’s funny is that it backfired this time around. LOL
    Gerry,
    Would you say Koreans are slightly becoming more critical of what they now read in the media? I hope so, especially after that offensive cartoon editorial got pulled during the Virginia Tech tragedy. The sooner they start to think for themselves instead of believing everything the media tells them the better.

  6. comment number 6 by: GarlicBreath

    Mr Bevers, you don’t need to answer all of Koreanjeff quesions. He really doesn’t care. He just wants to keep underming you, by asking quesion after question and then making incinuations about your motives. Don’t forget Mr Bevers, in the Korean mind “Every tree falls down within ten times of chopping”, and Koreanjeff is choping chopping chopping.

  7. comment number 7 by: Brian

    Yes, Koreans who have enough english skills and fully understand the parady “can take a joke” and do realize it’s a “compliment.” Does Garlic-face really need this article to prove that or is he smart enough to come up with that simple deduction intuitively? As you can see, no.

  8. comment number 8 by: Durf

    Who is Robert Colbert?

  9. comment number 9 by: General Tiger

    Gerry:

    The Korea media said that Colbert insulted Rain, and they would have probably done follow-up stories to blowup the incident further if their mistranslations and misinterpretations had not been exposed.

    Gerry, are you sure you lived in Korea of a long time? You would have noticed that the Korean “media” of which you speak of was a single article, since on-line newspapers tend to link to the same articles. In fact,
    isn’t this the same thing with any other internet newspapers?
    Oh course, since you don’t think highly of Koreans, you might think that the article you posted before was made by an Anti-American. But, it seems you’re taking things a bit to far, since the original writer (I e-mailed him) admitted that he wasn’t familiar with American shows in the first place.
    You really need to carry your brilliant logic (this isn’t sarcasim) that you use in the Dokdo arguments, since this isn’t matching up to your usual standards.

  10. comment number 10 by: General Tiger

    PS: How do you edit your replies?