This may have been mentioned in the comments somewhere but I think it is so extraordinary that it merits a wider audience….
This is John Sweeney trying to defend his actions (and failing):
North Korea is….‘A state that is more like Hitler’s Germany than any other state in the world, It is extraordinarily scary, dark and evil….. We maintain all of the students were aware of the risk.’
Defending the decision, BBC News head of programmes Ceri Thomas said: “This is an important piece of public interest journalism.” Asked whether that justified putting student lives at risk, he replied: “We think it does.”
Isn’t that just mindboggling? A state so evil it is like Hitler’s Germany…and they think a news story is worth putting, not just journalist’s lives at risk but students also.
Sweeney said they were aware of the risk…I would dispute that….anyone who knows human nature will know that they will have been excited to be going on the trip, they wouldn’t want to miss it, they are young and blase, possibly even slightly gung ho and caught up in the ‘romance and adventure’ of being part of an ‘undercover operation’.
They will probably have dismissed and ignored the reality of the risks and agreed to participate.
I would suggest that John Sweeney took advantage of human nature and knowingly put those students at risk for his own ends….the students had nothing to gain but everything to lose.
We already knew a fair amount about what goes on in North Korea, a lot from the ‘horse’s mouth’ so to speak…from actual Korean defectors.
So you might ask what was so important that John Sweeney thought he could learn himself that was worth putting other lives at risk.
No doubt many people will be watching Panorama tonight with interest to see if Sweeney has dug up any new and significant discoveries to merit the risks….or was it just a journalsitic vanity project…’something big’ that would look good on the CV of an intrepid investigative reporter?
Remember, as comments on the previous post have mentioned, this is a BBC that tackles Big Business for ‘exploiting’ the young…only recently reporting on the ‘plight’ of unpaid interns…and not forgetting how the BBC blasted G4S during the Olympics because some employees had to wait under a bridge for a couple of hours before being picked up.
As for Sweeney determinedly labelling North Korea a ‘Nazi’ state, well can’t argue with that….as there is little difference between Communism and Nazism..both being based on socialism.