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KCSC censures comedians for satirizing Park Geun-hye

In fact, I am not sure if “satirizing” is the right expression. Last December, Gag Concert [개그 콘서트]–a comedic television show–had a vignette in which a comedian declared to the president-elect:

“The new president-elect Park Geun-hye, ma’am, listen up. Hope you keep all those campaign promises, the promises for ordinary folks, for businesses, for students, all of them. But just don’t do one thing. Comedy. Don’t do any comedy. There’s nothing for us to do. Why do you make people laugh so much? We’ll do all the funny stuff here, so focus on taking care of the country. If you really want to make people laugh, do that on Gag Concert.”   ["이번에 대통령이 된 박근혜님, 잘 들어. 당신이 얘기했듯이 서민들을 위한 정책, 기업들을 위한 정책, 학생들을 위한 정책, 그 수많은 정책들 잘 지키길 바란다. 하지만 한 가지는 절대 하지 마라. 코미디. 코미디는 하지 마. 우리가 할 게 없어. 왜 이렇게 웃겨. 국민들 웃기는 건 우리가 할 테니까. 나랏일에만 신경 쓰기 바랍니다. 그리고 진짜 웃기고 싶으면 '개콘'에 나와서 웃기든지."]

In shock of shocks (sarcasm,) Korea Communications Standards Commission censured the program by issuing an “administrative guidance” [행정지도], a punishment that is a step lower than legal action. KCSC announced that it was not a proper political satire to lecture the president-elect who did not yet began governing, or to use banmal to address the president-elect. (To this, chairman of the YTN union cracked: “I heard PSY will perform at the inauguration. He’s going to point at the president and sing, ‘Yes, you.’ Are they going to arrest him on the spot for using banmal to the president?”)

This censure is another instance of the government’s commandeering of Korean media, which began in earnest when MBC’s PD Notebook nearly derailed Lee Myeong-bak’s presidency in the Mad Cow Disease protests. During his term, Lee Myeong-bak administration oversaw the firing or demotion of nearly 200 journalists who were critical to the government, sparking a strike at KBS, MBC and YTN that lasted for several months last year.

  • Annie Nonimus

    Yeah, I wish Korea’s state institutions could better transcend politics when dealing with the media. Of course, it would be nice if the media could do the same (private media can do what it wants, of course, but MBC, KBS, et al. are very much public institutions).

  • bumfromkorea

    Well, how dare they insult her excellency, the rising sun of the people, the glorious leader and general of the eternal republic like that?

  • wangkon936

    Bum,

    You’re doing it wrong. You should write it like this:

    “Counter-revolutionary elements from those running dogs of the imperialistic long nose Americans have made up more clumsy lies and deceitful rumors against our eternal Great Leader Generalissimo Park Chung-hee’s daughter, the Lovely Leader. Demonstrating their innate inferiority and petty bourgeois existence that rots at the core of their way of life, they have no other recourse but to make up faults at the perfection of her radiant and glorious rule. We here at the Ministry of Truth and Public Information have diligently been at work protecting the innocent public from this insidious attack and will, with one swift blow, root out counter-revolutionary thoughts and will send the guilty parties to reeducation centers to make sure they come back with a correct understanding of the pure righteousness of our path and the merciful, bountiful and protective rule of our late Generalissimo’s daughter, the illustrious Lovely Leader.”

  • bumfromkorea

    I bow to the master.

  • Arari

    In the original footage before editing, the comedian stop for a second after ‘이번에 당선된 박근혜,님 잘들어’ and said ‘이번에 당선된 문재인,님 잘들어.’ The show was recorded before the election results came out. So the vignette wasn’t even primarily targetting PGH. Which makes the KSCS’s announcement even more hilarious.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bobbymc Bobby McGill

    That’s just sad.

  • pawikirogii

    i think you need to be korean to understand just how rude all this is.

  • felddog13

    Pawi: Can you elaborate? Is it just the 반말? I know political satire–(how can I phrase this without The Korean getting up in my grill?)– is, er, different here than in Western countries. But jeez–an official government censure for that Gag Concert bit? That seems ridiculous.

  • 3gyupsal

    How do these people go out on a windy day without their skin being blown off?

  • RElgin

    It has been obvious for years that government interference in media would become more sophisticated but this is just asinine and makes the KCSC look so.

  • http://twitter.com/ZenKimchi ZenKimchi

    “If you really want to make people laugh, do that on Gag Concert.”<–Most hilarious thing ever said on Gag Concert.

  • R. Elgin

    You know “the Lovely Leader” is quaint parody of DPRK rhetoric and I think I will steal that as well. ^_^

  • http://www.askakorean.net/ The_Korean

    All Roh did was to close off BH’s press room. I did not support that decision, but that was a far, far cry from what is going on today.

  • RElgin

    Yes, Hannara went further with the idea and there will be a lot more problems in this area.
    Even now, in America, there are growing problems with censorship and as more and more people reject traditional media outlets and their obvious commercial bias, life will become more and more interesting.

  • http://www.facebook.com/felix.abt Felix Abt

    It seems censorship is a daily phenomenon here: Yonhap was not allowed to publish an interview with the author of “A Capitalist in North Korea: My Seven Years in the Hermit Kingdom”, slightly critical of the way President Lee Myung-bak was dealing with the North. But the censorship is not totally effective: The interview is now published here: https://www.facebook.com/ACapitalistInNorthKorea?ref=tn_tnmn