Spencer Neale | @TheNewTreasury
If there ever was a Truman Show moment of my life then it was last night. With tears streaking down his face and a MAGA hat atop his shaved head, former NBA great Dennis Rodman chastised Obama’s ‘no-approach’ policy, called out CNN for misrepresenting his cause of peace & championed Donald Trump while video of the Kim-Trump summit played in the background. Somehow, someway, it really was happening: the Korean wall was falling.
Handshakes, pleasantries and all the icing of another empty cake aside, this was a bitterly fitting occasion for the man who wore a dress to his own wedding; Dennis Rodman. When Rodman first visited North Korea in 2013 his outreach was roundly decried by both the media and the Obama administration as nearsighted & unacceptable. In an interview that read borderline hysterical at times, Rodman laid into his former critics:
Obama didn’t give me the time of day, I said ‘I have something to say from North Korea.’ He just brushed me off… When I went back home I got so many death threats. I couldn’t even go home, I had to hide out for 30 days. I kept my head up high, I knew things could change. Today is a great day for everyone. It’s a great day, I’m so happy.
Rodman’s relationship with the North Korean leader has been maligned and prodded by a pugnacious media. When in 2014 he promised to bring a basketball team to play an exhibition match in the hermit dictatorship, it was the media who described it as a circus and sent in their hounds to detail human rights violations while flashing images of Rodman laughing with Kim courtside. Throughout it all Rodman held fast to the belief that if our leader would simply extend his hand in a show of peace that Kim would be there to reciprocate. Against all odds, Rodman was right.
In the high stakes game of media punditry, it’s become increasingly important to call a spade a spade. So often, pundits and writers alike don’t call it like they see it, they call it how they want to see it. For the intellectual mafia that attempts to distill highly complex narratives into perky soundbites, Rodman & Kim was always a tricky subject.
Their special relationship speaks to a communication and friendship that sits at uncomfortable odds with the well-established line of thought that demands we distance ourselves from certain dictators. It was the same toothless media that cheered on deals with Cuba & Iran during Obama’s governance that sits here today criticizing Trump & Rodman for their audacity in offering an olive branch to the teetering cold state of North Korea. On Cuomo Tonight, CNN anchor Cuomo bit his tongue and wrenched his face as Rodman pleaded for peace on the Korean Peninsula.
This is the bizarre time that we find ourselves living through. The moguls in charge of the official ‘record of truth’ are scrambling to hold onto their dogmas while every morsel of diplomatic knowhow is blown out the window by a former NBA hothead nicknamed ‘The Worm.’ All of the conventional wisdom that the mainstream media purported as abject fact has been scattered to the wind like the entrails of their own dying carcasses and it is glorious to watch. In the era of peak post-truth, Rodman, Trump, & Kim raised the proverbial violins aboard a sinking ship of falsehoods and lies. Peace apparently can be had by the shake of hands and for once in half a century, some common belief in the goodwill of your enemy.
Though the mainstream media will continue their unrelenting assault of North Korea’s human rights violations (as if our own record was spotless), anyone with an exacting glance on the charade will witness the unbelievable success achieved on this historic day. Kim & North Korea have agreed to disarm their nuclear weaponry and Dennis Rodman was a key figure in showing the world how far a basic belief in peace and love can transcend decades of deafening silence.
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