Willie Geist wants you to know he is not here for the media’s fascination with North Korea.
On “Morning Joe” Wednesday, Geist said that he and Koreans at the Olympics in Pyeongchang were surprised by the fawning media coverage of Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, who helps lead one most tyrannical and oppressive regimes on Earth.
“To see foreign, to see an ally, at least some members of the media praising this woman, Kim Jong Un’s sister, part of the dictatorship there, was completely mind-boggling to a lot of South Koreans,” Geist told his “Morning Joe” colleagues Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski.
“I was talking to South Koreans here, you know, people around the hotel, people driving cars and cabs and people who own restaurants, and they couldn’t believe it,” he added. “I mean, they said, ‘I can’t believe some people where you live are falling for this routine because none of us are.”
Geist was widely praised on social media for a tweet that chided his colleagues at other networks for its positive coverage.
“Something about N.K killing, starving & imprisoning its people while threatening South Korea with nuclear annihilation,” he noted sardonically.
I can report South Koreans here in Pyeongchang are not as enthralled with Kim Yo Jong and the North Korean cheerleaders as it seems some media are back home.
Something about N.K. killing, starving, & imprisoning its people while threatening South Korea with nuclear annihilation.
— Willie Geist (@WillieGeist) February 11, 2018
Over the weekend, CNN, ABC, Reuters, the New York Times — and “Morning Joe’s” own NBC — went to great lengths to praise the North Korean Olympic delegation, lauding a cheering squad essentially comprised of slaves and comparing Kim Yo Jong to Ivanka Trump. The headlines looked something like this.
— CNN (@CNN) February 10, 2018
The "Ivanka Trump of North Korea" captivates people in the South https://t.co/6TMXgO9X3I
— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) February 10, 2018
wtf is going on? pic.twitter.com/IHoG4AdZYg
— T. Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) February 11, 2018