I’ve watched the clip several times already. I choke up every time. Who would not be touched by the image of a mom embracing her four year old daughter and husband upon returning from such a harrowing ordeal? I’ve been keeping a daily reminder log on facebook/twitter since the hard labor prison sentence was handed out to Laura Ling and Euna Lee. It was a reminder to pray for two women who were in a very precarious and scary circumstance. I was also raising the question as to why there was minimal to no media coverage about these two U.S. citizens under a twelve year hard labor prison sentence in North Korea.
There was no “Americans Held Hostage: Day __” with a static image of the two reporters that would appear on even a semi-regular basis in the mainstream media. Even the non-mainstream media wasn’t reporting this story. The best source of information seemed to be a makeshift facebook page that gave out a trickle of information. I’m hoping that there is some sort of explanation that is forthcoming from Al Gore and from Current TV. There were NO reports on their website about their own reporters. The day after the prison sentence was handed down their story didn’t even crack the top ten on Current TV. There may be a logical explanation, such as they wanted to minimize the publicity surrounding the crisis or didn’t want to draw too much attention to the story to not give North Korea any kind of bargaining chip. But it would be nice to hear that explanation on Current TV. If Al Gore is making nationally televised remarks about this heroic rescue by his former boss, then he should at some point offer some sort of explanation for his previous silence. Even if Current TV had their reasons, was there a similar reason for the rest of the media? BBC seems to have given better coverage to these American citizens than CNN.
And what about the complete lack of coverage by the Christian media. A Christian reporter (Euna Lee, who met her husband at church, no less) investigating human trafficking. Sounds like it’d be worth some coverage from the Christian media. One Christian commentator on a Christian website (Cal Thomas at crosswalk.com) asserts that Kim Jong Il “has pulled America’s strings over negotiations like a master puppeteer.” Really? That’s the best the Christian media can muster up? No stories about a committed Christian and American citizen attempting to expose human trafficking and shed light upon a system of injustice? Along the same lines, Fox News has wondered out loud if it wouldn’t have been better to leave the two in North Korea than to have given something up to them. Would Fox News make such a bold statement if the two reporters had been Greta Van Susteren and Gretchen Carlson? (I actually had to look up their names — I don’t really watch Fox News).
I’m sure there are a whole lot of political consequences and fallout that we may or may not hear about. It’ll be good to get a bit of a closer look at North Korea and consider what normalized relationship might look like. There are layers upon layers in this whole story. As usual, we won’t get the whole story. Looks like there will be a lot of lingering questions.
But at the end of it all, we have two American citizens back home. A mom reunited with her four year old daughter, an ex-President basking once more in the spotlight, and a potential thawing of relationships with an isolated dictatorship. The main thing is still the main thing. Welcome Home Euna Lee and Laura Ling.