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Posts Tagged ‘Euna Lee’

Freed Journalists And Offensive Ads On The Menu


Starting September off strong, Jason Boog of GalleyCat and AgencySpy‘s Matt Van Hoven had lots of media news to talk about this morning on the Morning Media Menu podcast, including a tasteless ad and imprisoned journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee‘s first statement since their release from North Korea last month.

Yesterday, Matt tracked a story on AgencySpy about a purported ad for World Wildlife Fund, which showed a scene that played off of the idea of September 11. The point of the ad, which depicted several planes nosediving into lower Manhattan, was to illustrate how many more people were killed in the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami than in the World Trade Center attacks.

Once the ad became public, WWF denounced it as “offensive and tasteless” and said it never should have seen the light of day. But, now the world — or at least most of New York — has seen it, just a few days before the eighth anniversary of this horrible day in our city’s history.

And speaking of a horrible day, Matt and Jason also discussed Ling and Lee’s harrowing tale of their arrest in North Korea in March. However, Matt was quick to point out that in their statement released today, the journalists were careful to emphasize the reason that they were near North Korea at all, which was to report on sex trafficking and North Korean defectors.

“The story of these two is so compelling, but I think it’s sort of over,” Matt said. “And there is this whole other big issue that I hope doesn’t get lost.”

Also discussed: ad spending dropped more than 15 percent during the first half of the year; Laura Ling’s shopping a book with her sister, journalist and former member of “The View,” Lisa Ling; and an update on the Google book settlement.

You can listen to all the past podcasts at and call in at 646-929-0321.

First Statement From Euna And Laura Describes North Korean Arrest

eunalaura.jpgCurrent TV journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee have released a statement about their arrest in North Korea in March.

Ling and Lee spent five months in captivity and were sentenced to 12 years hard labor before being set free last month. In their joint statement published today on Current TV’s Web site, they explain how they were detained by North Korean authorities on March 17 along the Tumen River, which separates China and North Korea. The journalists found themselves along the river while working on a story about North Korean defectors and human trafficking. People are regularly trafficked across the Tumen, Ling and Lee explained.

Although they were suspicious of their whereabouts, Ling and Lee followed their guide — who they trusted — onto North Korean soil. They were there for only a minute, but that didn’t stop North Korean guards with guns from chasing them into China and dragging them back onto forbidden soil.

The women provide even more details about the events that lead to their arrest:

“When we set out, we had no intention of leaving China, but when our guide beckoned for us to follow him beyond the middle of the river, we did, eventually arriving at the riverbank on the North Korean side. He pointed out a small village in the distance where he told us that North Koreans waited in safe houses to be smuggled into China via a well-established network that has escorted tens of thousands across the porous border.”

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The Patron Saint of Political Prisoner Journos Speaks to Bloggers


President Bill Clinton was the keynote speaker last night at Netroots Nation. He opened by saying,”I apologize my voice is hoarse, I’ve been on a lot of planes the past couple of days.” Which made the crowd laugh and cheer. Indeed, a couple of days ago the former president negotiated the release Euna Lee and Laura Ling, two Los Angeles journos who were sentenced to 12 years hard labor in the “Axis of Evil” country of North Korea.

Clinton, who is a bit of a history wonk wooed the progressive and progressively geekier crowd. He was heckled by one blogger who stood up and yelled something about the policy of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. After which Clinton defended his compromise on gays serving in the military and made it seem seamless to the point he was trying to read in his speech, about (of course) health care.

But in true Clinton form, a man whose catch phrase as president was,”I feel your pain,” charmed the new media masses by announcing, “I read a lot of your blogs.”

Previously on FBLA:

  • President Clinton: Soon-To-Be Patron Saint of Political Prisoner Journos

  • Ling Says Sister Did Enter N Korea|Austin American-Statesman No Longer For Sale|Ben Stein Out At NYT|Unions Dispute Tribune’s Bonus Requests|NBC Lays Off Local Stations’ Creative Services Teams

    TVNewser: Former “View” host Lisa Ling told CNN‘s Erica Hill that her sister, Laura, admitted that she and Euna Lee did cross into North Korean territory “very, very briefly.” “And she definitely wants to divulge exactly what happened,” Ling went on. “And I think she’s going to write an editorial very, very soon.”

    Reuters: Cox Enterprises has taken the Austin American-Statesman off the market. “This is a profitable company, and it just did not make sense to sell it for the prices offered,” publisher Michael Vivio said.

    Editor & Publisher: The New York Times has axed actor and business columnist Ben Stein because of this ad. Reuter’s Felix Salmon may be a little too gleeful about this.

    Broadcast Union News: The unions are protesting bankrupt Tribune Co.‘s request to pay almost $70 million in bonuses to executives. A bankruptcy court judge will hold a hearing on the matter next week.

    Gawker: There are reports that NBC is laying off its creative services promotional teams at local stations around the country.

    Will Laura Ling and Euna Lee Get a Book Deal?

    x16656.jpgIs there going to be a book about the four month ordeal of Laura Ling and Euna Lee in North Korea? Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg at seems to think maybe:

    Although publishers and literary agents in New York said they haven’t yet seen or heard of proposals for a book from either Lee or Ling, or the two as a team, there’s speculation that a book could fetch $500,000 or so-but only if they have a compelling story to tell.

    We’re wondering as part of a pardon – for SPYING if there wasn’t some non-disclosure agreement as part of the deal. We think Bill Clinton must have glamoured Kim Jong Il. If he would have just kicked them out of the country like a normal dictator – there’d be no book. Yutz.

    Current TV Founders Comment On Euna & Laura’s Release

    current.pngYesterday, after the announcement that North Korea was going to release imprisoned journalists Euna Lee and Laura Ling, their bosses at Current TV posted a comment about the whole mess.

    “All of us at Current are overjoyed at Laura and Euna’s safe return,” Current Media founders Al Gore and Joel Hyatt said in the statement. “Our hearts go out to them — and to their families — for persevering through this horrible experience. We will have more to say in the days and weeks ahead. But for now, all our thoughts are with Laura and Euna and their families, who have shown remarkable courage and initiative for the 140 days of this ordeal.”

    According to the statement, Lee and Ling will be returning home this morning. You can visit the site to send them a message or view some of their work.

    Current TV has been quiet about its detained reporters since their arrest in March, so we’re looking forward to what the company will have to say “in the days and weeks ahead.”

    Meanwhile, today more information came out regarding Clinton’s trip to North Korea, how it came about and what he talked about with the nation’s Supreme Leader.

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    Ling and Lee Arrive at Bob Hope International

    Embedded video from CNN Video

    If the embed is acting up go here.

    Laura Ling and Euna Lee got in at 4am this morning. We dare you to watch this video and not cry. Dare you.

    Also, how’d they get a direct flight into Burbank?!…Oh yeah…that…

    Here’s a link to Ling’s statement.

    Previously on FBLA:

  • President Clinton: Soon-To-Be Patron Saint of Political Prisoner Journos

  • BREAKING: Two US Journos Pardoned by North Korea confirmed two US journos Laura Ling and Euna Lee working for the Al Gore owned Current TV were pardoned by North Korean President Kim Jong Il after a visit from former President Bill Clinton.


    Previously on FBLA:

  • President Clinton: Soon-To-Be Patron Saint of Political Prisoner Journos

  • Today’s Media Headline Rundown With Jason And Matt On The Menu


    Today on the media- Morning Media Menu podcast, hosts Jason Boog of GalleyCat and AgencySpy‘s Matt Van Hoven dissect the day’s biggest media headlines from mediabistro blogs and beyond.

    First on deck, the TVNewser’s most recent story about the alleged Olbermann-O’Reilly truce. Did talks on the matter date back to 2008? Is there really an agreement at all?

    Also discussed: former President Bill Clinton‘s trip to North Korea to help negotiate the release of imprisoned journalists Euna Lee and Laura Ling, Wired magazine’s story on the Marine Corps banning Twitter, Facebook and all other social media sites and CNN‘s dispute with anti-”birther” ads set to run during Lou Dobbs‘ show.

    You can listen to all the past podcasts at and call in at 646-929-0321.

    Former President Clinton Heads To North Korea To Help Free Imprisoned Journalists

    lee ling.pngOur sister blog FishbowlDC is reporting that former President Bill Clinton is heading to North Korea to help negotiate the release of imprisoned Current TV journalists Euna Lee and Laura Ling.

    Lee and Ling were sentenced to 12 years hard labor in June, after their arrest in North Korea in March.

    We have been hoping for the reporters’ safe release since their original detainment, which has gone on for far too long. We’re trying to stay hopeful that Clinton can help speed up the process and help Lee and Ling finally get home.

    FishbowlDC: Former Pres. Clinton Heading to North Korea to Negotiate For Detained Journos

    Big Fat UPDATE: Clinton met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Il today, who decided to issue a “special pardon” to Lee and Ling and ordered that they be released.