With friends like these

Rodman trip marks latest appalling celebrity flirtation with a dictator

  • Follow Editorials

Murderous regimes have no trouble finding famous friends in the U.S.

What is it about dictators, totalitarianism and brutality that so enthralls some celebrities?

Dennis Rodman and his new chum, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, is only the latest example of an American celebrity turning a blind eye to a foreign leader’s legacy of human rights abuses in pursuit of friendship.

We’re not sure what it was about the 31-year-old dictator that let him hit it off with the 52-year-old former NBA star during his first visit to the country last year, but we’re pretty sure it had nothing to do with the country’s political prison camps, widespread famine or the recently ordered execution of Kim Jong Un’s once-powerful uncle.

And it probably had nothing to do with Kenneth Bae, the American citizen imprisoned there since 2012. Rodman became incensed after CNN asked questions about Bae during his latest visit to the country earlier this week. He even defended Kim Jong Un, a person he has referred to as a “friend.”

“He has to do his job, but he’s a very good guy,” Rodman said from the North Korean capital.

Good guy? In what world do good guys run one of the most repressive regimes mankind has ever seen?

Kim Jong Un, obviously, is a basketball fan. How else would the flashiest player in NBA history score an invite to a prison-nation that few Westerners get to see, a place where the citizens are not allowed to leave? It’s an invite that any person with the slightest respect for human rights and dignity should have never accepted.

Sadly, many American celebrities have become enamored with the cults of personality that lead such regimes. Well-known Hollywood liberals such as Sean Penn, Oliver Stone and Michael Moore openly mourned the death of Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez when he died last year. Some of them, joined by the likes of Jack Nicholson, Kevin Costner, Harry Belafonte and more, have worshipped at Fidel Castro’s feet.

And those old enough to remember Jane Fonda’s visit to Hanoi in 1972 can recall her denouncing American leaders as war criminals and denying that POWs were being tortured.

At least Wayne Coyne, singer for the rock band Flaming Lips, knew enough to backpedal when his bandmate wore a red hammer-and-sickle T-shirt to the Oklahoma state capital in 2009 to be honored for writing the “official rock song” of the state of Oklahoma.

“Honestly, it’s just a dumb shirt,” he told the media after the controversial appearance. “We’re not communists.”

Rodman insists his North Korean visits have no political or diplomatic overtones. That’s obvious. He’s simply being lavished with attention for indulging a megalomaniacal despot’s affinity for slam dunks and fast breaks. But most adults have learned that the people whom they choose to associate with usually say something about their own character.

Moreover, we would simply observe that Rodman’s disinterest in the blazing inhumanity of his North Korean friend’s regime is reminiscent of the blind eye that was once turned to slavery, segregation, apartheid and the Holocaust. As Jacob Marley famously intoned, mankind is our business.

Rodman, if he spends more quality time with his new friend, will perhaps learn that lesson himself.

Comments (7) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
Riverman1 01/09/14 - 12:52 am
They are teaching each other

They are teaching each other the intricacies of cross dressing.

myfather15 01/09/14 - 07:02 am
["]“Honestly, it’s just a

["]“Honestly, it’s just a dumb shirt" ["]“We’re not communists.”

Well, in this situation, you might be right and you aren't communist; but I'm not so certain. Subliminal messages?

But I will say it like this, there are only two kinds of leftist; those committed individuals who support unlimited government takeover (Communism) and those who are so naive they believe the left's "Good will" lies, and blindly support them.

This is no different than all the idiots in Hollyweird and others you see wearing Che Guevara shirts!! These morons actually claim he was a freedom fighter, when nothing could be farther from the truth!! Black people, wearing Che shirts when he wanted to annihilate the entire race. Che guevara was a communist who murdered thousands of people opposed to him.

SOME in Hollywood know exactly what they are doing!! They are subliminally promoting communism, without coming right out and saying it. They LIE to the people about history, espousing evil people as "freedom fighters", fooling the masses, to follow like sheep.

When Hollywood starts wearing certain clothing, it becomes "cool", then everyone is wearing it. Those BIG round women's sunglasses, hadn't be "cool" in America since the 60's or 70's, then Paris Hilton starts wearing them, Cosmo runs a few adds with women wearing them, the next thing you see is women all over the world wearing them, even in small town USA.

The same for the Che Guevara shirts; you get a few celebrities like Carlos Santana wearing them, next thing you know it's a fad!! People are wearing them all over the place, PROMOTING this man, without even knowing a single thing about him. Why? Because a "cool" hollywood actor or musician wore the shirt!!

It is very sad, but the masses truly are sheep!! But their shepherd is stupidity and ignorance!! They don't know enough or CARE enough to learn what they are talking about!! The will follow anyone who appears to be "Cool". The left plays this brilliantly!! Getting average Americans to promote a type of government. I love seeing people walking around with Che shirts on!! Everytime, I will ask them why they wear the shirt and I've yet to meet a single person who knows who Che Really was. Most will say because they thinnk it's a cool shirt. But this can't be the case, because Che was ugly and so are the shirts with his face on them!! They wear the shirt to seem "cool" because Carlos Santana and other celebrities wear them!! Can you say? Baaaaaaa......Baaaaaaaa.......Baaaaaaa!!!

corgimom 01/09/14 - 08:43 am
Dennis Rodman is a certified

Dennis Rodman is a certified wackaloon and has been for many, many years.

I just hope that he'll decide to move there permanently.

teaparty 01/09/14 - 10:13 am
Rodman is a typical democrat.

Rodman is a typical democrat.

deestafford 01/09/14 - 10:43 am
Was it Marx or Lenin who coined the term...

Was it Marx or Lenin who coined the term "useful idiots"? It would take multiple pages in the dictionary to show all pictures of the examples of "useful idiots" we have in this country. It seems the more exposure some of these folks get the more of an idiot they become.

allhans 01/09/14 - 11:55 am
Wouldn't he look good running

Wouldn't he look good running a kiosk at the mall selling earrings.

Sweet son
Sweet son 01/09/14 - 01:38 pm
Attention is all Rodman wants! He is NOTHING!

Just don't give him and his communist friend any media attention!

Back to Top
Search Augusta jobs