Thanks, but no thanks seems to be the official word from the White House that rejected Dennis Rodman’s appeal on THIS WEEK WITH GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS to make a phone call to North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un from President Obama. A terse White House statement referred to serious human rights problems and at least 200,000 political prisoners in North Korea and claimed that existing channels of communication remain open with this reclusive and bizarre Stalinist regime.
For his part, host George Stephanopolous pressed guest Dennis Rodman about human rights abuses as well and other issues in North Korea. Rodman continued to claim that the North Korean was a “great guy”, but did concede that he liked power.
Dennis Rodman’s foreign trip to North Korea is perhaps the most controversial foreign trip by a celebrity since Jane Fonda’s trip to Hanoi during the Vietnam War which quickly was spun into propaganda by that government rather than helping to promote peace or end that war. While Rodman’s trip might have been an opportunity to promote more dialog and peace, there seems to be a new consensus rising in the White House that this North Korean government will only use this trip to bolster their own propaganda purposes.