News & Politics

Trump Reportedly Admired North Korean State TV as Even More Devoted to Its Leader than Fox News

A new Washington Post report provides behind-the-scenes details of the summit.

Photo Credit: Airman Michael Murphy

President Donald Trump's trip to North Korea this week for a summit with leader Kim Jong-un was nothing if not a learning experience for the foreign policy novice — and it seems there was one piece of the country's culture that he was quite taken with.

According to a new report from the Washington Post, Trump took a particular interest in North Korean state-run television. A revealing passage recounts his experience as follows:

At one point, after watching North Korean television, which is entirely state-run, the president talked about how positive the female North Korean news anchor was toward Kim, according to two people familiar with his remarks. He joked that even the administration-friendly Fox News was not as lavish in its praise as the state TV anchor, one of the people added, and that maybe she should get a job on U.S. television, instead. 

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Many have drawn a comparison — sometimes jokingly, sometimes not — between Fox News' over-the-top devotion to the Republican Party and, in recent years, to Trump himself, and state-run media in foreign dictatorships. The fact that Trump, too, seemed to notice some parallels is perhaps unsurprising.

But the fact that he was joking about how positive the new anchor was, as opposed to reflecting on the dystopian nature of a media system run purely for the government's benefit, is a disturbing revelation in the context of his open hostility toward the press.

The Post also notes that Trump was impressed with how "tough"  the North Korean guards were, demonstrating further his affinity for the trappings of authoritarianism. 

Cody Fenwick is a reporter and editor. Follow him on Twitter @codytfenwick.