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Minister Rebuked for Media Criticism

Posted January. 16, 2006 03:00,   


The Grand National Party said in a commentary Saturday that Justice Minister Chun Jung-bae’s criticism and name-calling of some major newspaper columnists who write columns criticizing the government is based on undemocratic, anti-media concepts.

The commentary rebuked the Minister, saying, “It is against the spirit of the Constitution for the Justice Minister to suppress the freedom of expression of journalists and scholars. We want to ask the nationality of the Minister, who criticized the media, which was only carrying out its basic responsibility of pointing out the mistakes of the president.”

“It is understandable that the Minister was impatient upon watching the power struggle between Kim Geun-tae and Chung Dong-young of the Uri Party, but siding with the president even when having a drink with journalists, is too excessive and flattering,” it said sarcastically.

Millennium Democratic Party (MDP) spokesperson Yoo Jong-pil said on Sunday that “high-level officials in this administration do not think before they talk. It is particularly inappropriate for a high-ranking official to say vulgar words, and words that suggest their nostalgia for the power of the past dictatorship.”

Chun caused a sensation by saying, “Four XXXX are writing columns in this and that newspapers. In the old days, [the columnists] would be in prison by now,” in a dinner with journalists on Thursday.

Jung-Eun Lee lightee@donga.com