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Prosecution Launches Task Force on TV Program

Posted June. 27, 2008 02:52,   


The prosecution launched a task force team yesterday to probe into the Agriculture Ministry’s claim that MBC`s TV journal, "PD Notebook," caused excessive public fear about American beef and mad cow disease through its April 29 episode.

The task force is composed of four prosecutors and will be headed by senior prosecutor Lim Soo-bin of the Seoul District Prosecutors` Office. Lim has been exclusively in charge of food safety cases. It is almost unprecedented for the prosecution to put four prosecutors on a defamation case.

“Considering that PD Notebook’s report on U.S. beef has created a great stir in society, it is necessary for us to verify the truth,” said an official of the prosecutors’ office.

The Korean Communications Standards Commission (KCSC) also announced Thursday that it will review the content of PD Notebook’s episode “American Beef: Is It Really Safe From Mad Cow Disease?” during its general meeting on July 1.

“We convened a subcommittee meeting on Tuesday to deliberate on major contentious issues regarding PD Notebook, and plan to review and make a ruling over the fairness and objectivity of the program at the general meeting,” a KCSC official said.

Meanwhile, MBC CEO Ohm Ki-young held a board meeting on the same day to draw up countermeasures on the upcoming KCSC general meeting, the Agriculture Ministry’s legal actions and translator Jeong Ji-min’s claim that the program distorted and inappropriately used the content of translation. PD Notebook and Jeong posted a series of comments one after another on the day about the program’s alleged “intentional mistranslation.”

“PD Notebook distorted facts in its report on mad cow disease. PD Notebook is not a drama but a program that reports facts. It shows how devastating the consequences of intentionally distorted reports, which fuel public anxiety, are,” said Grand National Party floor leader Hong Joon-pyo during the party’s supreme council meeting yesterday. “The prosecution must immediately investigate the case to reveal the truth and sternly punish the wrongdoer in order to give warning to others.”