Comparisons between Ivanka Trump, Kim Jong Un’s sister are sickening – Media can’t decide which way to lean

Ivanka Trump is in South Korea for the closing ceremonies of the Winter Olympic Games and, inevitably, she is being compared to North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s sister, Kim Yo Jong, who attended the opening ceremonies.

The disgusting fawning over Kim Yo Jong at the start of the Olympics exposed a truth about much of America’s mainstream media: any enemy of President Trump will be showered in praise.

It didn’t matter than Kim Jong Un is a brutal despot who is starving his own people, allows no freedom, and imprisons or kills his opponents. A documentary called "Secret State of North Korea” – made in 2014 using video smuggled out of North Korea – showed people in the countryside eating grass. What mattered was the opportunity to show up Donald Trump.

Writing in the New York Post at the start of the Olympics about the fawning coverage given Kim Yo Jong, Bethany Mandel, who frequently fundraises to rescue North Korean refugees hiding in China noted that it was “strange reading a red carpet-like report about a member of a regime that has concentration camps the size of Los Angeles, where children have been secretly photographed starving in the streets and whose leader uses anti-aircraft weaponry to execute his political enemies.”

Kim Yo Jong isn’t to be celebrated, nor compared to a free woman like Ivanka Trump, who represents a country of free people. Kim Yo Jong should be confronted about her brother’s atrocities at every opportunity.

But no, in the choice between Ivanka Trump or the sister of a murderous dictator (who is, actually said to have killed one of his other siblings), the American media just can’t decide which way to lean.

Writing in the Daily Beast on Friday, in a piece headlined “Ivanka Trump Struggles With Winter Olympics Charm Offensive,” Donald Kirk wondered about Ivanka and Kim Yo Jong, “which de facto ambassador won the charm offensive at the Winter Games?” He concluded it was a draw.

Meanwhile Newsweek set up  a competition with the headline: “IVANKA TRUMP READY FOR PR BATTLE WITH KIM JONG UN’S SISTER AT WINTER OLYMPICS CLOSING CEREMONY.”

Jessica Kwong wrote in Newsweek: “Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, captured hearts during the Winter Olympics opening ceremony. She was dubbed North Korea’s Ivanka, stealing the spotlight from stern U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, who was under direct orders to shun the North’s propaganda campaign.”

There’s something comically backward about the idea that Vice President Mike Pence was under “direct orders” while Kim Jong Un’s sister was not. And there’s something terribly wrong about celebrating the representative of the country that kills people who wish to leave, starves children and generally has its boot on the necks of its people.

Kim Yo Jong isn’t to be celebrated, nor compared to a free woman like Ivanka Trump, who represents a country of free people. Kim Yo Jong should be confronted about her brother’s atrocities at every opportunity.

The American media think they are brave when they call Ivanka Trump “complicit” to her father’s agenda. Actual bravery would be to challenge Kim Yo Jong to do something about the horrors perpetrated by her brother on the North Korean people.

Karol Markowicz is a columnist at the New York Post. She has also written for Time, USA Today, The Observer, Heat Street, Federalist, Daily Beast and elsewhere.