10 May 2010

"Breakfast Club" at Arirang Radio

I listen to this morning radio show at least in part most mornings, and almost in full Monday and Tuesday (during my morning commute to the far side of the island those days). It has a bizarrely large following; they frequently get requests for songs from places like Manila and Panama City as well as more local requests from Korea. But the news... it's terrible in a way that's hard to describe.

Like most such services abroad these days, it's taken from the Net and from the newswire with only slight alterations. So it's hard to complain too much about the content. Nor is their focus particularly bad; it only makes sense for them to spend a lot of time on Korean issues because those issues are going to be particularly important for their main audience.

No, the problem is the commentary, mostly by host Kim Sung-hyun (김성현).
Reporter: So, today we have a news story where a man reported a mugging in order to get a ride home. Police responded to his call to find him at an empty intersection, and over the course of questioning, it was revealed that he had not been mugged and just wanted a ride back to his house. So he called 911!
Host Kim Sung-hyun: Ah, so this is similar to last time, where a woman wanted a ride home. But this was a man, and he called 911.
Reporter: ...yes. Exactly. Under questioning, the man admitted that his cell phone was out of minutes, and so it would only call emergency numbers.
Host Kim Sung-hyun: So because his cell phone was out of minutes, I guess he could only call 911, and that's why he did that to get a ride home.
And that's pretty much the way it is with every story. The host repeats back the last thing she heard and adds a question mark. It is infuriating. I know it's standard anchor behavior, but it's so blatant and constant that it's hard to listen to. It's one of those things where I honestly feel I could walk in and fix everything.

I know just how it'd go. I'd stride in. They'd be surprised by my rugged good looks, and the receptionist would only stammer as I strode by. I would be really striding. We're talking such hard striding that I actually have to curtail my strides slightly before they bust out through windows with rugged masculinity.

With a sweep of my arm, I'd fling open the door to the recording booth. Kim Sung-hyun would be staggered and begin to voice a protest, but I'd shoot her a look with my steely gaze and she'd subside into silence, chastened and a little aroused. Gently, I'd lift up her chair and gently move it to the window, and then gently throw her out of it. Then, with dignity and aplomb, I would pick up her dropped papers and read the news, and ask no questions.

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