CNN’s “iReport” editors and producers did not notice or ignored a story about the anti-American past of the singer of the world-famous “Gangnam Style” song that had been on its “iReport” site since October 6, 2012.
On that date, a submitter named “ausjeon” posted a story on CNN’s “iReport” that revealed that PSY, who sings “Gangnam Style,” had previously belted out lyrics that encouraged the killing of U.S. troops and their families at an anti-American rally and concert in South Korea in 2004.
The submitter titled the post, “Psy of Gangnam Style is the worst anti-Americanist and oppotunist (sic).”
On the day “ausjeon” posted on CNN’s “iReport,” PSY’s “Gangnam Style” song and video had already become a worldwide sensation. Loudspeakers at sporting events blasted the song and people around the world were mimicking PSY’s dance moves. And news organizations were scrambling to unearth new story angles about PSY to feed a news cycle that, for months, could not be sated with “Gangnam Style” and PSY stories.
“Ausjeon,” described as Korean American who was born in Oklahoma and who moved back to the United States from South Korea five years ago, posted these inflammatory lyrics PSY belted out during a 2004 anti-American concert in South Korea:
?? rap : ??? ??? ??? ? ???????
?? ??? ?? ? ?? ?????
??? ?? ??? ?? ??? ?? ??
?? ??? ?? ????? ??
Kill those f*****g Yankees who have been torturing Iraqi captives
Kill those f*****g Yankees who ordered them to torture
Kill their daughters, mothers, daughters-in-law, and fathers
Kill them all slowly and painfully
“Ausjeon” wrote the “worst thing that he has done to all Americans is this; Psy insulted American soldiers to an unbearable degree and talked about murdering all their families in his song.”
“I really do not believe that this individual, who had claimed to kill American soldiers and their families, should be able to boldly rise as a part of the icons of America’s pop culture,” the submitter wrote. “It is just unbelievable.”
CNN’s “iReport” allows users to submit videos or stories that could eventually make it on to the news network. To be fair, CNN prominently notes in a “Producer’s Note” that the content posted on “iReport” “has not been vetted or approved by CNN and is not CNN content.”
However, CNN does note that while “iReport” stories are not “edited, fact-checked or screened before they post,” “CNN’s producers will check out some of the most compelling, important and urgent iReports and, once they’re cleared for CNN, make them a part of CNN’s news coverage.”
When one clicks on “ausjeon”‘s report, a pop-up appears warning the reader that discretion should be advised because “the following contains content you may find offensive or disturbing.” Such content should increase the odds that a producer would at least check out the submitted post to see if there were anything in it that was beyond the pale, since the reader is forced to click “yes” to proceed to read the story.
It is beyond curious that nobody at CNN would pursue this lead at a time when “Gangnam Style” was white-hot, and any new morsel of information about PSY would have given the news network a competitive advantage.
“Ausjeon”‘s post has since been viewed over 30,000 times.