As a result of a dispute with a broadcaster over their coverage of his words caught on a hot mic in the United States, the new president of South Korea has canceled his regular morning Q&A meetings with the media.
Since May, when Yoon first took office, he has faced daily questioning from reporters in the presidential building’s lobby on his route to the office. In South Korea, where several of Yoon’s predecessors faced criticism for avoiding meetings with the media to avoid tough questions, the so-called “door-stepping” discussions were exceedingly unusual.
Conservative former top prosecutor Yoon campaigned on a platform of better public engagement with the government. Even the presidential office was moved from the Blue House on a mountaintop, which he claimed had contributed to previous leaders being isolated from the populace and exercising “imperial power,” to the current Defense Ministry campus.
A recent nasty occurrence
On Monday, however, his office said that the Q&A session would no longer be held due to “a recent nasty occurrence.” “For the aim of honest dialogue with the general populace, the practice of “door-stepping” was put into motion. If some measures are put in place that can accomplish its goal effectively, we may think about starting it back up, “according to the report.
Yoon’s office banned the MBC crew from the media pool on his presidential plane on its way to Cambodia and Indonesia for summits earlier this month, which led to an argument between one of Yoon’s aides and a reporter from the MBC television network.
According to Yoon’s administration, the ban resulted from MBC’s “continuous distortion and biased reporting” on diplomatic affairs. After a brief encounter with Vice President Joe Biden at a summit in New York in September, the broadcaster recorded Yoon speaking with his advisers.
Yoon could be heard using some foul language. However, the recording was distorted in some places. Yoon has denied making any references to either Biden or the U.S. Congress. Yoon defended the MBC ban as unavoidable at last week’s “door-stepping” session, during which he accused MBC of “extremely malevolent acts” to drive a gap between South Korea and the United States through fake news.
In Yoon’s rearview mirror, an MBC reporter demanded, “What evil activities did MBC do?” Then, an argument broke out between the reporter and one of Yoon’s aides, which was promptly shared online and used as political fodder by Yoon’s backers and detractors.
The MBC ban has been attacked by several journalist groups and Yoon’s liberal opponents
The MBC ban has been attacked by several journalist groups and Yoon’s liberal opponents for being an attack on press freedom in South Korea. Those who back Yoon have stated that MBC’s biased reporting is to blame for the suspension.
Yoon is a political newbie who spent most of his career as a prosecutor before entering municipal politics last year and winning the contentious presidential race this March.
Although some have praised his “door-stepping” sessions as evidence of his efforts to change as a leader and enhance communication, others have pointed out that his unscripted, unedited comments have contributed to his relatively low approval rating a new president.
Yoon’s decision was criticized as “narrow-minded” by the prominent liberal opposition Democratic Party
“Does it make a lousy situation to ask the president a tricky question? To achieve his goal of honest dialogue, he must be willing to hear and consider even the most awkward of questions. “An official party spokesman named Ahn Ho-young made the following statement.
Yoon’s People Power Party senior member Kim Jong-hyuk has accused MBC of behaving with “a war against the presidential office” due to the network’s “distorted sense of superiority.” He asked, “Doesn’t MBC misinterpret freedom of the press for freedom to freely distribute phony news and keep performing distorted, exaggerated reporting?”