I posted over the weekend how the Washington Post was going full-metal totalitarian in the way they were fellating the Kim Jong Un regime. (In fairness, the Post’s tongue-bathing of KJU was no more egregious than any other network or major outlet). Lest you think that the Post making fun of Mike Pence for the benefit of KJU’s harridan sister was horrific, take a look at this exchange between Bethany Mandel and the Washington Post’s Gene Weingarten.

Say what? Apologize to whom? For what?

I don’t know Bethany, to my knowledge I’ve never met her, but I do follow her writing. And while there is some hyperbole here, there is only a tiny bit. Perhaps the only vaguely related analog in terms of across-the-board brutalization of an entire nation is possibly Cambodia under the early years of Khmer Rouge rule. In Nazi Germany, most people were not touched directly by the regime. They had to “smile and grin at the change all around” (bonus points for identifying the source of that) but most were left alone. The population of Nazi Germany on the eve of World War II was a shade over 90 million. The number of German Jews killed in the Holocaust was about 144,000. (None of this is to minimize the Holocaust but to put into perspective its impact on German civilians). By contrast, the population of North Korea is about 27 million. In a four-year period, 1994-98, an estimated two million were starved to death. Untold thousands have perished in its kimchee gulag system. The entire nation is divided into castes of political reliability. These castes are inherited and determine your access to food, housing, healthcare, education, and employment.

Likewise, the brutality and purges of Stalin’s Russia and Mao’s Cultural Revolution pale in comparison when one considers the percentage of the population killed and the extent to which the nation has been socially brutalized.

Note, Stalin’s starvation of Ukraine is absent from this list. And the Mongols were actually a notoriously light touch. Surrender and pay the demanded tribute and they were happy to leave you alone and move on. They only got peeved when you resisted. The pyramids of skulls they built, like Sherman’s March to the Sea, were calculated to intimidate and preclude having to fight.

But historical comparisons is not the point. By any objective standard, North Korea’s regime is cruel and barbarous and holds a place of its own in the sad hall of horrors that is human history. Were we even to say Bethany is guilty of hyperbole, it would be only the mildest sort. Demanding an apology on behalf of the North Korean regime is simply bizarre but, unfortunately, it is the staple of journalism these days.