The heavily trailed exposé of North Korea on Panorama last night, turned out to be a bit of a damp squib I thought. The London School of Economics had plenty to say on the run up to the screening of the ‘documentary’ fearing that the ‘undercover’ nature of the filming had placed their students, whom John Sweeney had used as cover for his ‘investigations’, at risk.
Sweeney’s most famous moment prior to this was probably his considered comments to a member of the Church of Scientology about brainwashing:
Last night we saw footage of the toilets in Sweeney’s Pyongyang Hotel, and film of workers constructing a bank on continuous shifts.
No particular risks to Sweeney there I’d have thought .
Much of the ‘filming’ in fact was straight from Youtube, much of the commentary less than earth shattering. “North Korea is isolated, it is autocratic and secretive” etc. etc.
Although the following clip is several years out of date, if you missed Panorama last night then this is better by some way:
One wonders if this is another huge misjudgement by the Beeb. It arguably put the LSE students at risk but almost certainly put the North Korean tour guides, library staff, doctors and soldiers encountered at risk.
In what way?
Judge for yourself.