I guess you can call it his home away from home: where a guy who likes to wear women’s clothing and nose rings can just relax and be himself. Dennis Rodman’s been to North Korea so often now (four trips) that he’s giving other visitors directions.
“Egregious human rights violations? Take a left at the next street, and it’s about two blocks down, next to Kentucky Fried Collie.”
Rodman touched down today in Pyongyang — The Fun Capital of the World — for a three-day stay: including an exhibition basketball game to celebrate dictator Kim Jong Un’s birthday.
Meanwhile, New York Democratic Rep. Eliot Engel is trying to ruin all the fun. Engel today condemned the trip, comparing Un to Adolf Hitler. And nothing puts a damper on a birthday party like comparisons to a murderous, anti-Semitic madman (believe me, I know). Time Magazine:
Engel joined a mother and daughter who escaped North Korea at a press conference in New York City Monday to urge Rodman and his team of former NBA stars to call off the game.
“I don’t think we should ignore the real suffering in this gulag state,” said Engel, the minority leader of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs who has twice visited the communist state. “And Dennis Rodman wants to go there and play basketball. It would be like inviting Adolf Hitler to lunch.”
(Sitting at table, checking watch. Hitler is late again. “Well, the baked ziti is ruined! [throws down napkin] Hitler! …)
“North Korea is arguably the worst human rights violator in the world,” Suzanne Chelti, chairman of the North Korea Freedom Coalition, said at the press conference Monday. “At this point for Dennis Rodman and these players to participate in a propaganda coup for the regime, is a terrible setback for the human rights movement. We’re calling upon these players not to participate in this charade.”
But this time Rodman has brought backup, presumably in an attempt to prove he’s not a lone nutjob. Among the team he brought with him are former NBA players Kenny Anderson and Cliff Robinson, who will play in the exhibition game on Wednesday. Anderson, who retired in 2005, played for eight NBA teams and was an All-Star in 1994. He last played for Žalgiris Kaunas in Lithuania in ’96.
He also played for Georgia Tech, so he’s apparently a smart guy who should know better than to allow himself to be a pawn in North Korea’s little propaganda production. Perhaps Anderson, who grew up poor and was raised by a single mother, should demand to be taken off of the approved publicity tour and check out how the real people are living in North Korea? Yeah right, that’ll happen.
Photo: Getty Images.