Until Current TV co-founder Al Gore (@AlGore) spoke out last Friday on the CNN program American Morning, there had been nary a public word from the San Francisco network about the detainment in North Korea of employees Laura Ling and Euna Lee. Given Ling’s additional stature within Current as a Vice President of their Vanguard unit and the overall nature of the outlet’s orientation and free spirited employees, can you imagine how difficult it must be for each and every one there to remain silent on the whole situation? Exactly.
That’s why anyone wishing to voice their anger about the Laura Ling–Euna Lee situation needs to do so not by taking an ill-informed potshot at Current TV, a company constrained by the wishes of the detainees’ families and high-level back channel efforts. Look instead to the next round of vigils on Thursday, May 21st in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Portland and Orlando, organized by fellow hard working volunteers. Look to the petition linked at the @LiberateLaura profile, which delivered more than 25,000 signatures in its first phase earlier this month to the Chinese Consulate in Los Angeles and the Korean Consulate in Hawaii. Look to your friends and colleagues on the social networks that you frequent. And so on.
Trust me; the people at @Current are torn up about this perverse example of political gamesmanship. But as Gore explained to CNN – and the world, not a day goes by without him and others working on securing Ling and Lee’s freedom. So… Please continue to watch Current TV, continue to mobilize for its detained employees and be thankful for one merciful ace up our sleeve.
That would be Mitch Koss, the Current producer-cameraman who was with Ling and Lee on March 17th at the Chinese-Korean border. No matter what trumped up charges North Korea tries to foist upon American citizens Ling and Lee at the upcoming June 4th Pyongyang “trial,” we have in Koss an eyewitness (perhaps even with film in the camera) who can counter any and all false claims.