Video: CNN’s mind-boggling interview with Rodman & Co

posted at 10:41 am on January 7, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

“We did not know it would take this kind of negative spin,” Charles Smith told CNN’s Cris Cuomo in attempting to defend his and Dennis Rodman’s birthday gift to tyrant Kim Jong-un, but suffice it to say that Cuomo didn’t buy that argument, or pretty much any of the bizarre defenses offered for the exhibition trip to North Korea from either former NBA star. When Cuomo kept reminding Rodman of the captivity of Kenneth Bae — the American held without charges by Pyonyang — Rodman exploded and suggested that Bae was guilty of a crime:

“Are you going to take an opportunity, if you get it, to speak up for the family of Kenneth Bae and say, Let us know why this man is being held?’ If you can help them, will you take the opportunity?” Cuomo asked.

“The one thing about politics, Kenneth Bae did one thing. If you understand — if you understand what Kenneth Bae did,” Rodman said with a pause, then added “Do you understand what he did? In this country?”

“What did he do?” Cuomo said. “You tell me.”

“You tell me,” Rodman shouted. “You tell me. Why is he held captive?”

“They haven’t released any charges,” Cuomo said. “They haven’t released any reason.”

“I would love to speak on this,” Rodman said, again waving Smith off.

“Go ahead,” Cuomo urged.

Instead, Rodman went off on Cuomo for the remainder of the interview, screaming at him to recognize the sacrifice being made by his fellow players.

The rest of the interview is below, and it’s amazingly … self-pitying. Both Rodman and Smith seem somehow amazed that people who like to see them play basketball in the Olympics and in Taiwan somehow object when they play basketball on behalf of a bloodthirsty tyrant who just executed his own uncle, and — unmentioned in this interview — have hundreds of thousands of people starving in concentration camps, living as slaves. Both of them keep insisting that Cuomo and other Americans pay homage to their decency, when they are on a PR trip for a horrific regime. Cuomo refuses to accept that as an answer, even from the very beginning of the interview:

Apparently referring to Kim, Rodman said, “I love my friend. This is my friend.” He also pointed out that Kim is only 31 years old.

Rodman, speaking from the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, praised the players who came with him to North Korea, saying others had pulled out of the trip. “It’s amazing how we thrive on negativity,” he said. …
The players were invited by North Korea, Smith said, and are there as a kind of “cultural exchange” and to “put smiles on people’s faces,” not to influence the country’s leaders.

“We’ve been doing these games for 3½ years,” he said. “Outside of what people know of Dennis, you don’t know Dennis. He’s got a great heart, his passion is about children and families, that’s why we are here.

“We are here because it’s about doing great will around the world.”

Dennis Halpin at the Weekly Standard calls this a bread-and-circuses tour, comparing Kim to Nero:

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s self-proclaimed “friend for life” Dennis Rodman announced January 4 that he had assembled the promised team of former NBA players to take to Pyongyang. These reportedly include former NBA All-Stars Kenny Anderson, Cliff Robinson, and Vin Baker. Craig Hodges, Doug Christie and Charles D. Smith will round out the American team. They are headed to North Korea to play in an exhibition game against a top North Korean senior national team on January 8, providing a crowd-pleasing circus for Kim Jong-un’s 31st birthday. (Kim is reportedly an ardent basketball fan from his days of studying in Switzerland.)

The bread being brought by Rodman to accompany the circus is allegedly in the form of luxury birthday gifts for the North Korean dictator and his wife. Rodman seems oblivous to North Korea’s near starvation of its people, human rights atrocities, gulags, and nuclear and missile adventurism, and appears equally unconcerned that providing Pyongyang with any luxury goods is a violation of the sanctions imposed by United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution 2094, adopted on March 7, 2013, and previous resolutions. UNSC resolution 2094 specifies that “prohibited luxury goods are banned for transfer to North Korea, including certain kinds of jewelry and precious stones, yachts, luxury automobiles and racing cars.” (Rodman mentioned to the press after his September visit to North Korea of being entertained on just such a yacht on Kim Jong-un’s pleasure island.)

Rodman is, according to diplomatic sources, bringing several hundred dollars’ worth of Irish Jameson whiskey. This should come as no great surprise since the former backer of Rodman’s Pyongyang adventure, Irish bookmaker Paddy Power, had, according to Rodman, pledged $3.5 million to the project before recently removing its name as an event sponsor due to mounting international criticism. Paddy Power is, however, still reportedly financing the luxury trip to famished North Korea. The involvement of this Irish firm has a special irony, given the occurrence of one of the greatest famines in world history in Ireland in the 19th century.

Other alleged birthday presents for the Young General include European crystal, an Italian suit for him, and Italian clothing, a fur coat, and an English Mulberry handbag for her (Kim’s wife, Ri Sol-ju). The total cost of these birthday gifts is reportedly well over $10,000. Perhaps an official investigation should follow of those who may have violated United Nations sanctions by organizing or funding this event?

I’m sure all of the victims of the Kim dynasty weeps at the slings and arrows suffered by Rodman and Smith on this trip, but then again, it’s clear that Rodman, Smith, and company “don’t give a rat’s ass” what those victims think.


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Another episode of “As The Worm Turns”.

oldroy on January 7, 2014 at 10:50 AM

What an a**hole.

JetBoy on January 7, 2014 at 10:51 AM

Ah,….RoddyMan all upset(s)!!

canopfor on January 7, 2014 at 10:53 AM

Rodman and Smith are no worse than Obama and Kerry.

DRayRaven on January 7, 2014 at 10:54 AM

Rodman and Kim are both alcoholics so they have that in common…

Blake on January 7, 2014 at 10:54 AM

As bad as musicians holding private concerts for dictators. All tools.

22044 on January 7, 2014 at 10:54 AM

I’m sure all of the victims of the Kim dynasty weeps at the slings and arrows suffered by Rodman and Smith on this trip, but then again, it’s clear that Rodman, Smith, and company “don’t give a rat’s ass” what those victims think.
====================================

Idiots don’t realize, that they too, can be DOG FOOD!!

canopfor on January 7, 2014 at 10:54 AM

This is your brain on drugs Rodman, one too many basketballs bounced off his head.

rukiddingme on January 7, 2014 at 10:57 AM

…hundreds of thousands of people starving in concentration camps, living as slaves…

Small correction: There are 24.76 million people starving as slaves. The gulags are merely the innermost circle of the hell that is North Korea.

Fabozz on January 7, 2014 at 10:58 AM

Rodman and Smith are no worse than Obama and Kerry.

DRayRaven on January 7, 2014 at 10:54 AM

Don’t tell that to Knick fans. They still despise Charles Smith to this day.

Doughboy on January 7, 2014 at 11:02 AM

Shorter Rodman;

I AM GOD!

WORSHIP ME NOW!

He gets all upset when people just look at him strangely, instead.

Sort of like Mini-Kim, except that so far, nobody has been a big enough fool to make Rodman the head of a country.

clear ether

eon

eon on January 7, 2014 at 11:04 AM

More proof that you don’t need brains to play basketball.

Bitter Clinger on January 7, 2014 at 11:05 AM

Alternate headline. Ignorant street thug loses it when faced by reality.

Happy Nomad on January 7, 2014 at 11:05 AM

Long term effects of MJ

Amadeus on January 7, 2014 at 11:06 AM

Rodman and Smith are no worse than Obama and Kerry.

DRayRaven on January 7, 2014 at 10:54 AM

Then again, I can’t think of anyone worse than Obama or Kerry (or Hillary for that matter) when it comes to our national interests and security.

TXUS on January 7, 2014 at 11:08 AM

Ignorance and stubbornness are a deadly combination. Rodman is not capable of hearing the actual criticisms any more, he’s dug his (high)heels in and he’s not going to give in at this point.

Flange on January 7, 2014 at 11:09 AM

Smith has a different view than Rodman.

Take it how you will.

22044 on January 7, 2014 at 11:10 AM

What a childish and naive fool.

NotCoach on January 7, 2014 at 11:10 AM

…so…when are they going to eat Dennis?

KOOLAID2 on January 7, 2014 at 11:12 AM

Rodman and Smith are no worse than Obama and Kerry.

DRayRaven on January 7, 2014 at 10:54 AM

That may well be true; however, rodman has the advantage over obama of at least being a ‘natural-born citizen’.

Solaratov on January 7, 2014 at 11:12 AM

If there were Golf Courses in North Korea, Obama would be there in a heartbeat.

portlandon on January 7, 2014 at 11:17 AM

Hum…… I still don’t see how Barry is the most intelligent person in a room….. even in Dennis’s room.

roflmmfao

donabernathy on January 7, 2014 at 11:23 AM

Bread and Circuses is not really an apt comparison. At least Nero recognized that starving people wanted these things, where us Kim Jong-un just doesn’t care. Which makes him worse than Nero.

Fenris on January 7, 2014 at 11:23 AM

I wonder if it ever even struck what little brainpower Rodman has that this exhibition merely sends the message that America stands by lil Kim.

Happy Nomad on January 7, 2014 at 11:25 AM

Smith has a different view than Rodman.

Take it how you will.

22044 on January 7, 2014 at 11:10 AM

The guy is delusional. What they did was positive, but he’s remorseful because it’s being dwarfed by politics and he and Rodman are just no good at portraying what really is going on. That’s some funny stuff.

Fenris on January 7, 2014 at 11:26 AM

I hope that rodman’s team loses

ConservativePartyNow on January 7, 2014 at 11:26 AM

SOB must be drunker than a fu*king monkey.I hope they keep him there.

jeffinsjvca on January 7, 2014 at 11:26 AM

So if I hear you correctly, there are 10 guys there.

tommer74 on January 7, 2014 at 11:33 AM

So if I hear you correctly, there are 10 guys there.

tommer74 on January 7, 2014 at 11:33 AM

Maybe somebody could suggest to Kim that there’s a traitor among the ball players, and they could have an extended stay. Too late, I think they’re already back.

Fenris on January 7, 2014 at 11:38 AM

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s self-proclaimed “friend for life” Dennis Rodman announced January 4 that he had assembled the promised team of former NBA players to take to Pyongyang. These reportedly include former NBA All-Stars Kenny Anderson, Cliff Robinson, and Vin Baker. Craig Hodges, Doug Christie and Charles D. Smith will round out the American team. They are headed to North Korea to play in an exhibition game against a top North Korean senior national team on January 8, providing a crowd-pleasing circus for Kim Jong-un’s 31st birthday.

At which time Kim will announce that baskets scored by North Korea’s team count 10 points each, and the losing team will share a prison cell with Kenneth Bae.

Steve Z on January 7, 2014 at 11:39 AM

O.K, this Dude is ready for PRO WRESTLING!!!!

All he needs is someone like Bill Lambeer to be his “Manager”.

Are you listening Vince MacMahon??!!!!

ToddPA on January 7, 2014 at 11:39 AM

They should play on a court filled with a 120 ravenous dogs while wearing t-bones attached to their shorts. That would be entertaining.

HumpBot Salvation on January 7, 2014 at 11:45 AM

O.K, this Dude is ready for PRO WRESTLING!!!!

All he needs is someone like Bill Lambeer to be his “Manager”.

Are you listening Vince MacMahon??!!!!

ToddPA on January 7, 2014 at 11:39 AM

Actually, Rodman did wrestle back in the late 90′s in WCW.

Doughboy on January 7, 2014 at 11:49 AM

I can see why Dennis relates to the Great Successor, Outstanding Leader or whatever his nickname is. Same personalities for sure.

Just think – if it wasn’t for our constitution and liberal democratic traditions we might be ruled by Dennis.

kcewa on January 7, 2014 at 12:01 PM

So if I hear you correctly, there are 10 guys there.

tommer74 on January 7, 2014 at 11:33 AM

You sure? Rodman really wasn’t clear on that point. ;0

Seriously, Rodman didn’t even know who Kenneth Bae was and tried to bluff his way out of it with feigned moral outrage. Then it was feigned moral outrage about lil Kim being called names. And then feigned moral outrage that anybody would question their trip.

In truth, I don’t think Rodman really understands why people are upset. Not a single effing clue. And they worry about the mental state of former NFL players!

Happy Nomad on January 7, 2014 at 12:08 PM

HumpBot Salvation on January 7, 2014 at 11:45 AM

Love it. LOL

MontanaMmmm on January 7, 2014 at 12:13 PM

First, self disclosure: Even after two attempts, I could only make it through five minutes tops. It’s just to much of a waste of time to watch the whole thing.

Second, these former pro basketball players make that Florida quarterback look like an educated college student. Almost.

parke on January 7, 2014 at 12:22 PM

If Obama had a son…

Buttercup on January 7, 2014 at 12:31 PM

Maybe he and Mighty Mite dress up in drag together. Dennis is the only one who understands…

winoceros on January 7, 2014 at 12:50 PM

Did he take Madeline Albright with him?

onlineanalyst on January 7, 2014 at 12:51 PM

Happy Nomad on January 7, 2014 at 12:08 PM

Agree. I would think that the other bb players around him would have some common sense and see what they are being used for but apparently not. I guess they are just trying to please Rodman. Someone should pull them aside and clue them in.

tommer74 on January 7, 2014 at 12:52 PM

Rodman is like a caricature of Obama. Obama would have been just like Rodman
except Obama had handlers to get him where he is.

Obama probably watched this and went – right on Dennis – with a clenched fist salute.

redguy on January 7, 2014 at 1:05 PM

syc·o·phant

noun
a self-seeking, servile flatterer; fawning parasite.

Buttercup on January 7, 2014 at 1:08 PM

Wow first thing I thought of was Pink Floyd’s “The lunatic is on the grass”… what does that man really have in that cigar?

ThinkingForMyself on January 7, 2014 at 1:13 PM

Rodman sounds like he’s deaf. I realize that is a bit of an oxymoron (while Rodman is full moron) but his voice just has that tone of someone that can’t hear himself.

OrbeaRider66 on January 7, 2014 at 2:02 PM

They should play on a court filled with a 120 ravenous dogs while wearing t-bones attached to their shorts. That would be entertaining.

HumpBot Salvation on January 7, 2014 at 11:45 AM

If they beat the Norks (are they playing the Norks?) bad enough that’s a distinct possibility.

Oldnuke on January 7, 2014 at 2:28 PM

Rodman sounds like he’s deaf.

OrbeaRider66 on January 7, 2014 at 2:02 PM

Don’t know about being deaf but he’s definitely dumb.

Oldnuke on January 7, 2014 at 2:29 PM

Too late

Schadenfreude on January 7, 2014 at 2:35 PM

So Rodman stands with the DPRK against Kenneth Bae? He has completely lost it. I’ll bet the other players are now thinking, “WTH are we doing here?”, and wanting to leave.

Ward Cleaver on January 7, 2014 at 2:45 PM

Long term effects of MJ

Amadeus on January 7, 2014 at 11:06 AM

Yep. What half of Coloradans will be like in ten years.

Ward Cleaver on January 7, 2014 at 2:46 PM

I’ll bet the other players are now thinking, “WTH are we doing here?”, and wanting to leave.

Ward Cleaver on January 7, 2014 at 2:45 PM

Nah. The other players are also wondering who the hell Kenneth Bae is.

Buttercup on January 7, 2014 at 3:19 PM

Syphilis must be eating away at his brain. This guy is flat out crazy. But how do you excuse the others – what the hell are they thinking?

Hill60 on January 7, 2014 at 3:20 PM

Find out how much Kim is paying Rodman and those other basketball players, and there’s your answer. Craziness all around? Maybe. But I say, follow the money.

RebeccaH on January 7, 2014 at 3:58 PM

Marijuana is a hell of a drug.

Murphy9 on January 7, 2014 at 4:32 PM

Could be my imagination..but it looks like those players are sitting there…looking a mite uncomfortable…..but they will suck it up for the $$$$ they are getting…

Xango Annie on January 8, 2014 at 1:44 AM