Yoon Administration’s Blue Blues

Even the weather forecast comes under partisan attack.

Yoon Administration’s Blue Blues

Image: MBC News weather report on air quality. Credit: MBC News.

As the General Election 총선 approaches, the Yoon Suk-yeol 윤석열 administration’s attempts to control the media are becoming increasingly desperate. The Korea Communications Commission 방송통신위원회, dominated by Yoon appointees who pushed out the holdover appointees from the Moon Jae-in 문재인 administration before the end of their terms, has sanctioned several liberal-leaning political talk shows for “fake news” - such as the observation that no one took any responsibility for the October 2022 Itaewon Disaster.

The crackdown has begun expanding beyond expressions of opinion. On March 14, the KCC recommended legal sanctions against MBC News’ weather division after the news reported on a significant improvement in air quality - during which levels of PM 2.5 airborne particulate matter fell to 1 - using a large blue “1.” The KCC claimed that the blue number one suggested support for the Democratic Party 민주당, whose party color is blue and whose majority in the National Assembly 국회 resulted in the party having the ballot number one in the upcoming General Election. 

It is possible that this is a case of projection. In the March 8 home opener for Chungnam Asan FC 충남아산FC, the city-owned pro soccer team wore alternate red jerseys, drawing ire from fans who demanded the team wear its traditional blue and yellow jerseys for the home opener.

Chungcheongnam-do Province Governor Kim Tae-heum 김태흠 충청북도 지사, of the People Power Party 국민의힘, denied speculation that the team wore alternate jerseys in the PPP’s color because the governor was attending the opening match a month ahead of the election. The Korea Professional Football League 한국프로축구연맹 has requested an official explanation from Chungnam Asan FC for the anomalous selection of jerseys.

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