The Ed Show | March 04, 2013
>>> he loves basketball . and i say the same thing i said. obama loves basketball . let's start there.
>> tonight's big finish , one of the most controversial sports stars has befriended one of the world's most controversial dictators, north korea 's kim jong un. really likes basketball . so he allowed dennis rodman to visit the capital city with a film crew . rodman brought back this message for president obama .
>> he want obama to do one thing, call him.
>> he wants a call from president obama ?
>> that's right. he told me that. he said if you can, dennis, i don't want do war. i don't want do war.
>> okay. i'm not sure we should take dennis's word for it, though. peace-loving north korea conducted its third nuclear test right before dennis rodman 's visit, and now is working on a long-range missile. but let's forget about peace and talk about love. here is dennis rodman again.
>> his country like him, not like him, love him. love him.
>> rodman and some harlem globetrotters got special tours of north korea 's best sites. they did not see this north korea , where 6 million people need food eighth aid. 19% of the babies are malnourished, and most people make 4 bucks a day. those statistics explain why the state department was not thrilled about watching kim jong un roll out the red carpet for rodman .
>> clearly you've got the regime spending money to wine and dine foreign visitors when they should be feeding their own people.
>> so let's get this straight. the united states has not held formal talks with north korea since 2005 , but this guy gets a seat at the table? dennis rodman , the player who head butted a ref and was once called the worm? the man who has always attracted attention for keeping strange company might have finally outdone himself. let's turn to eugene robinson , msnbc political analyst and associate editor pulitzer prize winning columnist for "the washington post ." okay. how bizarre is this?
>> well, it's hard to get weirder than this, ed. i mean, dennis rodman has i think five nba championships . he has been defensive player of the year. he is in the hall of fame . he is not going to be adding a nobel peace prize to his list of honors. it's not going to happen. this was really bizarre.
>> does this make north korea look approachable to the rest of the world ? is this good press for north korea ?
>> well, if you're 6'9" alien who used to play basketball , yes, you can approach north korea . no it doesn't. this is completely divorced from reality and the fact that kim jong un is conforming to the stereotype of him, which is of some sort of like spoiled brat who likes basketball and runs the most totalitarian country on earth and is threatening to launch nuclear weapons . if that's approachable, i don't know what unapproachable.
>> well, rodman says he loves him. of course, there has been strange connections between countries in the past to get the, quote, ball rolling. for instance, nixon in ping-pong with china back this the day. was this the proper response? i mean, i got some calls on the radio show today saying maybe this might be an opening. or is that just too goofy?
>> look, i am all in favor of people-to-people exchanges with repressive countries because i think that helps. this was an alien-to-alien exchange, okay? this was not people-to-people. there is such an air of unreality to this. and so no way that this is going to lead to some sort of -- president obama is not going to call kim jong un and discuss whether the heat is going to beat the thunder in the nba finals . this year. it's not going to happen.
>> should dennis rodman offer to answer questions to the state department ? [ laughter ]
>> i don't think the state department --
>> i had to ask that. i just had to ask it.
>> maybe they would have some interest in what he observed as he went around north korea so they know a bit more about what is going on in the country. but i would like the hear that conversation. i would love a readout from that conversation.
>> they love basketball . he loves basketball . so i guess the president could fill out his nba bracket and kim jong un could fill out his nba bracket. and of course, rodman could deliver it to him.
>> this is one of the most bizarre international stories i think we have seen come down the pike in a long, long time. and rodman , for him 20 go on this week and play it serious even adds to how bizarre it is. and he actually thinks that he might be some kind of an ambassador in all of this.
>> exactly. he is taking this very seriously. he says just call him. okay, just call him.
>> give him a call.
>> and it will all be okay. he does not want to do war. despite the nuclear weapons .
>> i will look forward to your column on this. i know there is one coming. eugene robinson , great to have you on "the ed show."
>> it will be a short one.
>> very short. thank you that is "the ed show." i'm ed schultz . "the rachel maddow show" starts right now.