Death of Kim Jong-il, From Twitter to Cable, 50 Hours Later

By Chris Ariens Comment

Not long after the news of the death of North Korea’s Kim Jong-il broke, just after 10pmET tonight, “Kim Jong” and “Pyongyang” began trending on Twitter. The death of a ruling world leader — in this case a supreme leader — would be instant news around the globe. But the fact that it took two days for the news to be made public, speaks volumes about the global isolation in which North Korea exists. The first reports were that Kim died of fatigue at 8:30 am Dec. 17 (6:30pmET Friday) during train ride. That was later updated to “massive heart attack.”

As for U.S. cable news coverage: Fox News’s Harris Faulkner broke in with the news at 10:11pmET during “Geraldo at Large.” Geraldo Rivera, reporting from Kuwait with some of the last U.S. troops to leave Iraq earlier today, began incorporating the news later in his show. Interestingly, Greg Palkot, also in Kuwait today, reported Fox News’s pre-produced obituary on Kim. CNN’s Don Lemon reported the news at 10:12pm 10:07. Wolf Blitzer, who traveled to North Korea last December, phoned in. CNN/U.S. began simulcasting CNNI at 10:23. MSNBC produced breaking news specials at 10:17 and 10:32pm.

Twitter, as usual, led the way with the headline of the death. It included original reporting:

@mitchellreports: U.S officials have no offficial comment on Kim’s death. Long anticipated but no warning it was imminent

And commentary:

@AndyLevy: RIP* Kim Jong-Il *Rot In Pieces