Tuesday, December 6, 2011

South Korea's prison robots in the LAT

I'm beginning to feel a bit like Aaron Altman, a main character in Broadcast News (a 1987 film about its titular topic; yeah, I'm dating myself, but hey, no one else will — rim shot! ... actually I was a teenager in 1987).

You see, late last month, I highlighted South Korean plans to employ robots in South Korean prisons (in South Korea, prison and schools — same-same). Fast-forward a week later and — bam! — there it is in the Los Angeles Times.

T'is not the first time I've noticed this pattern. I could be full of self-importance, though, but in this case, I think I'm one of the very few in the K-blogosphere who wrote about this.

Back to Altman. He was a news producer, writer, and sometime on-air talking head, but he was upstaged by a pretty-boy former sportscaster who, basically, didn't know much of anything but the network needed him to sound intelligent in front of the camera. With the help of microphones and telephones, etc., etc. (this was 1987, pre-Wikipedia), Aaron Altman basically talked the talking head through a breaking news story.

Sitting in his living room watching the fruits of his labor emerge from the telly, he says to himself, "I say it here, it comes out there."

Okay, okay. You had to be there. And no, I'm not likening John Glionna to a pretty-boy talking head who doesn't know anything (to the contrary, I imagine he's very intelligent and quite homely). But I do feel I'm feeding him ideas. Not that there's anything wrong about that, since he does go and do his homework (though I think mine has more of the snark the story is screaming for).


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