Podcast ‘Naggomsu‘ power to ebb
A former star podcaster ran in the National Assembly elections Wednesday and lost. Now, Koreans are paying attention to how progressive the nation’s podcasts will be.
Some blame Kim Yong-min, the co-host of the famous anti-President Lee Myung-bak talk show “Naneun Ggomsuda” (I’m a Petty Trickster), for the opposition party’s defeat, while others continue to express unwavering support for him and the show.
Kim of the show, often called “Naggomsu,” ran unsuccessfully for Nowon-C constituency in northern Seoul and was criticized largely for his use of “filthy and vulgar” language.
As the vote result loomed, Kim said on Twitter late Wednesday night, “You’ve given so much support to me who is at fault in many ways. I owe you forever. I deeply apologize. I’ll learn to behave and find out how to contribute to this society.”
It was Naggomsu that led him to the candidacy. The podcast, popular especially among youngsters, has raised suspicion about the President and the ruling party, including the party’s involvement in the cyber attack on the National Election Commission website during the October by-election and Seoul mayoral candidate Na Kyung-won’s receiving skin care treatment at a luxurious clinic.
Some of the allegations were proven true, leading to Na’s defeat.
Even though one of the hosts, former lawmaker Chung Bong-ju, was jailed in December for spreading false rumors about President Lee and other hosts came under fire for making sexually-harassing comments on a woman expressing her support scantily clad in a bikini, many still supported them. And for the Nowon district where Chung wanted to run, the Democratic United Party (DUP) instead gave the candidacy to Kim to woo young voters.
But he was labeled a “bad boy” for his abusive and sexist comments along with the derogatory remarks about senior citizens, which he made in an Internet radio program in 2004-2005.
The conservative ruling Saenuri Party took advantage of it and attacked the DUP. Worrying the incident might have a negative effect on the vote, DUP leaders apologized to the public and recommended Kim drop out of the race — he refused.
Kim said he would have voters judge him. Co-host Kim Ou-joon also said in an interview, “If Kim resigns, young voters might not come to cast their ballots, thinking Naggomsu has limits after all.”
Some claim Kim not only suffered a blow from his district but also weakened the DUP’s ground, blaming him for the opposition party’s defeat.
A blogger criticized Kim by saying, “Do you know how hugely you owe the party? I don’t think you do. If you knew, you wouldn’t insist on running for the Assembly seat.”
Another blogger, kongkik, said, “A judgment on the Lee Myung-bak administration should be made by somebody without fault. You said, ‘I have to judge the administration, so forgive my past wrongdoing, I’m better than Lee.’ This is wrong.”
But many Naggomsu fans said they are still with Kim and the show. A tweeter said, “Naggomsu, which confronted Lee and Park Geun-hye without the opposition party’s help, is a patriotic freedom fighter. The DUP could get that many Assembly seats owing to Naggomsu.”