NBC’s TODAY mercilessly mocked for featuring South Korean flags covering assassination of former Japanese PM

NBC’s TODAY show made the embarrassingly dumb and disrespectful mistake of showing South Korean flags while covering the horrific assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and was ripped for it.

A somber reporter narrated the images and video of the assassin who was taken down by police after shooting the former prime minister in the chest with a homemade shotgun. The shooting took place in Japan so it is perplexing why the show would display South Korean flags flying instead of Japanese ones.

NBC’s footage zoomed in on a line of five poles adorned with South Korean flags as a reporter described Japan’s gun laws as being some of “the most stringent in the world.”

The segment described Japan’s regulations for purchasing a firearm. Those reportedly include attending a gun safety class, passing a written exam, having a doctor sign off on mental health, and undergoing an extensive background check.

The misstep was nailed on Twitter and subsequently went viral.

Curtis Houck, who is the managing editor of Newsbusters, tweeted, “Ummmm, wrong country, @TODAYshow. @NBCNews, your morning show has some issues with keeping the countries in Asia straight.”

Others piled on over the error.

By most accounts, Abe was deeply respected and loved in Japan. He was the country’s longest-serving prime minister, holding office between December 2012 and October 2020. Abe was credited with strengthening U.S.-Japanese relations, taking on China, and overseeing a strong Japanese economy. He was also a friend of former President Trump.

The former prime minister was shot while giving a campaign speech on Friday for his Liberal Democratic Party ahead of Sunday elections for the Japanese Parliament’s upper-house. He was rushed to the hospital but succumbed to his wounds and was pronounced dead.

The suspect is in police custody and asserted the murder was not political.

“Media in Japan report the suspect said the shooting was not politically motivated, but rather due to a ‘dissatisfaction’ the suspect felt toward Abe,” NBC’s TODAY reported.

President Biden belatedly addressed the assassination in a statement.

“I am stunned, outraged, and deeply saddened by the news that my friend Abe Shinzo, former Prime Minister of Japan, was shot and killed while campaigning. This is a tragedy for Japan and for all who knew him. I had the privilege to work closely with Prime Minister Abe,” Biden stated.

“As Vice President, I visited him in Tokyo and welcomed him to Washington. He was a champion of the alliance between our nations and the friendship between our people. The longest-serving Japanese Prime Minister, his vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific will endure. Above all, he cared deeply about the Japanese people and dedicated his life to their service,” he continued.

“Even at the moment he was attacked, he was engaged in the work of democracy. While there are many details that we do not yet know, we know that violent attacks are never acceptable and that gun violence always leaves a deep scar on the communities that are affected by it. The United States stands with Japan in this moment of grief. I send my deepest condolences to his family,” Biden proclaimed, using Abe’s tragic death as a platform for gun control.

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