Dennis Rodman has decided to cancel his whirlwind tour of post-North Korea television appearances, causing curiosity and relief among political commentators and media observers.
The cancellations follow his bizarre and inflammatory interview with George Stephanopoulos on Sunday, in which Dennis Rodman called Kim Jung-un a “friend for life” and assured his host that the dictator just wants President Barack Obama to call him.
“He’s very humble,” Dennis Rodman told George Stephanopoulos during his appearance on ABC’s This Week.
“He’s a great guy, he’s a great guy.”
During an interview with the Associated Press after returning to the US Dennis Rodman said: “I love him.”
Dennis Rodman was getting ready to make appearances on ESPN’s Outside the Lines with Bob Ley and CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, but aborted both scheduled interviews with little advance notice and little explanation.
“Rodman was supposed to be interviewed this a.m. by @BobLeyESPN for OTL after his interview w/ @GStephanopoulos but skipped out on @espn,” sports James Andrew Miller tweeted on Sunday at 3:11 pm.
CNN’s John Berman told viewers late Monday morning that Dennis Rodman “decided to cancel” his interview on The Situation Room, as TVNewser reported.
John Berman instead hosted former Homeland Security adviser Frances Townsend and journalist John Avlon, who chastised the retired basketball player for his praise of Kim Jong-un.
Following the news of Dennis Rodman’s trip to North Korea, including speculation as to whether he now has more first-hand knowledge of North Korea’s leader than the CIA, White House spokesman Jay Carney told White House reporters that the U.S. government disapproved of the flashy attempt at diplomacy.
“The United States has direct channels of communication with the DPRK and instead of spending money on celebrity sporting events to entertain the elites of that country, the North Korean regime should focus on the well-being of its own people, who have been starved, imprisoned and denied their human rights,” Jay Carney said Monday.
Since returning from North Korea, Dennis Rodman has been silent on Twitter, despite a promise on Friday to tell his followers “what is true and not true of what you have heard and read”.
Dennis Rodman tweeted several times while he was visiting North Korea with three members of the Harlem Globe Trotters and Vice Media’s film crew to work on an upcoming HBO series that will debut on April 5.
“It’s true, I’m in North Korea.Looking forward to sitting down with Kim Jung Un. I love the people of North Korea. #WORMinNorthKorea,” he tweeted just after 8 am EST on February 26, before meeting with Kim Jung-un.
“I’m not a politician. Kim Jung Un & North Korean people are basketball fans. I love everyone. Period. End of story. #WORMinNorthKorea,” Dennis Rodman tweeted after few minutes.
During his interview with George Stephanopoulos, Dennis Rodman said he may take another trip to North Korea in the future.
“The next time you go back you should take this report from Human Rights Watch and ask him about that,” the ABC host replied.