James Zumwalt wrote in his Oct. 8 WorldNetDaily column:
Life experiences provide us with an opportunity to develop an expertise in certain areas. For example, teachers develop an expertise enabling them to quickly identify students with learning issues, which the educator can then help them overcome. But what about a situation in which these roles are reversed – the rare situation in which a life experience has imbued a student with a certain expertise the teacher lacks? And, more importantly, if the student wishes to share the benefit of such expertise, will the teacher even listen?
Such is the case at an Ivy League college where a student with a unique background is pursuing an education. The student is Yeonmi Park. She lived in North Korea for 14 years before escaping to China in 2007, where she was forced into the sex slave trade, later making her way to South Korea before moving to the U.S. in 2014.
What then is Park's area of expertise? She says she is grateful for two things in her life of 27 years – first, being born in North Korea and, second, escaping it. Her reasoning is that it is both these events that have shaped who she is today.
The rest of Zumwalt's column is simply parroting Park's narrative, centered on her ridiculous claim that her "brainwashing" education at Columbia University is worse than the indoctrination she allegedly underwent in North Korea. But as we documented when WND and the Media Research Center previous promoted her story, Park is simply allowing herself to be used by right-wingers to advance an anti-education narrative, and there are questions about her origin story, parts of which appear to be lifted from the accounts of other North Korean defectors.
But Zumwalt didn't bother to fact-check Park; two days earlier he lashed out at fact-checkers for fact-checking conservatives (another right-wing narrative). He simply swallowed her story because she said what he wants to hear and what meshes with his right-wing attitudes. He uniroinically concluded:
Escaping North Korean indoctrination empowered Park to rekindle her critical thinking ability. While Columbia University's professors turn a deaf ear to Park's warning, the big question now for other educators is whether they can rekindle their own critical thinking to heed it.
Zumwalt clearly didn't use any critical thinking in regurgitating Park's story -- he was just a servile stenographer.