Unnecessary fuss

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Unnecessary fuss

The Korea Broadcasting System’s board of directors approved the request of the Board of Audit and Inspection to dismiss Jung Yun-joo from his post as the head of the nation’s largest broadcaster. The decision came only three days after the audit board made the request, in order to hold him responsible for a snowballing deficit and abuse of authority in personnel appointments.

The decision was made as KBS employees attempted to physically block the board of directors’ meeting and police were mobilized to stop them. Now, the only administrative step left to decide Jung’s fate is official dismissal by the president.

The board of directors’ decision to oust Jung is nothing surprising, but we really lament the ugliness of the situation. In order to save as much face as possible, Jung must step down right now.

Jung, however, derided the decision, and threatened legal action. On Thursday, he filed a lawsuit against the audit board. Then he rejected the KBS board of directors’ decision.

The board of directors is the broadcaster’s highest decision-making body and it has the right to recommend candidates for KBS chief to the president. Jung’s refusal to accept the board of directors’ decision is like treating the state-run firm as if it were his personal business.

The key to the pressure on Jung is his performance as KBS president. The Lee Myung-bak administration’s alleged attempt to control the media is a secondary issue.

Since being appointed to the post in 2003, Jung’s ethics have been questioned and he has been criticized for a lack of management ability and for airing reports that lack objectivity. He has even faced consistent internal pressure to step down.

Immediately after its vote, the board of directors made clear that the decision to sack Jung was based on his inability to perform his duties as the president of KBS.

Jung must accept the decision of the board of directors and step down as soon as possible, instead of holding on to his job and making an unnecessary fuss. If KBS were a private company, a president like Jung would have already been fired. Jung must realize that saying he is defending the independence of the broadcaster can be seen as a desperate move to protect himself.

Opposition politicians and other supporters of Jung should also open their eyes to reality and stop their reckless attempts to protect Jung. It is time for KBS to be reborn as a broadcaster of the people.

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