A conspiracy theory is resurfacing that major entertainment news outlets break stories to divert the public’s interest in political issues.
A local entertainment news outlet reported on Monday that actor Lee Min-ho and singer-actress Suzy were in a relationship. The news was quickly followed by reports concerning other celebrity couples.
Lee Min-ho (left) and Suzy. OSEN
As related stories poured out, other headlines got less attention. Among such stories included news concerning former President Lee Myung-bak.
On Monday, The Herald Business, a sister paper of The Korea Herald, raised concerns that the Korea Resources Corp. may have given some companies favorable treatment in extending more than 280 billion won ($254 million) in loans, citing information provided by Rep. Kim Je-nam of the minor opposition Justice Party.
According to data Kim acquired from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, the state-run company provided 29 companies with more than 282.2 billion won in low-interest loans during the five years of the Lee Myung-bak administration.
During his term, former President Lee Myung-bak emphasized the need to develop natural resources overseas, and his so-called “resource diplomacy” has since become a subject of parliamentary investigation, as many of the massive investments led by Lee ended up with huge losses.
Entertainment industry officials have since told various news outlets that using celebrity news to cover up political issues is unheard of. But major celebrity news have been broken in similar timing to controversial news concerning hot-button political and social issues in the past.
The timing at which the news of Lee-Suzy couple was released appears to have fed the conspiracy theory. The news broke on Monday, but all photographs released by the outlet that broke the story were taken more than a week earlier.
By Choi He-suk (email@example.com)