You may not have read all of the articles I linked to above. That’s fine. I only really want to talk about a very small part of each of those articles, specifically how they reported on the measures announced by Mayor Park. At the very top of the France24 article, in bold, it is written that the mayor “ordered the closure of all clubs and bars.” The original Vox article stated that he “ordered all bars and clubs indefinitely closed.” CNN metonymically noted that “Seoul ordered all clubs and bars to temporarily close.” There are some differences in the choice of wording, most significantly “indefinitely” and “temporarily,” which have very different denotations and connotations, but all three articles agree on the “bars and clubs” (or “clubs and bars”) part. The final Vox article I linked to above, though, is the odd man out, writing instead that “the local government ordered bars and restaurants to be closed” (emphasis mine).
It should be obvious that there is something wrong with that last Vox article. What might be less obvious is that there is, in fact, something wrong with all of the articles; not only have restaurants in Seoul not been ordered to close, but bars have not been ordered to close, either. Furthermore, neither bars nor restaurants have ever been closed at any point during this pandemic. So how did these and other news outlets get it wrong?
Charles is too polite to engage in a frothing rant about the prevalence of fake news, which is partly due to the incurious, superficial, and reality-distorted nature of "journalists," but I'd say that bullshit slips into public discourse via many routes, including linguistic and cultural incompetence. Think deeply and translate well, newsies, although at this point I wouldn't trust any one of you to report my own name to me.