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Final Word: Dennis Rodman, hand over your passport

Dennis Rodman looks out at the court at the end of an exhibition basketball game with U.S. and North Korean players at an indoor stadium in Pyongyang, North Korea on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014. (AP Photo/Kim Kwang Hyon)

Is it time to take Dennis Rodman's passport away?

I think so.

Rodman is on a crazed mission to play basketball in North Korea for Kim Jong Un's birthday. He has appointed himself a diplomat, and taken 10 former NBA players (who clearly need the money more than they value their pride) to play in a basketball game.

Unfortunately, it is considered a news event and is covered by media looking for a controversial angle on this tired former celebrity.

CNN interviewed Rodman Tuesday and, unfortunately, asked him about Kenneth Bae, a former South Korean immigrant turned Chinese tour company operator who took as many as 15 groups to North Korea to see the country. He was arrested by North Korean officials in November 2012.

North Korea won't say why they arrested him and has not produced any documents pertaining to his imprisonment.

He has a wife and children and suffers from diabetes. His family has been trying to get him freed, but have failed.

He was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor and his family said his health is suffering.

North Korea is considered to have one of the harshest prison systems in the world. As many as 200,000 people are believed to be held there in prison camps, subjected to mistreatment and torture.

So, in an effort to boost ratings, CNN's Chris Cuomo asked Rodman about Kenneth Bae.

Rodman answered, obviously knowing little about the story. He yelled down the CNN host and proceeded to make zero sense in his comments about the North Korean government and its "Supreme Commander."

All the while, Rodman said he is doing something "nice." According to whom?

The U.S. has no diplomatic relations with North Korea and has repeatedly condemned its acts against humanity and efforts to start a nuclear weapons program.

Bae's family said Rodman is playing games with Bae's life and, in a way, they are right. He doesn't have to play basketball in North Korea, but he's obviously being paid a lot to do so.

It's too bad he's either too dumb or too crazy to realize he is being used by the North Korean PR machine, instead of making a political statement.

If we could only stop paying attention.

About the Author

Karie Dozer is host of Arizona's Noon News.

She has been an on-air personality nearly continually since her college days. She loves radio because it is intelligent, immediate and almost always available.

She is the youngest of nine children from a Midwestern Catholic family where she learned to be heard, fight for a place at the table and find humor in almost everything. She was hired as a news intern while a senior at ASU's Cronkite School, and found that covering human stories like the OJ Simpson white Bronco chase and the 1992-93 Phoenix Suns was too much fun to pass up.

She loved life in the newsroom with all the action and crazy personalities to go with it. She anchored and covered some sports too, until politics dragged her away. She served as press secretary for Arizona's Attorney General Grant Woods for a five-year stint before jumping back to radio on a part-time basis. Three years ago she got back in the biz on a more regular basis as a midday host on what is now KTAR News. She has a passion for the breaking news of the moment, education, local politics, great food, sports and fitness. She has trouble turning down a good argument, a good book or a good glass of wine.

In her spare time she takes care of her boys, (husband Rich, son Jack, and yellow lab Buddy,) and bakes awesome chocolate chip cookies. She enjoys the quality of life the Valley offers her family and the natural beauty of Arizona. Her favorite places are golf courses, her own kitchen, the city of Flagstaff, and wherever her family is.

She considers herself lucky to work with the amazingly talented people of KTAR radio.


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