cults of personality

World Leader’s Lackey Lies About His Sports Feats

President Barack Obama plays basketball with personal aide Reggie Love at St Bartholomew's Church in New York City, where the President is attending the United Nations General Assembly, Sept. 23, 2009.
Photo: Pete Souza/White House

Kim Jong-Il was very famous for his feats of athleticism. As the Times notes today, if you took the Dear Leader’s alleged achievements at face value, he’d racked up quite a string of them: He “bowled a perfect 300, according to state-run news media” and got five holes-in-one and a 38-under-par his first time on the course (“reportedly”). Of course, the world wouldn’t have know about the dictator’s fabulous hand–eye coordination without a few yes-men helping along the cult of personality. Probably by leaking e-mails like this one:

[I]t’s been my privilege to help him with whatever he needs: making sure he’s on time, finding some food when we’re on the road, or playing a quick game of basketball (he won, mostly).” Except that’s a line not from a Kim Jong-Il supporter, but a fund-raising missive sent today to Barack Obama supporters on behalf of Reggie Love — the president’s body man and an ex-Duke basketball player.

Sure, the president won, mostly. Did he also climb Everest without an oxygen tank and kick an 85-yard-long field goal dead through the posts?

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World Leader’s Lackey Lies About Sports Feats