A CNN interview with Dennis Rodman turned into a yelling exhibition on Tuesday morning when questions regarding the nature of his presence in North Korea angered the NBA Hall of Famer.
Rodman’s meltdown occurred after a series of stern questions from CNN host Chris Cuomo, who wished to know exactly why Rodman and his "all-star team" would travel to the country to play an exhibition game for Kim Jong-un's birthday.
The CNN New Day exclusive turned hostile quickly as Cuomo pressed Rodman for details on how he justifies entertaining a man who recently executed his own uncle and continues to hold American citizen Kenneth Bae hostage without apparent cause.
Sitting with his all-star teammates in a florally appointed room in Pyongyang, North Korea, Rodman became increasingly defensive as Cuomo pressed him for details, as Herbert noted.
“You’ve got the basketball game coming up,” Cuomo said. “Tell me, given the situation in the country where you are right now, why do you believe this is a good idea?”
Rodman answered that his playing in North was good for “the world,” and he does it for his “friend,” Kim Jong-un.
“It’s a great idea for the world,” Rodman said. “Why? I love my friend.”
Cuomo continued his line of questioning, asking if Rodman would use his friendship with the North Korean dictator to help aid in the release of Bae. At this point Rodman’s anger quickly bled into the conversation.
“Do you understand what Kenneth Bae did in this country?” Rodman said, wagging a cigar. “You tell me. Why is he held captive?
“I don’t give a [expletive]!” Rodman continued, shrugging off teammate Charles Smith’s attempts to calm the situation. “I don’t give a rat’s [expletive] what the hell you think!”
The interview continued with Rodman speaking seemingly in circles and ended with Cuomo reminding the men of the situation in the country and wishing them a safe trip home.
Prior to the interview with CNN, Rodman spoke to members of the media about his motivations in North Korea. He maintained that his presence in the country had nothing to do with drumming up fame or making money.
Whether any of Cuomo’s words touched Rodman is unknown. Perhaps he’ll make moves to help the plight of Kenneth Bae and make headway in improving relations.
This is the idealist outlook. The more realistic prediction, perhaps, is that Rodman will continue to ingratiate himself to a dictator in the name of self-promotion. Whatever keeps you in the papes, right Dennis?
Dennis Rodman: Birthday present to supreme leaders.