Last week, SJM’s father and SBS went to the media arbitration panel to settle a dispute over an episode of “Unanswered Questions” that focused on the disappearance of Son Jung Min on the night of April 24, 2021 at the Banpo Han River Park in Seoul, South Korea. SJM’s father described what happened in his latest blog posts and of course it appears that SBS will be trying to play a ruthless legal strategy against the grieving father. But is there a secret weapon in the father’s pocket?
Kids, in the real world… turning in your homework late and then never submitting your final assignment lets you win battles dirty. SJM’s father is simply trying to save the legacy and memory of his son, but a broadcast station says it’s done nothing wrong but will take some time to get its final answer about to them about it. In the meantime, SJM daddy – why don’t you make your own documentary?
Even though it wasn’t court, SBS and its lawyers pulled the classic dirty courtroom move.
The day before the arbitration hearing, SBS launched its extensive written report on why it was right and SJM’s father was wrong. It’s a move done so that their arguments are fresh in the minds of the judge when you meet.
Even if your arguments are right, on the side of justice and supported by evidence, the law and the facts, the judge may have read it weeks ago and might be fuzzy about it. Then, they see this compelling narrative by your opponent just hours you’re supposed to meet.
So SJM’s father requested some time to respond and an extra day was added. However, you’re trapped to look like the one who was unprepared. Moreover, you’re knocked off balance because you have to scramble with a response. And then what happens? When you go in front of the judge, suddenly you’re on the defensive when you were in the offensive position up until this point. It also makes you focus on their points and arguments. Even if you’re refuting them, you’re repeating their positions. You’re talking about their positions. It’s designed to trick you so that you never get to your statements.
You have to redirect and ignore what they say. Focus on your points and just repeat, repeat and repeat. Forget what they ever said and attack them all as subplots to your main arguments.
So here’s what happened:
SBS’ lawyer and the employee said they had no authority to approve it on the spot so they’d have to get back to everyone. If both sides agree to the plan, it goes through. If anybody objects, it fails. The only way to resolve fixing or pulling the broadcast at that point is a lawsuit. Basically SBS has to agree to the changes requested by SJM’s father.
SBS claims it has all the rights to the program. But I have the rights to all of the footage I provided to them from my son’s phone. Their claims to take my copyright is ludicrous.
The four main areas that SJM’s father wants corrected in the program:
- They deliberately put forth a claim that SJM was a habitual drunk. They later removed that claim from the broadcast but didn’t make any note in the broadcast. Instead, it was a small announcement on the website.
- There were 5 additional mistakes that were fixed on the program that were not announced to the public whatsoever.
- There were 8 major misrepresentations in the broadcast from facts to function.
- There were 14 instances of one-sided, biased journalism.
What were SBS’ BS and shady arguments they brought to the arbitration panel the night before? These are the highlights provided by SJM’s father:
- We did not produce this program with the intent to advantage a particular side.
- Of course we expect that the complainant sees that this broadcast was insufficient and did not properly convey the intent of the production.
- However, we do not believe the accusations of SJM’s father.
- We don’t see where the broadcast has violated any laws.
- In particular, an 80 minute program differs from straight reporting especially when it comes to taking narrative liberties like re-enactments, which are things everyone just has to accept.
- It’s going to take some considerable time to see whether the claims made by the claimant are appropriate.
Here are the 8 instances of major misrepresentations of fact brought by SJM’s father.
- SBS filmed an actress pretending to be Mr. A’s mother calling SJM’s family at 5:28 a.m. from the park. In the re-enactment the actress is walking and talking outside, looking like she’s searching for SJM and acting all worried. In reality, Mr. A’s mom was still in her car. She hadn’t even started looking for SJM. Remember how it took me forever to walk all the way from the parking lot to the Y tree and picnic spot? She was still at the parking lot. But the re-enactment made it look like she was already at the spot looking. SHADY.
- SBS twice created a re-enactment that forced an actor to act piss-ass drunk as Mr. A on his way home through the bunny tunnel at 4:32 a.m. to support the false theory that he was black out drunk. The real CCTV footage did not show a drunk Mr. A. He was walking fine. In fact, he skipped along toward the end to avoid the CCTV camera. Real CCTV footage of the SBS shoot showed the director telling the actor to redo the acting to look even more drunk. He even showed the actor how to stumble in his walk to look even more drunk for the camera
- SBS lied when it showed the re-enactment of Mr. A calling his parents at 3:37 a.m. It showed Mr. A next to SJM trying to wake up SJM. However, photo evidence showed Mr. A on the phone ALONE next to the tree with SJM nowhere in sight. Moreover, the police report showed so many conflicting accounts of this period. Some said he was there, others said he was not there, others said he was sitting, photo showed he was not. Sketchy how SBS just chose without any journalistic integrity.
- SBS lied when it said Mr. A’s parents took one trip around the park to look for SJM by 5:28 a.m. and then called SJM’s parents. They showed a video of Mr. A’s parents to support this claim. However, it was a lie. This video was from 5:38 a.m. Remember, Mr. A’s mom was still in the car in the parking lot. The father and Mr. A had jumped out at 5:12 a.m to head out early in advance to sweep the area first and give the all clear.
- SBS lied when it showed the A family entering their elevator to leave their apartment to head to the park at 5:05 a.m. They actually entered the elevator at 5:02 a.m. They were filmed exiting the parking lot at 5:04 a.m. Why do these minutes matter? No one believes that Mr. A entered his house from the park at 4:52 a.m. and then left with his parents by 5:02 a.m. ready to leave on the dot unless they were on standby to clean up an emergency made by their son. Had it been the story the A family had spun — oh their son stumbled in, fell into bed, I found his phone, it was odd, I got worried, we decided the right thing to do was to go look for his friend perhaps, okay let’s get dressed to go look for his friend, rub the sleep out of our eyes, etc. Most people would think this would take much more than 10 minutes. And this is why people believe SBS gave the family an extra 5 minutes for plausibility.
- SBS lied when it said the A family arrived at the park at 5:12 and searched only for 10 minutes before calling SJM’s family. They claimed they just looked at the picnic area, convenience store area and the bunny tunnel. In reality, father and son were both at the riverbank. Mr. A was there until 5:30 a.m. Mr. A’s father was there until 5:34 a.m. The mother called not at 5:22 a.m. but at 5:28 a.m. and she was not at the park as seen on the empty images of the CCTV footage. SBS said they were searching all over for SJM. But they really weren’t. They just went to the riverbank. And the mom went to the park late but claimed she had been searching when she was really in the car.
- SBS lied when it said the two families met the same night on the 25th at 8pm. It was the following day at 8pm on the 26th. This was the day when Mr. A’s family had thrown away Mr. A’s shoes. But SBS said even though it was so strenuous, Mr A.’s family had met with the grieving family. The station already was making Mr. A and his family the main characters in this piece and not SJM and his family. Why?
- SBS lied when it showed the the re-enactment at 4:27 a.m. of Mr. A waking up to a fully spread out picnic area with SJM missing. Mr. A did not wake up there. He woke up at the edge of the river bank with his backpack already tied to his back. Moreover, there was no picnic spread at 4:27 a.m. It had already been packed up by then. At 2:18 a.m. the photo evidence showed that the picnic had been cleared and Mr. A had packed up his stuff and cleared the picnic area as if he were going to ditch SJM on the grass. There was nothing of a picnic left. He did not sleep on a picnic mat and wake up at 4:27 a.m. He was packed up and ready to leave at 2:18 a.m. and was supposedly found by a passerby at 4:27 or even 4:20 according to an earlier testimony with his backpack on the riverbank with no SJM anywhere to be found.
In the end we hope Son Jung Min’s father can find a way to preserve the legacy of his son. And instead of fighting a pointless battle in court, I recommend he take the baller move and create his own final documentary piece of video history. With. His. Own. Reenactments. Of. History.