Now that Noem knows what’s in her own book, she must tell us how it got there

Now that Noem knows what’s in her own book, she must tell us how it got there

Kristi Noem owes South Dakotans an explanation for the shame she has brought on herself and the state.

The Republican governor has not yet told us how and why she included a false story in her upcoming book about the meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Margaret Brennan of “Face the Nation” pressed for an answer from Noem on CBS on Sunday.

Noem responded: “This anecdote should not have been in the book, and as soon as it was brought to my attention I made sure it was changed.”

So Noem would have us believe that it wasn’t until last week — when The Dakota Scout broke the story — that she knew that her own memoir falsely claimed she had met one of the world’s most notorious dictators.

The relevant part of the book is not a passing mention of Kim’s name. It’s a complete boast.

“I remember meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un,” Noem wrote. “I’m sure he underestimated me because he had no idea of ​​my experience staring down little tyrants (after all, I had been a children’s pastor).”

How could such a passage be included without Noem’s knowledge, when she is the only credited author? South Dakotans aren’t as stupid as they apparently think we look, so we can deduce three possibilities:

She made up the story and thought no one would catch her in the lie. She met another official from an Asian country and mistook or misremembered that person as Kim Jong Un. She relied so much on a ghostwriter that she didn’t read her own book. before it went to the printer.

We can rule out the third possibility because we know that Noem read her own manuscript. Before anyone else read it, she posted videos on social media of himself narrating the audiobook.

That leaves two explanations: she lied, or she is incompetent. If those are the only answers, it’s no wonder she’s dodging the question.

Noem’s other television role this weekend was on Saturday Night Live, but not as a host. Instead, she was the butt of several jokes about another part of her book, in which she revealed that she had fatally shot a hunting dog and a buck.

The show’s focus on Noem made it abundantly clear that she is currently the main object of ridicule in the country. That’s no small feat now that a former president is on trial for falsifying corporate records to cover up hush money payments to a porn star.

The governor’s shocking fall is an abrupt flip of the script for South Dakotans, after Noem and her people spent recent years promoting her rising political prominence as a boon to the state.

Now South Dakotans can only wait to see how far Noem can drag down the state’s reputation before it hits rock bottom. With the book not even due out until Tuesday – all the damage so far has been caused by pre-sales – who knows what further humiliation awaits us.

Noem intended the book’s title, “No Going Back,” as a rallying cry for her plans to move the country forward. Instead, it’s now an unfortunately ironic reference to a turning point in her career.

But the title isn’t the only ironic part of the book. The more than 200 pages include statements from Noem that “apologies will not be accepted” in her state, and that “we need the truth from our leaders.”

Perhaps Noem should follow her own advice by dropping the excuses, telling the truth about why the false Kim Jong Un anecdote is in her book, and salvaging what little dignity she and her state have left.

South Dakota Searchlight is part of States Newsroom, a nonprofit news network supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. South Dakota Searchlight maintains editorial independence. If you have any questions, please contact editor Seth Tupper: [email protected]. Follow South Dakota Searchlight on Facebook and Tweet.