Vice is behind Dennis Rodman’s Trip to North Korea

From The New York Times:

Imagine being the HBO executive who hears this from one of the channel’s producing partners: “We think there’s an opportunity for us to get into North Korea.”

The executive was Michael Lombardo, and the partner was Vice Media, the Brooklyn media company with something of a daredevil streak. The conversation happened about a month ago, when production was well under way on “Vice,” a newsmagazine that will have its premiere on HBO on April 5.

The company’s bosses said they were planning a visit to the secretive country, centered on an exhibition basketball game with the flamboyant former N.B.A. star Dennis Rodman and three members of the Harlem Globetrotters. HBO decided to add what Mr. Lombardo said was “a little bit” of extra financing, beyond what it had already agreed to pay for the newsmagazine.

By Friday, the trip wasn’t just “interesting,” it was international news. Kim Jong-un showed up for the exhibition game in Pyongyang the day before, making Mr. Rodman and Vice’s film crew the first Americans known to have met the North Korean ruler since he inherited power from his father in 2011.

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