President Bill Clinton in Pyonyang with whats-his-name.
President Bill Clinton in Pyonyang with whats-his-name.

This week, President Bill Clinton, traveling as a private citizen, went to North Korea and returned with two female Current TV journalists who were destined for a terrible 12 years of imprisonment and possible death, for doing what is normal and natural in our free society: getting the story.

Immediately pundits and comics started making Monica Lewinsky-related jokes about the event, saying that “Bill only went so he could pick up a couple of women,” and other more vulgar knee-slappers. We say no fair. Oh, and get some new material.

Look, there may be a couple of things to question about the former president’s trip, but the outcome and the reasons for going are not among them. Clinton’s grim face in the ridiculous Mutt & Jeff photograph with Kim Jong Il is enough to show he didn’t go to North Korea to appease the “Dear Leader,” but was there to do the right thing.

While we may often disagree with Bill’s politics, and even more often with his wife’s, we applaud the image of a prominent American saving two women who would otherwise have suffered a fate they didn’t deserve. It should be one of Clinton’s prouder moments, because defending liberty and each other is what Americans do.

Politico coverage of the homecoming, including video here.