Reality shows emerge as new platform for politicians’ image management

SEOUL, Oct. 4 (Yonhap) -- Former Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon has been out of the public eye since he gave up his post in a high-stakes political showdown seven years ago.

His smart appearance and gentlemanly manners, combined with the career as a lawyer, made Oh one of the highest-profile politicians with the conservative bloc before he fell from grace in a failed effort to thwart the Seoul city council's bid to introduce free school lunches. Oh stepped down from his mayoral seat in 2011, taking responsibility for failing to block what he called a populist policy, and has since stayed away from the political scene.

This month, Oh put an end to his seven years of obscurity and returned to the fore of public consciousness through an unlikely TV appearance: He appeared on a reality TV show.

Featuring in the latest episode of "Flavor of Wife" aired on Tuesday by TV Chosun, the 57-year-old put his everyday life as a family man on full display.

Oh prepared breakfast for himself and his wife of 33 years and took care of his one-year-old grandson. He was also seen going grocery shopping with his son-in-law and chatting with a shopkeeper in a friendly manner, highlighting his softer side.

"I cried like a baby at my first daughter's wedding. I cried so much that I was embarrassed to see the parents of my son-in-law," Oh told the show, opening his family members to the public gaze for the first time.

Within an hour of the show's broadcast Tuesday night, Oh topped the list of most frequently searched keywords on major local internet search engines.

"More politicians are joining the rosters of entertainment TV programs as broadcasters are in growing need of people from many different fields for their shows in order to meet viewers' various interests," one broadcasting official said.

"As more politicians go beyond appearing on documentaries or news shows to join entertainment programs, they may also be tempted to reach out to the public with a friendly image," the official said.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

Reality shows emerge as new platform for politicians’ image management

SEOUL, Oct. 4 (Yonhap) -- Former Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon has been out of the public eye since he gave up his post in a high-stakes political showdown seven years ago.

His smart appearance and gentlemanly manners, combined with the career as a lawyer, made Oh one of the highest-profile politicians with the conservative bloc before he fell from grace in a failed effort to thwart the Seoul city council's bid to introduce free school lunches. Oh stepped down from his mayoral seat in 2011, taking responsibility for failing to block what he called a populist policy, and has since stayed away from the political scene.

This month, Oh put an end to his seven years of obscurity and returned to the fore of public consciousness through an unlikely TV appearance: He appeared on a reality TV show.

Featuring in the latest episode of "Flavor of Wife" aired on Tuesday by TV Chosun, the 57-year-old put his everyday life as a family man on full display.

Oh prepared breakfast for himself and his wife of 33 years and took care of his one-year-old grandson. He was also seen going grocery shopping with his son-in-law and chatting with a shopkeeper in a friendly manner, highlighting his softer side.

"I cried like a baby at my first daughter's wedding. I cried so much that I was embarrassed to see the parents of my son-in-law," Oh told the show, opening his family members to the public gaze for the first time.

Within an hour of the show's broadcast Tuesday night, Oh topped the list of most frequently searched keywords on major local internet search engines.

"More politicians are joining the rosters of entertainment TV programs as broadcasters are in growing need of people from many different fields for their shows in order to meet viewers' various interests," one broadcasting official said.

"As more politicians go beyond appearing on documentaries or news shows to join entertainment programs, they may also be tempted to reach out to the public with a friendly image," the official said.

Source: Yonhap News Agency