NPR

The 'Tillerson Is Tired' Meme And Things That Happen In A News Vacuum

The secretary of state didn't cut short his South Korea stay over the weekend, but an information vacuum meant a lot of people thought he did.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, upon arriving at the Osan Air Base in South Korea last week. Source: NurPhoto

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's inaugural trip to East Asia was marred by misunderstandings that arguably could have been avoided had Tillerson followed decades-old practice and spoken for himself — to the State Department press corps aboard his plane.

But there was no State Department press corps aboard his plane.

Tillerson had one reporter along — from a conservative-leaning news site who does not cover the State Department. In another break with tradition, the reporter did not offer a pool report to colleagues on the ground.

The effect?

In both China and South

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