From giving a history lesson to quickly receiving a history lesson: If one is going to present a distorted view of history of the country one is in, it's not a good idea to do so with millions of people watching and listening.
"Your comments about Korea are absolutely rubbish. After decades of human rights violations, exploiting our resources, and attempts to destroy our heritage, Japan is nowhere close to being thanked, but absolutely despised," one person wrote on NBC News Facebook.
This reminds me of the time I was in a shop in Italy where three friends wanted to purchase an item, and the shopkeeper told them that he could ship the item to China for free, and one of the three angrily replied: "we're from Korea". The Art of the deal?
I think you're correct. It's ironic that he is considered an expert on matters Asia, at least economic matters, and he won an Emmy and Peabody award for his commentary at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. And it does sound like his business centric (art of the deal) mentality caused him to say only what he thought were positive things about Korea and Japan in an effort to avoid any controversy, a tactic that obviously brought about the opposite. NBC did fire him, and hopefully he will make it back to China or the USA in one piece.