Wednesday, September 06, 2006


I almost never comment on Thai politics except to say all I want is peace and stability. What I do comment on are the Bangkok English language newspapers. I assume the Thai language papers are pretty much the same since the publishers are the same.

These papers can be very amusing at times. Unfortunately the humor is unintentional. I have shown examples in the past of how biased they are against the current government, almost to the point of calling for armed rebellion. They have written editorials against democracy because they cannot win elections. But while they slant every news story, they still make a claim to be unbiased. That is funny. What a shame they cannot appreciate the humor in that. They are very serious minded.

Imagine my surprise today when I saw this editorial in The Bangkok Post:

Keeping bias out of news reports

In an environment filled with so much hate, as recently described by former prime minister Anand Panyarachun, because of incompatible political viewpoints among its citizens, as in the case of Thailand today, the media can play a constructive role in helping defuse tension and thus avoid possible violent confrontation. Or it can stoke the hatred which may finally degenerate into widespread violence. In light of the potentially destructive political crisis, the National Press Council, the Thai Journalists Association and the Broadcast Journalists Association have made it their social responsibility and obligation to voice grave concern at the volatile political instability and the danger of the situation sliding into chaos if it is allowed to continue unchecked.

Wow! Great start right? The Bangkok Post has seen the light and is calling for a new approach? Not so fast, cowboy. Here is the next paragraph:

The three media organisations also warned against the negative role of what they labelled as ''fake'' media in misleading the public and in deepening the political divide. So it came as little surprise that the well-meaning message of the three media bodies was greeted with harsh criticism by a controversial website, The Reporter, allegedly funded by a man known for his close connection with a government minister.

What they are doing, in this editorial, is calling for the suppression of a website that disagrees with them politically. That is their definition of “bias.” These are the same people that demonstrated for freedom of the press. What a shame they have no sense of humor. You can read the complete editorial *HERE*. But I suspect by calling attention to it, they will take it down very quickly.

In the mean time, on the very same day that one paper call for Keeping bias out of news reports, the other English language paper in Bangkok, The Nation (the two papers walk in lockstep) has this headline and story:


now, thaksin's divisiveness spreads to the militaryAnnual reshuffle clouded by claims of interference; showdown looms over Prin

The annual military reshuffle is fast becoming a tug-of-war between the government and professional soldiers, signalling that the political discord has spread to another arena, impacting on the unity of the armed forces.

At issue is the apparent attempt by the government to influence military assignments in order to secure an anchor for it to cling to power.

The story goes on but you get the idea. The people at the one paper would agree entirely with what the other has written. What they have said, I kid you not, is that the truth is not bias! Their defense is that they are telling the truth! What a pity they have no sense of humor. You can read the entire article *HERE* but they won’t keep it up for long.


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