Media War

exposing media bias in Thailand

Bias accusations by … masters of bias

One  discussion caught my attention – about latest “masterpiece” by Bkk Post Editor Veera Prateepchaikul

(more exactly: Deputy Editor-in-Chief, Post Publishing Co Ltd – wow !   🙂 ).

Quote from Veera :

” The evidence of the harm the UDD and its puppet master, outlawed former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra,

have inflicted on the country’s reputation and economy is strong and clear.

The planned video show in Samut Sakhon is an effort to incite public discontent against the government and the military.

But it will be self-defeating and the UDD will only bring further shame and indignity upon itself. ”

It is good to know that Thailand has its own “Sly fox”  media ala Murdoch‘s  Fox news , most commonly called rather “Faux News” for its bias. (watch video clip of Nas’ song “Sly Fox“)

Logo of Fox News

Logo of Fox News

I’m sure Veera would be a worthy of  “The O’reilly Factor”  – and most likely even proud and honoured if he gets job there.

Although perhaps it is rather Yoon who is undisputed “Thai O’Reilly” and champion of  “Fair & Balanced”   🙂   –   that’s what  Fonzi thinks :

Suthichai Yoon Demonstrates “Fair and Balanced” Reporting

The Yoonster’s blog only proves that The Nation has zero credibility when it comes to their sanctimonious bleating on about the media’s role in being an honest arbiter of the facts.

You got to wonder what The Nation’s strategy is in insulting the intelligence of hundreds of thousands of Thai people.

Well, let’s introduce Veera  by quoting some of Bkk Post readers :

Veera Prateepchaikul is almost laughable as a journalist and just like the The Nation

Veera is far too busy spinning for the Democrats than to a neg-check the facts …

Here is more on Veera by BP, which I think summes the best Veera’s  “journalism” :

... Veera is like a frog who lives in a coconut shell* and doesn’t seem to expand on his narrow thinking

*Popular Thai idiom .

“There’s a Thai idiom–a person who is “a frog in a coconut shell” (กบในกะลาครอบ) is someone who is “inside a bubble,” as we might say. The world is much larger than a coconut shell. ” (quote  from comment by fellow blogger rikker, Thai language researcher who runs Thai 101 ;  BTW according to his research – “Thailand has been in a formal state of emergency in at least one province since 1958…  it’s not that the 1958 state of emergency is still in effect. But rather, each subsequent SOE is declared before the previous one is fully revoked. So it’s a chain of many states of emergency spanning 50 years. 1958 is simply the last time that a SOE was completely revoked in all provinces“;  also his other recent post  “A yellow perspective on red shirts” :  “it gives a clear picture of how some view the protesters: as uneducated rabblerousers

BP has his own take on this latest Veera’s spin.

Nation of course doesn’t need an introduction – or may be we’ll have to dedicate a whole separate efforts as it deserves.

Well, it is quite understandable why Veera keeps personal grudge against “evil monster from hell” Thaksin (this pearl belongs to PAD of course):  5 years ago he was fired from his job (although not ) because Veera published article critical of Thaksin. Veera’s plight raised such a furor and outrage, that even Bkk Post’s rival Nation joined the Thaksin bashing (“enemy of my enemy …”)

Read some details here and here – which is of course not full story, perhaps we’ll have to attempt to put together a complete one unless someone else does.

Meanwhile for starters read “Veera revisited”   (by Sanpaworn “Tom” Vamvanij – who also wrote a whole book “Sa·ra·son·teh”  about Thai media, published in 2006 – it is mentioned in Bibliography section of another book called “Internet Censorship Thailand” – another book which gives a good reading, particulary because it provides a coverage of almost 10 years period from 1999 to 2008 and amalysis  ! )

Perhaps it is just a glimpse at CLASSIC  SPIN  by Thai media  – enjoy !  🙂

(mind you – this piece is dated 24.03.05 – 4 years ago and NOT written by me, but some of the “insiders” who knows the “kitchen” of Thai media too well !)


The removal of Bangkok Post editor Veera Prateepchaikul last year was immediately seized upon by the media both Thai and foreign as yet another case of the Thaksin government’s interfering with the press. That is a gross and pervasive misinterpretation that I will now, more than a year later, attempt to redress.

Veera was officially appointed “deputy Editor-in-Chief of Post Publishing”… he was not fired …  the Editor-in-Chief he would be seconding was none other than Pichai Chuensuksawadi, his predecessor at the Bangkok Post editor’s desk. To this day, Veera still works for Post Publishing and still writes regularly for the Bangkok Post[his yesterday’s Apr 21 2009 article  on Bkk Post is fresh evidence of that]

I don’t find it the least bit out of ordinary for a government figure to complain to journalists if he thinks their stories are inaccurateJournalists aren’t infallible and, after hearing the complaint, they themselves decide how to proceed.  If those calls were in any way threatening, you can trust the receivers to have told us all about them. So far, however, we seem to be stuck with the “loss of advertisements form ‘connected companies’” whining, whose flagrancy shouldn’t need pointing out (but probably does anyway, since no one seems to notice it).

Thaksin’s outbursts of frustration indicate his lack of control of the media, and they only give his media opponents more ammunitions to use against him [I tend to agree – being a media tycoon himself, Thaksin has a weak spot in dealing with reporters – even nowadays he is mocked for that, especially in his latest  appearances on BBC, CNN etc.  Unlike Abhisit, Thaksin’s  poor command of English, shrill voice, mumbling habit and even  physical appearance itself (like his famous square jaw alone !  🙂 )  is  comical – which attracts “Yellow journalists” who love it to make personal attacks, Certainly Thaksin, as later Samak, was always attacked and still is]

final blow to the widely-held belief about Veera’s removal :

True, the board tried a few months ago to get rid of Veera. But your portrayal of him as a fearless proponent of truth and freedom of speech is way off the mark. Veera cut copy at the behest of the chairman of the board. Normally that would have kept the chairman happy, but last week Veera became overzealous and spiked a column by a woman who regards the chairman as a personal friend. She took offence.

To the extent he was critical of the government, it was only because some copy managed to slip through without him seeing it. I can’t emphasise that point enough. He was on the phone on a nightly basis to production staff, telling them what headline to change, what copy to cut. In some cases he would take it upon himself to make these changes, without telling anyone. Guess who wrote today’s front page story in which he is portrayed as a fearless defender of free speech? [hahahahaha ! ROFLMAO]

Mr. Cunningham mentioned this in passing, as a side issue in a report that otherwise does portray Veera as a hero (guess who his main source is).

So it seems this whole episode has no real consequence beyond that the editor who yanked Kanjana’s article was replaced by one who printed it. Government interference? …

In conclusion, let me recap the whole story for you in chronological order:

  1. Of the two major English language news paper in Thailand, The Nation is viciously anti-government while the Bangkok Post is falsely seen by some as government-friendly (it’s actually just less vicious).
  2. Kanjana Spindler is good friends with Suthikiati Chirathivat, chairman of Post Publishing PLC, occasionally lunching with him. (According to a Bangkok Post source. All other information here is public.)
  3. One fine week in February 2004, Kanjana wrote an article critical of the Thaksin government, as she always had done before.
  4. Veera spiked the article.
  5. Veera was removed by the end of that week.
  6. The Nation and most of the Thai and international media hailed Veera as a martyr.
  7. The spiked article was published the following Wednesday.
  8. The Nation remains anti-government.
  9. The Bangkok Post remains anti-government, if less so than The Nation.
  10. Veera still writes for the Bangkok Post.

Now answer for yourself why Veera lost his editorship.

Ever since Veera was  on personal vendetta trip, making it a mission of his life  to get even with Thaksin – read Veera’s blog to see what I mean.

He has created a very nice image of himself as “champion of Free Speech” and continues his ego trip by taking on  those who dares to challenge the  GIANT PROPAGANDA by government and Thai MSM, whose loud and noisy mouthpiece Veera certainly was, is  and will be  – and yet he has audacity to accuse other sof “smear campaign“, “dubious claims“, “laughable but also pure fantasy

It is rather  “frog in the coconut shell”  as Veera who are more laughable.

It is such a shame that people like him who, using his own wrods, “sway public attention away from” … The TRUTH !

Masters of Bias accuse others of Bias.

I think it is suitable to mention the whole irony of  very existence of such so called “Blogs” by these Editors of largest Thai Newspapers  (Yoon, Thanong and many  – all others have their own “Blogs”)  – the idea itself  as  bizzare as, say  Rupert Murdoch   – supreme master-manipulator of  masses’ minds  – writing a blog ! Not to mention that practically ALL the posts  on their blogs are …  Editorial columns in the newspapers they work in !  Such “Blogs” are totally opposite of  the very purpose of alternative media by Citizen Journlaism (see also Democratic journalism, Wisdom of the Crowd), by ordinary people who are NOT  so called “professional” (= corporate) journalists.


April 22, 2009 - Posted by | Propaganda, Thai MSM | , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] Veeera on Bkk post  today about “silent majority” – looks like now he poses as “white shirt” ?  […]

    Pingback by Silent or Silenced majority ? « Media war | May 11, 2009 | Reply

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