Media War

exposing media bias in Thailand

Example of PAD propaganda – from Chamlong

Today Nation posted an interview with another PAD leader Chamlong  Srimuang, where he is talking about new party by PAD and confident that they’ll win elections to …. firmly establish “New Politics” – old good new politics, which Chamlong introduces some 20 years back.

Palang Dharma actually practised the so-called “new politics” which has been heralded by the PAD, even back before 1988, when the party was established. In 1990, an American professor who did his doctoral thesis at London University, later wrote a book entitled: “Chamlong Srimuang and the New Politics.  [by Duncan McCargo] I guess it was then that the new politics was first recognised.

Chamlong  uses a lot of   fallacies too , for example :

It’s clear to everyone now that PAD always tells the truth.

this is cheap trick called “Appeal to masses”  fallacy !  Everyone ?   what if we find at least 1  who doesn’t know that or doesn’t agree that PAD is telling the truth ?   🙂

Demagoguery is the main weapong of PAD – that’s why they so easily  acquired a huge followership.

Chamlong himself  admits that  PAD’s   ASTV channel makes a huge difference  now :

The new party will be successful because of three factors that Palang Dharma did not have at that time:

(1) The Election Commission will watch out for and punish vote-buying, (2) the support of PAD members across the country, and (3) cable channel ASTV.

well, it is surprising to see he admits that EC is prctically in their  pocket  (or more precisely in the pocket of  those big rich infuential people who backs PAD)  !

however no doubt that ASTV – a media outlet  apparently granted  by junta (Surayudh when he was PM) to Sondhi L  for their help to oust Thaksin  –  is a GIANT  Propaganda machine used by  PAD and its  sponsor Amart    to  brainwash the  thousands, if not the millions of Thais  about the “New Politics” !

surely if Abhisit’s government continues blocking of UDD D-Station TV channel, while  ASTV  has no any such problem and all the other TV channels  are supportive of government – that  creates a huge advantage for PAD and those aligned with it,  as Thai Main Stream Media (MSM) – which is after all a big corporations which make money from news and  as in any business ideally would love to have the monopoly  for information, or at least  to ditch its rivals.

I think it is  relevent to point out the facts about Chamlong’s career (from Wiki) :

He received advanced training in military communications at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, and Fort Gordon, Georgia.

Soon afterwards, Chamlong was sent to the Schofield Barracks in Hawaii for a six-month course on military signal equipment.

He later served in Laos as a communications officer supporting Thai units fighting the communist Pathet Lao and the North Vietnamese Army. He returned to Thailand to attend the |Army Command and General Staff College, and also underwent six months of counterinsurgency training.

In 1972, Chamlong attended the U.S. Navy’s Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, where he completed a two-year management course. For his master’s degree thesis, he wrote a study of labor unrest in Thailand. Following his graduation, he returned to the Military Research and Development Center.

It looks like this guy was carefully, thoroughly and purposely groomed to  play a role of  … “leader of people” – which I suspect was a clever move by army to hijack the popular movements  (of 70s and then 80s) or counteract some other popular movements which are not favorable  to army and   amart system !   particularly interesting is the fact that Chamlong was  a Secretary of  Prem, who is now considered a personification and embodiment of   Amart system (unelected influential men who interfere in politics).

Certainly  PAD movement  owes its large support to  Chamlong  both in  organizational skills of army general,  highly trained specialist  in all sorts of  issues related to  popular movement and insurgency, as well as  a charismatic person  with  traditional traits  (celibate ascetic, vegetarian, prominent member of radical Buddhist   Santi Asoke sect).

PAD’s fonder Sondhi is also a well known  media mogul.

So,  it shows just once again the huge  role Media  plays  in  politics and  sway over peoples’ minds.  UDD / DAAD  are certainly no match for the Combined Propaganda onslaught by PAD, government and Thai MSM !  And without  equal  facilities to even match this propaganda  – the chance for anti-establishment movement to win is very slim.  All the Propaganda players are well aware of that and that’s why  government  along with Thai MSM has launched the official “Media War”, full scale censorhip etc.

Another blogger Hobby  (nganadeeleg blog)  has also posted  its own comments about this Chamlong’s interview :  “Chamlong   falls  off  the  wagon” :

Chamlong must have been on a real binge…  I used to like Chamlong, and could symathize with his stance on corruption and moral issues, but this interview shows he is way past it (or should be!)    And no, this interview did not come from Not the Nation.

PPT  has also posted its own  commentary on Chamlong’s  interview.

Chamlong affirms that both PAD and the red shirts are a threat to others in Thailand’s political quagmire.


April 27, 2009 - Posted by | PAD-watch, Propaganda | , , , , , , , , ,


  1. @nga

    YW ! no problem, I simply mentioned your blog, didn’t expect any reciprocation.

    I agree about your point – it is true, the space is very small for an open conversation. I realized that while we might critisize the MSM for self-censorhip – in fact though, we exercise a lot of it ourselves ! that certainly limits the “space” for a proper debate.

    Comment by antipadshist | May 1, 2009 | Reply

  2. Hey, thanks for mentioning me, and including me on your blogroll.

    I’m actually losing interest in Thai politics because there does not seem to be much space for middle ground and consideration of the other side’s viewpoints.

    I also have a new hobby, hence I will not reciprocate with a llink to your blog – I have just kept Bangkok Pundit and New Mandala because they are the central focal points for all us commentators.

    Overall I think we basically want the same thing for Thailand, we just differ about the means and which personalities should be given prominence, or be trusted.

    Comment by nganadeeleg | April 30, 2009 | Reply

  3. well, to me they are quite acceptable. because I am pretty sure that PAD has no any solid substantial ideology, but a wild mixture of demagoguery. and even this mixture always changes – they are not being consistent even in this. during last year occupation of GH they have changed their demands and statements very often, sometimes every days.

    thay do have few more or less consistent points which they stick to – but those can hardly be considered as an ideology or a political platform. not to mention that even those points are mostly a huge blown up fallacies as “straw man” and “attack on person”.

    I mean – their very NAME (PAD) is extremely hypocritical propaganda in itself. because certainly their are NOT “people” (as in “grassroot people”) but mostly a rich urban elite and middle class who hate rurals; and neither they are “for Democracy” – but for “New Politics”, which is completely opposite to the main democratic principle of universal suffrage. so, they MISLEAD people by all those propagandist tricks and fallacious arguments! their very usage of yellow color and all the related images and symbols – it is in itself a blatant fallacy called “appeal to emotions” !

    so, I stand by my choice of words, dude – it IS a propaganda! in fact, their demagoguery and tactics are DANGEROUS because it is very similar to how nazis came to power in Germany in 30s.

    Comment by antipadshist | April 29, 2009 | Reply

  4. Actually, the contains of this topics is acceptable.

    but the headings of this topics, ummm i dont think so, dude..

    Comment by seaksan1 | April 29, 2009 | Reply

  5. another blog called “News in bangkok” ( ) has more discussion about PAD’s role in future politics.

    Comment by antipadshist | April 28, 2009 | Reply

  6. Prachathai has published an article by Ji Ungpakorn which provides a bit more details about PAD, particularly its relations with Thai NGOs and lack of masses base.

    Comment by antipadshist | April 28, 2009 | Reply

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