“who the judges are” ?
“I wonder who the JUDGES are ?!”
– A. Griboedov
(from: “Woe from Wit“, 1823)
I recall this famous saying quite often. There are so many critiques all over Thai media (TV and newspapers alike) and even among those who are readers or “consumers” of the informational products mass-produced by the giant media corporations. there are a lot of people who refer to some authorites as some sort of “guardians of truth and morailty”, who are themselves in fact quite often a very poor examples of the things they preach.
Of course, this question “who the judges are?” is applicable to many situations, especially towards the Editors, analysts and critics who are very prolific on Thai MSM.
Particularly there is a common tendency to refer to the “legal cases” in attempt to justify certain points of veiews.
Here is my debate elsewhere with another fellow blogger and commenter in regard to his comment :
“Do those rights extend to allowing that chosen leader to manipulate (by whatever means) the outcomes of any legitimate cases against him?“
first of all, you mix togehter different things :
– rights of protesters/ electorate;
– rights of “leader”;
please be precise and specific ! coz obviously these are not the same and that makes your question invalid. 😉
as about word “manipulate” – that is too vague and unproven.
as I recall – the only thing what Courts APPOINTED BY JUNTA were able to prove and charge the “leader” with is – “conflict of interests”. although many still continue talking that he was convicted for corruption. there was not proven corruption cases – (unlike, say, Vatana, minister in Former Democrats’ government by Chuan or Chuan’s brother 😉 ) and it is well documented fact.
about electoral fraud – there is also a huge controversy here. because Junta disbanded parties in 2007 based on the EX POST-FACTO law which they have cooked up in hurry – the law which did NOT exist at the moment when alleged electoral fraud occured.
(read also statement by AHRC: “The judiciary is the real loser” )
furthermore, the law itself is widely critisised as too extreme : normally except Thailand there is nowhere else such a law that the WHOLE party is dissolved because of 1 or few of its members found guilty of fraud.
I am sure you’re well aware of all these argument, since you’ve participated in all the blogs’ discussions few years already.
now, I do know your “concentration on Thaksin” (clearly stated and insisted upon on your blog) – that’s fine with me, no problem.
however you can’t generalize everything and everybody as BEING THAKSIN ! 😉 because obviously Thaksin is only 1 and can’t be 2.
this is too trivial fallacy.
so, Thaksin’s rights and opinions are his own, as are yours.
you can attack him as much as you want – I don’t care.
sure, he has certain influence on opinions of others too – that you can also argue about as SEPARATE issue.
but please do not mix in different other things !
now , the second part of your statement “the outcomes of any legitimate cases against him” – the keyword here is LEGITIMATE I think ! 😀
which is under HUGE question.
because as one poet said once almost 200 years ago :
I wonder who the judges are !
With age they show hostility to freedom,
They read the press that dates as far
Back as the Crimean war. They call it wisdom.
They’re quick to criticize and curse
And always sing the same old song,
They never think they can be wrong.
The older these men are the worse.
Where are those fathers of the nation,
Good models for our generation,
The ones that roll in looted money
With influential friends and relatives on hand?
The ones that feast away their lives of honey
And dwell in houses magnificent and grand?
The houses in which the foul features of the past
Will never be revived by all this foreign caste.
Those are the men that now have grown old and grey,
The men enjoying high respect and estimation.
“They are indeed our fair judges” – you will say.
And if there is a man among the younger generation
That never strives for vacancy nor seeks an occupation
Who sets his mind on science and shows a thirst for knowledge
Or good himself fills him with inspiration
To creativity in art,
They scream: “Disaster! Fire!” and acknowledge
The man to be a dreamer and dangerous at that.
The coat! The coat! They wear it still,
So beautifully made, it used to hide
Their timidness and their flippant mind.
And that’s the road that we should take at will.
The wives and daughters, too, affect the coat
And so did I until a while ago.
I’m not an infant now, you know,
On things like that I shall no longer dote.
(this quote was taken from here, online Full text of the whole book)
Griboedov is an a kind of intellectual considered “Homo unius libri“, rare individual who became famous merely because of one single book he ever wrote back in 1823.
It is interested to notice also the fact that this his the ONLY book was rejected by … censors !
Many copies were made and privately circulated, but Griboyedov never saw it published.
The first edition was printed in 1833, four years after his death…
So, those very “Judges” he was talking about have tried hard to “Judge” him too – but have been able only temporarily delay the publication of his prudent work.
BTW his death too was due to the adherence to the truth – due to his efforts to protect those who “have no voice in society” –
phrase Nick mentioned in his reply to accusaionts of bias.
Well, of course these things said by famous poet are never getting old, but remain relevant for generations and certainly can be applied to many countries.
However here I think it is quite appropriate to quote these almost 200 years old words to the intellectual bankrupcy of Thai media and academics.
UPDATE May 8th 2009
Regarding academics – see what I told you : Academic: media must filter ‘unneeded’ information”