Media War

exposing media bias in Thailand

Thai media on foreign media

I’ve  posted it yesterday  as a part of   this post,  but now decided to make it  as a separate to reduce the size of that previous post and  since this  particular issue perhaps better described as  Thai reporters writing about foreign media.  also because there are several updates about this Atiya’s article – comments by Fonzi and BP.

To score some points  in international PR campaign  Abhisit, Kasit  are  calling  on Burmese  junta to  free  the Democratic leader there  – while at the same time they tighten up the leash on media within Thailand and remove whatever tiny remaining liberties as freedom of speech.

Hypocracy is too obvious to ignore.  but some  Thai reporters, as Atiya on Bkk Post,  instead  accuse foreign media of the hipocrasy, rather than Thai gov. and Thai media  :  “The hypocrisy of ‘being concerned’ “.   Atiya  doesn’t talk about the  pathetic state of media in Thailand, but instead is lashes out once agin at foreign media – looks like revenge  for  their  exposing  undemocratic  acts by Thai gov.

Where is the outcry from the foreign media? Where are the articles and high-minded opinion pieces condemning the undemocratic elements? Where are the lectures and derision?Has the bad press been reserved for struggling democracies like Thailand? Like, if you try real hard to hold your stuff together and be compliant with Western values, you get slapped when you come up short. But if you are a fully-fledged autocracy that shuts the country off from unwanted relations (and keeps the wanted relations plus profit to yourself) who also could not care less about what the world may think, then you can be left alone. No foreign press would nag that the Burmese prime minister was not elected, that its roadmap to democracy is a coup-produced sham, or that Snr Gen Than Shwe has not been seen smiling or anything.

The Economist, for example, has been harsh on Thailand to the point that its own integrity can be called into question. In its April issue, for example, the magazine took aim at Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva’s mandate to govern. “He rode to office, unelected, thanks to the yellow shirts,” the magazine stated.

The statement would have proven the magazine’s theory about Thai democracy being usurped by undemocratic elements – had it not been factually wrong. One has one’s own doubts why such an esteemed publication would opt for dispensing false information for the sake of being critical of a country.

Well,  I do not  argue that foreign media  is free of bias or is fully  pro-democratic.

However  this sort of rethoric from Atiya  rather make one think :    perhaps   she  would like  foreign media  to start treating Thailand  as  Burma ? in other words, her own, as a “fully-fledged autocracy“.  because that’s how her complains seem:  “why  did you critisized our beloved Abhisit so harshly, and don’t say much about Burmese generals !”.

hmmmm….  Khun Atiya,  let me provide  some clue:  could it be because ….   Abhisit  is a LEADER of a DEMOCRAT PARTY ?  while  generals of the ruling Burmese junta  are obviously not  Democrats  even in name?   therefore naturally there is much more expected from a DEMOCRAT  leader  Abhisit  than from dictatorial generals?

Khun Atiya –  you seem to be  demanding  that  the world  see  DEMOCRAT Abhisit  on the same level as NON-DEMOCRAT junta generals in Burma?  otherwise why would you even  attempt such a comparisons?  it is too silly, like a pouting little girl  who is feeling “noi-jai” (“small-hearted”  – neglected, belittled or treated unjustly)  and saying   “it is not fair !”

Well, be careful Khun Antiya in what you wish – you may get it granted !  soon may be  Thailand and its so called “Democrat”  government will be given the same measures in the world as  Burmese  dictatorship. surely there are  alread many signs of it coming to that.

Fonzi  has posted his “deconstruction” of Atiya :

Atiya is a delusional hypocrite…  It seems Atiya has been reading too much of The Nation and has destroyed her brain cells. Where does she come up with this outrageous crap? The western media has never been a friend of Burma. In typical Thai media fashion, Atiya can’t come up with one article, one paper to support her argument…  Atiya really has fallen as a journalist to sink to such fallacious argumentation.  She is almost as bad as Thanong and Sopon.  Like The Nation, she equates The Economist not agreeing with her opinion as an attack upon Thailand

Do you think Atiya would support an international peace keeping force on Thai soil that would invade Burma and depose the junta? Of course not, because the Thai media is in the pocket of the Thai military generals and the Thai military generals are the Burmese junta’s biggest business partners…  Why does Atiya have to lie? She is either intentionally misinformed or a liar. Truthfully, the international media doesn’t care that much about Thailand. In terms of human rights and international attention, Burma is a bigger cause. This is indisputable…  Maybe Thailand can’t afford a hypocritical Thai media that supports the crimes of the Thai military while wringing its hands over the Burmese military.

today BP has also  posted a detailed  answer on Atiya’s article, it is very long and worth reading, here are just few excerpts, comments by BP  :

Atiya is either ignorant about what the foreign media have been saying about Burma for years or dishonest. Neither provide any comfort. Perhaps, her next op-ed will be The Nation is pro-Thaksin. This is the level of absurdity needed to sustain her argument about the foreign media being silent on Burma…  It is the Abhisit government which has used the word “concerned” so why no criticism of them? It is governments which express concern, but can do little more because they have no ability to pressure the Burmese government…. Instead of blaming the foreign media bogeyman, perhaps she look at politicians, the military and the establishment in Thailand, India, and China.

another  comment by BP  on Atiya’s article :

why only just China put pressure on Burma? What about more pressure from Thailand? (actually the current government together with ASEAN has been fairly good) Thailand is hardly insignificant yet few Thai journalists seemingly can admit to this.


May 24, 2009 - Posted by | Thai MSM | , , , , , , , , , , ,

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