Monday, September 7, 2009

Thaksin on state media

Portraits of the evil one for sale outside Government House 2009.

From the Bangkok Post titled: Broadcaster broadsided for airing Thaksin interview

"State-run media company MCOT Plc is coming under fire after its radio station broadcast an interview with ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra in which he said he was ready to negotiate with all sides of politics.

Thaksin gave the interview yesterday on the radio programme Exclusive by Chom (sic )Phetpradab which airs on MCOT's FM 100.5, upsetting Deputy Prime Minister Sathit Wongnongtoey, who is in charge of state media.

Mr Sathit questioned how Thaksin's interview was allowed to go to air on a state radio station".

While Mr Sathit is questioning how Thaksin's interview was on a state radio news program, I think the real question is; why has Thaksin NOT been on the state media?

I know the government and yellows like to make Thaksin out as the true evil one who seeks to destroy Thailand but that is, of course, political rhetoric.

What is a fact is that he is a legitimate news maker and it is a disgrace that the state media has barred him from the airwaves.

This is not a red or yellow issue, not a pro or anti-Thaksin issue, this is a press freedom issue.

Thaksin is the former Prime Minister, remains a political force, and is therefor a legitimate news maker.

I personally think Thaksin is a dirty lying scumbag, but if all dirty lying scumbags were barred from the news there would be almost no news from Government House and Parliament.

In the interview, the host asked Thaksin questions over his feelings towards the monarchy, over corruption, his unusual wealth, and whether he was concerned with harming the country by persisting in politics.

Considering these allegations are persistently leveled at Thaksin, this is legitimate news.

The radio host, Jom ("Chom" should really be spelled "Jom" as his name is จอม) Phetpradab, is not in the pro-Thaksin camp either. In fact, in next week's show - if not fired by then - he will be interviewing coup-maker Sonthi Boonyaratgalin.

Back in 2007, while working for TITV, Jom tried to air an interview with Thaksin for the same reasons. It was just after the elections and Thaksin's opinion on the PPP victory was legitimate news.

In 2007, Jom was fired for his efforts and it is likely to happen again.

And this highlights the sad reality of state controlled media, its not free or fair and only reports one side of the very complex political problems facing the country.


  1. thanks for fairly commenting on this and good effort by Jom... lets wish him luck!

    there are not many that can even handedly work in todays Thai environment

  2. Reports say that Chom has voluntarily decided to quit the show. It's a pity we won't get to listen to his interview with Gen Sonthi Boonyaratgalin as it'd be interesting to hear what the govt would say about that. If Thaksin is a fugitive who isn't allowed on state media, how about someone who illegally tore apart the nation's constitution and removed a legitimate government?


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